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.

This week, I am going to look at the pressure generated by the Jets defense. We all say things like "The Jets can't get any pressure without sending a blitz" or "Too many of the Jets blitzes are unsuccessful" or speculate over whether the Jets need to blitz more, or less and how they can improve their personnel to upgrade the pass rush. What can we learn from looking back at the data in more detail?

After the jump, I look at the data to try and determine how good the pass rush is and whether a change in approach or personnel will yield faster improvements.

Once again, I have used data provided by ProFootballFocus.com in researching this article and we thank them for providing us with exclusive access.

2010 - The Raw Data

49 sacks, 48 QB hits, 153 pressures

Let's stack that up against last year:

41 sacks, 56 QB hits, 179 pressures

That doesn't actually look to be all that worse, especially with the improved sack numbers. How does is compare with the last year of the Mangini era, when the defense rarely blitzed?

40 sacks, 29 QB hits, 129 pressures

Okay, no shock there, well below the other two years. Right? Well, actually, since the team didn't make the playoffs that year, that was in three less games, so had they played three more games and generated pressure at the same rate, the number would look more like this:

48 sacks, 34 QB hits, 153 pressures

Oh.

So, Rex Ryan's defense doesn't actually seem to generate all that much more pressure than Eric Mangini's did. Before we go anywhere, we should probably address that. While the inclusion of a healthy Kris Jenkins for an entire season was a huge factor, and one which should not be overlooked as the Jets weigh up whether or not to re-sign the recently released big man to a more cap-friendly deal, my own feeling is that these pressure statistics can sometimes be a little misleading, for reasons I will investigate further as we go along.

Raw pressure numbers don't always tell the full story. If Team A blitzes twice as often as Team B, then obviously you'd expect Team A to generate more pressure, perhaps even twice as much. However, sometimes less is more. If you hardly ever blitz, then a rare blitzer off the edge will be that much less expected and the element of surprise could lead to a big defensive play. Witness Abram Elam in the closing stages of the late season win over Buffalo. He was completely untouched and forced a fumble that Shaun Ellis returned for the winning score. That's the defensive equivalent of developing a tendency by "always" doing the same thing and then breaking the tendency to catch the other team out and come up with a big play. Unfortunately, that particular tendency made it pretty easy for the other team to pick apart their coverage most of the time (although in a chicken/egg sense, maybe the lack of blitzing was a product of the inefficiencies in coverage).

On the flipside, a team that blitzed ALL the time is going to become pretty predictable and easy to beat. This would be the offensive equivalent of running a play action pass on every single play, even if you haven't established a running game. Fortunately, Rex Ryan is creative enough with his blitz packages that when he does decide to go blitz-happy, this isn't as predictable as it might be. He also has the option to break tendency and drop guys into coverage with the offense expecting a blitz.

Anyway, let's investigate the number of guys sent after the quarterback on a per-dropback basis:

2008: 4.1

2009: 4.6

2010: 4.3

Okay, so that makes a lot of sense and shouldn't surprise anyone. When Rex Ryan arrived, he sent a lot more pressure and this created a statistical spike in the hit/pressure numbers, but not necessarily the sacks, for reasons we'll get to. Then last year, the Jets sent slightly less pressure, due either to the fact that the secondary was struggling and needed extra guys back or the fact that the pass rush was less effective so they didn't bother to use it as much, or perhaps a little of both. That may not have been the plan from the outset. In fact, the number of pressure sent reduced as the year went on. In Week One, they actually sent 4.8 pass rushers per dropback, which was ahead of 2009's pace.

Something else we can look at is the number of guys that the offense left in to block. If the offense went to max-protect and had seven blockers in, then you wouldn't expect to get as much pressure - even with a five or six man rush - as you would against a team that just left five offensive linemen in to block. Getting no pressure five-on-five is a lot more disconcerting than getting no pressure six-on-seven. So, on average, how many guys did teams leave in to block against the Jets in each of the last three years?

Here we can see a definite trend. In 2010, opposing offenses left, on average, an additional 0.70 backs or tight ends in to block on every dropback. In 2009, it was even higher (0.75). However, in 2008, teams left significantly fewer guys in to block. 0.40 to be exact, which translates to almost half as often. In fact, for the five games from Week 12 to Week 16, the number dropped as low as 0.17. Clearly, teams have been responding to the threat of a pass rush by leaving more blockers in since Rex Ryan took over.

