Now that the season is over, I'll be writing analysis articles each week until the beginning of the league year and also during the period between the draft and training camp. I'll be breaking down some of the data from the 2012 season and revisiting some of the things I wrote about over the last two offseasons to see if any patterns identified at the time have continued or if any new patterns have developed.

In this week's BGA, I'm going to put some long overdue meat on the bones of a debate that is sure to be revisited all over the place within the next month. With the Jets' two starters at guard (Matt Slauson and Brandon Moore) both out of contract, the team will no doubt be evaluating how well Slauson performed in comparison with Vladimir Ducasse, who rotated in on every third series for the majority of the season. Ducasse remains under contract and therefore looks primed to take over one of the two starting roles. However, the team will be reluctant to hand him the job until they've evaluated how much of a downgrade he represents from Slauson, if any.

After the jump, I present the data which compares how efficiently the offense performed with Slauson at left guard with how it performed when Ducasse rotated in for him.

Introduction

The Slauson-Ducasse rotation began in week two and was a contentious issue all season long. Offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo, who was fired last month, said the platoon was a directive that came from "high above [him]" and was lukewarm in his praise of Ducasse, saying he was "playing well enough to be an every third series guy...maybe."

This article isn't going to dedicate too much time to debating the merits or otherwise of such a system, although there were some important factors that do need to be considered. One was that Slauson had agreed to take a paycut in the offseason and it's possible one of the conditions under which he agreed to go along with the paycut was that he would be the starter as long as he remained healthy. At the same time, the Jets did need to get Ducasse some experience so they could evaluate if he had a future with team, especially with the threat of losing both their starting guards during the offseason looming over them. However, Ducasse had a playing time incentive of his own which would have meant that if his playing time exceeded 45% they owed him a $410,000 bonus. Although that's not a major amount, it's enough that the team would only trigger that if they were going to get their money's worth. It's also worth noting that the Houston Texans, one of the league's better teams, rotated their right guards AND right tackles all year long.

I'm not seeking to evaluate how well they played individually in this study. (For the record, both had positive grades per PFF, although Slauson graded negatively as a run blocker. On a per-snap basis, Slauson did have a slight edge, helped by his 20th best pass protection grade among NFL guards.) Instead, I am going to look at how well the offense performed as a unit with each of them in the game. I feel that gives us the most realistic assessment of the effect that plugging Ducasse in for Slauson had on the team.

Usage

Ducasse, following a stellar preseason where he gave up just two pressures in extended playing time, didn't receive any snaps in week one, but the Jets introduced the rotation system the following week in Pittsburgh. Ducasse would basically be on the field for the team's third, sixth, ninth and (if applicable) 12th drive of the game. They didn't always stick to this rigidly, though. If there was a short drive due to an early turnover or if one of Ducasse's turns came at the end of the half when they had no real intention of trying to score, they would often leave Slauson in for an extra series so Ducasse could get the first full series of the second half. They also left Slauson in a few times when it was Ducasse's turn, specifically against the Patriots and in a few games where things were going really badly, for whatever reason.

Overall, this meant that Ducasse's snap count was 27.6% for the season as a whole, but that was because he had fewer than one-third of the drives, not because his drives were necessarily shorter on average.

I was asked a few times during the season whether the Jets called plays any differently while Ducasse was in the game, but I honestly did not see any obvious patterns. It was clear that there were certain things each of them did well (for example, Ducasse was typically better on the move than Slauson was), but there did not appear to be a concerted effort to run those plays when either of them was in the game.

Interestingly, the Jets passed more when Ducasse was in the game (57% of the time, compared with only 52% when Slauson is in), which seems counter-intuitive when pass blocking is not seen as his strength and run blocking was Slauson's weakness. However, these numbers were skewed by two extended drives that saw Mark Sanchez throw ten passes on each. Without both of those drives, the run-pass splits would have been a lot more similar.

Another thought I had is whether the Jets tried to use Tim Tebow more when Ducasse was in the game because the zone blocking techniques employed in the classic Wildcat would tend to suit the more mobile player. The two times Tebow was in at quarterback for more than two straight plays (in Pittsburgh and Tennessee) did coincide with Ducasse being in the game, but even with those, Ducasse was only in on 31% of the Tebow plays, not significantly higher than his overall snap count.

