New York Jets defensive tackle Deon Simon (Tim Fuller/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets defensive tackle Deon Simon (Tim Fuller/USA Today Sports Images)

Between now and training camp, we've been looking at some of the veteran players on the Jets roster to assess their potential contributions to the team in 2016. Today, we're going to share the first part of a two-part look at the six players still with the team who were part of last year's rookie class but have yet to make their NFL debut. Which, if any, of these players can we expect to make contributions this season?

Part one saw us take a look at the three offensive players that fit into this category; Quarterback Bryce Petty, offensive lineman Jarvis Harrison and fullback Julian Howsare. Here in part two, we'll look at the three defensive players; defensive lineman Deon Simon and linebackers Deion Barnes and Taiwan Jones

In between now and training camp, we've been looking at some of the veteran players on the Jets roster to assess what kind of contribution we might expect from them in 2016. Today we're going to share the second part of a two-part look at the six players still with the team who were part of last year's rookie class but who have yet to make their NFL debut. Which, if any, of these players can we expect to make contributions this season?

Part one saw us take a look at the three offensive players that fit into this category; Quarterback Bryce Petty, offensive lineman Jarvis Harrison and fullback Julian Howsare. Here in part two, we'll look at the three defensive players; defensive lineman Deon Simon and linebackers Deion Barnes and Taiwan Jones.

Simon

Simon was the only player of these three that the Jets drafted last year (in the seventh round). He began the year on the active roster, but was never activated. Simon was waived at the end of September and put on the practice squad for the rest of the season. He signed a futures deal after the season.

Simon saw plenty of playing time in the preseason, mostly paired with undrafted rookies Davon Walls and Jordan Williams. He was easily the most impressive of the three. While Walls has not been with a team since, Williams signed with Miami and even got some regular season playing time with them.

Simon showed a knack for coming up with big plays, recording 1.5 sacks, a pass break-up, a tackle for loss and a fumble recovery. However, the sacks were of the cheap coverage clean-up variety. He recorded one other pressure, showing off his athleticism on a stunt.

It's against the run where he needs to show more, and Simon made some encouraging progress there. In the first game, he was blocked to the ground on a short yardage play and then wasn't able to get across laterally fast enough to prevent a runner from getting to the hole. In the next game, while he was still pushed around at times, he showed an improved ability to penetrate, shed blocks and move well laterally, as he was able to bottle up a couple of runs. If Simon is going to emulate Damon Harrison, who signed with the New York Giants in the offseason, he'll need to improve his consistency because he was blocked out of plays at times, whereas that rarely happened to Harrison even against starters. Nevertheless, it was an encouraging start from him.

Known Mike Maccagnan confidante Charley Casserly said Jets fans need to look out for Simon, comparing him to Harrison.

Barnes

Barnes was an unheralded free-agent signing after going unselected in last year's draft. However, he was the only player on the team to spend the entire regular season on the practice squad.

Barnes had an impressive preseason with 1.5 sacks, which was tied for the team lead with three other Jets including Simon. Trevor Reilly was the only player to record more pressure than Barnes in preseason and he missed a tackle in the pocket in the last game which would have given him the team lead with 2.5 sacks.

Despite his success as a pass rusher, it was against the run where he was surprisingly at his most effective. Barnes displayed a good ability to get good leverage and penetrate. He was able to make stops by holding his ground at the point of attack and by stretching a run out to the sideline, and also had one outstanding play in which he blew up a run at the goal line.

While he fared well against backups, there was a reminder of how far he has to go in the Giants game. He was called upon for just one snap with the first unit and it did not go well, as wide receiver Dwayne Harris easily drove him off the line on the left side:

In the previous installment, I linked to an article by ESPN New York's Rich Cimini in which he named his risers and fallers from mini-camp. Barnes was one of his risers. Linebackers coach Mark Collins also named Barnes as the one player at any position who had made the biggest improvement since last year.

Jones

Jones was another undrafted rookie, but he was the only one of these three to end the season on the active roster. Jones was promoted when wide receiver Devin Smith injured his knee in mid-December, but was kept inactive down the stretch.

