Earlier this week, the Jets signed free agent running back Kahlil Bell. Jets fans might not know too much about Bell, so I’ve been looking at game footage in detail to investigate what he could bring to the table.

Bell spent his first three years in the NFL with the Bears before being waived in August. Chicago re-signed him temporarily early in the season but didn't make much of an impact and was released four weeks later. He hasn't played for any other NFL teams, although he did attend Vikings camp as a rookie. With both Bilal Powell and Joe McKnight injured and recent practice squad addition John Griffin presumably still familiarizing himself with the playbook, the Jets needed a healthy tailback to back up Shonn Greene.

After the jump, I look in detail at footage from Bell's time in the league to evaluate some of his strengths and weaknesses.

Who is Kahlil Bell?

Bell had a pretty good college career at UCLA and was at one time projected to be a future mid-round pick, but a torn ACL in 2007 took its toll and he went undrafted in 2009 having run just a 4.74 forty at the combine and failing to improve on that at his Pro Day.

After failing to make the Vikings roster, Bell got a spot on the Bears practice squad in his rookie year and was activated late in the season following an injury to Garrett Wolfe. His impact was immediate, as he rushed for an NFL record 72-yard gain on his first NFL carry. That play, which can be seen here gives an indication of his burst, but also perhaps a lack of breakaway speed in the open field. Bell would finish the season with 220 yards at an average of 5.5 yards per carry, although after that initial big gain, he would only average 3.8 yards per carry.

In 2010, he didn't play although he remained on the Bears active roster all season. It doesn't appear that he was injured, other than a minor injury in preseason which may have contributed to him falling behind the special teams demon Wolfe on the depth chart again. The only time he made any headlines was when he got into a fight with teammate Chester Taylor in practice in December.

A solid preseason in 2011 saw him regain his spot, although he then suffered an ankle injury in the preseason finale and he underwhelmed in the first two games, carrying 11 times for 23 yards, although he did have two big plays negated by penalties. Thereafter, he would only play on special teams until late in the season when Matt Forte was injured. However the last five games of the year saw his most promising stretch as an NFL player, as he averaged 4.6 yards per carry, had at least one run of 13 yards or more in each of the five games and recorded 19 of his 21 career receptions. His most outstanding performance saw him rush for 121 yards and catch four passes for 38 yards against the Packers. He also scored his first NFL touchdown on a 25-yard catch against Seattle.

In 2012, he was originally given a one year contract for $1.26m but when he found himself third on the depth chart in August, the Bears asked him to take a paycut (to $700,000) and he refused so they waived him. His return this September saw him carry the ball 10 times for 20 yards in an uninspiring return to the lineup and the following week he carried the ball just twice and false started once in four snaps as a back up.

The Numbers

Four seasons

22 games

Three starts, all in 2011

131 carries, 589 yards, no touchdowns (4.5 ypc)

21 catches, 148 yards, one touchdown

81% catch rate, one drop (in 2009)

Three fumbles, one as a receiver, one lost

17 broken tackles, including four as a receiver

Two kick returns for 45 yards (25 longest)

Seven special teams tackles, one missed tackle

Two special teams penalties

One offensive penalty committed

Five 20+ yard plays (one as a receiver)

One 40+ yard play

Observations

Based on all the regular season footage I watched, here was my take on what Bell brings to the table, divided into categories:

Usage - Bell was used almost exclusively as a classic tailback. He motioned out wide or into the slot on occasion, as any other running back would, but rarely ever more than a couple of times per game. With the Bears not really a team that has a third down specialist (since Forte is a three-down back), he received plenty of reps on passing downs in those games where he started or got plenty of playing time. While the Bears did use some zone blocking last year, their scheme is a lot more similar to the Jets' system than Houston's is, so it hopefully won't take Bell as long to adjust to the scheme as it apparently did for Jonathan Grimes. In fact, the Bears run a lot of the plays that the Jets have been running this year under Sparano and Bell had some good moments on those plays.

One way he wasn't used much was in a short yardage role. He only had four carries on 3rd or 4th and three or less and was stuffed on two of these. He has also failed to rush for a touchdown despite getting a handful of carries inside the five yard line.