So let's move on and look at the success the Jets enjoyed with Ducasse at left guard and then compare this to the overall numbers...

2012: The Numbers

Whilst compiling the numbers for the offense when Ducasse was in for Slauson, I was pretty underwhelmed. It didn't look like they had a great deal of success. However, let's not forget that the offense was pretty bad all year, so it would be interesting to compare with the overall results.

These were the final numbers:

On 46 drives*, the Jets gained 1,200 yards, scoring seven touchdowns and two field goals. They compiled a total of 72 first downs (including the seven touchdowns) and rushed for 464 yards on 109 carries. Between them, the quarterbacks threw 123 times with Ducasse in for Slauson, completing 70 for 747 yards, three touchdowns and five interceptions.

(* Note: On two drives, Slauson was in for the first play and then Ducasse replaced him, so the data for the drive from that point onwards was compiled. There was one series where the Jets simply threw one pass before halftime and then the clock ran out, so that has been omitted from the data.)

On their own, these numbers are pretty underwhelming, but let's compare them with the data for the offense as a whole:

- The offense as a whole gained 25.8 yards per drive (not including kneel-downs at the end of the half). With Ducasse in for Slauson, they averaged 26.0 yards per drive.

- Their drive success ratio (the percentage rate at which the team managed to pick up a first down or touchdown - see above link again) was 64.7% (27th in the league). With Ducasse in for Slauson, this went up to 66.7%, which would have been good enough for 21st.

- The Jets scored 26 offensive touchdowns and seven of them came on drives where Vlad was in for Slauson. That's basically in line with his snap count.

- Having said that, they only kicked two field goals, which contributed to the fact their points-per-drive with Ducasse in for Slauson was under 1.2, whereas overall it was 1.30.

- With Ducasse in for Slauson, the Jets gained 4.3 yards per carry, well above their season's average of 3.8 yards per carry. This was not influenced dramatically by outliers - even if you remove the longest run, a 36-yard Shonn Greene run against Miami from the numbers, you still get 4.0 which is still better than the overall average. Also, any yard per carry numbers could be looked at with skepticism because of the 252-yard game against the Colts which skews the numbers upwards, but they gained just 57 yards on 14 carries with Ducasse in for Slauson in that game, so his average was pretty consistent throughout the year.

- They also gained 80 rushing yards per game with Ducasse in for Slauson, which is 27% of the team total, again in line with his snap count.

- When the Jets passed the ball with Ducasse in for Slauson, they completed 57% of their passes (overall 55%) and gained over 10.7 yards per completion (overall 10.6) but they had five interceptions and only three touchdowns, so the QB rating was lower (66.0 compared with 68.3 overall).

- With the offensive explosion in week one (when he didn't play) and a slow start in weeks two, three and four (16 yards per drive with no scores), Ducasse had a lot of ground to make up over the remainder of the season. For the last 12 weeks, the Jets posted the following numbers with him in the game for Slauson (together with where that would put you in the league standings for the whole year in parentheses): 29.7 yards per drive (19th), 1.54 points per drive (24th), 4.6 yards per carry (7th), 60% completions (17th), 72.5 QB rating (still 30th).

Ducasse AND Slauson

If the Jets had Moore locked up for next season - and maybe that's a priority, who knows? - then the question of Ducasse v Slauson would be a very straightforward matter. You'd pick the one who is the better player - or if it's close, the best value - and roll with them as your left guard. However, that's not necessarily the case. The Jets may re-sign Moore or may fill that other guard position with another free agent or draft pick. However, there's one other option and that's to play Ducasse and Slauson together.

It's a small sample size, but we do have some data on this. Last year, they had Ducasse in for Moore for two series against the Patriots. The first saw them run the ball three times for five yards and then punt. The second was slightly more successful with two runs for 16 yards, a five yard pass and two incompletions leading to a field goal. Some more substantive data exists in the form of the week 17 game against the Bills where Ducasse filled in for Moore at right guard for the final 59 snaps and the Jets ran all over the Bills (gaining 197 yards on 38 carries over those last 59 snaps). The Bills were a demoralized bunch at that stage of the season though.

