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

Hilliard spent the preseason with the Vikings before being cut, after which he signed with the New England Patriots, although he didn't see much playing time in two games with them before being let go again. Prior to that, he had been with Tony Sparano's Miami Dolphins, who drafted him in the sixth round in 2008.

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

Who is Lex Hilliard?

While he is mainly considered as a fullback now, Hilliard was a tailback in college at Montana. There he rushed for over 4,000 yards - including over 1,300 in 2005 - and caught 57 passes. In 2006, he suffered an achilles injury and missed the entire season and although he bounced back with another 1,000 yard season in his senior year, that may have robbed him of some speed. He only ran a 4.66 at the combine, although he did post impressive numbers in the short shuttle (4.03), vertical jump (36.5 inches) and broad jump (over 10 feet), so clearly he had some explosiveness and agility. Miami drafted him in 2008 and he spent his rookie year on their practice squad.

In 2009, he saw some action on special teams but finally started seeing regular action towards the end of the season - then as a backup tailback. He had a breakout game in Week 16, catching nine passes for 74 yards and a touchdown and rushing for another score. However, in 2010, he didn't play much, touching the ball just once on a three yard catch, but he did see regular action as a backup fullback and occasional halfback in 2011. When New England signed him in 2012, it was purely as a fullback, although he only played nine snaps in two games. It's assumed that's the role the Jets have in mind for him, but with their running backs struggling, maybe he can contribute at the tailback position too.

He is listed at 228 pounds so fits into that hybrid back mold that perhaps the Jets saw in Terrance Ganaway. He's not a 250 pounds pure blocking back like John Conner, but lacks the speed to be a conventional tailback. However, he should be able to run with some power and bring some versatility to the backfield.

The Numbers

Four seasons (plus one on Miami's practice squad)

50 games

Four starts, all in 2011

40 carries, 132 yards, two touchdowns (3.3 ypc)

26 catches, 210 yards, two touchdowns

93% catch rate

No drops or fumbles

One kick return for 14 yards

25 special teams tackles, including 14 in 2009 and nine in 2010, two missed tackles, one penalty (neutral zone)

One offensive penalty committed (false start)

Zero 20+ yard plays

One fumble recovery

One blocked punt recovery for a touchdown

Observations

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

Usage - As noted, Hilliard was mostly used as a tailback in 2009, but has been employed mostly as a fullback since 2010. While he isn't your classic lead-blocking fullback, Hilliard has been mostly used in that role over the last few years. The Dolphins under Sparano also occasionally used him in three back sets, typically in short yardage situations or the wildcat package. They would sometimes employ three backs with two fullbacks and one tailback in the backfield (and even employed the Wing T at one point). However, from that formation, either fullback was often an option to carry the ball too. In their wildcat package, they would often have Ronnie Brown taking the snap with a back either side of him. One would then run to the outside to make a block for Brown to follow and the other would go straight up the middle, sometimes getting the ball from Brown on the handoff. The Dolphins also employed him at times in a dual back set in passing situations, thereby giving one or both backs the option to stay in to pass block.

The most common assumption in the media is that Hilliard has been acquired to fill in temporarily for John Conner (and if he does well, maybe the possibility exists that they'll stick with Hilliard and get rid of Conner). That's probably true, but there's also a chance that adding Hilliard will bring about some versatility to the running game, perhaps with Conner in the game at the same time, or with Hilliard taking his place in certain packages, but Conner still operating as the main lead blocker. They could certainly run three back sets with both at fullback and I would suggest that Hilliard might be better equipped for some of those wildcat plays, because he should be more mobile in terms of getting to the outside. His versatility in general could be a positive thing for those packages and he'll obviously be familiar with the playbook, having played with Miami for the last few seasons.

Running Ability - The first thing that stands out about Hilliard's stats is his poor yards per carry average. However, this is somewhat misleading because he was used so much in short yardage situations. On the basis of all the footage I watched, I've calculated his success rate in short yardage situations to be 80%. That happens to be somewhere that the Jets have been struggling - to the point where they've been reluctant to even try running the ball in those situations. However, there were several examples of Hilliard driving the pile in short yardage situations, so he was able to get a first down even when there wasn't a hole. He even converted a short yardage situation earlier this year with the Pats, so although they hardly used him, clearly they saw his worth in that area.

