Yesterday, the Jets announced that they had claimed cornerback Leon McFadden off waivers from the Cleveland Browns.  Jets fans may not know too much about McFadden, so I've been reviewing game footage to assess what he brings to the table.

The 23-year old McFadden is 5 foot 10, 190 pounds, and was drafted by the Browns in the 3rd round of last year's draft. He played in all 16 games last year, although only really saw significant action on defense towards the end of the year when the Browns had some injury concerns.

After the jump, I look in detail at footage from last year and from this year's preseason to evaluate some of his strengths and weaknesses.

Who is Leon McFadden?

McFadden played at San Diego State, where he intercepted eight passes and broke up 39 in a four-year career. Although he was a former high school track athlete, his combine numbers were nothing special (including a 4.50 forty). However, he was still drafted early in the third round by the Browns.

In preseason last year, he had some struggles in coverage, giving up 10 catches on 14 targets. However, he showed some promise on special teams and made it onto the active roster where that was his role for most of the season. Entering week 12, he had only played five snaps on defense, but the Browns were dealing with a lot of injury issues and therefore had to call on him to play as a backup safety over the next two games, where he played a total of 41 snaps. Over the last four games, he moved back to cornerback, starting two games and seeing plenty of action in the other two, including a win over the Patriots.

Entering camp this year, he was expected to earn a role with the team and saw plenty of action in preseason, but struggled with the new emphasis on defensive holding and illegal contact, racking up eight penalties over the four games. At the same time, however, his raw coverage numbers were very good, as he only gave up seven catches on 20 targets.

Despite the Browns dealing with plenty of injury issues, he was unable to make it through final cuts, with former Jet Aaron Berry being one of the guys selected ahead of him. He joins a Jets team dealing with plenty of injuries of their own.

Since that high penalty count is plainly the most concerning issue here, I'm going to focus more closely on the footage from this preseason with the increased emphasis in place.

2014 Preseason

Week 1 - at Detroit

In this game, McFadden played in the second half and had two tackles. He gave up two catches for 13 yards on his only two targets. These comprised an easy first down on a slant route where he was playing too far off and a play where he closed on the receiver in the flat and knocked him out of bounds for a short gain. Prior to that second play, though, he had been called for three penalties in quick succession. Those three plays were a pass breakup, an interception and another incompletion and he'd have been praised for making some good plays if he got away with the level of contact. Were these penalties though? And would they have been penalties under the old interpretation of the rules? We'll come back to this issue later on.

Week 2 - at Washington

In this game, McFadden saw action throughout, had two tackles and did not allow a catch on five targets. He also broke up a pass. Those are impressive numbers, but he still had his struggles. He was hit with an illegal contact penalty on the outside and then called for a hold on an incomplete fade pass to the end zone (which initially looked harsh but then the replay showed that he clearly grabbed the receiver's jersey). There was also a play where - perhaps affected by the calls going against him - he allowed a completely clean outside release and was burned over the top, but the pass was overthrown and fell incomplete. Later on in the game, he made two good plays in coverage anticipating the break well on one incompletion and breaking up a pass at the pylon on another.

Week 3 - v St Louis

McFadden started this game, albeit more by default than as a reward for playing well. He again had two tackles and gave up three catches for 80 yards on seven targets. On two of these completions, he was actually in pretty good position but one was threaded through traffic and the other was essentially a jump ball to a much bigger receiver for 36 on 3rd and 25. Once again, there was a play where he gave up a clean release and got beaten by a step over the top but the ball was incomplete. He was actually flagged for illegal contact on that one, but they picked it up. That did seem to be correct, although he did seem to try and fail to grab the receiver to slow him up further downfield. He couldn't remain penalty free though, as he was called for illegal contact when he couldn't resist putting his hands on his man after allowing an inside release. He was in good position on a couple of incomplete passes to the end zone later on in the game, although on one there seemed to be some contact as the ball arrived and on the other he was late looking back for the ball.