In preseason, Jones was quiet over the first three games, but did get in on one stop in each game, including one where he was unblocked and made a tackle in the backfield. He really flashed in the last game, though, making four stops against the run and one in coverage, as well as a big hit down the field. Coverage might be a concern for Jones, who ran a 4.9 40-yard dash at his combine and pro day workouts last season, but he only gave up two catches for 17 yards. He also helped his case by getting in on three special teams tackles.

Jones has also received some positive offseason buzz, as draft insider Tony Pauline reporting that the team sees him as a potential future replacement for David Harris.

Conclusions

Unlike with the three offensive players we looked at, there's been a positive buzz about all three of these players. There's potentially room at the back end of the roster for all three of them with the chance they could exceed expectations even further to earn an even more significant role.

I look upon Simon as having the best chance. While there isn't much roster space on the defensive line, Steve McLendon is the only other natural nose tackle the team has. The Jets brought in three undrafted defensive linemen, but they all seem more likely to be longer-term projects than immediate competition. Perhaps Simon could make a push to split time with McLendon and possibly even start over him within a year.

Barnes is in a group of players with a chance at a backup outside linebacker role. While I assume the current plan is for Lorenzo Mauldin and Jordan Jenkins to eventually be the two players atop the depth chart, Barnes will compete with the likes of Reilly and Freddie Bishop for time. He might even have an outside chance at starting off ahead of Jenkins if he's more NFL-ready than the rookie.

Finally, while Harris might not need a replacement for another year or two, if Jones can lock down that fourth inside linebacker spot and start earning some playing time, that will be a positive step ahead of next year. With Erin Henderson and Darron Lee expected to battle for the spot alongside Harris, Jones' most obvious competition for that role is likely to be Bruce Carter, who is only on a one-year deal.

There are not many recent examples of players following this inactive as a rookie-to-contributor in year two path with the Jets. The only one from last year was Dexter McDougle, who almost certainly would have played as a rookie had he not suffered a season-ending injury.

While it's good to see players developing and unexpected contributors emerging to provide the team with valuable low-cost depth, it's perhaps disappointing the strength here is on the defensive side of the ball when there is arguably more of a need on offense. However, there are plenty of other young offensive prospects on the team, so it will be interesting to see who steps up.

Tags: David Harris, Deion Barnes, Deon Simon, Erin Henderson, Lorenzo Mauldin, Taiwan Jones, Trevor Reilly

May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles answers questions from media during rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles answers questions from media during rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Jets head coach Todd Bowles enjoys watching a couple of TV shows, but "Hard Knocks" is not one of them.

The HBO show, which follows a different NFL team during training camp each season, last featured the Jets in 2010 under then-head coach Rex Ryan. When asked if he would want the Jets to be on the show, Bowles admitted he would not be the liveliest of stars on the show.

"If I had to do it, we'd do it," Bowles said after initially declining to comment. "I'd probably be the most boring person. I don't think they want to come this way."

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Sep 16, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; 
		Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard (25) intercepts a pass intended for New York Jets wide receiver Terrelle Pryor (16) in the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Robert Deutsch)
Sep 16, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard (25) intercepts a pass intended for New York Jets wide receiver Terrelle Pryor (16) in the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Deutsch)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on TwitterOn Thursday night, Jets WR Terrelle Pryor makes his return to Cleveland, where he enjoyed a breakout season in 2016. The former quarterback converted to wide receiver full-time in 2015, but only caught one pass and was even released and re-signed by the Browns at one point. However, in 2016, Pryor was one of the biggest surprise packages around the league.

He ended the season with 77 receptions for over 1,000 yards and four touchdowns, adding another touchdown as a runner. In fact, it could have been an even bigger year than that as his production cooled off somewhat after the bye week.

Reviewing the footage from his 2016 season reveals that Pryor is a much more natural receiver than you'd expect for someone who was only in his second year at the position. He runs smooth routes, has natural hands and his size and athletic ability are assets in terms of getting downfield separation and being a threat after the catch.

Tags: Terrelle Pryor
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Marcus Maye during the Jets' game against the Dolphins.  (AP)
Marcus Maye during the Jets' game against the Dolphins. (AP)

LB Josh Martin (concussion) and TE Neal Sterling (concussion) have both been ruled out of Thursday night's game against the Browns, head coach Todd Bowles said on Tuesday.