Note: There was another three plays in 2012 where Ducasse came in at guard when Nick Mangold was hurt and Slauson slid over to center, but we'll ignore these three plays - two runs for 12 yards and a false start penalty.

Other Observations

One alarming thing about going back through the footage to check which drives Ducasse entered the game for was that there were five or six occasions when the Jets committed a pre-snap penalty on the very first play after he entered. This is evidence of one of the downsides of a rotational system - that it can cause people not to be on the same page and take you out of your rhythm. Ducasse only committed one of these penalties himself though and, if anything, it reflects well on him that the offense still had the same amount of success despite this factor. (Penalty yardage is factored into the data).

In terms of pass protection, there was no evidence to suggest Sanchez was under pressure any more often when Ducasse was in the game rather than Slauson and no obvious signs that the Jets were giving one more help than the other. Ducasse only gave up two sacks and one QB hit all year, although that wouldn't be surprising if he was helping someone with a double team most of the time. This didn't seem to be the case though, as both he and Slauson had plenty of one-on-one assignments.

Conclusions

The numbers seem to suggest that there was no real difference in how the offense performed when the Jets put Ducasse in for Slauson, other than in terms of the running game, where they fared better with Ducasse in. In fact, over the last 12 games, they fared considerably better with Ducasse overall.

Maybe it is unfair to do a direct comparison because Ducasse gets to enter the game when he is fresh and others are not and also perhaps once the offense have established some tendencies on their early drives, which they can then break to exploit the defense's expectations. The team may also be more conservative early on in games. However, based purely on the numbers, the suggestion is that if Ducasse was to replace Slauson at left guard next year, the offense wouldn't suffer dramatically and might even see some improvements.

Nobody knows how well Ducasse will adapt to being a full time player - although in his limited extended action in the regular season and in preseason he has shown an ability to settle down and get comfortable. Another factor is the new system, which is a concern considering how long Ducasse took to pick up Bill Callahan's blocking scheme. However, Ducasse's athleticism should serve him well in a west coast offense that will likely use a lot of stretch/zone runs and he did seem to pick up Sparano's system pretty well (faster than Mangold by some accounts).

In weighing up who is the better value between the two, obviously Ducasse is earning the minimum in 2013 so that figures to be a lot less than what Slauson will command (although I'd only expect him to get a deal somewhere around $3m per year). However, if Ducasse does a decent job this year, the Jets could find that extending him at the end of the season ends up costing them more than Slauson would have, so that could be another consideration.

While this study gives me comfort that Ducasse can probably handle a starter role, that doesn't answer the question of what to do with their other guard spot. Moore seems to be the guy most fans would like to see back, but Slauson could end up returning instead of him and getting paired with Ducasse instead.

One thing Slauson has in his favor is an ability to play center and either guard position. He's even worked at tackle (for "emergency purposes"). Moore, a converted defensive lineman, has only ever played right guard and Ducasse - while he has played tackle in the past - cannot play center in the event of another Mangold injury like Slauson can.

It's up to the Jets to make this crucial decision count but based on this study, spending anything substantial to keep Slauson in the lineup and Ducasse on the bench probably wouldn't give you very good value for money...and that's something which should be of prime importance during the first year of the Idzik regime.

I'll be back next week with something "special" as we head towards free agency. I've got several articles in the works, but if there's anything you'd like me to investigate or revisit, let me know in the comments.

Tags: BGA, Editorial Aside, Bent Double

New York Jets wide receiver ArDarius Stewart (18) gestures after making a first down during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
New York Jets wide receiver ArDarius Stewart (18) gestures after making a first down during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

Jets WR ArDarius Stewart is facing a two-game suspension for a violation of the performance enhancing drugs policy, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com

The 24-year-old Stewart, who the Jets selected in the third round in the 2017 Draft, started two games last season. He reeled in six catches for 82 yards and rushed seven times for 27 yards.

Stewart projects as a depth piece for the Jets, behind Robby Anderson, Jermaine Kearse, Quincy Enunwa, Terrelle Pryor, and Chad Hansen...