Week 4 - v Chicago

McFadden started again here and gave up two catches for 49 yards on six targets. He had one tackle. He was called for pass interference early on a play where he was beaten deep then recovered as the ball was underthrown but made contact just before the ball got there. He also had one more penalty for illegal contact as the receiver pretty much just ran into him before breaking back to the ball. I find it hard to see how any cornerback can cover a player in that situation without making contact, but by the letter of the law I guess it was correct. The two catches he gave up were a back shoulder throw where he was in pretty good position but didn't look round in time to be able to contest the high throw and a play where he showed poor anticipation on a curl route. Later in the game he really started to flash, breaking up three passes and in good position on a fourth that was overthrown.

Here's my observations from watching the footage on McFadden, including footage from last season, divided into categories:

Usage

McFadden has plenty of experience in the slot and on both sides of the field. He was covering a wide selection of players, including some bigger names like Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Brown and Reggie Wayne (who he played press coverage against to break up a pass last preseason). As noted, McFadden was also employed as an emergency safety and held his own, which is useful experience. He was employed both in press and off-coverage, but seemed to prefer and be more adapt at press.

Coverage skills

In regular season action in 2013, McFadden gave up 15 completions in 22 targets and had just two penalties. That's without the current emphasis on contact, though. He did give up a few long plays (40 being the longest) but no touchdowns. There was one time when he was really exploited and that was down the stretch in the win over New England. With Cleveland up 26-14 and time winding down, McFadden was matched up with Julian Edelman in the slot. Tom Brady hit Edelman down the seam on an inside release for 23 and the next play was practically an instant replay for 19 more. Three plays later, Edelman this time broke to the outside and was able to get out of bounds. McFadden was then called for a pass interference penalty on a throw to the end zone to put the ball down to the one yard line. The announcers felt this was a horrible call because the contact as the ball arrived was incidental, but he did make contact just before that. All-in-all they picked on him for 77 yards on the drive.

One thing I noticed was that early on in his short career, McFadden was too far off his man quite often when playing in off-coverage. However, that's something which he seemed to improve on a lot, breaking on a few balls and being a lot tighter even on those plays when the pass was completed. Interestingly, in the late season loss to the Jets, he gave up four completions on throws where the receiver stopped and came back to the ball and on each occasion he was all over the receiver's back as they made the throw. That was at a point in the season where Geno Smith had finally seemed to master the timing on such throws, having been perpetually a beat late for most of the year. Had McFadden faced Smith in the same situation a month earlier, that might have been two pass breakups and a couple of interceptions.

McFadden obviously likes press coverage but learning to play within the rules is what will make or break him.

Athleticism

McFadden's measurables are not great. According to the awesome mockdraftable.com, the only areas where his combine numbers were better than average for his position were arm length and the three cone drill. His closing speed is not bad, but I do have a concern over his straight line speed because he was struggling to close the gap whenever a receiver got a step on him over the top.

Physicality

This is obviously a big part of McFadden's game and the new emphasis is a massive adjustment for him. As noted, he had a bunch of penalties and there were several other plays where he got away with contact that could easily have also been called on him. Looking back to 2013, he only had two penalties, both defensive pass interference. One of these was the disputed call against New England noted above. The other saw him read a double move and stay stride for stride with his man on a back shoulder throw, but he didn't get his head turned around in time, so when the receiver came back to contest the throw there was automatically contact and an easy call. Getting his head turned around is something he can improve upon too.

As you'll note from the recap of the games above, there was a pattern of McFadden settling down late in games and making a bunch of good physical plays on the ball. However, this is a major concern because rather than being a sign of McFadden getting into a rhythm once he's comfortable I think it has more to do with the lower standard of opponent late in games and also the fact that officials were not calling things as tight down the stretch. That would mean that his grades and numbers against NFL-level opposition were much worse than his overall numbers would suggest and also that he probably would have had even more penalties had those plays been made earlier on in games.