Running Ability - While Bell's yards-per-carry average is skewed slightly by that huge gain on his first ever carry, it is worth noting that he did have that spell of games in 2011 where he was consistently averaging comfortably better than four yards per carry. Having said that, his numbers have been underwhelming so far this year, he gained 18 on one play and another 10 on a 3rd and 19 draw play, but other than that he racked up just four yards on his other 10 carries for an average of less than three.

Bell is a patient runner with pretty good vision. Most of his best runs saw him following his blocker and then making a decisive and well-timed cut and he doesn't dance about, doing a good job of getting his momentum going upfield and identifying and hitting cutback lanes. While he lacks that breakaway speed he does have a good initial burst and hits the hole hard, enabling him to get to the second level on occasion. He also has some slipperyness to his game, which enables him to avoid or break tackles. Bell was listed at 212 as a rookie, but bulked up to over 220 with the Bears. There were a few good examples of him running over defensive backs at the second level or driving the pile for a few extra yardage, so he does have power.

In his first season, he averaged a disappointing 2.1 yards per carry after contact according to PFF, but in 2011 he averaged an above-average 2.6 yards per carry after contact, helped by his performance over the last two games where he broke 10 tackles.

Pass Protection - Bell has stayed in to pass block on 67 plays in his NFL career and has given up one sack and three pressures. While he does make a good attempt to get in front of the pass rusher and anchor himself, this can sometimes mean he is prone to the pass rusher making a quick move to get around him. On the sack he gave up, that's what happened as Chad Greenway came on a delayed blitz, although it only resulted in a sack because of pressure from the outside causing the quarterback to step up. On each of the pressures he gave up, he at least got enough of the man to prevent the sack, so he was never really beaten cleanly. One of these was a big completion and one enabled the quarterback to get to the outside on a scramble, but the other forced a throw away on third down. He should hopefully be able to do at least an adequate job if called upon to do this with the Jets.

Receiving Threat - Bell showed some ability to be a pass-catching threat out of the backfield in the last four games of 2011 as he caught at least four passes in each game, including a 25-yard touchdown against Seattle. Most of the receptions he made were dumpoffs or checkdowns although he did turn some of these into decent gains by making yardage after the catch. The only exceptions were the touchdown against Seattle (where he ran downfield and then across the field easily beating the linebacker and making a catch near the pylon) and two others where he ran quick slants (once after having motioned out wide).

Hands - He did drop a pass as a rookie but hasn't done since. That was on the play before his big 72-yard run and wasn't entirely his fault as he lined up outside and the quarterback threw behind him to the outside with a defensive back hitting him as the ball arrived to jar it loose. Since most of his catches were checkdowns and dumpoffs, he didn't really show much in the way of spectacular catches but he seemed to catch the simpler ones cleanly enough.

One major concern would be fumbles, as he had three of those in the last two games of 2011 and clearly wasn't protecting the ball too well on any of them. As it turned out, the Bears recovered two of them anyway, including one in the end zone for a score, but he did lose a bad one inside his own 20.

Special Teams - With five solo tackles and two penalties to his name on special teams, Bell is not renowned as much of a contributor on that unit. In fact, that's the main reason he fell behind Garrett Wolfe on the depth chart. Wolfe is an outstanding gunner, so there were no doubt games where Bell was inactive due to Wolfe being needed in that role. However, Bell didn't do a bad job of getting downfield and making tackles as a punt protector. The Jets obviously have that position locked down for the foreseeable future though!

Attitude - There wasn't much to see on the film in respect of chippyness, blown assignments or demonstrative behavior from Bell, although he does have a few off-field concerns. Other than the fight with Taylor mentioned above (which was said to have been "brewing for some time"), he was also suspended in college for two games, reportedly for "being a bad teammate". Also, you may or may not think the fact he refused to take a paycut and lost his job as a result is a bad sign. Despite these concerns, Bell seemed to play extremely hard and gave an insight into his drive and ambition last year:

It was never my goal to be on a practice squad or be a third-string running back. But good things come to those who wait.


Conclusions

Any move you make at this stage of the season, especially when it looks like you're already out of contention, is likely to be a low risk move. It's certainly true that there have been examples of running backs being signed off the street at this point in a season and going on to contribute and find a home.