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Jan 28, 2018; Orlando, FL, USA; General overall view of Camping World Stadium during the playing of the national anthem with a United States flag on the field before the 2018 Pro Bowl between the AFC and the NFC. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Jan 28, 2018; Orlando, FL, USA; General overall view of Camping World Stadium during the playing of the national anthem with a United States flag on the field before the 2018 Pro Bowl between the AFC and the NFC. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

The NFL and NFLPA have reached a 'standstill agreement' on the league's revised anthem policy, the two sides announced in a joint statement. 

The NFL announced earlier this offseason that required players to stand if they were to leave the locker room for the national anthem. The two sides will continue to talk, though no new rules will be issued in the imminent future.

"The NFL and NFLPA, through recent discussions, have been working on a resolution to the anthem issue," the statement read. "In order to allow this constructive dialogue to continue, we have come to a standstill agreement on the NFLPA's grievance and on the NFL's anthem policy. No new rules relating to the anthem will be issued or enforced for the next several weeks while these confidential discussions are ongoing."

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Bilal Powell (29) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Bilal Powell (29) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Last week, we broke down the quarterback battle, which is sure to headline training camp this year for the Jets. Let's break down the other battles for starting roles and consider the candidates at each spot.

Running back - Bilal Powell v Isaiah Crowell

Tags: Bilal Powell, Buster Skrine, Dylan Donahue, Jordan Leggett, Lorenzo Mauldin, Morris Claiborne, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Terrelle Pryor
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What is Revis' legacy? 00:01:09
Daily News Live panelist Sal Licata discusses why fans should question Darrelle Revis' legacy after a poor second stint with the Jets.

Revis Island is no more. Jets great Darrelle Revis is retiring after an 11-year career, including eight years spent with New York (2007-2012, 2015-2016).

The league's top corner during his prime, the 33-year-old Revis said "my passion to play the game at an elite level brought fun and excitement to the term 'shutdown corner' which was nearly on the verge of extinction."

Revis had 25 interceptions during his Jets career, and 29 overall. 

Tags: Darrelle Revis, Danny Abriano
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Jun 12, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterbacks Sam Darnold (14) Teddy Bridgewater (5) and Josh McCown (15) during New York Jets mini camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jun 12, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterbacks Sam Darnold (14) Teddy Bridgewater (5) and Josh McCown (15) during New York Jets mini camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The new NFL season is almost here, and the Jets are preparing for it at training camp next week.

The team released their training camp schedule on Wednesday with four dates that the public are allowed to spectate. Those dates are July 29 and Aug. 18-19 at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center as well as the Green & White scrimmage at Rutgers University on Aug. 4. 

Gang Green will also be shipping down to Richmond, VA for joint practice sessions with the Washington Redskins on Aug. 12-14. Camp will break after the MetLife Bowl against the Giants in Week 3 of preseason games. 

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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)

Gang Green is one of the top teams in the NFL making green.

According to Forbes, the Jets are valued at $2.75 billion, making them the eighth-most valuable NFL franchise in 2018. They also come in at 21st overall in the world. 

The Jets, though, saw the biggest fall on the top 50 list. They moved down eight spots from last year's rankings.

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Will Le'Veon Bell be a Jet? 00:00:54
Jon Hein breaks down why current Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell will not be a New York Jet come the 2019 NFL season.

On Loud Mouths, Jon Hein breaks down why current Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell will not be a New York Jet come the 2019 NFL season.

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New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams on the sidelines during the third quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams on the sidelines during the third quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the last few weeks, we've been breaking 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 conclude with a look at the defensive line position.

Probable roster locks

The Jets are counting on Leonard Williams to bounce back from a disappointing and injury-plagued 2017 campaign and also to adopt more of a leadership role now Muhammad Wilkerson is gone. Williams will be looking to ramp up his statistical production as he was less dominant last season and has only recorded three sacks in his last 25 games.

Tags: Deon Simon, Leonard Williams, Steve McLendon
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Mississippi State Bulldogs defensive back Brandon Bryant reacts during the game against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers at Davis Wade Stadium. (Matt Bush/USA TODAY Sports)
Mississippi State Bulldogs defensive back Brandon Bryant reacts during the game against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers at Davis Wade Stadium. (Matt Bush/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets announced they signed safety Brandon Bryant on Monday.