How do these numbers compare to other teams around the league? In 2009 and 2010, the Jets left in 0.51 and 0.53 extra blockers per dropback, respectively. This appears to be more or less the norm, although there are teams which respond differently. For example, the Colts (0.38) tend to rely on Peyton Manning to diagnose the blitz and adjust the protection accordingly rather than relying on max protect schemes and the Lions (0.33) tend to switch to a quick passing game. Notably, the Jets faced these teams a total of four times in 2009 and 2010 - over 10% of their schedule - but the blockers left in against them was still statistically much higher than the norm. In 2008, the Jets only left in 0.33 on average, but this was because they often went to an empty backfield and simply relied on Brett Favre to get rid of the ball.

In any case, 0.7 and above is a significantly high number.

When is a Pressure Not a Pressure?

As I said earlier, team pressure stats can be pretty misleading. You might expect Rex Ryan's blitz-happy scheme to generate a ton more pressure than the passive-aggressive scheme designed by Bob Sutton and Eric Mangini. In fact, the numbers were not too far apart, but there are reasons for this. Sometimes a statistical pressure does not have much effect on preventing the offense from doing what it wants to. Equally, sometimes a non-pressure has a positive effect in terms of stopping the passing game. Let's start with an example of that. Rather than "when is a pressure not a pressure?" here we are asking "when is a non-pressure actually (like) a pressure?"

We've already touched upon the fact that teams responded to the threat of pressure by leaving additional guys in to block. Already this has an effect upon the offense, by taking one (or maybe more) potential receivers out of the equation and limiting the options open to the offense. Maybe this transfers the onus onto the guys in coverage to perform, which is exactly what Rex Ryan wanted in 2009. In 2010 that wasn't so much the case and in 2008 it was probably the last thing the Jets needed.

As also noted above, some teams responded to the threat of pressure by calling plays where the quarterback got rid of the ball quickly. This is a good way to ensure the defense doesn't get to you, but again it limits your options, because it means that any slow developing or downfield routes are not available to you. The additional blocker numbers suggest that, under Mangini, the Jets definitely didn't force teams to think about leaving extra blockers in very often, but I'm sure you can recall teams picking apart the Jets with short passing, especially at the end of the season when those additional blocker numbers were at their absolute lowest. This was made much easier by individual weaknesses in coverage, where the Jets were eventually able to upgrade from Eric Barton and Abram Elam by getting Bart Scott and Jim Leonhard.

Essentially, if the Jets' pressure has caused the opposition to resort to either of these options, then it will have already started to take away some of the things the offense wants to do.

Let's instead look at when a team might end up with more statistical pressure than you'd expect because their pass defense was not very successful. In the case of the 2008 Jets, despite not blitzing as much, they weren't all that far behind in terms of the total pressure they were able to generate. However, you have to consider the difference in terms of the individual talent on each team.

In 2009 especially, teams were getting rid of the ball before the pressure could get to them, either by releasing it quickly or by flushing their quarterback out of the pocket and rolling protection over to that side. In essence, they would be looking to get rid of the ball before there was any pressure, because they didn't want their QB taking a sack or throwing into a playmaking secondary while under pressure. Sometimes this might have led to passes being rushed or bad decisions being made - not because of pressure, but because of the threat of pressure. That might sound a bit strange, but here are some examples from this season that might demonstrate my point:

Week Two: Tom Brady

Under Pressure - 5 of 13, 52 yards

When Blitzed - 14 of 24, 177 yards, two interceptions

From these numbers, we can clearly see that when Brady was blitzed, but the pressure didn't get to him, he fared much better. However, it was in these situations that he also made his two most costly mistakes.

Week Five: Brett Favre

Under Pressure - Two TDs in eight passes, 38% completions, 118.2 rating

When Blitzed - 33% completions in 24 passes, 68.6 rating, one pick-six

In this example, Favre's completion percentage was even lower when there was a blitz but he got rid of the ball before the pressure got to him, in one instance leading to the clinching touchdown for Dwight Lowery. When he did wait for his receivers to get open, he was able to deliver a couple of TD passes, even when under pressure.