Less than a year ago, people were writing about what a Bell's bright NFL future, so maybe the Bears gave up on him too soon. In fact, with the Jets' running backs having struggled for most of the season, it might not take much for Bell to provide them with an upgrade.

Based on what I saw, Bell has the ability to execute some of the plays that Shonn Greene has been struggling with over the first part of the season. However, his performance this season shows that if the run blocking ahead of him isn't good, he's no more likely to produce that Greene is. It would make a lot of sense for the Jets to give Bell every chance to show that he can be a keeper. This might also motivate Greene too, so hopefully the Jets will benefit one way or another.
Tags: BGA, Editorial Aside, Bent Double

GEICO SportsNite: Jets OTAs 00:01:43
Jeane Coakley reports on the beginning of the Jets OTAs and Sheldon Richardson's comments on improved locker room camaraderie.

John Morton talks to his team during the team's organized team activities. (Julio Cortez/AP)
John Morton talks to his team during the team's organized team activities. (Julio Cortez/AP)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - As a first-time NFL offensive coordinator, John Morton's offensive philosophy is a bit of a mystery. And for now, he prefers to keep it that way.

The 47-year-old Morton, in his first interview since being hired by the Jets, promised that his offense would be "competitive" but wouldn't even broadly describe the type of scheme he plans to run. He even promised that the offense would change, depending on whom the Jets are playing.

For what it's worth, quarterback Josh McCown confirmed what everyone suspected -- that Morton, who spent time as an assistant at USC and with the 49ers and Saints, will be running a "West Coast-style offense". But Morton preferred to leave the specifics out.

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May 23, 2017; Florham Park, NY, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) runs with the ball during organized team activities at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
May 23, 2017; Florham Park, NY, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) runs with the ball during organized team activities at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - When the Jets took the field for their first practice of the spring, receiver Eric Decker was right there, running with the first-team offense.

That was far from a guarantee a few months ago.

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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Second-round safety Marcus Maye and fifth-round linebacker Dylan Donahue signed their rookie contracts with the Jets today following the team's first OTA practice, the organization reported.

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 (Kyle Terada)
(Kyle Terada)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Even after the Jets drafted safeties in the first and second rounds last month, head coach Todd Bowles insisted there was still a place for Calvin Pryor. He talked about his plans to use three safeties in some defensive packages. And he seemed to believe Pryor could handle the increased competition, too.

"If you're afraid of competition," Bowles said earlier this month, "you don't need to be here."

On Tuesday, the first day of organized team activities (OTAs) for the Jets, the 24-year-old Pryor wasn't here.

That's not to say that he's afraid of the competition he'll surely get from Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye, the Jets' first- and second-round picks. But with no reason given for why he was one of the very few Jets to skip the voluntary practice, it's hard to believe his absence isn't somewhat related. After all, the drafting of Adams and Maye was a clear signal that Pryor isn't in the Jets' future plans.

Tags: Calvin Pryor, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets offensive coordinator Chan Gailey talks with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets offensive coordinator Chan Gailey talks with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Former Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick explained losing his job as the starter last season as "a game of musical chairs," in an interview at Buccaneers OTAs.

After an abysmal 81-yard performance on Monday Night Football against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 13, Fitzpatrick was ousted from his position as the Jets starter. Bryce Petty, a 2015 fourth-rounder, took his place for the rest of that 41-10 loss as well as the final four games of the season. 

Fitzpatrick was 3-8 as a starter last season. He threw for 12 touchdowns, 17 interceptions, and a 56.6 completion percentage. 

The Buccaneers signed Fitzpatrick to a one-year, $3 million deal this offseason. 

Tags: Ryan Fitzpatrick
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New York Jets wide receiver Devin Smith watches team warm up from sidelines before game against Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets wide receiver Devin Smith watches team warm up from sidelines before game against Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)

Jets WR Devin Smith has cleared waivers and been placed on injured reserved, the team announced.

He had been waived/injured on Monday.

Smith suffered a torn ACL last season for the second time since the Jets drafted him in the second round in 2015.