Martin also missed Week 2 against the Dolphins.

Jets S Marcus Maye (foot), who has missed the first two games of the season, has not yet been ruled out for Thursday night.

Tags: Marcus Maye, Neal Sterling
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Curtis Martin Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Curtis Martin Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

Being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame is a blessing, but some of those enshrined want more than their bust, ring, and gold jacket. 

In a letter addressed to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith, and Pro Football Hall of Fame President C. David Baker, Eric Dickerson -- the chairman of the newly-assembled Hall of Fame Board -- sent out demands that includes "health insurance and an annual salary for all Hall of Famers that includes a share of league revenue."

"They see us honored and mythologized before games and at halftime, and it would be reasonable if they thought life was good for us," Dickerson wrote. "But on balance, it's not. As a group we are struggling with sever health and financial problems. To build this game, we sacrificed our bodies. In many cases, and despite the fact that we were led to believe otherwise, we sacrificed our minds."

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Josh Gordon (12) Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports (Scott Galvin)
Josh Gordon (12) Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports (Scott Galvin)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | ArchiveJosh Gordon is a tantalizing prospect. He's a 6-foot-3, 225-pound receiver who once had an incredible, 87-catch, 1,646-yard, nine-touchdown performance in a season in which he played only 14 games. That was supposed to be only a scratch in the surface of his great talent. And he's still only 27 years old.

Now he's headed to the New England Patriots, after the Cleveland Browns struck a deal to send Gordon for a 2019 fifth-round pick. If Gordon is not active for 10 games, a 2019 seventh-round pick will be returned to the Patriots. The Jets, meanwhile, still don't have a true No. 1 receiver to gift-wrap to their young quarterback, Sam Darnold.

They need a player like Gordon. It's just that acquiring Gordon would've been a terrible idea.

Tags: ArDarius Stewart, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Terrelle Pryor, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets tight end Neal Sterling fights for yards as Atlanta Falcons defensive back Tyson Graham tackles during the second half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets tight end Neal Sterling fights for yards as Atlanta Falcons defensive back Tyson Graham tackles during the second half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

Jets tight end Neal Sterling likely won't play in Thursday's game against the Cleveland Browns after he suffered a concussion in Sunday's loss to the Miami Dolphins, head coach Todd Bowles told reporters after practice on Monday.

Sterling, safety Marcus Maye and linebacker Josh Martin all did not practice on Monday with a short week, while offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum and offensive guard James Carpenter were limited with respective foot injuries.

Wide receivers Quincy Enunwa and Terrelle Pryor, who are dealing with thumb and ankle injuries, respectively, practiced in full.

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On the latest episode of The Jet Stream podcast, Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon deliver their weekly over analysis of Sam Darnold, check in with the New York Post's Brian Costello at Florham Park, and do a deep dive into the Fear of the Week for Jonas (and Jets fans).

Click below to listen...

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Jets get ready for Browns 00:00:57
Todd Bowles and Sam Darnold discuss the Jets' short turnaround for Thursday's prime time game against the Cleveland Browns

The Jets are 1-1 to start their 2018 campaign, and they have a short week after their Week 2 loss to the Dolphins as they play Thursday night football. They will travel to Cleveland to face off against the 0-1-1 Browns, where they are considered the underdogs. 

Yes, you read that correctly. Despite the Browns not having a win, they are favored by three points, according to Bleacher Report. It is the first time Cleveland is being favored on their home field since December 2015. 

The Browns have been noticeably better to start this season, but they still don't have the results. They had the chance to win both of their first two matchups, but couldn't seal the deal.

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 (Ken Blaze)
(Ken Blaze)

Josh Gordon's days as a member of the Cleveland Browns are over, with Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reporting the embattled WR is expected to get dealt before 4 p.m. ET on Monday. And it appears they've found a suitor in the AFC East. 

No, it isn't the Jets, but rather the Patriots that are reportedly close to a deal to land Gordon, Rapoport said. There has been no official word yet from either team. 

Rapoport notes that a mid-round pick could get it done for Gordon, with Josina Anderson of ESPN listing the Jets and 49ers among the teams who have expressed interest in trading for him. 

