This week the Jets signed running back Jonathan Grimes to the active roster. Jets fans might not know much about Grimes, so I've been looking at preseason footage in detail to investigate what he could bring to the table.

Grimes was signed off the Houston Texans practice squad, so will need to remain on the active roster for at least three weeks. He's a guy they've had their eyes on for some time, as they made a conditional waiver claim on him, which they later withdrew, on cutdown day. However, it's not yet clear whether he has been brought in with an expectation to contribute immediately or is viewed as a longer-term product (or even just a shot across the bow of Shonn Greene).

After the jump, I'll be reviewing his preseason performances and considering what he could provide the Jets with this year and going forward.

Who is Jonathan Grimes?

Grimes was a local kid from New Jersey, who went under the radar at a small school (William & Mary), until he led the nation in all purpose yards as a senior. Entering this year's draft, some sites gave him a sixth round grade, but he didn't get an invite to the combine and would ultimately go undrafted. In 48 starts at college, he averaged just under 95 yards per game and five yards per carry, while rushing for 34 touchdowns. He also caught 136 passes with seven more touchdowns, returned kicks and punts (including one other score) and even passed for a score.

Grimes is a bit of a throwback player, who isn't regarded as flashy and is actually a talented pianist. He's not a power back in the Shonn Greene mold - he weighed in at 207 at his Pro Day this summer and is currently listed at 209. His Pro Day numbers were pretty good, although he only ran a 4.53 forty, so might be considered to lack breakaway speed. However, his 38-inch vertical and a broad jump of over 10-feet are signs of his explosiveness. He also lifted the bar 23 times, displaying some good strength for his size and ran a 4.03 short shuttle, suggesting he has pretty good agility.

One concern about young players is ball security. I've been unable to find definitive figures for his fumbles while in college, but I believe he had three each in his freshman and sophomore years, whereas I can't find any record of him having fumbled in his junior or senior seasons.

A lot of the players the Jets pick up via waivers or during the season are said to have struggled in preseason, so when I scout them for BGA I do so with low expectations (and a lot of the time they show some promise). However, Grimes drew rave reviews in preseason, having averaged 4.6 yards per carry, as he battled with veteran Justin Forsett for the third running back role. It was a slight surprise when he cleared waivers and landed on Houston's practice squad and with Shonn Greene and the running game in general struggling, the Jets have likely made this move to shake things up. While his spot on the roster is guaranteed for three weeks, there are no guarantees he will be active or get any playing time. You may recall the Jets added tight end Shawn Nelson last season, but he was inactive for three weeks and then gone. However, that was partially due to injuries/illness.

Let's review his preseason performances in depth:

2012 Preseason

Week One: Carolina – entered game at start of second half, 9-37 rushing, 1-18 receiving, one tackle

- Off a playfake, he picked up a blitzing linebacker to enable a quick throw.

- With nowhere to go, the left defensive end penetrated upfield to stop him getting outside and an unblocked linebacker hit him in the backfield, but his momentum carried him back to the line of scrimmage.

- He didn’t have a lot of room as he cut back behind his fullback, but broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage, falling forward for three.

- Made a special teams tackle on the kickoff, getting off his block well as part of the second wave.

- The right defensive tackle got pushed back off the line and he showed good patience in the hole, cutting left and then falling forward after the hit for 11.

- Tried to get to the outside, but Antwan Applewhite got off his block forcing him back inside where he was bottled up for a two yard loss.

- Burst straight up the middle, almost untouched, for a three yard touchdown.

- Bad block by the fullback, but Grimes was hit a yard behind the line of scrimmage and was able to drive forward for a two yard gain.

- Followed his blocks off left tackle for three but was bottled up and gang tackled there.

- Leaked into the left flat for a screen pass and followed his blocks well downfield for an 18 yard gain, hurdling out of a tackle to tack a couple of extra yards onto the end of the play.

- This was a great play that went for a 14 yard gain on the play after his 18 yard catch. His left guard was driven back into his path, but he bounced to the outside where a linebacker tried to make a diving tackle in the backfield. He stumbled through that and made an impressively sharp upfield cut then used his speed to gain 14 yards, evading another lunging tackle downfield.