"It's bad luck and bad timing because the kid worked so hard to get back," head coach Todd Bowles said during the NFL Draft, according to a press release. "He has to persevere and adversity will help him get stronger. But unfortunately in this game, over my course of time playing and coaching, you see these types of things. Some of the best athletes get hurt and don't get a chance to get on the field and it's just bad timing, bad luck."

Tags: Devin Smith
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Richardson on Marshall 00:00:31
As the New York Jets gather for OTA's, Sheldon Richardson says "there are 15 reasons why" the locker room is better this season.

Jets DE Sheldon Richardson took a swipe at former teammate Brandon Marshall on Tuesday after the Jets' first day of OTAs.

While answering a question regarding whether he wanted to remain with the Jets (he does), Richardson said the "locker room is a whole lot easier to get along with now."

After being asked why the locker room is better, Richardson said "let's just say there are 15 reasons why it's better." Marshall wore No. 15 with the Jets...

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Sheldon Richardson
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 (Kyle Terada)
(Kyle Terada)

Roger Goodell announced the NFL will be more laid back when it comes to touchdown celebrations this season, according to his Commissioner Letter. 

The NFL has been harsh when it came to players getting creative in the end zone, and after speaking with over 80 current and former players, Goodell decided it was time for that to change. 

"We are relaxing our rules on celebrations to allow players more room to have fun after they make big plays," Goodell said in his letter.

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Former Jets CB Darrelle Revis may not find a new home in the NFL soon due to his bleak market value, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini.

Released by the Jets on March 9, there has been no talk about Revis generating interest around the league. Cimini states his decline in performance and lack of passion and commitment have turned off any potential suitors at the moment.

Revis is no longer the shutdown corner he used to be due to age and injuries from his ten-year career. His latest injury came in 2012 when he tore his ACL in Week 3. He would need microfracture surgery to repair it which ended his season. This was one reason the Jets traded him to the Buccaneers the following year.

Last season, Revis had a significant lapse in production as he secured only one interception which came in Week 17. He amassed five in 2015, which was good for sixth-best in the NFL.

Tags: Darrelle Revis
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New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) prepares to throw the ball against the New England Patriots during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)
New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) prepares to throw the ball against the New England Patriots during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed former Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrickthe team announced Friday morning.

The deal is for one year and worth $3 million, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Fitzpatrick appeared in 14 games for the Jets last season, throwing for 2,710 yards with 12 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. 

Tags: Ryan Fitzpatrick
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McCown on team chemistry 00:01:51
Jeane Coakley talks to new Jets QB Josh McCown about how Bart Scott's Taste of the Jets event is bringing the whole team together

Jeane Coakley talks to new Jets QB Josh McCown about how Bart Scott's Taste of the Jets event is bringing the whole team together.

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Leggett on Jets offense 00:01:43
SNY's Ralph Vacchiano talks with Jets rookie tight end Jordan Leggett about his adjustment to the NFL and his role in the team?s offense.

The Jets have signed fifth-round pick Jordan Leggett who the team selected with the 150th overall pick in last month's NFL Draft...

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New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) runs with the ball during the first half against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland)
New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) runs with the ball during the first half against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland)

Jets running back Matt Forte says the Jets do not want a repeat of last season's locker room issues this year.

"Being in that locker room and going through that season, we know what the issues were," Forte told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Tuesday. "We identify those issues as a group and meet with the coaches and talk about, 'How do we change that? How do we change the culture in the locker room? How do we change the mistakes we made last year?'"

Forte went on to say that team leaders have conducted "a lot of meetings" with the coaching staff throughout the offseason, and have relayed the message to the rest of the team. The veteran running back touched on a topic that was brought up by WR Quincy Enunwa at the end of last season, about how the Jets simply did not play as a team.

Tags: Matt Forte, Quincy Enunwa
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Aug 19, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) looks on from the sidelines against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedEx Field.  (Brad Mills (USA Today))
Aug 19, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) looks on from the sidelines against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedEx Field. (Brad Mills (USA Today))

Jets linebacker David Harris said on Monday at a charity golf outing that former Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis still has "a lot of football left in him."