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Sep 16, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; 
		Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) runs the ball during the fourth quarter against New York Jets defensive back Morris Claiborne (21) at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Robert Deutsch)
Sep 16, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) runs the ball during the fourth quarter against New York Jets defensive back Morris Claiborne (21) at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Deutsch)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets suffered a disheartening 20-12 defeat to the Dolphins in their home opener on Sunday afternoon. Let's break down how each unit performed.

Quarterbacks

While Sam Darnold passed for over 330 yards and a touchdown, the Jets missed several opportunities to get back into the game. There is cause for concern over Darnold's ability to see the field as he didn't anticipate a safety sitting on the route on his first interception and failed to see a couple of wide-open receivers that were open for potential big plays...

Tags: Bilal Powell, Brandon Shell, Brian Winters, Buster Skrine, Darron Lee, James Carpenter, Kelvin Beachum, Leonard Williams, Morris Claiborne, Neal Sterling, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Steve McLendon, Terrelle Pryor
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New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold throws a pass against the Miami Dolphins during second half at MetLife Stadium. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold throws a pass against the Miami Dolphins during second half at MetLife Stadium. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Miami Dolphins only led by eight points when they got the ball back with 5:56 left in the game. One stop, like maybe on the third-and-19 with 3:36 remaining, and Sam Darnold would've gotten the ball back in his hands with a chance to tie the game.

Everyone in the Meadowlands wanted to see that. And everyone felt confident that the way Darnold was playing, if it actually happened, the Jets would've had a pretty decent shot.

Tags: Miami Dolphins, Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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SNY's Week 2 Jets Report Cards 00:09:05
Ray Lucas, Willie Colon, and Bart Scott hand out their report cards after the Jets lost to the Dolphins in their Week 2 home opener, 20-12.

Ray Lucas, Willie Colon and Bart Scott hand out their report cards after the Jets lost to the Dolphins in their Week 2 home opener, 20-12.

Tags: Miami Dolphins, Sam Darnold
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold made his home debut on Sunday, but couldn't come away with a win against the Dolphins. 

Darnold went 25-for-41 for 334 yards through the air with one touchdown and two interceptions. 

The 21-year-old now has three interceptions in his first two games, and these two this afternoon were crucial ones. His first came in the first quarter when TJ McDonald anticipated a slant route by Quincy Enunwa, and jumped the route. It led the Dolphins to their first touchdown of the game with Kenyan Drake scoring three plays later. 

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Jets fall to Dolphins, 20-12 00:01:00
Todd Bowles, Sam Darnold, and Jamal Adams look back at mistakes, and look ahead to what's next after the Jets fell to the Dolphins, 20-12

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Jets fans filled the Meadowlands on Sunday afternoon, hoping to see for themselves what all the Sam Darnold excitement was about. Instead, they got reminder of the truth about rookie quarterbacks: No matter how good they are, they all struggle and make inexcusable mistakes.

In other words, The Darnold Era hit its first bump in the road.

It's not that Darnold was bad. He wasn't. He 25 of 41 for 334 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions, and he had some really terrific throws and moments in the Jets' 20-12 loss to the Miami Dolphins. It's just that he did what he mostly avoided doing in the opener last Monday night. He made some big mistakes in some big spots.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Miami Dolphins, Jordan Jenkins, Leonard Williams, Morris Claiborne, Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold, Terrelle Pryor, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold warms up before the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. (Tim Fuller/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold warms up before the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. (Tim Fuller/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

THE GAME

The Jets (1-0) vs. the Miami Dolphins (1-0) at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Sunday, Sept. 16, at 1 p.m. ET.

THE WEATHER

Sunny and 80 degrees. ... See, even Mother Nature would dare rain on the Jets' parade.

WHAT IT MEANS

It might just be the happiest home opener in years for the Jets. It might even be a sellout. And why not? Who wouldn't want to see Sam Darnold, the future, after what he and the rest of the Jets did to the Lions last Monday night. Darnold playing well wasn't a surprise. The Jets pounding Detroit 48-17 was a pretty big shock, though. Maybe it was a fluke, but don't tell that to the players. If they can do anything close to that again, their bandwagon may be full.