- This may have been designed for a cutback to the right, as there would have been a big cutback lane, if not for the fact that the left guard got submarined by his man. Grimes reacted quickly and got outside his blocker on the left side before cutting upfield. He broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage and tried to step out of an ankle tackle three yards downfield before getting swarmed under.

In this game, he had one highlight reel play and two other decent gains. There were a few plays that were bottled up but he broke several tackles and didn't seem to leave too many yards on the field.

Week Two: San Francisco – Didn’t play on offense until late in the third quarter, 2-22 rushing, 1-5 receiving

- Delayed draw play out of the shotgun, using a burst of speed off the edge to rush off the left side untouched with the defense playing back on 2nd and 23. With good speed, he was able to gain 16.

- 3rd and 16 screen for a five yard gain. Didn’t really have anywhere to go.

- Stayed in to block but no blitzer came through.

- Six yard run on second and ten. A simple one-read upfield cut over right guard.

- Similar play going left for five, but this time negated by a hold.

Didn't get much playing time and made some routine, albeit positive plays. He did display a good burst of speed on the draw play.

Week Three: New Orleans – Entered the game on offense at the start of the third quarter, 4-22 rushing, 2-18 receiving, two tackles

- Great special teams play on a kickoff as he was one of the first guys down, crashed into a blocker and came off the block for a big hit short of the 20.

- On second and four with three receivers bunched to the right, he started off to the right, then cut back up the middle, hurdling a prone defender for six yards.

- The same delayed draw as in the previous game on 3rd and 15. He read a block on the edge and bounced to the outside for 10.

- The same delayed draw again on 3rd and 15, this time from their own five yard line. Grimes gained four as the defender in the backfield got a handful of his jersey and was able to complete the tackle as the blocks in front of him didn’t develop in time.

- Sidestepped a tackle in the backfield and ran into the pile for two.

- Made a special teams tackle on a kickoff return at the 25, just as it looked like the receiver was about to break into the open field.

- Down seven with 1:55 to go, from their own 43, the Texans opened their drive by throwing to Grimes three straight times. He ran a quick-in route for six over the middle, then gained 12 on the same play, with the defense backed further off this time so he could turn upfield, breaking a tackle to pick up the last couple of yards. The next one was a pretty similar play, but thrown to him slightly later. He was unable to haul in a low throw. He was then replaced as the comeback effort came up short.

Made a minor contribution on offense with some pretty routine plays, but did show the ability to break or avoid tackles. It was good to see him catch a couple of passes.

Week Four: Minnesota – Didn’t start, but played the whole game, 13-49 rushing, 2-17 receiving, one penalty

- There wasn’t really anywhere to go and an unblocked linebacker stopped him in his tracks for a two yard loss.

- Picked up a blitz well as the pocket collapsed. Only had to hold the block for a split second, but still enabled the pass to be complete.

- Again started off-tackle and cut back up the middle. There didn’t look like there was much room, but he squeezed through a tight gap and spun forward for six.

- Same play again to the right on the next snap, but this time he had more room, breaking a tackle at the second level and powering forward downfield for 16.

- On third and goal at the five, he was a quick checkdown underneath and was hit at the two. He fell forward, but didn’t break the plane.

- On fourth and goal from the one, he went low but was unable to break the plane.

- Motioned out wide, but then flinched at the snap and was called for a false start.

- Another delayed draw on third and 14. He put the brakes on at the second level and almost broke away from a tackler by cutting back to the inside, but the tackler brought him down after being dragged for a couple of extra yards, limiting the gain to eight.

- Didn’t have anywhere to go on an off-tackle run to the right, so tried to bounce it outside but could only get back to the line of scrimmage.

- Off a playfake on 3rd and three, he leaked out to the flat and was wide open for an easy 13-yard gain.

- Gained six yards over the right side with a huge hole and was tackled immediately at the second level as he was a little hesitant.

- Bounced off contact at the line of scrimmage and picked up two up the middle.

