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

GEICO SportsNite: Forte returns 00:01:47
SNY's Jeane Coakley reports from Jets practice where running back Matt Forte returned for the first time since July 31.

 

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New York Jets running back Matt Forte runs with the ball during the first half of their game against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Matt Forte runs with the ball during the first half of their game against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

Matt Forte's hamstring is feeling healthy and he's ready for some game action.

The New York Jets running back practiced fully on Tuesday for the first time in more than three weeks and insists he'll be ready to play in the regular-season opener.

"No doubt," said Forte, who was sidelined since July 31 with a hamstring injury that limited him to only individual drills the last several days. >> Read more

Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press

Tags: Matt Forte
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 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

Jets GM Mike Maccagnan ignored speculation to draft Saints RB Alvin Kamara as he didn't want to take the risk, reports NY Daily News' Manish Mehta

Kamara is turning heads as the rookie has shown out in his two preseason games with the Saints so far this year. Mehta says the Jets wanted to make a push to draft Kamara this year, but Maccagnan decided to stay where they were on the draft board as he viewed Kamara as too much of a risk.

The Jets drafted WR ArDarius Stewart at No. 79 overall in the third round, but now they are seeing what they could have possibly gotten with Kamara in their backfield. The 5-foot-10, 194 pound back has totaled 118 yards and a touchdown on just 10 touches in two preseason games. 

Kamara is shaping up to be a difference maker if he can continue the pace he is on, and the Jets could certainly have used his talents. However, head coach Todd Bowles believes there are playmakers already on his roster...

Tags: ArDarius Stewart
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Jets head coach Todd Bowles believes his team will perform better than anyone is expecting them to this season, per ESPN's Rich Cimini

Bowles spoke to Mike Francesa on WFAN radio at camp Monday, and gave the Jets' fan base an encouraging message. 

"I would tell them that we're not going to be a terrible team," Bowles said. "We're going to come out there and fight, and blood, sweat and tears will go out to the city and our fans, and we're going to win more games than everybody ever expected."

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Jeane Coakley on Jets camp 00:01:55
Jeane Coakley reports from Jets training camp where Todd Bowles wants more consistency and hopes to name a starting quarterback soon.

 

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Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles coaches against the Tennessee Titans 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; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles coaches against the Tennessee Titans during the second quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Jets head coach Todd Bowles said he will "probably" name a starting quarterback next Monday.

Bowles said on Monday that he wants to first watch film of Saturday's game against the Giants before making an announcement. The Jets will conclude their preseason schedule with a matchup against the Eagles at home on August 31.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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Jan 1, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets owner Woody Johnson on the field before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jan 1, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets owner Woody Johnson on the field before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Jets owner Woody Johnson has passed on the duties of team chairman and CEO to his brother, Christopher Johnson, the team announced on Monday.

The anticipated move came after Woody Johnson was sworn in as US Ambassador to the UK and Northern Ireland on Monday.  

Earlier this month, Woody Johnson was confirmed by the Senate to serve in the role.

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 (Jim O'Connor)
(Jim O'Connor)

Jets fans took to Twitter after Sunday night's episode of HBO's Game of Thrones to jokingly suggest the Night King should be their quarterback.

Warning: Episode spoilers below!

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December 11, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Jets defensive tackle Leonard Williams (92) and outside linebacker Darron Lee (50) celebrate after the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. The Jets defeated the 49ers 23-17 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports (Kyle Terada)
December 11, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Jets defensive tackle Leonard Williams (92) and outside linebacker Darron Lee (50) celebrate after the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. The Jets defeated the 49ers 23-17 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports (Kyle Terada)

The NFL has cleared Jets players Darron Lee and Leonard Williams of any violations of league rules after an investigation into an incident at a New York music festival in June turned up a lack of evidence.

The incident involved Williams dragging Lee away from what Jets coach Todd Bowles later described as "an argument with his girlfriend" during the Governors Ball on Randalls Island. The argument and the aftermath were caught on video and posted to social media.

The Twitter user who posted the video said the woman was "shaken and in tears" after the incident. The user also described Lee as "aggressive" and claimed the Jets linebacker "started to manhandle" the woman, "grabbed" her, and "started dragging her away."

Upon announcing that the league's investigation was closed, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email "Following a review, we concluded there was insufficient evidence to support a finding that there was a violation of the personal conduct policy."