"I think he'll keep playing," Harris said. "I think he has a lot of football left in him. He didn't have his best year last year, and he knew that. But I'm sure somebody will pick him up. He knows too much of the sport and he's too good of a player to be finished.

"I'm pretty sure he'll get picked up," he said. "I know Darrelle. He works hard. He's a student of the game. He loves football. So I think somebody will give him a shot.

Tags: Darrelle Revis
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Chad Hansen talks joining Jets 00:03:52
SNY's Ralph Vacchiano catches up with rookie WR Chad Hansen to talk about his long road to the NFL Draft, and his opportunity with the Jets.

The Jets have signed wide receiver Chad Hansen, their fourth-round selection out of California in last month's NFL Draft, the team announced on Tuesday.

Hansen (6'2", 202) ranked third in the FBS as a redshirt junior last season, with 9.2 catches/game and fourth with 124.9 receiving yards/game. He totaled 92 catches for 1,249 yards and 11 touchdowns despite missing two games with an ankle injury...

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Derrick Jones on minicamp 00:02:13
SNY's Jeane Coakley chats with Jets rookie cornerback Derrick Jones about his first workouts with the team.

SNY's Jeane Coakley chats with Jets rookie CB Derrick Jones about his first workouts with the team, and starting to learn the playbook.

 

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New York Jets player Jamal Adams (33) during New York Jets mini rookie camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. (Noah K. Murray)
New York Jets player Jamal Adams (33) during New York Jets mini rookie camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. (Noah K. Murray)

Jets linebacker David Harris was surprised when the Jets selected safeties in the first two rounds of last month's NFL Draft.

"It's very odd to have two safeties get drafted in the first and second rounds," Harris said to Connor Hughes of NJ.com. "All you can do is trust [the front office's] decision and try to move on." 

New York selected LSU's Jamal Adams at No. 6, and 33 picks later, took Florida's Marcus Maye. It marked the first time in franchise history the Jets selected two safeties, and also defensive backs, with its first two picks.

While he expected the team to draft one safety, Harris said management "surprised everybody" by doubling down and selecting two. 

Tags: Calvin Pryor, David Harris, Marcus Gilchrist
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New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

Latest Update (May 16)

8:55AM:  An arraignment hearing has been set for Jets WR Robby Anderson on June 6, according to Miami-Dade court records.

Anderson has been participating in the Jets' voluntary offseason program. 

New York is scheduled to practice on June 6.

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 (Jim Brown)
(Jim Brown)

The Jets have signed LB Jevaris Jones and released LB Austin Calitro, the team announced Monday.

Jones attended the Jets' recent rookie minicamp.

He had 106 tackles last season for Division II Shorter University.

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 (Kelley L Cox)
(Kelley L Cox)

The Jets currently have 100-to-1 odds to reach Super Bowl LII, according to a list released by Bovada sportsbook in Las Vegas.

Their odds are tied with the Browns for the worst in the AFC.

The Jets currently have 150-to-1 odds to win Super Bowl LII. They opened at 75-to-1 odds shortly after the Super Bowl in February, which moved to 150-to-1 odds on April 1...

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 (Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports Images)
(Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports Images)

Jets QB Christian Hackenberg is more confident and comfortable heading in to his second season with the team, he said Monday, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN.

Hackenberg, who will battle with Josh McCown and Bryce Petty for the starting job, said he's excited about the opportunity.

Jets head coach Todd Bowles said earlier this offseason that there will be an open competition for the starting quarterback job...

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg
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Chad Hansen talks joining Jets 00:03:52
SNY's Ralph Vacchiano catches up with rookie WR Chad Hansen to talk about his long road to the NFL Draft, and his opportunity with the Jets.

In the last two years, the Jets have loaded up on young wide receivers. With all of the depth New York now has at the position, the team is ready for a great competition as the young receivers prepare to battle for a spot on the roster.

Quincy Enunwa and possibly Robby Anderson look like the two receivers whose spots on the team are secure, while veteran Eric Decker is returning from hip and shoulder surgeries and doesn't necessarily fit with the Jets' youth movement.

Second-year players Anderson, Charone Peake, and Jalin Marshall will compete in training camp with third-round pick ArDarius Stewart and fourth-round pick Chad Hansen as the young receivers fight to get on the field.