There have been some suggestions that the officials were calling this super-tight in preseason and that they will relax the rules once the season gets underway. Aside from being a pretty stupid way to prepare teams for the new rules and to ensure a level of consistency among officiating crews, this could mean that a guy like McFadden will make more plays that will no longer be negated by a flag. However, can you really take that chance? If anything, there were just as many plays that he did get away with which also could have been flagged.

Special teams

McFadden stands out on special teams, where he is productive in kick coverage, does a solid job in the vice role and operates as a blocker on the kick return units. LeQuan Lewis made a couple of nice special teams plays in preseason, but McFadden seems to be an upgrade. Seeing how much McFadden has been struggling at corner, I wonder if that's all this move is about. Could the addition McFadden be no more than a short term special teams addition who can fill in outside, in the slot or even at safety in an emergency? Lewis does not have much experience in the slot, so maybe they just wanted better special team contributions and versatility from their fifth corner.

Run defense

McFadden did make a couple of plays against the run. As you'd expect from a physical player, he isn't afraid to stick his nose in there on a running play and he came up and stopped a few runs near the line of scrimmage. However, he was blocked out of a few plays at the second level and there was one cutback run where he seemed to switch off because the runner was going the other way and then found himself easily blocked out of the play on the back side.

Tackling

McFadden seems to be a pretty solid form tackler. He shows good technique to break down in the open field and keep in front of his man, especially on special teams. I wouldn't describe him as a big hitter based on what I saw, but he did level one guy on a short pass after a series of penalties that probably had a little extra juice behind it because he was frustrated. The only tackles he tended to miss were desperation efforts where he had to dive after someone. He had 13 tackles for a loss in college.

Blitzing

McFadden blitzed eight times last season and was credited with a half sack as he came unblocked out of the slot. The quarterback actually slipped off his tackle, while another blitzer came off the other edge to finish him off.

Ball skills

McFadden is obviously a pretty good playmaker based on his college numbers and just from the examples here. On the interception that was negated by a flag, he wrestled the ball away from the receiver on the outside. He just needs to improve his timing and avoid making contact, especially with the current emphasis in place.

Instincts

There were ups and downs in this area. He anticipated breaks well at times and not so well at others and he could have been better at avoiding blocks in the open. I will say that there were a few occasions where teams tried to confuse the coverage by bunching receivers and he usually coped with that quite well. On one play he initially covered Antonio Brown well, only to then lose him once the play was kept alive. He should at least have some level of scheme familiarity because he's been learning the Mike Pettine defense that was inherited from Rex Ryan.

Demeanor

McFadden has Kyle Wilson's patented celebrate-and-then-realize-you've-been-flagged move pretty much down pat. I felt sorry for him on some of those calls and I guess he did pretty well to keep relatively calm while obviously frustrated.

Injuries

I'm unaware of any injury issues for McFadden, who played 51 games in college and all 16 games last year without ever being on the injury list.

Conclusions

McFadden had his moments, but let's be honest, he really struggled in coverage this preseason and wasn't much to write home about last year either. While we don't know how officials will call the games, McFadden has a habit of grabbing jersey or putting his hands on receivers downfield and I don't think you're ever going to coach that out of him overnight.

As you may have noticed above, I pretty much already reached the conclusion that McFadden was brought here as no more than cover. He seems to offer better special teams production and more versatility than Lewis, who only plays on the outside. For a fifth cornerback that likely won't receive any defensive reps unless there are more injuries, maybe that does make him more useful than Lewis in the short term.

If that's the case, then that's encouraging news because it suggests the Jets feel pretty good about the chances of Antonio Allen and Dee Milliner being back in the line-up early in the season (and also about the other cornerbacks on the roster being able to fill in until that time).

However, if that's not the case and they actually brought this guy in hoping for him to be an immediate contributor with a healthy amount of upside, I fear it might be something of a misfire. Still, there's over a week until opening day; plenty of time to make another move if needed.

