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

New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown drops back to pass in the second quarter against the New York Jets at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. (Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown drops back to pass in the second quarter against the New York Jets at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. (Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports)

Jets QB Josh McCown indicated on NFL Network Tuesday that he will likely continue to play in 2018.

"Right now, that's how it's looking," he said. "At this time of the year, I go through those conversations with my family, talk with them through that, pray through that."

Tags: Josh McCown
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 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

CBS Sports believe 2017 Heisman Trophy winner, QB Baker Mayfield, will find his way to the Jets in their latest mock draft. 

Many mock drafts have Mayfield falling to a mid-first rounder, but Chris Trapasso has the Jets writing him name on their draft card. He led Oklahoma this season to the College Football Playoff, and he could very well be the one to lead the Jets to their first playoff trip since 2010. 

"The New York Post is thrilled with this selection, as it'll provide years of fantastic cover art material," Trapasso writes. "Mayfield is a somewhat unconventional quarterback who might just help the NFL move into the future -- or, what we've seen in college for years -- on offense."

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Despite what the police report states, Jets WR Robby Anderson didn't say he would sexually assault a police officer's wife during his arrest in Florida last week, according to his lawyer. 

On Jan. 19, the 24-year-old was arrested on nine different charges after being pulled over for driving-related obstructions. The charges against him include resisting an officer/obstruction without violence, harm to a public servant or family, fleeing/eluding while lights/siren active, reckless driving, failure to drive in a single lane, two counts of disobeying/avoiding a red light, speeding, and turning without a signal. 

The sexual threat was also in the police report, but Anderson's lawyer -- Ed O'Donnell -- claims they are not true...

Tags: Robby Anderson
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GEICO SportsNite: FNNY 00:06:00
The Football Night in New York crew reacts to what is a nightmare Super Bowl for New York football fans: Philadelphia against New England.

The Jets, who have not been in the Super Bowl since they're lone win in Super Bowl III, will watch their bitter division rivals take on the Eagles.

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Nov 12, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback coach Jeremy Batesduring the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Nov 12, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback coach Jeremy Batesduring the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

When Todd Bowles decided to fire offensive coordinator John Morton, he always had quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates in mind as a replacement.

And now it looks like that's exactly what will happen.

Tags: Josh McCown, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (James Snook)
(James Snook)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

This week is Senior Bowl week, which signifies a great opportunity for draft prospects to boost their stock. This year's event will be even more closely scrutinized than usual with top quarterback prospects Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield due to participate.

However, for many prospects, the past weekend represented a good early opportunity to impress the scouts, and make a name for themselves at the two most important non-Senior Bowl all-star games

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New York Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins catches a touchdown pass during the second half of their game against the Carolina Panthers at MetLife Stadium. The play was overturned on review for failure to maintain possession of the ball. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins catches a touchdown pass during the second half of their game against the Carolina Panthers at MetLife Stadium. The play was overturned on review for failure to maintain possession of the ball. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

This season, Austin Seferian-Jenkins has been vocal with his battle through alcoholism and desire to stay sober. Today was day number 365 without alcohol for the tight end, one full year. He celebrated with a deep, thoughtful Instagram post. 

Seferian-Jenkins began his post by talking about reflection. Reflection would be a theme in the words he wrote with his picture, sitting alone in a room with a tasteful bit of sun coming through the windows.

"I had to reflect and evaluate where I was in my life," Seferian-Jenkins said. "Reflect on where I wanted to be: as a brother, a son, an athlete, but most importantly a person in this world. 365 days ago I had to come to the realization that what I was doing was never going to reflect who I knew I was meant to be if I didn't change..."

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
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December 26, 2010; Tampa, FL, USA; Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates during the first half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
December 26, 2010; Tampa, FL, USA; Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates during the first half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

It's been reported that the top candidate for the Jets offensive coordinator vacancy is Jeremy Bates, currently the team's quarterbacks coach after returning to the league following a four-year hiatus from football. 

Former NFL QB and current ESPN analyst Matt Hasselbeck crossed paths with Bates in Seattle in 2010, where Bates was the OC and Hasselbeck the starting QB.

"Just turn on the 2008 Mike Shanahan film," said Hasselbeck, via Rich Cimini of ESPN. "That's his vision for the offense he'd like to run..."