Week 15: Ben Roethlisberger

Under Pressure - 67% completions, 102.8 rating

When Blitzed - 47% completions, 73.1 rating

Again, it's obvious that when a blitz generated no pressure, this still had the effect of reducing Roethlisberger's accuracy.

You would normally expect that a defense would be at its most vunerable when they blitzed but didn't generate pressure. In many cases, that was true, but these examples suggest that sometimes the reason blitzes aren't generating pressure is not necessarily because it was well-picked up or the pass rushers did a bad job. Instead, teams deliberately try to avoid putting their quarterback into that situation and this can cause mistakes or give the defense a better chance to make a play.

Note: Of course, not all pressure comes from blitzing, but we'll be looking into how much does later on.

In 2008, teams knew that the Jets' pass rush didn't pose much of a threat and also that there were a few players who were struggling in coverage. Therefore, they could afford to give their receivers time to get open, even though this might lead to their quarterback being under more pressure. At some point - probably during those last couple of months - teams realized that a throw under pressure with your receiver having plenty of time to get open was a much higher percentage play than throwing the ball without pressure but earlier. With the coverage a lot better over the last two years, throwing without pressure became that much more important, with throws needing to be that much more accurate to get the ball to more tightly-covered receivers. Also, inviting pressure was that much more dangerous due to the personnel and unpredictable nature of the blitz packages, so teams would again make a conscious effort to avoid that.

I obviously don't have the resources to do so, but I would expect that if you recorded the average amount of time taken to get to the quarterback for each of the pressures generated, it would take longer on average in 2008 than it did in each of the last two years. That would be a far more accurate statistical representation of the defense's pass rushing abilities than the raw pressure/hit/sack numbers.

Where Does Pressure Come From?

As I mentioned above, it's commonly stated that the 2010 Jets couldn't get any pressure on the quarterback without blitzing. Is that fair?

Using PFF's numbers to look at how many sacks came on plays where the Jets blitzed throws up some interesting trends. First of all, we can determine that exactly two-thirds of their sacks came on plays where they blitzed. However, the season splits neatly into three sections:

First Five Games: 12 sacks, seven when blitzing (58%)

Next Seven Games: 15 sacks, 14 when blitzing (93%)

Last Seven Games: 21 sacks, 11 when blitzing (52%)

Note: I realize that only adds up to 48, but it's close enough for these purposes.

So, there was defintely a part of the season where it was certainly true that the Jet couldn't get sacks (not necessarily pressures) without blitzing. However, for much of the year, they were getting almost as many sacks when they didn't blitz.

Whilst this suggests that the Jets were more effective in terms of winning one-on-one matchups than you might have thought, based on what I'd saw, I'd suggest that this was a product of the improvements the Jets made in their zone coverages over the second half of the year. At least three times against the Pats, Tom Brady's first option wasn't there and the pressure was upon him. While I wouldn't call these coverage sacks, the coverage definitely played a role in enabling the pass rushers to get to the quarterback. There were also a couple of other memorable coverage sacks - one where Manning ate the ball and another where Jay Cutler was sacked after nine seconds by Marcus Dixon. The Jets also made a tactical adjustment late in the season, whereby they lined up their edge rushers wider and instructed them to go after the quarterback, instead of taking on blocks as they had been told to do earlier in the year.

How else can we establish whether pressures were generated from blitzing? One thing we can look at is how much pressure came from Defensive Backs or Inside Linebackers, because we know that must all be generated from them blitzing.

In 2010, remember how they had 49 sacks, 48 QB hits, 153 pressures? Here's how that breaks down:

Defensive Backs - 11 / 7 / 26

Inside Linebackers - 4 / 17 / 20

DL/OLB - 34 / 24 / 107

Now, that doesn't mean that all of the DL/OLB pressure came when there was not a blitz. Far from it, in fact. However, let's see how this breakdown stacks up with the last few years.

