During the offseason, I’ll be looking back at certain aspects of the Jets’ season by analyzing data compiled from all nineteen games, rather than watching film. I will be tackling as many diverse topics as possible, but welcome your suggestions or requests in the comments.

Let's begin this week with a quote from the Head Coach:

The thing that is not noticed about Braylon is, I think he is the best blocker in football at the receiver position. Each week you watch (him), he’s knocking DBs down. (We mark him on) the bracket guy and (the bracket guy) is like, “What are you doing blocking me?” We take advantage of him. (Edwards) and Hines Ward are the two guys that really get after it probably better than anybody.


- Rex Ryan, January 2011

As Jets fans, we've all seen this. The imposing Edwards has five inches and 30 pounds on some defensive backs and can often be seen making dominating blocks downfield. However, while analyzing film this year, I noticed that Edwards often misses blocks too and he was heavily penalized during the year. Even more intriguingly, according to PFF's player ratings, he ranked 103rd out of 110 receivers in terms of blocking during the 2010 season.

So, is Edwards one of the best blocking wide receivers in the NFL or is he actually one of the worst? Without even doing any research, we can be pretty confident that the answer falls somewhere in between. There must be some truth to Rex Ryan's assessment, but equally if PFF have rated every player on every snap and over 90% of wide receivers ended up with a better grade than him then there must be some areas where he could improve or needs to be more consistent.

After the jump, I look at the data and try to pinpoint where Braylon might be underperforming or where his contributions may be being overlooked.

Making the Grade

Before we analyze Braylon's performance, it may be useful to briefly explain how PFF arrives at their grades. As you've probably heard, they rewatch every single play several times so that they can assign a grade to each player. Many players will simply get a 0.0 grade if they just do their job and their performance has little bearing on the success or failure of the play. However, if there is a broken tackle, somebody sheds a block, a pass is well thrown, caught or defensed or a lineman drives back his opposite number to affect the play, then positive and negative grades from -2.0 to 2.0 are distributed accordingly to the players involved. Note: a grade above 1.0 or below -1.0 on any given play is pretty rare.

In the context of wide receiver blocking, a 0.0 grade would be the norm, because most running plays either go up the middle or don't gain enough yards for downfield blocking to affect the success or failure of the play. However, by making a block at the line or downfield, a wide receiver can potentially earn himself a positive or negative grade. The success of the play also has an impact on the grade. For example, a great block to free up a runner for four yards on 3rd and short is typically going to get a better grade than a great block that springs a runner for six yards on 3rd and long.

Most importantly of all, every player is graded on the same criteria. So, once we've looked at Braylon's performance, it might not seem to be that bad. However, in terms of netting off positive blocks against blown blocks, most of the receivers in the league will have performed better, being judged on the same criteria. Edwards might have made more key blocks than a lot of less-talented blockers than him, but they could still have a better grade by more consistently doing their job and avoiding negatively graded plays. You may feel that Edwards should have received more credit for some of his downfield blocking, but then again the same could probably be said for everybody else, so that may not have tipped the overall balance in his favor very much.

Breaking Down Braylon's Blocking in 2010

Despite the fact that his overall ranking was so low, Edwards actually had more positively graded plays (eight) as a run blocker than negatively graded plays (seven). He also had two positively graded blocks on screen passes and no negative plays for screen blocking.

Let's look at the positive plays first:

1. Week 3 (at Miami) - 1st and 10, early 2nd quarter. Edwards blocks Quentin Moses and LaDainian Tomlinson gains 21 yards

2. Week 3 (at Miami) - 1st and 10, late third quarter. Edwards again blocks Moses and the run goes for seven yards, setting up 2nd and 3

3. Week 5 (v Minnesota) - 1st and 10, middle of the fourth quarter. Edwards blocks Ben Leber to the ground, but the play just goes for a gain of one

4. Week 9 (at Detroit) - 1st and 10, late third quarter. Edwards blocks Cliff Avril and the run goes for five yards, setting up second and five

5. Week 11 (v Houston) - 3rd and five, middle of the second quarter. Screen pass goes for 26 yards, as Edwards makes a good downfield block on Troy Nolan

6. Week 12 (v Cincinnati) - 1st and 10, early third quarter. End around to Brad Smith for a 53 yard TD, as Edwards makes a good downfield block on Reggie Nelson

7. Week 13 (at New England) - 1st and 10, late first quarter. Run goes for 13 yards, as Edwards makes a good downfield block on Devin McCourty.