Tags: Miami Dolphins, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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DraftKings Sportsbook Minute 00:00:56
Pat Mayo takes a look at the Jets/Dolphins Week 2 matchup in the latest DraftKings Sportsbook Minute

Coming off a short week after playing Monday and heading into another short week with playing the Browns next Thursday, Pat Mayo says that Jets/Dolphins "screams close game coming down to the wire" and that it may be best to take the points and Dolphins +3.

What do you think?

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Kearse and Bowles on next steps 00:00:42
Jets coach Todd Bowles and wide receiver Jermaine Kearse talk about the WR crew as Gang Green gets ready for their home opener on Sunday.

Jets head coach Todd Bowles and WR Jermaine Kearse discussed the wide receivers crew ahead of their Week 2 matchup against the Dolphins.

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Marcus Maye during the Jets' game against the Dolphins.  (AP)
Marcus Maye during the Jets' game against the Dolphins. (AP)

Jets S Marcus Maye (foot) remained out of practice on Friday and is doubtful for Sunday afternoon's game against the Dolphins. 

LB Josh Martin (concussion) has been ruled out. 

LB Neville Hewitt (knee) and WR Jermaine Kearse (abdomen) both practiced in full on Friday and are expected to play. 

Tags: Marcus Maye
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New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa celebrates a first down during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. (Tim Fuller/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa celebrates a first down during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. (Tim Fuller/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets may not have a player who's regarded as a true No. 1 wide receiver or running back, so they're embracing the depth they have on offense.

"You can't win with one player,'' Jets offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates said, according to the New York Post's Mark Cannizzaro. "We need every man that's dressed to contribute. If everyone shows their talent -- and it's our job as coaches to showcase what they do best -- then it takes a team effort and you get a team win.''

New York entered the season without a receiver who was regarded in the same tier of stardom as players like Antonio Brown or Julio Jones, but it did boast its depth. After all, the Jets, thanks to a receiving corps of Quincy EnunwaRobby AndersonJermaine Kearse and Terrelle Pryor, are the only team with four players with an 800-yard season.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson
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Sep 10, 2018; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Andre Roberts celebrates after returning a punt for a touchdown during the third quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports (Raj Mehta)
Sep 10, 2018; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Andre Roberts celebrates after returning a punt for a touchdown during the third quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports (Raj Mehta)

On Monday night against the Lions, Sam Darnold's fantastic NFL debut rightfully dominated conversations. But the Jets did something they haven't done in a long time: a touchdown on a punt or kickoff return.

Andre Roberts returned a punt 72-yards for a touchdown in the third-quarter, as the Jets scored 31 unanswered points to run away with the game. It was their first return touchdown since 2012. Special teams coach Brant Boyer was able to find the humor.

"All right, you can all say it: It's about damn time," Boyer said Thursday.

Tags: Andre Roberts
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Jets prep for Fish 00:01:04
Jeremy Bates, Avery Williamson and Todd Bowles talk about the challenges presented by the Dolphins in Sunday's home opener

Here are the key takeaways from Jets head coach Todd Bowles' Thursday press conference...

On how Quincy Enunwa would play after missing a year:

"Well, you see him in the spring, first thing you want him to be healthy, once we got him healthy you see him in practice and doing everything the right way, your confident out there and then when you see him in pads for the first time, you're wondering if he could take the hits and everything else. Once he shows he fine you kind of let it go. He's worked his tale off to get to where he is right now and we're happy with it."

Tags: Quincy Enunwa, Steve McLendon
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Dec 10, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; New York Jets free safety Marcus Maye (26) in the first quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)
Dec 10, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; New York Jets free safety Marcus Maye (26) in the first quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)

Jets S Marcus Maye (foot) remained out at practice on Thursday after missing Monday's season-opener.

LB Josh Martin (concussion) and LB Neville Hewitt (knee) also remained out as the team prepares for Sunday's game against the Dolphins.

For the Dolphins, RB Frank Gore (not injury related) and G Josh Sitton (shoulder) were out. LS John Denney (shoulder) was limited.