In 2009, they had 41 sacks, 56 QB hits, 179 pressures. Here's how that breaks down:

Defensive Backs - 9 / 19 / 38

Inside Linebackers - 9 / 19 / 22

DL/OLB - 23 / 18 / 110

As a percentage, it's clear that less of the pressure came from the linemen and OLB's and more came from the DB's, which suggests that last year's defense was just as - if not more reliant - upon the blitz to generate pressure.

In 2008, they had 40 sacks, 29 QB hits, 129 pressures. Here's how that breaks down:

Defensive Backs - 7 / 3 / 16

Inside Linebackers - 3 / 1 / 14

DL/OLB - 30 / 25 / 99

This time, it's a much higher percentage of the pressure that comes from the defensive line and OLB's. This suggests that Bob Sutton's defense was less reliant on the blitz, but also that they may have got a lot of pressure from teams holding onto the ball, as documented earlier. It perhaps also underscores how much of a difference Kris Jenkins can make if he plays all season. He was responsible for 4 / 6 / 10 on his own, but his ability to take on double teams and collapse the pocket no doubt contributed to the numbers throughout the team.

Pace Study: Calvin's Role

While it would take forever to analyze the efficacy of every blitz, let's instead look at an individual whose pressure statistics were wildly different in 2010 than they had been in the previous season. Calvin Pace may have had eight sacks (and four QB hits) in 2010, which is almost exactly the same as his 2009 output (nine and three hits), but his pressure numbers dropped all the way from 35 to eight. Pace had six pressures in the AFC Title game alone in 2009 and seven in the Wild Card game! What caused this remarkable drop-off?

There's one obvious answer and it again invokes the fact that the Jets dropped more players into coverage in 2010. On passing downs, Pace was employed as a defensive end in a three man front, usually with Jason Taylor opposite him and Shaun Ellis or Trevor Pryce over the center. Rushing three-on-five was something he very rarely had to do, prior to this season, mainly only against the pass-happy teams when the Jets went with five or more DBs. In 2010 it took up a very high percentage (43%) of his pass rushing attempts.

Arguably, he wasn't expected to get much pressure on those downs and it was almost a thankless task. The coaching staff even alluded to the fact that the linemen's role on these plays was often to occupy a blocker so that a blitzer could come free.

Let's look in detail at the plays where Pace recorded his eight sacks, four hits and eight pressures, to get some insight into how much of the DL/OLB pressure came from blitzes:

Week 5 v Minnesota:

1st Quarter - Pressure. 5 man rush. Lined up as DE in 3-man front.

2nd Quarter - Sack. No blitz. DE in 4-3 formation.

3rd Quarter - Pressure. 4 man rush. Lined up as OLB in 3-4 formation.

4th Quarter - Hit. 4 man rush. Lined up as DE in 3-man front.

Week 6 at Denver:

3rd Quarter - Pressure. No blitz. Lined up as DE in 3-man front.

Week 8 v Green Bay:

1st Quarter - Pressure. Three man rush, with two DL dropping. Lined up as OLB in 3-4 formation.

2nd Quarter - Hit. No blitz. Lined up as DE in 3-man front.

Week 9 at Cleveland:

4th Quarter - Sack. Four man rush, with one DL dropping. Lined up as DE in 4-3 formation.

Week 10 at Detroit:

4th Quarter - Pressure. Five man rush, with one DL dropping. Lined up as DE in 3-man front.

Week 12 v Cincinnati:

2nd Quarter - Pressure. No blitz. Lined up as DE in 3-man front.

4th Quarter - Sack. Four man rush. Lined up as OLB in 3-3-5 formation.

Week 13 at NE:

2nd Quarter - Pressure. No blitz. DE in 4-3 formation.

3rd Quarter - Sack. Five man rush. Lined up as OLB in a 3-4 formation.

Week 14 v Miami:

2nd Quarter - Sack. Five man rush. Lined up as OLB in a 4-3 formation.

Week 15 at Pittsburgh:

2nd Quarter - Pressure. No blitz. Lined up as DE in 3-man front.

Week 17 v Buffalo:

2nd Quarter - Hit. Five man rush. Lined up as DE in 3-man front.

2nd Quarter - Sack. No blitz. DE in 4-3 formation.

3rd Quarter - Hit. Six man rush. Lined up as DE in 3-man front.