8. Week 16 (at Chicago) - 1st and 10, late second quarter. Run goes for 11 yards as Edwards makes a good block on Charles Tillman

9. Week 17 (v Buffalo) - 3rd and 16, early first quarter. Brad Smith keeps for 40 yards, as Edwards drives back Leodis McKelvin on the outside and shoves him out of bounds

10. AFC Title Game (at Pittsburgh) - 3rd and two at the eight yard line. Edwards makes a good block on Ryan Clark, as Jerricho Cotchery gains six on a screen pass.

Those were the ten plays that earned Edwards a positive grade. Just over one every two weeks, although that isn't too bad for a wide receiver. If there were other plays you felt should have earned him a positive grade, bear in mind that under PFF's grading criteria, an equivalent block by somebody else would also not have received a positive grade.

Breaking down the ten plays, seven went for more than ten yards, although Edwards received credit for a downfield block rather than blocking a guy at the line or at the second level on four of those.

Let's now look at the seven plays which saw Edwards given a negative run blocking grade:

1. Week 9 (at Detroit) - 2nd and 7, late first quarter. Edwards missed his block on Chris Houston, who should have made the stop to force a third and long. He ultimately missed the tackle and the play went for a 12 yard gain, but Edwards still gets marked down

2. Week 9 (at Detroit) - 1st and 10, early first quarter. Edwards tried to cut block Ashlee Palmer, but Palmer hurdled him. Again, the damage was averted, as Damien Woody was able to pick him up, but the play went for a two yard gain to set up 2nd and eight

3. Week 11 (v Houston) - 1st and 10, late second quarter. Edwards tried to block Mario Williams, but got beaten and the play was blown up. A safety made the tackle for a one yard loss

4. Week 13 (at New England) - 1st and 10, early second quarter. Edwards got beaten by Patrick Chung and the play was stuffed for a gain of one to set up second and nine

5. Week 14 (v Miami) - 1st and 10, late third quarter. Edwards got beaten by Sean Smith and the play was stuffed for a gain of one to set up second and nine

6. Week 17 (v Buffalo) - 2nd and 6, early first quarter. Edwards got beaten by Arthur Moats and although Joe McKnight was able to turn the play into a five yard gain, this was because Wayne Hunter committed a holding penalty when McKnight was forced to cut back.

7. Wild Card Game (at Indianapolis) - 1st and Goal at the three. Edwards was called upon to make a key block on Pat Angerer from the slot. He missed the block and that redirected the runner into two tacklers at the goalline

It's interesting to note that he didn't actually have a negatively graded play until the eighth game of the year. This could be due to the fact that he was not as focused on his blocking in the second half of the season, although he was more reliable as a receiver. You might think that this shows that they started giving him tougher assignments at that point, but he actually lined up as a tight end 36 times all season and 26 of those were before the bye week. Only one of the seven negatively-graded plays was remotely successful and that was in spite of Edwards missing his block.

Paying the Penalty

One key factor in Edwards' blocking performances is his penalty count. Edwards was the most penalized wide receiver in the NFL this season, although only four of his penalties were in the act of run blocking. (His others were two false starts, one offensive pass interference, a taunting penalty and a running into the kicker penalty). Let's consider these plays individually, because they might show signs of Edwards being able to make some key blocks with slight refining of his technique or perhaps more favorable officiating.

1. Week 3 (at Miami) - 2nd and three, late third quarter. Edwards was called for tripping on a play that went for six yards and a first down in the red zone. If you recall the play, Edwards kind of whiffed on his block and made contact with the defender by whipping his leg at him as he rolled over. The call was perhaps a bit dubious. Although I think the play would probably have gone for a first down if he didn't trip the defensive player, Edwards would probably otherwise have been graded negatively there.

2. Week 10 (at Cleveland) - 2nd and 10, middle of the fourth quarter. Brad Smith runs for 25 out of the Seminole package, but Edwards is called for a hold. He seemed to turn his man but then held on for a split second too long. I don't know if the play would have worked without the hold, but it did look like if Edwards showed slightly better technique it could have been a key block and would certainly have received a positive grade.

3. Week 11 (v Houston) - 1st and 10, middle of the second quarter. Edwards is called for an illegal block above the waist and the play still only goes for a gain of two. It's difficult to say whether Edwards would have been given a negative grade if he didn't commit the penalty.