What Hilliard doesn't bring as a runner is any breakaway ability. He has never had a 20-yard play (as a runner or a receiver) in the NFL. Having said that, he did have a 39-yard touchdown run in preseason in 2009. He does flash the ability to get to the second level though. On his first ever carry, on 3rd and 15, he broke two tackles and drove the pile downfield to pick up 18 and a first down. That remains the longest run of his career, although he averaged just 3.2 yards on the rest of his carries that year. He did have a respectable 2.9 yards per carry after contact though. Other than as a short yardage back, he's pretty limited as a runner, although he scored one touchdown on a Jet Sweep out of the wildcat formation. His other touchdown came as the Dolphins had first and goal from the eight yard line and just gave it to him three times until he scored (although, after it clearly looked like he broke the plane on second down, it actually looked like he didn't on third down). On just 40 career carries, he has broken nine tackles, although that may be a little misleading because only one of them came since the end of the 2009 season and his move to fullback.

Run Blocking - Conner's biggest problem since getting in the league has been that he is sometimes inconsistent with sustaining his blocks. Often that's a product of trying to "light up" a guy in the hole, which - with NFL players - often means they just bounce off you and make a play. Hilliard, being a little smaller also sometimes lets guys get off his blocks to make plays, but it's usually more to do with him getting overpowered or losing the leverage battle. However, his lack of size doesn't necessarily stop him from making conventional fullback blocks. I saw one play where he met a linebacker in the hole and drove him out of the play. He also handled Muhammad Wilkerson last season, to set up a huge lane for a 28-yard Steve Slaton run. As you'd expect, he does look better than Conner at getting out on the move to make a block in space, although he did sometime miss his target at the second level.

He's not a dominant blocker by any means, but he didn't seem to blow too many assignments and there were only a few plays where guys threw him aside to make plays - the worst of which was in his own end zone and led to a safety.

Pass Protection - Hilliard had some issues in pass protection in 2009, giving up two sacks, two hits and one pressure in 39 pass block sacks. Both sacks were by Lamarr Woodley in the last game of the regular season. He also got beaten for a hit that led to an interception. Since then, he's only given up two pressures and no sacks or hits in 38 pass blocking snaps. That may be a product of him becoming a fullback and perhaps improving his strength because on some of those 2009 plays, he was driven off his spot and didn't keep a strong base. Conner has never looked that good in pass protection, so Hilliard could be an upgrade here too.

Receiving Threat - As a receiver, Hilliard was useful as a safety valve out of the backfield. Looking at the footage, it was basically the same play over and over again - he ran a diagonal to the flat, then caught the ball and turned upfield. On a few occasions, he had the speed to beat the linebacker to the outside and turn it into a decent gain, although his longest play was only 18 yards (on two occasions). One of these came as the quarterback scrambled around on 3rd and 13 and he found a soft spot for a dump off, which he caught in stride to get the first down. He also had two touchdowns in consecutive games at the end of the 2009 season on the same dump-off play - one where he dived for the pylon and another where he was wide open for a walk-in score.

Hands - Another impressive stat that jumps out is that Hilliard caught 20 passes on 20 targets in 2009. Since then, he's caught six of eight. Having said that, all of these were dump-offs, as he has never been thrown to more than 10 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. Still, that's a good sign of how reliable he is in the short passing game, which might be a good way to get Sanchez into a rhythm and create holes for the running game by stretching the defense. There was one play where he juggled the ball and was tackled for no gain, but otherwise, he was very sure handed. He also has zero fumbles in his NFL career.

Special Teams - Hilliard has been a good contributor on specials teams. He was productive as a tackler, especially in 2009 and 2010, and also contributed in other ways, for example as a blocker on the kick return unit and on the punt return unit where he scored a touchdown on a blocked punt in 2011.

Attitude - Hilliard seems to have a positive attitude, as summed up by this quote, which perhaps is the sort of positive example it makes sense to add to the team:

"I'll play whatever. It may have to be on special teams. I'm ready to go. I'm ready to do whatever it takes to help the Miami Dolphins win."