Tags: Marcus Maye
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Vacchiano reports on Jets CEO 00:01:24
SNY's Ralph Vacchiano shares some insight on Jets CEO Christopher Johnson's comments about the team and the National Anthem controversy.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Christopher Johnson is trying his best to be "Ice Man" in the wake of the Jets' rousing Opening Night win. He believes the Jets can be "a team to be reckoned with" this season. He doesn't think the playoffs are out of reach.

And the truth is he's setting his goals a little higher than that.

Tags: Ereck Flowers, Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jets get set for Miami 00:00:59
Sam Darnold, Todd Bowles and Darron Lee talk about this Sunday's Jets home opener against the Miami Dolphins

The Jets were indoors for practice on Friday as they continue to prep for their Monday Night Football game against the Lions.

And after the session, head coach Todd Bowles and offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates preach team goals for the game with question about rookie QB Sam Darnold's confidence coming their way...

Tags: Sam Darnold
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New York Jets' Marcus Maye kneels during NFL football practice, Wednesday, June 14, 2017, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP)
New York Jets' Marcus Maye kneels during NFL football practice, Wednesday, June 14, 2017, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP)

Jets S Marcus Maye (foot) remained out at practice Wednesday after missing Monday's season-opener.

LB Josh Martin (concussion) and LB Neville Hewitt (knee) were also out as the team prepares for Sunday's game against the Dolphins.

For the Dolphins, WR Danny Amendola (not injury related) and G Josh Sitton (shoulder) were out. LS John Denney (shoulder) and WR DeVante Parker (finger) were limited. 

Tags: Marcus Maye
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New York Jets acting CEO Christopher Johnson on the sidelines before a game against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets acting CEO Christopher Johnson on the sidelines before a game against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Christopher Johnson can talk all he wants about his "team to be reckoned with" and missing Sam Darnold's pick-six while in the elevator ("my heart sank"), but the Jets CEO is barred from discussing the national anthem.

"I wish I could talk about this," Johnson told reporters Wednesday afternoon, "but the league, even though they suspended the implementation of the rule, they have still asked us to not comment on anything about the anthem."

Here are the highlights of Johnson's discussion with the media, two days after Gang Green kicked off its season with a win over the Lions.

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Darron Lee (58) Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)
Darron Lee (58) Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)

After a mediocre rookie season in 2016, Jets LB Darron Lee showed improvement in 2017. However, he was looking for more this season as he enters his third year, which many look at as the breakout year. 

One aspect of his game that he wanted to improve on was turnovers, more specifically hauling in his first career interception. 

"I've got to get some picks," Lee told NJ.com's Darryl Slater. "That's going to be my main focus this year. I definitely had a way better second year. I think I've used those first two years to just absorb what I could do better. Now, I can really, really hone in."

Tags: Darron Lee
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On the season premiere of The Jet Stream podcast, Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon kick off the new season with their first look at Sam Darnold, offensive line talk, some self-analysis of their own SNY broadcast on Monday night, and an examination of Darron Lee.

Click below to listen...

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Sam Darnold (14) Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)
Sam Darnold (14) Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)

Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold did exactly what he wanted in his NFL debut: He got a win. He also had himself a pretty good game in the box score. 

Darnold's first pass had the worst possible outcome in a pick-six, but he bounced back immediately. Overall, he finished 16-for-21 for 198 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. He also had a 116.8 quarterback rating in the end.

So, how does this long-awaited debut stack up against past Jets quarterbacks taken in the NFL Draft? Here are a few debuts from "The Sanchize" to "Broadway Joe..."

Tags: Geno Smith, Sam Darnold
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Andre Roberts Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports (Raj Mehta)
Andre Roberts Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports (Raj Mehta)

In the Jets' blowout 48-17 win on Monday night in Detroit, there didn't seem to be one weakness on the team, including one aspect that was expected to hurt them this season. 

The Jets' special teams unit was said to have too many holes, and one that wouldn't work well in the return game. However, Andre Roberts was a big component in changing that narrative. He racked up a total 137 yards on three punts -- one of which went for a 78-yard touchdown -- as well as 45 yards on two kickoff returns. 

It couldn't have gone better for the 30-year-od returner, who even got a little pay back having played for the Lions back in 2016.

Tags: Andre Roberts
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