Wild Card at Indianapois:

2nd Quarter - Sack. No blitz. DE in 4-3 formation.

Divisional Playoff at NE:

3rd Quarter - Sack. Five man rush. Lined up as OLB in a 3-4 formation.

AFC Title Game at Pittsburgh:

3rd Quarter - Sack. Five man rush. Lined up as ILB in a 3-4 formation.

Analyzing the data, we can see that a surprising 40% of Pace's total pressure came without the Jets blitzing. Three of his eight sacks came while lined up as a 4-3 DE with a conventional four man rush and the other five were all when the Jets blitzed. That may be a telling statistic in terms of where his strength lies.

Although I said that rushing the passer as a DE in a three man front is a thankless task, Pace did record four hits and four pressures from that position, including three pressures and a hit where it was just a three man rush. However, that is still less than 43% of his total pressure and didn't include any sacks, even when the Jets blitzed, so him being forced to play that role did seem to have at least a minor effect.

On the whole, that does not fully explain the precipitous drop in statistical production though, so we must assume that it was a down year for Pace and hope that this was affected by his foot injury and that he will produce more if healthy.

Conclusions

Having outlined how misleading the pressure statistic can be and demonstrated how not generating pressure can sometimes be more impactful than a statistical pressure, I hope I've still managed to produce a revealing study without rendering everything I've written to be meaningless. The Scheme/Personnel, Blitz/Cover, Pass Rush/Secondary debates will continue throughout the offseason as the Jets make every personnel decision on the defensive side of the ball. Like the Chicken and the Egg, I'm not sure where the answer lies, but the Jets cannot afford to neglect any area as they look to bolster their pass rush, one way or another.

There's no overriding conclusion to be drawn, but hopefully this can be the on-ramp for continued discussion amongst yourselves.

At a later date, I do intend to investigate the actual outcome of specific plays where the Jets blitzed, regardless of whether pressure was generated. This will further test the theory that the threat of pressure can often affect the outcome of a play just as much as "real" pressure.

However, next week, I shall return to the offensive side of the ball...

Tags: BGA, Main Page, Bent Double

Harrison on Sheldon Richardson 00:00:20
Giants DT Damon Harrison reacts to Jets DL Sheldon Richardson?s recent comments on Giants WR Brandon Marshall.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Brandon Marshall was well aware of the "15 reasons" Sheldon Richardson had to be glad Marshall is gone from the Jets, and he knew the questions were coming. He even began his first press conference with the Giants by saying "Sheldon Richardson questions, go ahead and open it up."

But Marshall tried not to open up about his running feud with his former teammate. He preferred to stay as much as possible on the high road instead.

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Damon Harrison, Sheldon Richardson, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

Third-round pick WR ArDarius Stewart has officially signed his rookie contract, according to the Jets.

Stewart recently spoke of his acclimation to the Jets saying, "It's going pretty good. I'm just trying to learn as much as I can as fast as I can. I'm just ready to get in, get deeper into the playbook, and see where it goes."

Tags: ArDarius Stewart
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GEICO SportsNite: QB competition 00:01:19
Christian Hackenberg impresses in Jets workouts and Josh McCown talks about competing for the starting QB position.

The Jets have been pleased with QB Christian Hackenberg's performance so far this spring, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. 

Hackenberg is in the mix with Bryce Petty and newly acquired veteran, Josh McCown, for the Jets starting quarterback position. Offensive coordinator John Morton told NJ.com that the QBs will be "getting the same amount of reps [with the starters] throughout the week." 

Hackenberg, a second-round pick by the Jets in 2016, has yet to see the field in regular season play. 

Tags: Josh McCown, Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg
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December 11, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Jets strong safety Calvin Pryor (25) before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. The Jets defeated the 49ers 23-17 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports (Kyle Terada)
December 11, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Jets strong safety Calvin Pryor (25) before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. The Jets defeated the 49ers 23-17 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports (Kyle Terada)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Calvin Pryor's absence from the Jets organized team activities (OTAs) lasted only one day.

The Jets' safety was apparently back with his teammates and out at practice for Day 2 of the OTAs on Wednesday. A league source confirmed to SNY that Pryor was expected to attend, and one report indicated he was present. However, there was no media access on Wednesday, and Pryor was not shown in any photos or videos on the Jets' social media posts.