Tags: Charone Peake, Eric Decker, Jalin Marshall, Quincy Enunwa
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New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) makes a catch during practice at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Noah K. Murray)
New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) makes a catch during practice at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Noah K. Murray)

Jets WR Eric Decker is recovering well from hip and shoulder surgeries that were completed at the end of 2016.

According to SB Nation's Gang Green Nation, Decker said he is "back" and has "been doing everything." 

"The first phase was just the workout, so we were in the weight room and running," Decker said. "Now, we're on the field and I've been out there as a full participant. I feel great. It was a long four or five months, but to be where I am now and feel how I do, I'm excited."

Tags: Eric Decker
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Marcus Maye on joining Jets 00:02:43
SNY's Jeane Coakley talks with Jets rookie Marcus Maye about being drafted and playing alongside fellow rookie safety Jamal Adams.

SNY's Jeane Coakley talks with Jets rookie Marcus Maye about being drafted and playing alongside fellow rookie safety Jamal Adams.

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JR Sport Brief: Jets predictions 00:01:45
In the latest installment of JR Sport Brief on SNY.tv, JR has some solid advice for Muhammad Wilkerson and the rest of the Jets.

In the latest installment of JR Sport Brief on SNY.tv, JR has some solid advice for Muhammad Wilkerson and the rest of his Jets teammates.

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets have seemingly been searching for a franchise quarterback since Joe Namath was wearing green. So it's no surprise that Namath doesn't want to see them waste any more time in their search.

The Jets legend made it clear that he wants to see Christian Hackenberg emerge as the starting quarterback for his old team this season, not the soon-to-be-38-year-old Josh McCown. Speaking before the United Way's Gridiron Gala in Manhattan on Tuesday night, Namath said he understands why the coaches might go with McCown.

But he said if there's a chance the 22-year-old Hackenberg is the future, then the future has to be now...

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Quincy Enunwa, Ralph Vacchiano
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Elijah McGuire on his future 00:02:26
SNY's Ralph Vacchiano talks with Jets rookie running back Elijah McGuire about being drafted and his professional football future.

SNY's Ralph Vacchiano talks with Jets rookie running back Elijah McGuire about getting drafted by the Jets and what he can add to the team.

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New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa misses a catch against Indianapolis Colts cornerback Darius Butler in the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa misses a catch against Indianapolis Colts cornerback Darius Butler in the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports Images)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

A year ago at this time Quincy Enunwa was just a former sixth-round pick with modest credentials who had been used mostly as a pseudo-tight end in the Jets' offense. He hadn't had his breakout season yet. And he was very deep in the shadow of some talented veterans on his team.

One year later, he's essentially the elder statesman and potentially the Jets' No. 1 receiver.

Tags: Quincy Enunwa
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Cornerback Jeremy Clark, one of the Jets' three sixth-round picks in the NFL draft, officially signed his rookie contract on Wednesday. Now he can focus on getting on the field.

Clark, whom the Jets took with the 13th pick of the sixth round (197th overall), became the last of the Jets' three sixth-rounders to sign, joining Ole Miss cornerback Derrick Jones (20/204) and Lousiana-Lafayette running back Elijah McGuire (4/188). The 6-3, 220-pound Clark, though, isn't quite ready to join his teammates. He's still rehabbing a torn ACL he suffered early in his final season at Michigan.

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NFL legend Joe Namath arrives on the red carpet prior to the 6th Annual NFL Honors at Wortham Theater. (Kevin Jairaj)
NFL legend Joe Namath arrives on the red carpet prior to the 6th Annual NFL Honors at Wortham Theater. (Kevin Jairaj)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

Woody Johnson thinks this Jets season should be measured by progress, not wins. Some Jets fans think the team should tank the whole season to secure the No. 1 pick in next year's draft. The expectations for this team could not be much lower.

Joe Namath understands all that. But count him among the few who believe the Jets will be a better team this year.

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Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is pursued by New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson in the second half at MetLife Stadium. (William Hauser/USA TODAY Sports)
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is pursued by New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson in the second half at MetLife Stadium. (William Hauser/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

As bad as things were for the New York Jets last season, most people think things are about to get even worse. But not Muhammad Wilkerson. He sees something different.