(Obviously, replace "Miami Dolphins" with "New York Jets" within that quote).

I didn't see too many brain cramps and missed assignments by Hilliard, although there was a miscommunication on a draw play which indirectly led to Chad Henne's season ending injury last year and there was also one play where he recovered a muffed kickoff at the one and took a knee in the endzone, which should have been a safety, but he got lucky with the call.

Conclusions

This might be exactly what everybody says it is - a temporary move to replace an injured starter - but Hilliard may bring some things that the Jets currently lack and therefore end up making a positive contribution. He's not a great blocker, but might be more consistent than Conner. He's not a dynamic runner, but might be a better short yardage option than anyone on the roster. He might also give them a bit of backfield versatility that could allow them to run certain packages more effectively, including the wildcat. Indications are that he'll also provide a positive attitude and a good understanding of the playbook.

Let's hope he brings something...however long he's here.

Tags: BGA, Editorial Aside, Bent Double

 (Cary Edmondson)
(Cary Edmondson)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets surprisingly hung around for the better part of three quarters, but eventually the game slipped away from them and the Raiders came away with the anticipated blowout win. Aside from a couple of ill-timed turnovers, the run defense was the biggest issue in yesterday's game.

Let's break down the performances on the defensive side of the ball from the Jets' 45-20 loss to the Raiders in Week 2...

Tags: Buster Skrine, Darron Lee, Demario Davis, Dylan Donahue, Jamal Adams, Jordan Jenkins, Leonard Williams, Marcus Maye, Morris Claiborne, Muhammad Wilkerson, Steve McLendon
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Latest look at the next Jets QB 00:00:44
SNY.tv takes a look at how the top collegiate quarterbacks did on the field last weekend.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Another loss for the Jets, another step closer to the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft.

Of course, even if they don't land the top spot they seem sure to land something in the Top 10, where they'll have a shot at one of the many top college quarterbacks available. Here's a look at some of them, and how their stock has risen or fallen from last week...

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 (Stan Szeto)
(Stan Szeto)

Jets WR Jermaine Kearse notched his first touchdowns with the team in the loss to the Raiders on Sunday. 

Kearse and another Jets newcomer, QB Josh McCown, have found chemistry early this season. McCown found the 27-year-old seven times for 59 yards in the season opener against the Bills. 

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on TwitterKearse continued his strong start as a Jet by leading them with 64 yards on four catches, including two touchdowns. He showed some veteran smarts with a subtle push-off on the first touchdown and made a tough catch with a defender draped over him for his other score. However, his other three catches -- one of which was negated by a penalty -- were short of the first down marker. >> Read more about the receivers and the Jets' offensive performance in Bent's Game Analysis.

Tags: Jermaine Kearse, Charone Peake, Robby Anderson
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 (Stan Szeto)
(Stan Szeto)

After putting up 38 total yards in their season opener, the Jets' run game saw an increase in production in loss to the Raiders Sunday. 

Veteran RB Matt Forte was the leader of the running back committee after posting a dismal 16 yards on six carries against the Bills last week. He posted 53 yards on nine carries with his longest being a 16-yard gain.

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter: After a disappointing first game, the Jets had more success with their running game this week, as three backs combined for 95 yards on 21 carries.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire, Matt Forte
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Sep 17, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (10) catches the ball for a touchdown against Oakland Raiders cornerback David Amerson (29). (Stan Szeto)
Sep 17, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (10) catches the ball for a touchdown against Oakland Raiders cornerback David Amerson (29). (Stan Szeto)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets surprisingly hung around for the best part of three quarters, but eventually the game slipped away from them and the Raiders came away with the anticipated blowout win. Aside from a couple of ill-timed turnovers, the run defense was the biggest issue in yesterday's game.

However, we're going to break down the performances on the offensive side of the ball first...