4. Week 12 (v Cincinnati) - 1st and 10, early first quarter. Edwards is called for an illegal block above the waist and the play still only goes for a gain of three. It's again difficult to say whether Edwards would have been given a negative grade if he didn't commit the penalty.

In terms of his PFF grade, these penalties won't have had an effect on his rating, because penalties are separately tracked. In fact, if you combined the run blocking and penalty grades, Braylon would be last in the league, although that isn't strictly fair, because not all of the penalties relate to run blocking, as noted above.

Just Doing His Job

So, on the whole, Edwards makes a strong contribution as a run blocker. If a play that receives neither a positive or negative grade is considered "just doing his job" then Edwards "just did his job" on all but 15 plays where he was employed as a run blocker. That was 464 plays in total, so Edwards can be said to have done his job 97% of the time. Of course, on many running plays, that doesn't involve much more than getting up out of your stance and walking back to the huddle, but it's still worth bearing in mind.

On those other 15 plays, he actually had more plays where he made a positive contribution, which suggests he is at least competent as a run blocker. This is especially true if - as Rex Ryan's quote at the beginning of the article suggests - Braylon was given assignments above and beyond those that a regular wideout might be granted. PFF's ratings wouldn't take that into account, since they are just a measure of how well you do your job. If you are given a tougher job to do, then that is a reflection on your ability, but you still need to perform well at it to be successful. It's up to analysts like myself to derive added meaning from any anomalies that this will throw up.

In that respect, the value isn't seen in terms of the 15 plays where he was positively or negatively graded, many of which were of the routine variety. Instead, it's hidden within the 97% that he "just did his job" because if he held his own in those situations and most other receivers wouldn't have been able to, then he is adding tremendous value to his team, in terms of them being able to run with passing personnel on the field and increasing the potential in terms of being flexible enough to run the no-huddle or call audibles to cash in on the versatility.

For fear of accidentally writing the conclusion before I've finished the research, let's take a step back at this stage. Edwards' run blocking performance doesn't seem so bad that 90% of the receivers in the league would grade out better, so why is that?

It's All Relative

You can watch every snap of every Jets game - multiple times, if you want to - and it gives you a pretty good idea of how well a player has played, but not necessarily how well they are playing in comparison to the rest of the league. For example, in 2009, I repeatedly wrote how Kerry Rhodes - despite all the criticism he was getting - wasn't actually playing that badly, on balance. However, even I was amazed to find that he ended up number two in PFF's rankings that year. That's where the value of PFF comes in, because instead of just knowing that your guy made X good plays and Y bad plays, you can see how that stacks up against the rest of the league. In Kerry's case, it was a down year for safeties, apparently. How about Braylon? Was this a banner year for run blocking wideouts or something?

Not exactly. In fact, only 22 of the receivers (one-fifth) with over 25% snap counts graded out positively for blocking. So what led to Braylon being so far down the list?

Remember, Braylon had eight positively-graded run blocks and two positively-graded screen blocks, but also had seven negatively-graded run blocks. Let's compare that to the benchmark for run blocking wide receivers: Hines Ward.

Ward has long since been regarded as one of the best blocking wideouts in the league, if not THE best and, unlike Edwards, this time his reputation IS backed up by his PFF grades. Consistently in the top three, he placed 1st again this year, if you include playoff games. How do his blocking numbers compare to those of Edwards?

The difference is quite striking. He had 26 positively-graded run blocks and five positively graded screen blocks, as opposed to 12 negatively-graded run blocks and just one negatively-graded screen block. Not only is he more consistent in terms of making more positive than negative blocks, but Ward also seems to get more opportunities to make (or fail to make) a key block.

Why could this be? One reason is that the Jets only run to the outside 21% of the time and the Steelers do 30% of the time (perhaps to capitalize on Ward's abilities). Also, Ward is in the slot more often than Edwards, so he is more likely to be directly involved in running plays. One key difference is that Ward had ten positively-graded blocks at the second level. Edwards had zero.

Clearly Ward - who had five positively-graded blocks in the Superbowl alone - is still an elite run blocker and Edwards eventually needs to show the same level of consistency.