After a miserable 5-11 season, he sees the Jets on the way back up.

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Baylor Bears wide receiver KD Cannon celebrates after catching a touchdown pass against the Boise State Broncos in the first quarter during the Cactus Bowl at Chase Field. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)
Baylor Bears wide receiver KD Cannon celebrates after catching a touchdown pass against the Boise State Broncos in the first quarter during the Cactus Bowl at Chase Field. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

The New York Jets acquired former Baylor wide receiver KD Cannon off waivers from the San Francisco 49ers on Tuesday, the team announced.

Cannon, a 5-foot-11, 182-pound receiver, was waived on Sunday after the 49ers signed him as an undrafted free agent.

He scored 27 touchdowns and recorded 3,113 receiving yards in three seasons at Baylor, including 13 touchdowns and 1,215 receiving yards in his junior season in 2016.

Tags: Bryce Petty
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New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles leaves the field following a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles leaves the field following a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

The Jets will play three preseason games at MetLife Stadium this year.

New York opens its preseason slate at home against the Titans on Aug. 12 at 7:30 p.m. before traveling to Detroit to play the Lions on Aug. 19 at 7:30 pm.

The Jets will be the road team at MetLife Stadium against the Giants on Aug. 26 at 7 p.m., before closing the preseason by hosting the Eagles on Aug. 31 at 7 p.m.

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Donahue talks rookie camp 00:02:37
SNY's Jeane Coakley talks with Jets rookie linebacker Dylan Donahue about rookie minicamp, getting drafted and his small school background.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

It was a long road to the NFL for Dylan Donahue, from an NAIA school in Montana to a junior college in San Diego, to a Division II school in Georgia. Those aren't the places prospects usually go to get noticed.

Good thing for him he caught a Pro Football Hall of Famer's eye.

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New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) and quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) prior to action against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. (Bill Streicher)
New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) and quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) prior to action against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. (Bill Streicher)

Former Jets quarterback Michael Vick, who doesn't know which quarterback will get the starting job this season, is not optimistic on the Jets' chances this year.

"Man, good luck," Vick said to Andy Vasquez of NorthJersey.com with a laugh. "I don't even know who the quarterback is going to be. Good luck. I know there's three of them."

The Jets do have three quarterbacks under contract, and will hold an open competition throughout training camp to determine who will be the starter. The team signed veteran Josh McCown to battle against youngsters Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg
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GEICO SportsNite: Willie Colon 00:01:38
Willie Colon talks with former Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick at his golf outing on the outlook for quarterback Christian Hackenberg.

Brick, Colon and Mangold reunite 00:02:33
It's a New York Jets offensive line reunion, as Willie Colon chats with D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold on Monday at his golf outing.

It's a New York Jets offensive line reunion, as Willie Colon chats with D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold on Monday at his golf outing.

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Leggett on Jets offense 00:01:43
SNY's Ralph Vacchiano talks with Jets rookie tight end Jordan Leggett about his adjustment to the NFL and his role in the team?s offense.

Jordan Leggett is aware of how little tight ends have mattered to the Jets over the last two seasons. But he's been assured that's all about to change.

After talking with new offensive coordinator John Morton, Leggett - a tight end out of Clemson whom the Jets took in the fifth round of the draft - is convinced that he can be a big part of the Jets' new scheme. He said Morton, the former New Orleans Saints receivers coach, "loves" tight ends and plans to use them as a "go-to" guy in his passing attack.

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 (Brett Davis)
(Brett Davis)

The Jets may not be any better this season than they were last season, but one thing seems certain: Their coaching staff will be a lot louder.

That was crystal clear on Saturday, just listening to two of Todd Bowles' newest assistants -- outside linebackers coach Kevin Greene and offensive coordinator John Morton. The two could be heard constantly yelling and screaming at players -- both criticism and encouragement. Greene even slammed a garbage can after one broken play.

Yes, it was only rookie mini-camp and two practices filled with players who have little chance of making the team. But the intensity was high, particularly from Greene, the 54-year-old Hall of Famer who seemed more intense than just about every player on the team.