Unless the Jets make any more signings between now and opening day, I'll be back on Sunday morning to preview the season opener!

Tags: bentdouble, BGA, Bent Double

New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles talks to linebacker Demario Davis in the first quarter of the game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. (Chuck Cook/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles talks to linebacker Demario Davis in the first quarter of the game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. (Chuck Cook/USA TODAY Sports)

After the Jets were eliminated from playoff contention with Sunday's 31-19 loss to the New Orleans Saints, several players said they believe head coach Todd Bowles should return next season.

"He does a good job as a head coach," veteran running back Matt Forte said, according to Newsday's Calvin Watkins. "People are going to criticize you. If you're 9-4 or 10-3 then you would be the greatest thing since slice bread. But [since] we're mathematically out of the playoffs and lost a couple of games in a row, then everything is worse."

New York has lost seven of its last nine games since a 3-2 start, however the fact the Jets have five wins this season is a sign they have already exceeded expectations given many analysts predicted New York would win a maximum of four games or have a historically bad season.

"He's the Jets' head coach," rookie safety Jamal Adams told Watkins. "He's my head coach and he's the team head coach. There shouldn't be any discussion who is going to be the head coach. It should be Todd Bowles. There shouldn't be any indecision about how our coach is coaching us. We got to finish ballgames."

Tags: Darron Lee, Jamal Adams, Matt Forte
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Jets Post Game Overtime: 12/17 00:07:55
The Jets Post Game crew hands out its report cards after the Jets' defeat at the hands of the New Orleans Saints, 31-19, on Sunday.

New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty stretches before Sunday's game against the against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. (Chuck Cook/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty stretches before Sunday's game against the against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. (Chuck Cook/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Bryce Petty has already been named the Jets starting quarterback for their game against the Los Angeles Chargers next Sunday.

Pencil him in for the start in the Jets' finale on New Year's Eve in New England, too.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown, New Orleans Saints, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty throws against the New Orleans Saints during the first quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. (Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty throws against the New Orleans Saints during the first quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. (Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Bryce Petty has now had five chances over the last 13 months to prove he can be the Jets' Quarterback of the Future.

He hasn't. And he's not.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Elijah McGuire, Josh McCown, New Orleans Saints, Robby Anderson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Bowles, Petty on loss to Saints 00:02:05
Jets head coach Todd Bowles and QB Bryce Petty discuss their inability to convert on big plays and capitalize on three forced turnovers.

In Bryce Petty's first start of the season after Josh McCown's season-ending injury, the Jets lost to the Saints 30-19. The defense played admirably against the league's offense, but struggled in covering the dynamic backfield of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara.

Petty completed 18 of 37 passes for 171 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Elijah McGuire led the team in receiving with three catches for 48 yards and a touchdown. 

Bilal Powell led the team in rushing with 44 yards on 13 attempts with a touchdown...

Tags: Bilal Powell, Bryce Petty, Elijah McGuire
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New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams on the sidelines during the third quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams on the sidelines during the third quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets announced that Leonard Williams suffered a concussion in their 30-19 loss to the Saints. 

Williams had enjoyed an active game with five tackles and an interception. 

The Jets will continue to evaluate Williams ahead of their next game on Christmas Eve against the Chargers. 

Tags: Leonard Williams
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Anderson plays Pick Six 00:02:29
Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson plays Pick Six with SNY's Jeane Coakley.

New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (96) warms up before an NFL football game against the New England Patriots Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)
New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (96) warms up before an NFL football game against the New England Patriots Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)

Mo Wilkerson won't play for the Jets on Sunday afternoon, and it's possible he'll never play for the Jets again.

Jets coach Todd Bowles is considering turning Wilkerson's one-week punishment into something more, according to a team source, including possibly sitting him for the final two games of the season, too. And with Wilkerson now a virtual lock to be cut in March before his 2018 salary becomes guaranteed, that means he may have played the final game of his Jets career...