All OTA practices are voluntary, according to NFL rules. Still, the absence of the 24-year-old Pryor on Day 1 was noteworthy given his current situation. The Jets recently drafted safeties in both the first and second rounds, and then declined to pick up the fifth-year option on his contract, which will make him an unrestricted free agent next March.

Tags: Calvin Pryor
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 (Kathy Willens/AP)
(Kathy Willens/AP)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - He's been a disappointment on and off the field for most of the last two seasons, and he knows the Jets have tried their best to ship him somewhere else. Yet as the Jets begin preparing for the 2017 season, Sheldon Richardson is still on their roster.

And the Jets believe -- or at least hope -- he's returning more motivated than ever before.

"After just one day in OTAs, and watching him move around, this guy -- I shouldn't say (he has) a chip on his shoulder," said Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers. "I think he kind of has something to prove."

That seems obvious given how the last two seasons have gone. He's been suspended twice -- four games in 2015 for violating the league's substance abuse policy, and once last season after he was arrested for resisting arrest and other traffic violations when he was caught driving 143 miles per hour with a loaded gun and a 12-year-old in his car. He also had a disappointing five sacks in 11 games in 2015, and a dismal 1 ½ sacks in 15 games last year...

Tags: Sheldon Richardson, Ralph Vacchiano
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JR Sport Brief: S. Richardson 00:01:29
In the latest installment of JR Sport Brief on SNY.tv, JR lectures Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson.

Jets DE Sheldon Richardson took a swipe at former teammate Brandon Marshall on Tuesday after the Jets' first day of OTAs.

While answering a question regarding whether he wanted to remain with the Jets (he does), Richardson said the "locker room is a whole lot easier to get along with now."

After being asked why the locker room is better, Richardson said "let's just say there are 15 reasons why it's better." Marshall wore No. 15 with the Jets...

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Sheldon Richardson
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Dec 5, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) runs with the ball during the first half against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Dec 5, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) runs with the ball during the first half against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

Jets running back Matt Forte found former offensive coordinator Chan Gailey's backfield rotation "odd" last season, according to Darryl Slater of NJ.com.

Running in a committee system alongside Bilal Powell, Forte thought Gailey didn't utilize his talents properly and decided to criticize him at OTAs Tuesday.

"Chan Kind of did me on first and second down, and then put Bilal in on third, which is odd to say the least," Forte said. 

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Unanswered Jets questions 00:05:26
Jon Hein and Sal Licata run through the latest Jets news, including Sheldon Richardson's recent comments and the battles for QB and safety.

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - On the first day of spring practice, the Jets' presumed quarterback of the future was relegated to a far field to work with the third-stringers, while a 37-year-old journeyman got the first-team snaps on the main field. That's probably the way it'll be when training camp opens this summer.

But not definitely, because the Jets continue to insist that their quarterback depth chart is subject to change.

As they have all offseason long, the Jets insisted again on Tuesday that their quarterback competition will be wide open this year, and new offensive coordinator John Morton promised the three quarterbacks will all get reps with the first-team offense. On Day 1, Josh McCown got all the first-team snaps and Bryce Petty worked mostly with the second team, while off in the distance Christian Hackenberg worked with everyone else.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Ralph Vacchiano
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets OTAs 00:01:43
Jeane Coakley reports on the beginning of the Jets OTAs and Sheldon Richardson's comments on improved locker room camaraderie.

John Morton talks to his team during the team's organized team activities. (Julio Cortez/AP)
John Morton talks to his team during the team's organized team activities. (Julio Cortez/AP)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - As a first-time NFL offensive coordinator, John Morton's offensive philosophy is a bit of a mystery. And for now, he prefers to keep it that way.

The 47-year-old Morton, in his first interview since being hired by the Jets, promised that his offense would be "competitive" but wouldn't even broadly describe the type of scheme he plans to run. He even promised that the offense would change, depending on whom the Jets are playing.

For what it's worth, quarterback Josh McCown confirmed what everyone suspected -- that Morton, who spent time as an assistant at USC and with the 49ers and Saints, will be running a "West Coast-style offense". But Morton preferred to leave the specifics out.