- Stayed in to block, but the protection failed and the quarterback was sacked. It was impossible to see who was at fault, but the left guard blocked nobody as the pressure came off his side, although it may have been Grimes’ responsibility to stay back and pick up that man.

- Another 3rd and 15 draw play where he dodged one tackle and side-stepped another but only gained four yards.

- A counter play that didn’t really work. He skipped out of a tackle in the backfield and dove ahead for one yard.

- An outside run, where he cut back for three yards. Might have made more yardage if he kept going to the outside.

- Not much room and picked up two on that same play where he starts off going right and cuts back upfield on the right side, followed by a similar play going to the left with the same result.

- Stayed in to block on third down and managed to get his hands on the edge rusher. He only needed to sustain the block for a second.

There were a few negatives in this game. For the first time, he was tackled a few times without falling forward as he had done well over the first three games. He also had a couple of plays where he perhaps didn't make the right read and a possible breakdown in pass protection. It was also disappointing to see him fail to get in the endzone on two plays early on. Despite all that, he was still pretty productive, making the most of whenever he had some running room and still managing to escape some tackles too.

Conclusions

You can see why Grimes created some preseason buzz. He has a nice burst of speed, the ability to shake and break tackles and usually finishes his runs falling forward. He also looks to be a competent safety valve option in the passing game. Overall, he was probably more impressive than any of the Jets' backs were in preseason, although you should factor in that the Jets were installing a brand new system and blocking scheme, whereas the Texans - although they've had some personnel changes - are still running the same system that made their running game one of the best in the league over the past couple of years.

It was interesting to see that Houston's running game was every bit as vanilla as the Jets' was in preseason, if not moreso. Most of their running plays were pretty straightforward one-read cutback runs and they also ran the same delayed draw over and over again whenever they had a third and long. They did sprinkle in the occasional different play, but it's difficult to get a read on whether Grimes has any limitations or if he was actually held back by the predictability.

My biggest concern with Grimes would be that he apparently came from a zone system in college and that's what the Texans play too. With Shonn Greene showing signs that he is struggling to make the right reads in the Jets' new blocking system, this may be a sign that it could take Grimes some time to adjust too. In general when looking for signs of whether he has good vision, it was a bit of a mixed bag. There were a couple of plays where he left yards on the field, but he did seem to make the right decision and react quickly most of the time.

Being a little smaller and perhaps more slippery than the other backs the Jets have, Grimes brings a slightly different skill-set to the table, one which may be suited to the third down back role. However, can he pass block well enough to play that role. It was a fairly small sample size, because he usually ran a route when the Texans passed the ball with him in, but when he did stay in, he did do a good job of getting in front of his man most of the time. However, in each case, he was only required to hold his block for a short time and his lack of size would probably mean his pass blocking contributions would be limited to doing that.

One other interesting factor is that he made a few contributions on special teams on the kick coverage unit. That's a role that Bilal Powell currently plays with the Jets, but Shonn Greene likely wouldn't. Therefore, I wonder if they have plans to increase Powell's role on offense and replace him on special teams. With Joe McKnight potentially moving to corner, that could free up an active roster spot to enable this to happen.

As with any move made at this stage in the season, it's difficult to know how quickly Grimes will be able to contribute, if at all. However, he did show some flashes that he could be a productive running back, especially when the line blocks well for him. Of course, life will get easier for the other backs too if the run blocking improves. Ultimately, it's never a bad idea to bring a fresh set of legs to the running game, so we'll be looking forward to seeing what Grimes can do with his shot.

Tags: BGA, Editorial Aside, Bent Double

JRSportBrief: NFL work stoppage? 00:01:54
In the latest installment of JRSportBrief on SNY.tv, JR talks about the idea of an NFL work stoppage in a few years.

In the latest installment of JRSportBrief on SNY.tv, JR talks about the idea of an NFL work stoppage in a few years.

 

 

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In the latest episode of The Jet Stream, Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon look back at the eight sacks the Jets' D laid on the Tennessee Titans, as well as Christian Hackenberg's performance. Later, the guys discuss the wide receivers, offensive line, and their expectations for this week's matchup with the Detroit Lions.