Not everybody that was above Edwards in the rankings is as involved as Hines Ward in the running game. You need look no further than Santonio Holmes and Jerricho Cotchery, each of whom graded out better than Edwards in 2010. Holmes had just two positively-graded run blocks and two negatively-graded run blocks, as well as two positively-graded screen blocks and only one negatively-graded screen block. He was just a couple of places above Edwards, whereas Jerricho Cotchery only just graded negatively and actually had just one negatively-graded run block on the year. He had nine positively graded run blocks, but clearly the results of these plays were not good enough to garner him a positive grade.

Arrelious Benn was in a similar position to Cotchery. He had 13 positive blocks and only one negative one, but still found himself below Ward in the rankings. Terrence Copper (14 positive blocks, five negative) rounded out the top three. Copper and Benn are notable because they played less than half as many snaps as Ward, so may have ended up with a better grade if they played as much as him.

Just to complete the picture, at the bottom of the pile was another Steeler, Mike Wallace, who had four positive and eight negative blocks (including screen blocking).

Does Size Matter?

One theory I had was that perhaps the likes of Ward might be more likely to get a positive grade on a play because they are blocking somebody of a similar size, whereas Edwards is often bigger than the guy he is blocking and therefore it tends to look more effortless.

I've decided to throw out that theory, though, because guys like Andre Johnson and Brandon Marshall were near the top of the ratings. That doesn't mean that size is important though, because guys like Danny Amendola and Eddie Royal were also near the top.

In any case, it's clear from the plays that I broke down earlier that Edwards was often charged with blocking a guy of equivalent size or bigger.

2009 and 2008

So, is Edwards capable of being a more consistent blocker? It would certainly appear so, based on the two seasons prior to this one. In 2009, he still graded out negatively, but was much higher up the list, near the middle of the pack. Back in 2008, playing for the Browns, he may have been one of the league's worst receivers overall, thanks to his 19 dropped catches, but he actually graded out positively and in the top 25 for his blocking. Maybe he had easier blocking assignments in those days, though. Note: He also had seven penalties in 2009 and 11 in 2008.

Conclusions

Based on this research, I'd suggest that Braylon Edwards is capable of being an elite blocker, although he does tend to have the occasional lapse in either judgment, technique or focus. If he can improve in these areas in the same manner as he seems to have corrected his issues in terms of catching the ball, then there's every chance he could become an even more dynamic and productive player over the next few seasons.

Although his PFF rating was poor, that can perhaps be explained away by the fact he was given tougher assignments than many of his peers. While it does underscore how he must become more consistent, I don't feel that his bottom-ten ranking truly reflects his ability and contribution.

Was Rex Ryan jumping the gun slightly to call him the best in the league? Of course he was. Then again, talking up his guys is not out of character for Rex and if it motivates Edwards to continue to take pride in his blocking, then that can only be a good thing...if Edwards remains a Jet, of course.

Note: Exclusive data provided by ProFootballFocus.com have been used in the compiling of this analysis. This information is not available to the general public, so we are grateful to have been granted exclusive access. Off-season subscriptions are still available at their website and you can follow them on twitter (@profootbalfocus) where one of their analysts is always happy to respond quickly to any questions you might have.
Tags: BGA, Main Page, Bent Double

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold works out during the team's NFL football organized training activities, Tuesday, June 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold works out during the team's NFL football organized training activities, Tuesday, June 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold has the eighth-best selling jersey in the NFL, ahead of Patriots QB Tom Brady, who comes in at No. 9.

Giants rookie RB Saquon Barkley tops the list, which was released by the DICK's Sporting Goods Jersey Report.

Tags: Saquon Barkley
Read More

Nov 12, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) tries to get out of the grasp of Los Angeles Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson (22) during the second half at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Hanashiro)
Nov 12, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) tries to get out of the grasp of Los Angeles Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson (22) during the second half at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Hanashiro)

Over the course of the offseason, the Jets have brought in a dizzying number of players. In addition to their six draft picks and several undrafted free agents, the Jets have acquired 24 veterans since the league year began. Let's attempt to rank each of those additions in terms of their importance for the upcoming season.

24. PK Nick Rose - Rose was brought in as competition at the placekicker position but was replaced four weeks later before he even got a chance to practice with the team.

Read More

New York Jets running back Bilal Powell leaps over Jacksonville Jaguars free safety Tashaun Gipson during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Dennis Schneidler/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Bilal Powell leaps over Jacksonville Jaguars free safety Tashaun Gipson during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Dennis Schneidler/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the next few weeks, we're going to break down each position in terms of which players are fighting for those final roster spots. Who is in danger of being cut? Who has a chance to earn themselves a bigger role? We start with a look at the running back position.