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson
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New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson gestures after a play against the Buffalo Bills during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson gestures after a play against the Buffalo Bills during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

As Todd Bowles announced earlier in the week, Muhammad Wilkerson is inactive, the team announced.

The rest of the Jets inactives are: CB Derrick Jones, CB Jeremy Clark, RB Akeem Judd, LB Freddie Bishop, OT Ben Ijalana and C Jonotthan Harrison.

The Jets take on the Saints in New Orleans at 1 p.m.

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Sep 10, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets tight end Eric Tomlinson (83) warms up before the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports (Timothy T. Ludwig)
Sep 10, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets tight end Eric Tomlinson (83) warms up before the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports (Timothy T. Ludwig)

One of the few positives to emanate from the Jets 23-0 loss to the Broncos was TE Eric Tomlinson's competence as a long snapper. Tomlinson was forced into action after regular long snapper Thomas Hennessy went out injured.

"It's funny because when I walked up to him I said, 'Hey, man, you're up,'" Jets special teams coordinator Brant Boyer said, via Associated Press. "And typical Tomlinson, he looked up at me and said, 'I got you Boyer,' and gives me knuckles. He's that kind of guy, though, so he was great..."

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Aug 19, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) quarterback Bryce Petty (9) and quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)
Aug 19, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) quarterback Bryce Petty (9) and quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)

THE GAME: The Jets (5-9) at the New Orleans Saints (9-4) at the Superdome in New Orleans on Sunday, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. ET.

THE WEATHER: It's a dome, so I wouldn't worry about it.

WHAT IT MEANS: Well, technically the Jets are alive...

Tags: Bryce Petty
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Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon are frustrated after another loss in a game they were supposed to win. The guys discuss Josh McCown's broken left hand, and how it impacts the team going forward. Later, Jets linebacker Demario Davis joins the show to talk about his leadership as team captain, McCown's impact, and the rise of the team's young linebackers - Darron Lee and Jordan Jenkins.

Click below to listen

Tags: Darron Lee, Demario Davis, Jordan Jenkins
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New York Jets wide receiver Jermaine Kearse catches a pass during the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets wide receiver Jermaine Kearse catches a pass during the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

Richard Sherman has kept tabs on former teammate Jermaine Kearse and went out of his way to praise the receiver. Sherman scribed a piece for The Players' Tribune called "Underrated Wide Receivers 101", highlighting who he believes to be underrated receivers in the league. He led with Kearse. 

The Jets acquired Kearse from the Seahawks, along with a second-round pick, for Sheldon Richardson just before the season started. Kearse has made 52 catches for 681 yards and 5 touchdowns this season-- all already career highs or on pace to set career highs. 

"It's safe to say that Jermaine is clutch," Sherman said. "And ridiculously underrated..."

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Vacc's 3 keys to Jets win 00:01:36
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano gives his three keys to a Jets victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano gives his three keys to a Jets victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

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Wilkerson not playing at Saints 00:02:19
Jeane Coakley and Ralph Vacchiano report from Jets practice where the team announced that Muhammad Wilkerson will not play this Sunday.
Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson

New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (96) celebrates after intercepting the ball, during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) (Lynne Sladky/AP)
New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (96) celebrates after intercepting the ball, during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) (Lynne Sladky/AP)

Jets DE Muhammad Wilkerson is out for Sunday's game against the game after he was benched for showing up late to the team facility Friday. 

Wilkerson will not travel with the team to New Orleans as it was a 'coaching decision,' according to head coach Todd Bowles. Wilkerson supposedly showed up to the facility "very late," a source told SNY's Ralph Vacchiano. This is the third straight year the 28-year-old has been benched for being late. 

This season, Wilkerson has been underperforming with only 3.5 sacks and 46 combined tackles. 

Tags: Brian Winters, Matt Forte, Muhammad Wilkerson
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Wilkerson will not play Sunday 00:03:02
The Daily News Live crew discusses Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson not traveling to play in New Orleans this Sunday due to tardiness.