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Loud Mouths: Robby Anderson 00:04:25
Sal and Jon discuss what the future holds for Jets WR Robby Anderson after his recent arrest and what the Jets should do with him.

Jets WR Robby Anderson has been arrested on nine charges in Florida. The charges, according to police records, are resisting an officer/obstruction without violence, harm to a public servant or family, fleeing/eluding while lights/siren active, reckless driving, failure to drive in a single lane, two counts of disobeying/avoiding a red light, speeding, and turning without a signal. 

Anderson was reportedly driving 105 mph in a 45 mph zone. After being arrested and put in the patrol car a bit after 2 a.m., Anderson threatened to sexualy assault the arresting officer's wife, according the police report

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: Robby Anderson is a good, young, speedy receiver with the potential to be a very good NFL player. But he's not so good and his potential isn't so high that he's not expendable if he becomes more trouble than he's worth...

Tags: Robby Anderson
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Stanford, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) (Sergio Estrada)
Stanford, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) (Sergio Estrada)

With the Browns, Giants and Broncos all ostensibly needing quarterbacks, as well as the potential for trades, three quarterbacks could already be gone by the time the Jets are on the clock at no. 6. 

But, according to NFL.com's first mock draft, the Giants will pass on Josh Rosen, as will the Broncos, leaving the Jets to select him. 

The 6-foot-4, 218 pound Rosen had his best year with UCLA this season, throwing for 3,717 yards, 26 touchdowns, and a 62.5 completion percentage -- all of which are career highs...

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May 25, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Brandon Marshall answers questions from the media during OTA practice at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 25, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Brandon Marshall answers questions from the media during OTA practice at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Following Robby Anderson's arrest, former Jets teammate and mentor Brandon Marshall believes Anderson is 'hurting himself tremendously' and hopes the Jets star reaches out to head coach Todd Bowles for help. Marshall also said he'd offer Anderson some tough love.

Anderson was arrested on nine charges in Florida on Friday. The charges, according to police records, are resisting an officer/obstruction without violence, harm to a public servant or family, fleeing/eluding while lights/siren active, reckless driving, failure to drive in a single lane, two counts of disobeying/avoiding a red light, speeding, and turning without a signal. 

"He has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a Jets' all-time great, and a superstar in this league," Marshall told Connor Hughes of NJ Advance Media. "Right now, he's hurting himself tremendously..." 

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Robby Anderson
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New York Jets running back Bilal Powell is pursued by Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Isaac Rochell on a 57-yard touchdown run in the third quarter during an NFL football game at MetLife Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Bilal Powell is pursued by Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Isaac Rochell on a 57-yard touchdown run in the third quarter during an NFL football game at MetLife Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter: Heading into the 2017 season, it was thought that the Jets would need to lean on their running game to be competitive. However, the running game was ranked just 19th in the NFL. Moreover, they ranked near the bottom of the league in short yardage situations and in terms of their percentage of runs that got stuffed.

The Jets have three picks in the top 50 in the upcoming NFL Draft and plenty of cap space with which to build their 2018 roster. Could the addition of an elite back elevate the Jets' running game to greater heights or is this mainly just a function of the run-blocking up front?

The contributions the Jets got from their running backs in 2017 were pretty much as expected. Matt Forté showed the occasional flash but continues to look like a player who is past his prime. Bilal Powell will give you a game or two of excellent production as a lead back but continues not to be durable enough to sustain that over any extended period. Rookie Elijah McGuire showed some potential, but also ran hot and cold...

Tags: Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire, Matt Forte
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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)

Since the turn of the century, the Jets have had 15 quarterbacks start an NFL game for them. The good, the bad and the ugly: can you name them all?

Between the quarterbacks, the Jets have had moderate success. A pair of AFC Championship games, but not without its share of disappointment, led by the men under center. 

The walk down memory lane will spark some memories and names. Over the timeframe, the Jets have had five head coaches: Bill Parcells, Herm Edwards, Eric Mangini, Rex Ryan and, currently, Todd Bowles.

Test your recent Jets knowledge below with the quiz...

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Jan 6, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick (29) during practice at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)
Jan 6, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick (29) during practice at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)

In ESPN Mel Kiper's first mock draft, the Jets select Alabam CB Minkah Fitzpatrick with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. 