Probable roster locks

Anything is possible, but the expectation heading to camp is that Bilal Powell and Isaiah Crowell will assume the top two spots. Powell is the incumbent veteran and a Todd Bowles favorite, so he's certainly expected to at least begin camp as the No. 1.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire
Read More

Washington Redskins wide receiver Terrelle Pryor runs with the ball as Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills attempts to make the tackle at FedEx Field. (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)
Washington Redskins wide receiver Terrelle Pryor runs with the ball as Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills attempts to make the tackle at FedEx Field. (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets and Redskins will have joint practices from Aug. 12 to Aug. 14 ahead of their preseason game on Aug. 16, and Washington's defense seems to be ready to go after current Jet wide receiver Terrelle Pryor.

Redskins linebacker Zach Brown called out Pryor, who signed a one-year, $4.5 million deal with New York after one year with the Redskins, by saying other members of Washington's defense "have it out for him."

"That's going to be something right there," Brown said on "Inside the Locker Room" on Team 980, according to NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay. "The boys are gonna have it out for him. We can put hands on him now ... [head coach] Jay [Gruden] ain't here to protect you anymore."

Tags: Washington Redskins
Read More

Jamal Adams (center) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jamal Adams (center) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Jets S Jamal Adams has never liked to lose, and his father -- former NFL RB George Adams -- gave the perfect anecdote to explain why. 

"As a G.A. Giant, we didnt' lose," George told The Post's Steve Serby as he referenced Jamal's Pop Warner days. "I gave the ball to J., he got the first down, and they came out and measured and then they said, 'No, no, no. We gotta remeasure.' So they didn't give us a first down, so they got the ball and they scored and we lost.

"He cried like a baby. So what I told him, I said, 'That's life. That's football. You're gonna get some people to say one thing and it's another, but the thing is, I'm teaching you how to lose.' And that really just didn't set with him, because he just don't like losing."

Tags: Jamal Adams, Scott Thompson
Read More

Sep 10, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins wide receiver Terrelle Pryor (11) (Geoff Burke)
Sep 10, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins wide receiver Terrelle Pryor (11) (Geoff Burke)

This offseason, the Jets signed QB Teddy Bridgewater, drafted QB Sam Darnold and re-signed QB Josh McCown. Regardless of who gets to be the starting quarterback, they're going to need someone to throw to. 

WR Terrelle Pryor, who signed a one-year, $4.5 million deal in March, certainly believes he can be that guy, after having 'minor' ankle surgery recently.

"Right now I'm healthy and I'm ready to get back to form and have a dominant year," Pryor said...

Read More

General overall view of MetLife Stadium Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
General overall view of MetLife Stadium Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

Former Jets TE Kellen Winslow Jr., who was just arrested for suspicion of burglary last week, has even bigger problems with the law in his latest arrest. 

Winslow was arrested on Thursday and faces two counts of forcible rap, two counts of forcible sodomy and one count of forcible oral copulation, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. He also faces charges of kidnapping with the intent to commit rape, residential burglary and indecent exposure. 

It is unknown whether or not Winslow's arrest last Thursday corresponds to this arrest...

Read More

New York Jets cornerback Derrick Jones runs a drill during organized team activities at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets cornerback Derrick Jones runs a drill during organized team activities at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the next few weeks, we're going to look back at last year's rookies in an effort to assess what their role will be in 2018 and where we can expect them to make improvements on what they brought to the table last year.

Derrick Jones was considered a bit of a long-term project when the Jets selected him with their final pick in 2017's draft. He's a terrific athletic with excellent size and length, but was considered raw having spent much of his collegiate career as a wide receiver, starting just eight games in total. The Jets carried him on their active roster all year, but he only suited up for three games and didn't get any defensive reps.

Tags: Derrick Jones, Robby Anderson
Read More

Josh McCown (15) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Josh McCown (15) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

A lot will change between mid-June and September 10th, the day of the Jets season opener, but if they were to play that week one game against the Lions tomorrow, Todd Bowles knows who his starting quarterback would be: Josh McCown. 

Bowles also confirmed that Teddy Bridgewater is the current backup, leaving rookie Sam Darnold as the third-string. But all three will have ample time during training camp to change his mind, when "a lot of things count."