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Muhammad Wilkerson has no future with the Jets. He knows it and they know it. He'll be released long before his 2018 salary is guaranteed on March 16.

And really, there's no reason to wait that long anymore.

Wilkerson was punished by Jets coach Todd Bowles on Friday, after he showed up late -- very late -- to the team facility, according to a team source. Bowles immediately told the 28-year-old malcontent he wouldn't be traveling to New Orleans with the team for the game on Sunday. And according to one team source, his pseudo-suspension could last longer than that.

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson gestures after a play against the Buffalo Bills during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson gestures after a play against the Buffalo Bills during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

Jets DE Muhammad Wilkerson will not travel with the team to New Orleans to face the Saints on Sunday, head coach Todd Bowles said on Friday, saying it was a 'coaching decision' -- not injury-related.

Wilkerson was very late to the Jets' facility today, which is why he was benched, a source told SNY's Ralph Vacchiano, who says it wouldn't be a surprise if this isn't just a one-game punishment, either.

Earlier this month, a day after he benched Wilkerson for most of the first quarter because he showed up late to a team meeting, Bowles said he still considers the 28-year-old defensive end a team leader.

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Aug 26, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) calls a play at the line during the third quarter of a preseason game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aug 26, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) calls a play at the line during the third quarter of a preseason game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Jets (5-8) face the Saints (9-4) on Sunday in New Orleans. Here's what's going on today…

Need to know

The Jets practice today at Florham Park and Todd Bowles should be providing an injury update later. SNY's Ralph Vacchiano will be attending practice this week. Follow @RVacchianoSNY on Twitter to keep up with all the latest Jets news and rumors…

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John Morton on quitting vs. DEN 00:00:31
Jets offensive coordinator John Morton admits to calling it quits in Sunday's loss to the Denver Broncos.

Jets OC John Morton said his team waved the white flag last Sunday against the Broncos, with his team trailing, 23-0, in the fourth quarter.

"Listen, the game was out of hand and I didn't want to let some bad stuff happen," Morton said. "At that time, I don't like to say, 'No mas,' but it was time to get out of there. They kicked our butts, they kicked our butts. Sometimes that happens in the National Football League."

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | ArchiveI know there are some people bothered by this, but I don't get it at all. Jets offensive coordinator John Morton gave an honest and reasonable answer to a question about why he wasn't being more aggressive with his play calling in the fourth quarter...

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Kerley blames ghost for PED's 00:05:09
On Loud Mouths, the guys fill in the blanks on hot topics including Manny Machado, Ian Kinsler, Jeremy Kerley's ghost and Star Wars.

Jets wide receiver Jeremy Kerley said he still wasn't sure how a banned substance in his system led to a four-game suspension and suggested it was because of a ghost.

"I don't know, a lot of ghosts around here," Kerley said, according to Newsday's Calvin Watkins. "Ghost put it in. You know the ghost of Christmas past."

Tags: Jeremy Kerley
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Alabama Crimson Tide offensive lineman Korren Kirven (Jason Getz/USA TODAY Sports)
Alabama Crimson Tide offensive lineman Korren Kirven (Jason Getz/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets signed offensive tackle Korren Kirven to the practice squad and released tight end Zach Conque, the team announced Friday.

Kirven, an undrafted rookie out of Alabama, had signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after the 2017 draft.

Conque was with the Jets' practice squad for three weeks after the Houston Texans waived/injured him in August.

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GEICO SportsNite: Jets' plan 00:02:06
On GEICO SportsNite, Ralph Vacchiano discusses how the Jets are preparing to face Drew Brees and the formidable New Orleans Saints.

After Josh McCown's season-ending injury, Bryce Petty has been pushed to center stage for the Jets and will be starting this Sunday in New Orleans. The Saints won't take the Jets' backup lightly, citing a lack of film on the former Baylor quarterback.