Tags: Darron Lee, Leonard Williams, Ralph Vacchiano
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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (right) poses for a photo with NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith prior to Super Bowl XLVIII against the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium. (Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (right) poses for a photo with NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith prior to Super Bowl XLVIII against the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium. (Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is close to getting a five-year contract extension to remain in his position atop the league, according to multiple reports.

According to the Sports Business Journal, Goodell will earn close to what he is during his current contract, which is set to end in 2019. Goodell has presided over the NFL since 2006 since he took over for Paul Tagliabue. The extension would keep him on as commissioner until 2024.

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

After losing some veterans on the offensive line, the Jets are looking for some answers and reliability in the trenches as they march toward the regular season. 

The offense struggled as a whole in Saturday's loss at the Lions, producing just 85 rushing yards and six total points. Quarterback Christian Hackenberg only went 2-of-6 for 14 yards in the first half. Head coach Todd Bowles attributes that to some issues on the line. 

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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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Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Dexter McDougle (23) breaks up a pass intended for Tennessee Titans wide receiver Darius Jennings (15) during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Dexter McDougle (23) breaks up a pass intended for Tennessee Titans wide receiver Darius Jennings (15) during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

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 one of the top performers in the Jets' 16-6 loss to the Lions, cornerback Dexter McDougle.

Who is he?

Tags: Dexter McDougle
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Aug 19, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) drops back to pass during the first 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 Christian Hackenberg (5) drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Remember all that progress that Christian Hackenberg appeared to make in the Jets' preseason opener? Well, by Week 2 it was gone.

Hackenberg, getting a surprise start over veteran Josh McCown, gave an ugly and unproductive performance in the Jets 16-6 loss to the Lions at Ford Field in Detroit. He was a miserable 2 of 6 for 14 yards, with both completions coming on dump-offs to running back Bilal Powell. In a full half of action he led the Jets to just two first downs and a total of 43 yards.

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Aug 19, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) drops back to pass to running back Bilal Powell (29) 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 Christian Hackenberg (5) drops back to pass to running back Bilal Powell (29) during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)

Christian Hackenberg could only complete two passes, the Jets' defense failed to contain Matthew Stafford, and the Lions beat the Jets, 16-6, in the second preseason game.

Hackenberg was sacked twice and completed two of his six passes. During the Jets' opening drive, Hackenberg fumbled after he was hit by Detroit's Cornelius Washington, but the Jets recovered. Bryce Petty completed 15 of his 24 passes for 160 yards and threw an interception for the Jets, who were 4-for-13 on third down.

Myles White led the Jets in receiving with three catches for 43 yards, while Jordan Leggett hauled in two catches for 40 yards. Bilil Powell carried the ball nine times for 32 yards as the Jets were unable to get much going in the running game.

Darron Lee and Morris Clairbone had five tackles to lead the Jets on defense, while Demario Davis, Josh Martin, and Corey Lemonier each had a sack. >> Box score

Tags: Christian Hackenberg
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 (William Hauser)
(William Hauser)

Jets DE Muhammad Wilkerson has become more of a vocal leader this season as he has taken it upon himself to fill that void in the locker room.

Linebacker David Harris was the voice in the Jets' locker room for years. Now that he is gone, Wilkerson is the next man in line and he is embracing the new role. 

"I've been here for a long time now," Wilkerson told The Post's Brian Costello, "I always looked up to older guys who are no longer here. I stepped into the footsteps into being a leader. I wasn't vocal [before], but I've always been a leader on this team. David Harris isn't here anymore, so I took it upon myself to speak up more and get out of my comfort zone." 

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson
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 (Dennis Schneidler)
(Dennis Schneidler)

The Jets are undefeated, which at the moment is insignificant. But really, given all the predictions of doom and gloom, some people probably thought they wouldn't even end up with one preseason win.

They did, but it wasn't pretty (7-3 over the Tennessee Titans at home last Saturday), and they barely answered any of the many, many major question marks surrounding their season and long-term future. Maybe their game in Detroit against the Lions on Saturday night will provide a few more clues about the direction they're headed.

In the meantime, here are five things worth watching at Ford Field tonight:

Tags: Bilal Powell, Christian Hackenberg, Dylan Donahue, Robby Anderson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Daily News Live: Hack Attack 00:02:52
As the Jets get ready for their second preseason game, the panel discusses if a good game from Hackenberg can win him the starting job.

 

Tags: Christian Hackenberg
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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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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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