Bryant, a 5-foot-11, 207-pound defensive back who played in 37 games at Mississippi State, was not selected in the NFL's supplemental draft last week.

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New England Patriots cornerback Justin Coleman (22) defends a pass against New York Jets wide receiver Devin Smith (19) during the second half at Gillette Stadium. (Mark L. Baer)
New England Patriots cornerback Justin Coleman (22) defends a pass against New York Jets wide receiver Devin Smith (19) during the second half at Gillette Stadium. (Mark L. Baer)

The Jets are releasing oft-injured WR Devin Smith, who they selected in the second round of the NFL Draft in 2015.

During his Jets tenure, Smith played in just 14 of a possible 48 games, with 10 catches for 135 yards and one touchdown.

He said earlier this offseason that he hoped he was ready to make an impact after suffering ACL injuries. 

Tags: Devin Smith
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Jun 12, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterbacks Sam Darnold (14) Teddy Bridgewater (5) and Josh McCown (15) during New York Jets mini camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jun 12, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterbacks Sam Darnold (14) Teddy Bridgewater (5) and Josh McCown (15) during New York Jets mini camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets quarterback position is always closely scrutinized, with controversies dreamed up even when the team is adamant none should exist. If the team says it's an open competition, everyone suspects they'll hand the job to their favorite. When they say their choice gives them the best chance to win, nobody agrees. Even if they name a starter and give him all the starter reps, the tendency is for everyone to assume they must be lying.

This year is different though. There's a real competition, drawing justified attention on a local and national level because it's completely wide open.

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater
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New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo leaves the field after a game against the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo leaves the field after a game against the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Former Giants head coach Ben McAdoo thinks Jets rookie Sam Darnold has potential to be a "special" quarterback, but said he didn't like his throwing mechanics.

"I think the kid the Jets drafted has a lot of magic in his game,'' McAdoo told the New York Post's Paul Schwartz. "I think he's special. He's obviously a talented guy, he can make plays with his feet. I'd just have a hard time drafting a guy in the first round where you don't necessarily like the way he throws."

Darnold, who played two seasons at USC, threw for 3,086 yards, 31 touchdowns and nine interceptions with five fumbles as a sophomore in 2016. Last season, he threw for more yards (3,787), but fewer touchdowns (26) and more interceptions (12) and fumbles (seven). The turnovers, McAdoo believes, had a negative impact on his perspective.

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Nov 26, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets corner back Morris Claiborne (21) flexes during the third quarter against the Carolina Panthers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 26, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets corner back Morris Claiborne (21) flexes during the third quarter against the Carolina Panthers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the last few weeks, we've been breaking 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 continue today with a look at the cornerback position.

Probable Roster Locks

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater
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Sep 2, 2017; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs defensive back Brandon Bryant (1) reacts during the game against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers at Davis Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports (Matt Bush)
Sep 2, 2017; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs defensive back Brandon Bryant (1) reacts during the game against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers at Davis Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports (Matt Bush)

The Jets are expected to sign Mississippi State safety Brandon Bryant, reports Tom Pelissero of NFL.com.

Bryant, 22, worked out for about half the teams in the league in June, but wasn't selected during Wednesday's Supplemental Draft.

Off the field, Bryant was charged with a DUI in January of 2017. But his potential was too much for the Jets to pass up...

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Sep 2, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Western Michigan Broncos defensive back Sam Beal (1) intercepts a pass intended for Southern California Trojans wide receiver Jalen Greene (10) during a NCAA football game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. USC defeated Western Michigan 49-31. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Sep 2, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Western Michigan Broncos defensive back Sam Beal (1) intercepts a pass intended for Southern California Trojans wide receiver Jalen Greene (10) during a NCAA football game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. USC defeated Western Michigan 49-31. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

The NFL's supplemental draft takes place on July 11th, with a realistic possibility of multiple players being selected for the first time in years.

Could the Jets be considering making a selection? And could they target Western Michigan CB Sam Beal, who is potentially the best Supplemental Draft prospect ever?