"Josh will start come training camp and we will see what happens at the end of training camp," Bowles said after minicamp...

Tags: Josh McCown
Read More

New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg works out prior to an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg works out prior to an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

Former Jets QB Christian Hackenberg visited the Patriots on Thursday, according to Field Yates of ESPN.

The Patriots currently have Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer and rookie seventh-round pick Danny Etling. NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reports that the Patriots aren't expected to sign Hackenberg, though he remains an option going forward...

Read More

Elijah McGuire the new LT? 00:01:58
Marc Malusis and Jon Hein discuss Jets running backs coach Stump Mitchell saying that Elijah McGuire could be the next LaDainian Tomlinson.

Entering his second season in the league, Elijah McGuire is expected to make an impact on the Jets in 2018.

The running back had 377 rushing yards in 2017 but those within the organization see something more in the 24-year-old-- they see one of the best running backs ever: LaDainian Tomlinson.

"He has the skillset to be a LaDainian Tomlinson, if he was given that opportunity," Jets running backs coach Stump Mitchell said...

Tags: Elijah McGuire
Read More

See the Jets in minicamp action 00:00:59
SNY captures the highlights, routes and deep throws at New York Jets minicamp Thursday.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The Jets are heaping praise on the shoulders of their prized rookie quarterback, but to them it's more than just dreamy hype. They're not just trying to sell everyone on the promise of Sam Darnold. They believe it. In fact, so far he's been even better than they expected.

That's why he has "a real chance" to be the opening day starter, according to a team source.

The 21-year-old Darnold has been that good since the Jets took him with the third overall pick in the NFL Draft. They've been giving him regular first-team reps throughout the spring and through this week's three-day mini-camp. And given how well he's handled them, this summer he can expect even more.

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More

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)

If there is one player Jets S Jamal Adams would like to emulate in his career, it would certainly be one of the best to ever play the safety position. 

Former Steelers S Troy Polamalu, an eight-time Pro Bowler and four-time First Team All-Pro member, changed how safeties were perceived in the NFL. Polamalu wasn't just a ballhawk as his position was normally asked to do, but he was relentless on the blitz as well as run defense. 

Adams says it was Polamalu's smarts along with his physicality that makes him his role model now that he is in the NFL...

Tags: Jamal Adams
Read More

May 22, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) runs after a catching the ball during organized team activities at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 22, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) runs after a catching the ball during organized team activities at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

This offseason, Jets WR Robby Anderson has been battling numerous legal issues. He has been arrested twice in nine months, but the Jets have had his back throughout this process. 

That doesn't mean the NFL will. 

Anderson, who has one of his two legal cases still in the works, knows the NFL has the jurisdiction to suspend him for his run-ins with the police...

Tags: Robby Anderson
Read More

Darnold impresses at Jets camp 00:03:04
Jets offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates breaks down the performance of rookie QB Sam Darnold at the team's minicamp on Wednesday.

Jets QB Sam Darnold may be a rookie, but his new team isn't treating him like one. 

The No. 3 overall pick hasn't been eased into his new role with the Jets, but rather, the team is throwing everything they can at him. Offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates said the entire playbook has been thrown his way during the team's three-day mandatory minicamp. 

The reason? Bates says that's how you see what Darnold can truly handle.

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater
Read More

Josh McCown (15) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Josh McCown (15) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

With all NFL talk revolving around the new national anthem policy, Jets QB Josh McCown wants people to focus on the work behind the scenes that doesn't get as much recognition. 

McCown, who is a member of the Players' Coalition, has been a big supporter and advocate for social justice reform. For one, he was one of a few Jets members that signed a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other officials calling for bail reform in the country. 

It is work like that letter that McCown wishes got more attention than the anthem policy...

Tags: Josh McCown
Read More

 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Over the last few weeks, we've been looking back at last year's rookies in an effort to assess what their role will be in 2018 and where we can expect them to make improvements on what they brought to the table last year.

Jeremy Clark spent virtually the entire 2017 on the injured list, which was something the Jets must have anticipated when they drafted him. Clark was recovering from a torn ACL when the Jets selected him in the sixth round, presumably on the basis that he'd have gone much sooner had he been healthy. He was unable to practice at training camp and his rookie season was essentially a redshirt year. However, the Jets were able to activate him at the end of the year and he made his NFL debut in the season finale.

Preseason Stats: Did not play.
Regular Season Stats: One game played.
Projected Role: Back-up cornerback.