Tags: ArDarius Stewart, Ben Ijalana, Brandon Shell, Brent Qvale, Brian Winters, Bryce Petty, Chad Hansen, Charone Peake, Christian Hackenberg, Dakota Dozier, James Carpenter, Jeremy Kerley, Josh McCown, Kelvin Beachum, Robby Anderson, Wesley Johnson, Will Tye
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Sep 17, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) prepares to throw a pass against the Oakland Raiders in the third quarter at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports (Cary Edmondson)
Sep 17, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) prepares to throw a pass against the Oakland Raiders in the third quarter at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports (Cary Edmondson)

Jets QB Josh McCown threw for his first touchdowns as a Jet in the team's 45-20 loss to the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. 

McCown was held without a passing touchdown in the season opener against the Bills, but he made up for it with two in Oakland. However, it wouldn't be enough as the Raiders racked up points in front of their hometown fans. 

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on TwitterOn paper, McCown had a very good game. He came away with two touchdown passes and a 113.1 quarterback rating and even contributed 31 yards on the ground. However, there were a series of mistakes that are not reflected in his passing numbers...

Tags: Josh McCown
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Sep 17, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch (24) dances on the sideline as wide receiver Michael Crabtree (15) watches during a break in the action against the New York Jets in the fourth quarter at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports (Cary Edmondson)
Sep 17, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch (24) dances on the sideline as wide receiver Michael Crabtree (15) watches during a break in the action against the New York Jets in the fourth quarter at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports (Cary Edmondson)

Jets linebacker Jordan Jenkins was not happy with how Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch danced during Sunday's 45-20 loss to the Oakland Raiders at Oakland Coliseum.

Jenkins, who was upset at the way the Jets lost, didn't like seeing Lynch dancing and celebrating on the sideline after Oakland took a 35-13 lead on Jalen Richard's 52-yard touchdown run.

"I'm an old-school guy," Jenkins said, according to NJ.com's Darryl Slater. "I don't like when things like that happen. That was embarrassing, losing like that, and to have Marshawn dancing like that. Seeing that happen, that should infuriate the whole [Jets] team. It should infuriate everybody. And we should have to have a good response coming into next Sunday." 

Tags: Jordan Jenkins, Oakland Raiders
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Jets Post Game Overtime: 9/17 00:13:52
The Jets Post Game Overtime crew gives out its report cards following the Jets' 45-20 loss to the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.

 

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GEICO SportsNite: Jets 00:03:05
The Football Night in New York crew breaks down the Jets' 45-20 loss to the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets are not a good football team, so when they have an opportunity -- any opportunity -- they have to take advantage.

That's why what happened at the end of the first half of Sunday's 45-20 loss was so catastrophic to their chances on Sunday in Oakland. Forget the final score. Forget that this game turned into a blowout. And forget all the reasons why the Raiders deserved to win this game big.

Tags: Oakland Raiders
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New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty during the game against the Oakland Raiders during the second quarter at Oakland Coliseum. (Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty during the game against the Oakland Raiders during the second quarter at Oakland Coliseum. (Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports)

Bryce Petty will be the New York Jets' No. 2 quarterback for the near future, head coach Todd Bowles said after Sunday's 45-20 loss to the Oakland Raiders at Oakland Coliseum.

Bowles did not initially name a backup quarterback to Josh McCown. Although Petty was listed second on the depth chart prior to the season, he was inactive for New York's Week 1 loss to the Buffalo Bills due to a sprained MCL.

Christian Hackenberg, the Jets' 2016 second-round pick, was listed as inactive for Sunday's game.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown, Oakland Raiders
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Bowles and McCown on 45-20 loss 00:01:56
Jets head coach Todd Bowles and quarterback Josh McCown talk about what went wrong in the team's 45-20 loss to the Oakland Raiders.

Marshawn Lynch ran for a touchdown in his first home game with Oakland and Derek Carr threw three TD passes to Michael Crabtree to lead the Raiders to a 45-20 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday.

Cordarrelle Patterson and Jalen Richard added long touchdown runs to help put the game away and give the Raiders (2-0) wins in the opening two games of the season for the first time since their AFC championship season in 2002.

Josh McCown threw a pair of TD passes to Jermaine Kearse but the Jets (0-2) proved to be no match for the more powerful and talented Raiders. >> Read more

Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press

Tags: Josh McCown, Oakland Raiders
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Bowles on traveling to Oakland 00:01:47
Todd Bowles on the challenge of traveling across the country to face a talented Raiders team, and trying to slow down Marshawn Lynch.