The Supplemental Draft accommodates players who did not enter the draft. Such players have usually been rendered ineligible to play college football in the following season due to off-field or academic issues and, as such, teams are often reluctant to give up a pick. The last player selected was Clemson tackle Isaiah Battle, who the Rams picked in the fifth round three years. Battle has yet to play in an NFL game.

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Leonard Williams (92) Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Leonard Williams (92) Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

EA Sports released its highly-anticipated Madden NFL 19 ratings on Tuesday, and Jets fans won't be happy to see where their team landed on the list. 

Gang Green came in dead last among all 32 NFL teams with a 72 overall rating. The ratings do change based off team performance throughout the year. 

The highest-rated player on the team is S Jamal Adams, who is coming off a stellar rookie season. He has an 86 overall rating, which is 11th among qualifying safeties. Wide receiver Robby Anderson and DE Leonard Williams both have 84 overall ratings while Jermaine Kearse (83) and Steve McClendon (83) round out the top five. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Josh McCown, Leonard Williams, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Steve McLendon, Teddy Bridgewater
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New York Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins (48) celebrates with teammates Marcus Maye (26) after recovering a fumble during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)
New York Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins (48) celebrates with teammates Marcus Maye (26) after recovering a fumble during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)

Over the last few weeks, we've been breaking 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 continue with a look at the tight ends.

Probable roster locks

It's tempting to suggest that there are no tight ends currently on the Jets roster whose spot is safe. However, Jets coaches give the impression that Eric Tomlinson's blocking is a major asset that the other tight ends on the roster would struggle to replicate. Tomlinson helped his chances of earning a starting role by flashing an ability to leak out and make an occasional big play in the passing game, but should remain on the roster as a blocking specialist in any case.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Ben Ijalana, Brent Qvale, Dakota Dozier, Jordan Leggett, Quincy Enunwa
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New York Jets quarterbacks Josh McCown and Sam Darnold during organized team activities at Atlantic Health Training Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterbacks Josh McCown and Sam Darnold during organized team activities at Atlantic Health Training Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

Jets quarterback Josh McCown knows he's not New York's long-term solution under center, but he believes No. 3 pick Sam Darnold is rightfully the heir.

"With Sam, we have the right guy," McCown said on an interview with Sirius XM over the weekend. "He's wired the right way, he loves the game, he asks the right questions and he's willing to work … That's the foundation, you have to have that," McCown said.

The Jets traded three second-round picks to move up three spots from No. 6 to No. 3, where the USC quarterback ultimately fell to them. Darnold has impressed several people early on, including offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates, who said Darnold has handled everything the team has thrown at him so far. 

Tags: Josh McCown
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Jan. 30, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; President Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address from the House chamber of the United States Capitol. Mandatory Credit: Jack Gruber-USA TODAY (Jack Gruber)
Jan. 30, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; President Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address from the House chamber of the United States Capitol. Mandatory Credit: Jack Gruber-USA TODAY (Jack Gruber)

President Donald Trump, who last season referred to NFL players who kneel in protest during the anthem as "sons of bitches," wondered aloud Thursday if the league's new policy is worse than the old one. Trump also bashed NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, and claimed ratings are down in part because of "the flag."

"If you don't respect the flag or you don't like the country or whatever it is just go into the locker room," Trump said, according to Yahoo! Sports. "Just go into the locker room. I think in many respects that's worse. Isn't that worse than having them not standing?"

Under the new anthem policy, all team and league personnel on the field must "stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem." Personnel who choose not to stand for the anthem may stay in the locker room or a similar location off the field until its conclusion...

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New York Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins (48) celebrates with teammates Marcus Maye (26) after recovering a fumble during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)
New York Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins (48) celebrates with teammates Marcus Maye (26) after recovering a fumble during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)

Over the last few weeks, we've been breaking 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 continue today with a look at the edge defenders.

Probable Roster Locks

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New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Jets QB Sam Darnold was the third overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft but is the fourth best rookie quarterback according to EA Sports' Madden 19. 

Darnold's rating is a 75, good enough to make the top five of rookie quarterbacks. He's ahead of Bills QB Josh Allen (74), but is trailing Cardinals' QB Josh Rosen (78), Ravens QB Lamar Jackson (79) and Browns QB Baker Mayfield (81). 