Fitzpatrick is widely considered the best cornerback among this year's prospects, and Kiper even views him as the best secondary man who can also play safety. The Jets already have two stout safeties in rookies Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye this season, but adding another dynamic player to the bunch would only enhance an already young defense that is on the verge of breaking out. 

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter: While he had a versatile role at Alabama, with plenty of reps as a slot corner or as a linebacker in dime packages, the majority of Fitzpatrick's reps were at the safety position. He has played some cornerback in the past, but it's difficult to project whether he'd be able to step in on the outside and start from day-one.

Tags: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye
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Nov 12, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback coach Jeremy Batesduring the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Nov 12, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Jets quarterback coach Jeremy Batesduring the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

John Morton is out as the Jets' offensive coordinator due to irreconcilable differences of philosophy with Todd Bowles and a loss of too much faith from his players. The Jets players -- and Bowles -- clearly believed their offense should've been a lot better than it was.

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Nov 12, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Jets offensive coordinator John Morton bumps fists with offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum (68) and offensive tackle Brandon Shell (72) prior to the game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Nov 12, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Jets offensive coordinator John Morton bumps fists with offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum (68) and offensive tackle Brandon Shell (72) prior to the game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets were expected to be one of the worst offenses in the NFL last season - maybe one of the worst in NFL history. But under first-year offensive coordinator John Morton they did more offensively than anyone imagined.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Josh McCown, Matt Forte, Robby Anderson, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams (33) lines up against the Denver Broncos during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)  (Jack Dempsey/AP)
New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams (33) lines up against the Denver Broncos during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey) (Jack Dempsey/AP)

Jets rookie S Jamal Adams was named to the Pro Football Writers of America All-Rookie Team for the 2017 season. 

The Jets' 2017 first-rounder had a stellar rookie campaign, posting 83 combined tackles, two sacks, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble, and six passes defended. He did, however, fail to secure his first career interception this year. 

An LSU product, Adams thought he should have made the Pro Bowl this season, but vowed he would make it every season from here on out...

Tags: Jamal Adams
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The Jets and Doug Marrone 00:04:06
On Daily News Live, the crew discusses the success of Doug Marrone in Jacksonville, and wonders if the Jets missed the boat with him.

On Daily News Live, the crew discusses the success of Doug Marrone in Jacksonville, and wonders if the Jets missed the boat with him. 


New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown drops back to pass in the second quarter against the New York Jets at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. (Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown drops back to pass in the second quarter against the New York Jets at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. (Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports)

For well over a year now, the Jets' top priority has been clear: They must find a solution to be their franchise quarterback. After all, it's common knowledge that all the best teams are the ones with settled situations at the quarterback position.

This weekend, however, that narrative was flipped on its head. Matt Ryan lost to Nick Foles, Ben Roethlisberger got beaten by Blake Bortles and then, in dramatic fashion, Case Keenum beat Drew Brees. In all three cases, the team with the established signal-caller was upended by a team led by a relative novice.

They say defense wins championships, and three of the four teams left standing represent the NFL's best defenses. The one exception is in New England, where the Patriots are headed to yet another AFC championship game in spite of a defense that ranks in the bottom five. Even their win this week saw Tom Brady - the ultimate argument against needing a high pick to find your franchise quarterback - leading his team past a former top-two pick in Marcus Mariota.

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 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) - The average ticket price for a Jets game is going down.

And for some, the lower price could be available for the 2019 season, too.

More than half of MetLife Stadium's ticket prices will decrease, with the rest of the building remaining flat. No prices will increase for 2018, when the Jets have the Packers, Vikings and Broncos among visiting teams. For fans who meet the renewal deadline of March 1 and enroll in an automatic payment plan, the team will give a price freeze for 2019, when the Steelers, Cowboys and Giants will be visitors for the Jets.

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 (Brian Losness)
(Brian Losness)

In Bleacher Report's latest mock draft, the Jets select Wyoming QB Josh Allen with the sixth overall pick. 

Standing at 6-foot-5, 233 pounds, Allen's arm strength backs up his height and weight. He is also good with his feet as his stature doesn't hinder his mobility. 