 

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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)

Seven Jets players are listed as inactive for the team's Week 2 matchup against the Raiders.

QB Christian Hackenberg, CB Derrick Jones, S Rontez Miles, LB Bruce Carter, OL Jonotthan Harrison, TE Eric Tomlinson, TE Jordan Leggett will not suit up on Sunday, according to the team.

QB Bryce Petty, who missed last week's game, is active and will be the backup behind QB Josh McCown. WR Jeremy Kerley and TE Neal Sterling will also return after missing last week's game.

Dakota Dozier is slated to back up C Wes Johnson in the absence of Harrison, who suffered a concussion during practice this week.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Derrick Jones, Jordan Leggett, Rontez Miles
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Jets players to watch on Sunday 00:01:10
The crew from Jets Game Plan discusses its "players to watch" in Sunday's game against the Raiders in Oakland.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

THE GAME

The Jets (0-1) at the Oakland Raiders (1-0) at the Oakland Alameda Coliseum in Oakland, on Sunday, Sept. 17 at 4:05 p.m. ET.


Coverage on SNY:

Tags: Buster Skrine, Morris Claiborne, Muhammad Wilkerson, Oakland Raiders, Ralph Vacchiano
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Vacchiano's 3 Keys to a Jets win 00:01:09
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano discusses his three keys to a Jets' victory vs. the Oakland Raiders in Week 2.

SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano discusses his three keys to a Jets' victory vs. the Oakland Raiders in Week 2.

 

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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)

DL Lawrence Thomas and OLB Freddie Bishop have been signed off the practice squad before Sunday's game against the Raiders. The Jets also waived/injured LB Edmond Robinson, who will revert to injured reserve if he isn't claimed by another organization.

Thomas, who is in his second year out of Michigan State, played only three games last season, including one start. He had six tackles with his best outing coming against the Giants (five tackles).

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GEICO SportsNite: Jamal Adams 00:01:37
Jeane Coakley talks to Jamal Adams about what he and the Jets expect from a potent Raiders offense going into their matchup on Sunday.

 

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Jets LB Darron Lee was fined $9,115 by the league for his unnecessary roughness penalty last Sunday against the Bills, per SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

Lee dished out a late hit on the Bills' Eric Wood following CB Juston Burris' interception in the end zone. Lee was flagged for unnecessary roughness following the play. 

The sophomore linebacker finished the game with ten total tackles and one pass defended. Last season, he amassed 73 combined tackles and one sack in 13 games played. 

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 (Kyle Terada)
(Kyle Terada)

The Jets have signed LB Freddie Bishop and DL Lawrence Thomas off their practice squad, per NY Post's Brian Costello.

The team also waived/injured LB Edmond Robinson.

With DL Claude Pelon being waived on Thursday, there were two roster spots open to replace. Also, LB Bruce Carter has been ruled out for Sunday's matchup against the Raiders leaving a linebacker spot open for Bishop to fill. 

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TE Eric Tomlinson (elbow), LB Bruce Carter (knee), TE Jordan Leggett (knee), and S Rontez Miles (eye), RB Donovan Robinson, and OL Jonotthan Harrison will not play on Sunday against the Raiders in Oakland, head coach Todd Bowles told reporters on Friday.

WR Jeremy Kerley will be a game-time decision.

Tomlinson and Carter both suffered injuries during the Jets' 21-12 loss to the Bills in their season opener Sunday. 

Tomlinson had two catches for 25 yards on Sunday before suffering the injury. The Jets are hurting at the tight end position with Austin Seferian-Jenkins serving his two-game suspension, and Leggett dealing with an injured knee. Newly acquired Will Tye filled in on Sunday.

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New York Jets offensive tackle Brandon Shell during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Scott Galvin/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets offensive tackle Brandon Shell during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Scott Galvin/USA TODAY Sports)

Jets right tackle Brandon Shell will make his first visit to Oakland Coliseum on Sunday when New York faces the Raiders, but he won't be the first Shell to play there.

Shell's great uncle, Art Shell, was a Pro Football Hall of Fame left tackle for the Raiders between 1968 and 1982, leading Oakland to two Super Bowls and going to eight Pro Bowls.