Mayfield was the No. 1 overall pick of this year's draft while Allen was No. 7, Rosen was No. 10 and Jackson No. 32. 

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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 QB Sam Darnold is still getting accustomed to the hustle and bustle of New York City. The West Coast kid does, however, have some favorites in the Big Apple. 

When it comes to baseball, Darnold will always show love to his LA Dodgers. But, if he had to choose between New York's teams -- the Mets and Yankees -- he would stay in the National League. 

"I'm a Dodgers fan, so it's kinda tough," Darnold said in an NFL video. "But Mets, definitely Mets."

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New York Jets quarterback coach Jeremy Bates during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback coach Jeremy Bates during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

It is a feat many try, but fail to succeed. And no, it isn't climbing Mount Everest. 

However, the stakes seem to be as high as the infamous mountain for the Jets' latest offensive coordinator in Jeremy Bates. The job security for his newest title in the Jets' organization is one of high volatility. 

Going back to Brian Schottenheimer last season before he was fired in 2011, the Jets have had six offensive coordinators in eight years. But Bates is ready to change the narrative. 

Tags: Sam Darnold
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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)

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 continue today with a look at the offensive linemen.

Probable Roster Locks: 

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 (Jim Brown)
(Jim Brown)

How many single-season leaders across all major categories can you name for the Jets? Click below to test your knowledge in the quiz.

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New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) runs into the end zone while scoring on a pass from quarterback Josh McCown, not pictured, during the second half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) runs into the end zone while scoring on a pass from quarterback Josh McCown, not pictured, during the second half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

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

Probable Roster Locks

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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)

Over the course of the offseason, the Jets made six draft picks and have brought in 10 undrafted free agents. Let's attempt to rank each of those additions in terms of their importance for the upcoming season.

Only official rookies qualify for this list. While you would need a certain level of playing time to lose your rookie status in baseball, the NFL determines rookie status solely by when you were drafted. Therefore, cornerbacks Derrick Jones, Jeremy Clark and Xavier Coleman, who all saw brief action even though they only played three defensive snaps between them, are no longer rookies.

Even a Ben Simmons-style rookie who didn't see any action in his rookie season doesn't count as a rookie under NFL rules, so that rules out offensive lineman Ben Braden - who spent the year on the Jets' practice squad - and kicker Taylor Bertolet, who the Jets' site erroneously lists as a rookie even though he played for the Rams in preseason last year.

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New York Jets fans celebrate an overtime victory over the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. (Jim O'Connor/USATSI)
New York Jets fans celebrate an overtime victory over the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. (Jim O'Connor/USATSI)

To all NFL Fans, they would say their team's faithful are the best in the league. However, Dr. Michael Lewis of Emory's Goizueta Business School created a statistical model to calculate exactly which fan base is the best in the NFL.

Lewis' model has three different factors that go into the calculation. First, there is "Fan Equity" that calculates how much fans spend on their team, both in tickets and apparel. Next, there is "Social Equity" which totals fans following their team on social media, and that is followed by "Road Equity" which calculates fans traveling with their team on the road. 

Based off Lewis' model, the Jets come in a No. 15 on the list of the 32 NFL teams. 

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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 made a cameo on the Netflix series Luke Cage, about a man with super strength and unbreakable skin that was caused by a sabotaged experiment.

In the episode, Cage works out for Bowles, with the often-reserved coach saying "Let's see what you're made of Cage. Let's go" 

Click below to watch...

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New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) catches a pass for a touchdown in front of Atlanta Falcons' Sharrod Neasman (20) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)
New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) catches a pass for a touchdown in front of Atlanta Falcons' Sharrod Neasman (20) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)

Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson was ranked among the best deep threats in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus' Michael Renner.

Anderson was one of four players who were graded as honorable mentions to the Chiefs' Tyreek Hill, who was ranked the biggest deep threat in the league. The other honorable mentions were the Falcons' Julio Jones, Colts' T.Y. Hilton and Rams' Brandin Cooks.

The 25-year-old Anderson recorded 63 catches for 941 receiving yards and seven touchdowns last season, his second in the pros since going undrafted out of Temple.

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