Tags: Jeremy Clark
Read More

New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) warms up before a preseason NFL football game against the New York Giants Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) warms up before a preseason NFL football game against the New York Giants Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Former Jets QB Christian Hackenberg was waived by the Raiders on Tuesday.

Hackenberg was traded last month for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2019 -- a pick the Raiders will now get to keep. 

"I was disappointed in not really giving Christian the opportunity to go to camp," Raiders coach Jon Gruden said after Tuesday's practice, per ESPN. "We felt like we needed to add a couple defensive linemen. We ran out of numbers, and that's not good at that position heading into camp."

Tags: Christian Hackenberg
Read More

Sam Darnold on adjustments 00:00:32
Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold explains the challenges he's facing while making the adjustment to calling plays in the huddle in the NFL.

Jets QB Sam Darnold on Tuesday shed light on the learning curve he has experienced during his transition to the NFL.

"It hasn't been super easy to adjust but it's all the same plays," Darnold said on the first day of the Jets' mandatory minicamp. "It's just getting used to the different terminology... being able to picture the play in my head when it's called makes it easier to call it in the huddle."

Darnold, the Jets' first round pick this year, earned roughly 20 first-team reps, according to Newsday. QB Josh McCown led the pack with around 20 first-team reps, while Teddy Bridgewater also had a handful of first-team snaps.

Tags: Sam Darnold
Read More

Jets QB's throwing deep 00:00:33
See Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater and Josh McCown throwing darts to their receivers at New York Jets minicamp on Tuesday.

Check back here for highlights from the Jets' first day of mandatory minicamp...


The first day of the Jets' three-day mandatory minicamp kicked off on Tuesday, and rookie QB Sam Darnold continues to get some reps with the first-team offense. Throughout the day, Darnold bounced around the depth chart by taking most of his reps with the third team to go along with his few throws with the first team. 

CLICK BELOW TO SEE THE VIDEO

Tags: Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold, Terrelle Pryor
Read More

Sep 10, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet on the field before a game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Sep 10, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet on the field before a game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

Last Thursday in San Diego, California, ex-Jets tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. was arrested on suspicion of burglary at a mobile-home park, reports NBC San Diego's Rafael Avitabile.

A burglary call was made at around 2:30 p.m. by a neighbor in the Park Encinitas Mobile Home Park.

According to Winslow's publicist, Denise White, "An over-reactive neighbor called police after she saw Kellen walking around a mobile home." Winslow was later arrested and charged with first-degree burglary as well as being held on $50,000 bail. 

Read More

Five Things for the Jets 00:00:33
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano reveals the five most interesting things to watch for during this week's New York Jets minicamp.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The next few weeks and months are all about one thing for the Jets, really - the preparation for The Sam Darnold Era. It's going to begin at some point. The Jets believe it will be glorious.

The only question is: When?

Tags: ArDarius Stewart, Chad Hansen, Dylan Donahue, Jordan Jenkins, Jordan Leggett, Josh McCown, Leonard Williams, Lorenzo Mauldin, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Terrelle Pryor, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More

New York Jets offensive tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson (60) walks off the field following training camp at SUNY Cortland. (Richard Barnes)
New York Jets offensive tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson (60) walks off the field following training camp at SUNY Cortland. (Richard Barnes)

Former Jets OL D'Brickashaw Ferguson still gets asked if would kneel during the national anthem despite being out of the NFL today. 

Well, he broke that silence on Monday when he penned an article addressing that exact question. Ferguson began his piece by noting his thoughts about the anthem protests reached its peak while watching the Jets against the Dolphins last season.

He saw how the entire team locked arms on the sideline, and wondered what he could do. 

Tags: D'Brickashaw Ferguson
Read More

New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire lunges for yards defended by Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Lorenzo Alexander during the second half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire lunges for yards defended by Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Lorenzo Alexander during the second half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the next few weeks, we're going to look back at last year's rookies in an effort to assess what their role will be in 2018 and where we can expect them to make improvements on what they brought to the table last year.

Elijah McGuire had what looked like being a breakout performance against the Jaguars in Week 4, when he racked up 131 yards on 12 touches, including a spectacular 69-yard touchdown run. However, that breakout never fully materialized as he struggled to produce much over the rest of the year, other than the occasional flash. Will he be able to earn a more significant role in 2018?