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New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown watches as quarterback Christian Hackenberg warms up before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown watches as quarterback Christian Hackenberg warms up before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

While New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles did name a starting quarterback for Saturday's preseason game against the Detroit Lions, he is expected to give Josh McCown more playing time.

McCown, who did not get receive any reps at Thursday's practice when the Jets did game-plan prep, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini, played the opening drive last week in New York's 7-3 win over the Tennessee Titans, but Christian Hackenberg then played the following eight possessions.

Bowles said he didn't anticipate any lineup changes, but left the door open to it by saying, "we'll discuss it."

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Detroit Lions, Josh McCown
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New York Jets outside linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin in action against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets outside linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin in action against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

New York Jets linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin tweaked his back and sat out practice Thursday, leaving him uncertain for the preseason game at Detroit on Saturday night.

Mauldin had been dealing with a back issue earlier during training camp, but returned to the field Wednesday. Coach Todd Bowles said the third-year linebacker was inside receiving treatment during practice Thursday.

Bowles added that he was unsure how long Mauldin would be sidelined, but said that he would likely not play against the Lions.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Detroit Lions, Lorenzo Mauldin, Matt Forte, Quincy Enunwa
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets camp 00:03:01
Jeane Coakley talks to Muhammad Wilkerson about being one of the older, vocal leaders in the locker room at Jets camp.

 

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Daily News Live: Bowles' future 00:04:48
The Daily News Live panel discusses what Todd Bowles can do to save his job and if he is the right coach to lead a rebuilding effort.

 

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 (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

Looking to gain a physical edge on the field, Jets linebacker Darron Lee gained nine pounds heading into training camp. 

Lee, who was 227 pounds after minicamp ended, is now 236 at training camp. 

"On my conditioning test, everybody was like, 'You look noticeably bigger,'" Lee said, according to the New York Daily News. "Hey, I put in that work."

Tags: Darron Lee
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Bowles rewards team during camp 00:02:29
Jeane Coakley and Ralph Vacchiano report from Florham Park where Todd Bowles allowed his team to remove pads during practice on Wednesday.

 

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 (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
(Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

Jets linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin showed up to a Manhattan court on Wednesday for his alleged assault of a Queens man, but the case has been delayed because prosecution wasn't ready to file paper work, according to multiple reports

Mauldin had turned himself in to authorities in late June for his alleged role in the nightclub attack that took place on April 2. The New York Post reported on June 21 that Mauldin had been charged with misdemeanor assault, which carries a maximum sentence of year in jail.

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New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles answers questions from media at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles answers questions from media at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - In the wake of the ugly riots in Charlottesville, Va., there's a possibility that more NFL players will decline to stand for the national anthem during preseason games this weekend, joining a protest started by Colin Kaepernick last year. So far there's no indication any Jets players will join them.

But if they do, their coach will have their back.

"We don't have a rule book on what's right to protest and not protest," Bowles said at Jets training camp on Wednesday. "You don't know those things until the course of time, whether it's sitting for the anthem, whether it's raising your fist, wither it's speaking out, a walk to Washington -- who's to say whose protest is good or bad?"

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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass against the Tennessee Titans during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass against the Tennessee Titans during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

John Morton seemed to like everything he saw with Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg on Saturday night. He liked his poise, his decisiveness, the decisions he made. It was clearly a step in the right direction.

But was it a big step toward Hackenberg getting the starting job?

That's a question that Morton, the Jets new offensive coordinator, wasn't willing to answer on Tuesday. In fact, Morton made it sound like Hackenberg still has a long ways to go.

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Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Lucky Whitehead (13) during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Cowboys won 35-10. (Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports)
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Lucky Whitehead (13) during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Cowboys won 35-10. (Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports)

Jets WR Lucky Whitehead, who suffered a broken foot during Monday's practice, will have surgery for the injury, head coach Todd Bowles said on Wednesday.

Prior to deciding on surgery, Whitehead was expected to miss four-to-six weeks, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano confirmed.