"Kevin is like Hulk Hogan and Randy 'Macho Man' Savage," Bowles said.

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Carolina Panthers offensive tackle Donald Hawkins during the second quarter at Bank of America Stadium. (Jim Dedmon/USA TODAY Sports)
Carolina Panthers offensive tackle Donald Hawkins during the second quarter at Bank of America Stadium. (Jim Dedmon/USA TODAY Sports)

The New York Jets signed offensive linemen Benjamin Braden and Chris Bordelon from rookie minicamp and cut long snapper Zach Triner and offensive tackle Donald Hawkins, the team announced on Sunday.

Braden, who measures at 6-foot-6 and 335 pounds, started two years for Michigan and was an All-Big Ten second team selection in 2016. Bordelon, who is 6-foot-6, 315 pounds, started 12 games at Nicholls State.

Hawkins spent time on New York's practice squad last season, while Triner had signed a reserve/futures contract in January.

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New York Jets owner Woody Johnson before the preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta)
New York Jets owner Woody Johnson before the preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta)

Former Jets wide receiver Braylon Edwards ripped owner Woody Johnson on Instagram and Twitter on Saturday.

"Keep your squad together from 2010 and the promise land shall reveal itself," the now-retired wide receiver said on Instagram. "Don't feel close to losing the franchise so now lie to save face and fans.

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Jets rookies report for camp 00:02:22
Ralph Vacchiano discusses the stories and early standouts from Jets rookie mini-camp in Florham Park on GEICO SportsNite.

New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles, center, looks on after challenging a call during the second half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles, center, looks on after challenging a call during the second half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

Jets head coach Todd Bowles spoke to reporters at Saturday's rookie mini-camp and said that the ultimate goal of the Jets season is to win the championship.

"Our ultimate goal is to get to the Super Bowl," Bowles said, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN. "Obviously, we have to take steps. We have a lot of guys we have to get acclimated, chemistry-wise, right away. But our goal is to win, regardless of whether we've got younger guys or older guys. Our goal is to win.

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New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles leaves the field following a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles leaves the field following a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

The Jets waived former All-Star CFL cornerback John Ojo on Saturday afternoon. 

Ojo played three seasons with the Edmonton Eskimos, leading them to the Grey Cup in 2015. That same season, Ojo was selected as a member of the CFL West All-Star team. 

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Jamal Adams is selected as the No. 6 overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round the 2017 NFL Draft at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)
Jamal Adams is selected as the No. 6 overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round the 2017 NFL Draft at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- There were plenty of people who didn't understand the Jets' decision to draft safeties in both the first and second round, but Marcus Maye wasn't one of them. As far as he's concerned, the Jets' plan was obvious and simple. 

"They tried to get the best two safeties in the draft," he said. "And they did that." 

Those are strong words coming from the former Florida safety whom the Jets took in the second round, one day and round after they took LSU safety Jamal Adams with the sixth overall pick - especially since three other safeties were chosen in between them. But the Jets don't necessarily disagree with that assessment. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets rookies 00:02:28
Jeane Coakley talks to the young Jets about their experience at rookie mini-camp.

New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles watches during the first half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) (Ben Margot/AP)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles watches during the first half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) (Ben Margot/AP)

Connor Harris, a three-way player out of Lindenwood University in Missouri, took part in his first day of rookie minicamp with the Jets on Friday after signing a contract as an undrafted free agent.

If Harris makes the roster, he will be competing for a role at inside linebacker and a position on the special teams unit in his first NFL campaign. The college linebacker/wildcat quarterback/punter/kicker has 30 1/8-inch arms (short for a standard NFL player), but also won the 2016 Cliff Harris award for the nation's top defensive player at the Division II, III and NAIA levels, and is the NCAA's all-time tackle leader. 

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Daily News Live: Jets camp 00:04:41
The DNL panel discusses the changes in the Jets defense heading into rookie training camp this year.

RB Khiry Robinson is among 39 players trying out at the Jets' rookie minicamp this weekend.

Robinson was waived in March after breaking his leg for a second time.

Click here to see the full list of tryout players, which includes three quarterbacksl, five running backs, four wide receivers, and three tight ends.

Tags: Khiry Robinson
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