Josh McCown may have had a career year with the Jets, but he isn't the long term solution, and neither is Bryce PettyChristian Hackenberg hasn't gotten a shot yet, but the Jets clearly don't see him as NFL ready. Allen could jump into the quarterback race this offseason, and come out on top ready for Week 1. 

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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 (Mark J. Rebilas)
(Mark J. Rebilas)

This Friday marked the 50th anniversary of the Jets' Super Bowl II victory over the Balitmore Colts, 16-7, in Miami. 

That championship still stands as the franchise's only Super Bowl win, and the last time the team has made it to the title game. 

"Broadway" Joe Namath led the Jets in the Orange Bowl, and helped New York become the first AFL team to win the Super Bowl. 

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Daily News Live: ASJ on season 00:06:46
Jonas Schwartz sits down with Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins to discuss his thoughts on this past season and look ahead to 2018.

The Jets and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins will continue contract negotiations after the 25-year-old tight end reportedly rejected a two-year, $8 million deal, according to Newsday's Calvin Watkins.

Seferian-Jenkins said he hopes he and New York could reach a deal before he hits free agency and would "absolutely" want to return.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
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Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws the ball as New York Giants defensive tackle Jay Bromley (96) chases in the fourth quarter at FedEx Field. (Geoff Burke)
Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws the ball as New York Giants defensive tackle Jay Bromley (96) chases in the fourth quarter at FedEx Field. (Geoff Burke)

The Jets will reportedly be interested in quarterback Kirk Cousins when free agency begins in March, according to Newsday's Calvin Watkins.

Cousins, 29, is expected to be a hot commodity in the offseason assuming the Washington Redskins don't franchise tag him for a third straight year. 

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Aug 31, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Jeremy Langford (33) runs with the ball during the first half of a game against the Cleveland Browns at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports (Kamil Krzaczynski)
Aug 31, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Jeremy Langford (33) runs with the ball during the first half of a game against the Cleveland Browns at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports (Kamil Krzaczynski)

The Jets signed RB Jeremy Langford to a reserve/future contract, the club announced Wednesday.

Langford, 26, was the Bears' fourth-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft out of Michigan State University. He appeared in 28 games -- five starts -- in his two seasons with Chicago, rushing for 737 yards and 10 touchdowns. 

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 (Jay Biggerstaff)
(Jay Biggerstaff)

Last week, we discussed the possibility of the Jets targeting Kirk Cousins if he hits the open market.

However, the various pros and cons connected with such a move would become moot if Cousins doesn't hit the open market. A less-attractive alternative more likely to be available is Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith. Could he be someone the Jets are monitoring?

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New York Jets' offensive coordinator John Morton talks to his team during the team's organized team activities at its NFL football training facility, Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets' offensive coordinator John Morton talks to his team during the team's organized team activities at its NFL football training facility, Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Jets offensive coordinator John Morton will remain with the team amid speculation that he was being considered for the Raiders' offensive coordinator job. 

 

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Rashard Robinson (Geoff Burke)
Rashard Robinson (Geoff Burke)

Jets CB Rashard Robinson was arrested in December after police found him in possession of edible marijuana, according to the Associated Press.

 

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

With the offseason ahead, one position on which some people may be divided is the Jets' receiving corps. Do the Jets need to upgrade, merely add some depth or are they essentially set at the position?

During the offseason last year, the Jets' receiving corps was ranked as the worst in the NFL - and this was before Eric Decker was released and Quincy Enunwa and Quinton Patton suffered season-ending injuries.

However, once the season got underway, the Jets fared better than expected in the passing game, making it difficult to know how they'll approach this position with so many other needs.

Tags: ArDarius Stewart, Brandon Marshall, Chad Hansen, Eric Decker, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson
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Daily News Live: ASJ on season 00:06:46
Jonas Schwartz sits down with Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins to discuss his thoughts on this past season and look ahead to 2018.

Jets TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins had his career revitalized this season, which is why he wants to stay with the team that gave him his second chance. 

The Jets took a shot on Seferian-Jenkins, who was caught up in off-the-field drama before he joined the team. He repayed them with his best year in the NFL, and he wants to continue being an asset in their offensive scheme. He is currently a restricted free agent with the Jets being the only team allowed to negotiate his terms. 

Seferian-Jenkins is hoping he gets a deal done with the Jets, and doesn't have to start contacting other teams.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
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