Publically, multiple members of the Saints' secondary have been respectful of Petty's ability.

"For me having been in this league for a while, it's actually scarier going against a guy you don't have a lot of film on..."

Tags: Bryce Petty
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4 Keys to beating the Saints 00:04:30
On Jets Game Plan, the crew discusses the keys to stopping Drew Brees and the red-hot New Orleans Saints this week.

On Jets Game Plan, the crew discusses the keys to stopping Drew Brees and the red-hot New Orleans Saints this week.


Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) (Ed Mulholland)
Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) (Ed Mulholland)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Bryce Petty will make his fifth career start for the Jets on Sunday in New Orleans because Josh McCown has a broken left hand and because, as Todd Bowles said, "Bryce is the next man up."

That's a nice, tidy coach-speak way of avoiding the obvious truth about that decision: Starting Petty makes very little sense at this point for the 5-8 Jets. They need to see Christian Hackenberg play...

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 19, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) quarterback Bryce Petty (9) and quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)
Aug 19, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) quarterback Bryce Petty (9) and quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Josh McCown may be out for the season and unsigned for 2018, but he's not done helping the Jets young players just yet.

The 38-year-old quarterback was back on the practice field on Thursday, just two days after undergoing surgery on his broken left hand, and he will travel with the Jets to New Orleans this weekend for their game against the Saints on Sunday afternoon. There, according to Jets coach Todd Bowles, McCown will serve as a "player-coach" as quarterback Bryce Petty makes his first start of the year...

Tags: Bryce Petty, Josh McCown
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Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) celebrates his touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) celebrates his touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Matt Forte (knee) missed practice again Thursday. The good news, though, is he was the only player who missed Wednesday's practice to sit out Thursday's as well.

All of CB Morris Claiborne (foot), RB Elijah McGuire (ankle), S Rontez Miles (hamstring), CB Rashard Robinson (not injury related) and G Brian Winters (abdomen, ankle) were limited participants Thursday after being unable to go on Wednesday. 

LB Bruce Carter (groin) and LS Thomas Hennessy (concussion) were also limited participants. 

The Jets travel to New Orleans to play the Saints this Sunday in Bryce Petty's  first start of the season.

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GEICO SportsNite: Petty to start 00:01:59
With Josh McCown sidelined due to a broken hand, Bryce Petty is motivated to prove his worth in the final three games of the season.

The Jets (5-8) face the Saints (9-4) on Sunday in New Orleans. Here's what's going on today…

Need to know

The Jets practice today at Florham Park and Todd Bowles should be providing an injury update later. SNY's Ralph Vacchiano will be attending practice this week. Follow @RVacchianoSNY on Twitter to keep up with all the latest Jets news and rumors…

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Dec 3, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) runs the ball against Kansas City Chiefs corner back Darrelle Revis (24) during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Dec 3, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) runs the ball against Kansas City Chiefs corner back Darrelle Revis (24) during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

As he has done for the last month, RB Matt Forte (knee) was on the sidelines during the Jets' practice on Wednesday. 

LB Mo Claiborne (foot), RB Eli McGuire (ankle), DB Rontez Miles (hamstring), OL Brian Winters (abdomen/ankle) and DB Rashard Robinson (excused) joined Forte as inactives.

LB Bruce Carter (groin) and LS Tom Hennessy (concussion) were limited.

Tags: Brian Winters, Elijah McGuire, Matt Forte, Morris Claiborne, Rontez Miles
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Jets LB Demario Davis has been a cornerstone of the team's defense this season, but it wasn't always that way. 

When returning to the Jets this offseason after a season with the Browns, fans and media crushed Davis, saying he wasn't worth bringing back after serving four previous season in Green & White. Davis didn't prove them wrong in the first two weeks of the season either as he struggled mightily on the field. 

Davis spoke with SNY's Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon on "The Jet Stream Podcast" to talk about how he dealt with the pressure, and turned around his season...

Tags: Demario Davis
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