Whitehead joined the Jets after he was released by the Cowboys on July 24. He returend two punts and a kickoff in the Jets' preseason opener. Serving primarily as a returner, he caught three passes for 48 yards for the Cowboys in 2016.

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GEICO SportsNite: Jets camp 00:01:46
Jeane Coakley reports from Jets camp, where Todd Bowles was pleased with his team's response to his criticism.

 

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Jets Training Camp report 00:01:37
SNY's Jeane Coakley reports from Jets training camp where head coach Todd Bowles was not pleased with the team's most recent practice.

 

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New York Jets running back Matt Forte is tackled by Miami Dolphins corner back Tony Lippett during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets running back Matt Forte is tackled by Miami Dolphins corner back Tony Lippett during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Jets running back Matt Forte is missing time in the preseason and training camp due to a hamstring injury for the second year in a row, but told NJ.com's JJ Conrad he feels he is close to returning to the field.

"I'm feeling good, but not good enough to be in full practice yet," Forte said to Conrad on Monday. "I'm just going through what the trainers tell me, easing back in. I don't want to go back out there immediately and get injured again."

Forte, who did not play in Saturday's 7-3 win over the Tennessee Titans in the Jets' preseason opener, said he the trainers are being cautious with him given the nature of hamstring injuries and the fact the veteran running back underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus at the end of last season.

Tags: Matt Forte
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Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet during the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports (Matt Kartozian)
Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet during the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports (Matt Kartozian)

The Jets have signed undrafted rookie WR Daniel Williams, and waived WR Deshon Foxx, per SNY's Ralph Vacchiano. 

Williams spent time with the Oakland Raiders after going undrafted out of Jackson State (Miss.). Standing at 6-foot-2, 234 pounds, he totaled 184 receptions for 2,497 yards and 19 touchdowns in four years at college. 

Foxx went undrafted as well out of UConn in 2016. He spent time on the Seattle Seahawks practice squad before joining the Jets this offseason. The Jets waived him on May 9, but eventually resigned him on May 22. 

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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) watches as quarterback Josh McCown (15) warms up before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) watches as quarterback Josh McCown (15) warms up before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

With Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty still early in their NFL careers, Josh McCown is taking a leadership and mentorship role at quarterback in his first season with the Jets. 

"Every quarterback goes out there and they want to finish each drive with a touchdown, so when those things are happening, there is kind of an inner fight of, man, do I need to do more?" McCown said, according to Newsday. "Things happen and you get kind of delayed, but the fight as a quarterback is to stay in the system, stay within the game and don't be greedy and force the ball. So my hat is off to both of them for not doing that."

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg
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SNY's Jonas Schwartz and former NFL guard Willie Colon are live from Jets training camp in Florham Park. The guys open the show with SNY Jets reporter Jeane Coakley to discuss the biggest storylines from camp. Then, they welcome in tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who opens up about the troubled start to his NFL career, and how he is a changed man. Later, rookie safety Marcus Maye joins the show to give his thoughts on his first NFL training camp, and how he is adjusting to life in the New York area.

Click below to listen

 

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
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Atlanta Falcons free safety Robenson Therezie returns a pass interception against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second quarter at the Georgia Dome. (Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports)
Atlanta Falcons free safety Robenson Therezie returns a pass interception against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second quarter at the Georgia Dome. (Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets signed former Atlanta Falcons defensive back Robenson Therezie after safety Doug Middleton reportedly suffered a torn pec.

Therezie, a 26-year-old free safety, recorded one interception, two passes defensed and 36 combined tackles in 25 games with Atlanta over the past two seasons. He was an undrafted free agent out of Auburn.

Middleton, who was competing for a backup role with New York, recorded six combined tackles and one pass defensed in four games as a Jet last season. He suffered the injury in the fourth quarter in Saturday's 7-3 preseason win over the Tennessee Titans and is expected to undergo surgery, according to the New York Daily News' Manish Mehta.