Tags: Bilal Powell, Brian Winters, Elijah McGuire, Matt Forte, Wesley Johnson
Read More

Sep 17, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Jets linebacker Dylan Donahue (49) before the game against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)
Sep 17, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Jets linebacker Dylan Donahue (49) before the game against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)

Over the next few weeks, we're going to be looking back at last year's rookies in an effort to assess what their role will be in 2018 and where we can expect them to make improvements on what they brought to the table last year.

Dylan Donahue will be hoping to bounce back after a rookie season that was cut short by injury and an offseason which saw him dealing with off-field issues. The coaching staff has been high on his potential, but he didn't really get much of a chance to deliver on that yet.

Preseason stats: Three games, four tackles, 0.5 sacks
Regular-season stats: Four games, five tackles
Projected role: Situational pass rusher

Tags: Dylan Donahue
Read More

Los Angeles Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson (22) in action during the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo) (Kelvin Kuo/AP)
Los Angeles Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson (22) in action during the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo) (Kelvin Kuo/AP)

After the Jets missed out on QB Kirk Cousins in free agency this offseason, the team almost had more cap space than they knew what to do with. 

They gave some of that money to QB Teddy Bridgewater, but they handed the most to CB Trumaine Johnson, who inked a big five-year, $73 million contract with the Jets. 

Johnson played for the Rams his entire career but was free to leave this offseason after the team acquired Aqib Talib, Sam Shields and  Marcus Peters. As the top corner on the market, he had options. But he chose to sign with the Jets to win games...

Read More

New York Jets players and coaching staff lock arms during the national anthem before the game against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. (Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets players and coaching staff lock arms during the national anthem before the game against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. (Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | ArchiveThe NFL as a whole would prefer to have its players standing at attention during the national anthem, with no more player protests. For some owners, that's a patriotic gesture. For others, it's simply business. Mostly, though, NFL owners just really want this whole anthem/protest controversy to go away.

That's why it's so bizarre that the league has instead managed to make it infinitely worse.

The NFL knows it too, which is probably why Commissioner Roger Goodell remained so silent when President Donald Trump and the Philadelphia Eagles managed to turn the traditional visit to the White House by the Super Bowl champs into a political football earlier this week. Most of the Eagles weren't planning to go, so the president loudly cancelled the event.

Read More

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)

The Jets are continuing to try and impact the community, as Jets CEO Christopher Johnson, along with QB Josh McCown, LT Kelvin Beachum and former Jets LB Demario Davis, sent a letter to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo calling for bail reform.

The letter was not only addressed to Cuomo, but also to the speaker of the house and the senate president. It brings up several points that the Jets hope lawmakers will take into account.

 

Some of the points raised are...

Tags: Demario Davis, Josh McCown, Kelvin Beachum
Read More

Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) is sacked by New York Jets linebacker Jordan Jenkins (48) (Brad Penner)
Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) is sacked by New York Jets linebacker Jordan Jenkins (48) (Brad Penner)

With two NFL seasons in the books, Jets LB Jordan Jenkins knows what he needs to do to set himself apart in his third year: finish sacks. 

Jenkins was always known as a great run stopper, using his speed to scale sideline to sideline. However, the pass rush has been an element of his game that has been inconsistent. 

In his rookie season, Jenkins totaled 2.5 sacks while accumulating three in 2017. It might be progress, but those numbers don't jump off the page. That is why Jenkins is ready to set himself apart this season by making sure to get the quarterback to the ground, and ultimately, show people how dominant he can really be on the field.

Tags: Jordan Jenkins
Read More

Sep 24, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard (24) stiff arms Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back J.J. Wilcox (27) during the second half at Soldier Field. Chicago won 23-17 in OT. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Wierzbicki)
Sep 24, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard (24) stiff arms Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back J.J. Wilcox (27) during the second half at Soldier Field. Chicago won 23-17 in OT. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Wierzbicki)

Free agent S JJ Wilcox took a flight to New Jersey on Tuesday night, confirmed SNY's Ralph Vacchiano, and the Jets' signing of Wilcox became official on Wednesday, with the Jets waiving LB Freddie Bishop

Wilcox flew to New Jersey just hours after rejecting the 49ers at the last minute, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. One source told Schefter that Wilcox "flipped" after he was at the 49ers' offices to sign with them, and wanted to instead play for the Jets under head coach Todd Bowles.

Another source told Schefter that "he got stage fright." 

Read More