"I've seen some tape of [Art Shell] and Gene Upshaw from when they played back in the day," Shell, 25, told the New York Post's Alex Squadron.

Shell will likely have to try to block Raiders defensive end Kahlil Mack, who has emerged as one of the NFL's top defensive players as he has forced seven fumbles and recorded 26 sacks since 2015.

Tags: Brandon Shell, Oakland Raiders
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets defense 00:01:31
Michelle Yu talks to Leonard Williams and Todd Bowles about how they are preparing for their Week 2 matchup against the Raiders on Sunday.

 

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 (Timothy T. Ludwig)
(Timothy T. Ludwig)

Jets S Rontez Miles and OL Jonotthan Harrison will likely be out this week, coach Todd Bowles said on Thursday.

Miles will miss his second straight game with two orbital fractures, while Harrison suffered a concussion during the team's practice on Wednesday.

Bowles is not certain what caused Harrison's concussion, but believes he had contact with another player. "I guess it happened in individual period," Bowles said. "Maybe it hit him the wrong way or his helmet, I don't know. It just happened. I just found out."

Miles played in all 16 of the team's games last season, tallying 31 tackles and starting four games. Harrison signed with the Jets this off-season after spending last season with the Indianapolis Colts. He played in 44 of games and had 23 starts for the Colts.

Tags: Rontez Miles
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Jets players to watch on Sunday 00:01:10
The crew from Jets Game Plan discusses its "players to watch" in Sunday's game against the Raiders in Oakland.

 

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 (Rich Barnes)
(Rich Barnes)

Jets head coach Todd Bowles wants everyone on the team -- including the coaching staff -- to improve moving forward after a 21-12 loss to the Bills in Week 1.

The new-look Jets failed to score a touchdown and QB Josh McCown threw two interceptions. New York struggled on the ground, tallying just 38 yards rushing, and the Jets' offense only had 214 total yards in the game. 

"Stat-wise, we didn't do very well," Bowles said on Thursday. "Individually, it was a guy here or there. It wasn't everybody at the same time, so you can talk up the performances individually - they weren't as bad. But, as a group, we didn't run it well and receivers and tight ends are involved in that as well.

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The Jets have waived DL Claude Pelon, the team announced Thursday.

A corresponding move was not announced.

Pelon, 24, signed as an undrafted free agent with the Jets after not being selected in the 2016 NFL Draft, and had signed a reserve/future contract this past January.

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

Jets LB Lorenzo Mauldin likely needs season-ending back surgery due to a herniated disk, head coach Todd Bowles said on Thursday.

Mauldin is currently undergoing tests to see if surgery is necessary, Bowles said, according to Calvin Watkins of Newsday.

The 24-year-old Mauldin, the Jets' third-round pick in 2015, was placed on IR after originally making the 53-man roster, meaning the earliest he can return would be Week 9.

With the NFL's new IR rules, Mauldin was eliglble to be one of two players on IR who returns at some point this season.

Tags: Lorenzo Mauldin
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In the latest episode of The Jet Stream, Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon welcome Mike Westhoff into the studio to discuss the good, bad, and ugly of the Jets' loss to Buffalo. Later, the guys take Twitter questions, and give their predictions to the Jets-Raiders' matchup in Week 2.

Click below to listen!

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GEICO SportsNite: Kearse 00:01:22
Jets wide receiver Jermaine Kearse discusses what it means to be a Jet and what it will take to defeat the Raiders in Oakland on Sunday.

Wide receiver Jermaine Kearse has only been with the Jets for a short while, but he has a strong opinion about one of their AFC opponents' home stadiums. 

The Raiders, which host the Jets in Week 2, play their home games at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The venue also hosts Oakland A's baseball games, so during the early part of the season, the infield diamond is still present on the field. 

"To be honest, I hate their field," Kearse told the Associated Press on Wednesday. "I can't stand that baseball part of the field."

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GEICO SportsNite: Kearse 00:01:22
Jets wide receiver Jermaine Kearse discusses what it means to be a Jet and what it will take to defeat the Raiders in Oakland on Sunday.

 

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