The Jets also announced they waived fullback Algernon Brown, who appeared in eight offensive plays and two plays on special teams on Saturday. He recorded 1,310 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns in four seasons with BYU.

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Jets WR Anderson on Hackenberg 00:01:31
Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson chats with SNY's Jeane Coakley about the Jets' preseason win over the Tennessee Titans.

 

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This preseason, I'll be spotlighting an under-the-radar player who impressed me in each game and assessing that player's chances of making the team.  Today we'll look at defensive lineman Claude Pelon, who was one of the top performers in the Jets' 7-3 win over the Titans in the preseason opener.

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Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass against the Tennessee Titans during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass against the Tennessee Titans during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The last time anybody saw Christian Hackenberg in a game was the preseason finale almost a year ago. It was a disaster. He completed just 11 of 31 passes for 54 yards and threw an interception, too.

It was a much, much different and better Hackenberg that the Jets got to see on Saturday night.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Alex Tanney (11) is sacked by New York Jets linebacker Julian Stanford (51) during the second quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Alex Tanney (11) is sacked by New York Jets linebacker Julian Stanford (51) during the second quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Josh McCown threw the Jets' first touchdown of the preseason and the team's defense tallied eight sacks in a 7-3 win over the Titans on Saturday at MetLife Stadium.

The Jets kept the Titans out of the endzone for the duration of the game, allowing only a field goal on a five-play, 49-yard drive in the third quarter. 

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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The good news is the Jets really have no choice but to play most of their starters in their preseason opener. Or maybe that's the bad news given the low expectations for this team.

But Jets GM Mike Maccagnan and coach Todd Bowles have promised competition all summer long for almost every job on the roster, and the competition begins for real against the Tennessee Titans at the Meadowlands on Saturday night. Not all jobs are up for grabs, of course, but quite a few are.

Here's an inside look at some of the battles and 10 intriguing players to watch:

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Chris Harper, Christian Hackenberg, Juston Burris, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Some of the Jets' newest additions, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins and S Marcus Maye, had high praise for their new head coach, Todd Bowles. 

Both appeared on SNY's The Jet Stream podcast, and when asked who is most impactful to the Jets this season, Seferian-Jenkins showed love to his coach. 

"I would definitely say, first of all, coach Bowles," Seferian-Jenkins told SNY's Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon. "I never had a coach like that, that really just says a real, honest thing. Just tells you the truth. He doesn't want to lie to you, he doesn't want to sugarcoat anything. I think he's a phenomenal coach."

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets camp 00:02:31
Jeane Coakley reports from Jets training camp to preview their first preseason game of the 2017-18 season on Saturday, August 12.

 

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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) warms up before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) warms up before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - The memories of Christian Hackenberg from last season are few and not very good. He had two ugly preseason performances and then was buried on the depth chart, only resurfacing to occasionally misfire in practice. His future didn't appear bright at all.

That's why all eyes will be on Hackenberg when the Jets open up their preseason slate against the Tennesssee Titans at the Meadowlands on Saturday night.

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Jets training camp 00:01:42
Jeane Coakley breaks down the latest news and updates from Jets camp as they get ready for their first preseason game on Saturday.

 

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 (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
(Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

Jets corner Buster Skrine thinks this year's secondary will not only be an improvement over last year's but that the group also has the potential to stand out. 

"This is my seventh year in the NFL and this is one of the most aggressive groups I've been around - and confident," Skrine said, according to Newsday.

Tags: Buster Skrine
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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) attempts to pass during New York Jets training camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) attempts to pass during New York Jets training camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)

Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg had another tough day at practice Wednesday, throwing two interceptions during team drills. It marked the second straight day that Hackenberg threw two picks during 11-on-11 drills. 

The second-year quarterback had not thrown an interception during his first eight practices of training camp. Head coach Todd Bowles is still confident in what Hackenberg can do on the field, regardless of what has happened the last two days. 

"It's practice," Bowles told reporters Wednesday. "The defense has got to get turnovers. I'd be concerned if they weren't. They got two today, but we're cleaning some things up, and we're learning as we go. It's going to be up and down every day, so we'll just go from there."

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