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May 23, 2017; Florham Park, NY, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) runs with the ball during organized team activities at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
May 23, 2017; Florham Park, NY, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) runs with the ball during organized team activities at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - When the Jets took the field for their first practice of the spring, receiver Eric Decker was right there, running with the first-team offense.

That was far from a guarantee a few months ago.

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

Second-round safety Marcus Maye and fifth-round linebacker Dylan Donahue signed their rookie contracts with the Jets today following the team's first OTA practice, the organization reported.

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 (Kyle Terada)
(Kyle Terada)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Even after the Jets drafted safeties in the first and second rounds last month, head coach Todd Bowles insisted there was still a place for Calvin Pryor. He talked about his plans to use three safeties in some defensive packages. And he seemed to believe Pryor could handle the increased competition, too.

"If you're afraid of competition," Bowles said earlier this month, "you don't need to be here."

On Tuesday, the first day of organized team activities (OTAs) for the Jets, the 24-year-old Pryor wasn't here.

That's not to say that he's afraid of the competition he'll surely get from Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye, the Jets' first- and second-round picks. But with no reason given for why he was one of the very few Jets to skip the voluntary practice, it's hard to believe his absence isn't somewhat related. After all, the drafting of Adams and Maye was a clear signal that Pryor isn't in the Jets' future plans.

Tags: Calvin Pryor, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets offensive coordinator Chan Gailey talks with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets offensive coordinator Chan Gailey talks with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Former Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick explained losing his job as the starter last season as "a game of musical chairs," in an interview at Buccaneers OTAs.

After an abysmal 81-yard performance on Monday Night Football against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 13, Fitzpatrick was ousted from his position as the Jets starter. Bryce Petty, a 2015 fourth-rounder, took his place for the rest of that 41-10 loss as well as the final four games of the season. 

Fitzpatrick was 3-8 as a starter last season. He threw for 12 touchdowns, 17 interceptions, and a 56.6 completion percentage. 

The Buccaneers signed Fitzpatrick to a one-year, $3 million deal this offseason. 

Tags: Ryan Fitzpatrick
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New York Jets wide receiver Devin Smith watches team warm up from sidelines before game against Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets wide receiver Devin Smith watches team warm up from sidelines before game against Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)

Jets WR Devin Smith has cleared waivers and been placed on injured reserved, the team announced.

He had been waived/injured on Monday.

Smith suffered a torn ACL last season for the second time since the Jets drafted him in the second round in 2015.

"It's bad luck and bad timing because the kid worked so hard to get back," head coach Todd Bowles said during the NFL Draft, according to a press release. "He has to persevere and adversity will help him get stronger. But unfortunately in this game, over my course of time playing and coaching, you see these types of things. Some of the best athletes get hurt and don't get a chance to get on the field and it's just bad timing, bad luck."

Tags: Devin Smith
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 (Kyle Terada)
(Kyle Terada)

Roger Goodell announced the NFL will be more laid back when it comes to touchdown celebrations this season, according to his Commissioner Letter. 

The NFL has been harsh when it came to players getting creative in the end zone, and after speaking with over 80 current and former players, Goodell decided it was time for that to change. 

"We are relaxing our rules on celebrations to allow players more room to have fun after they make big plays," Goodell said in his letter.

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Former Jets CB Darrelle Revis may not find a new home in the NFL soon due to his bleak market value, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini.

Released by the Jets on March 9, there has been no talk about Revis generating interest around the league. Cimini states his decline in performance and lack of passion and commitment have turned off any potential suitors at the moment.

Revis is no longer the shutdown corner he used to be due to age and injuries from his ten-year career. His latest injury came in 2012 when he tore his ACL in Week 3. He would need microfracture surgery to repair it which ended his season. This was one reason the Jets traded him to the Buccaneers the following year.

Last season, Revis had a significant lapse in production as he secured only one interception which came in Week 17. He amassed five in 2015, which was good for sixth-best in the NFL.

Tags: Darrelle Revis
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New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) prepares to throw the ball against the New England Patriots during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)
New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) prepares to throw the ball against the New England Patriots during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed former Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrickthe team announced Friday morning.

The deal is for one year and worth $3 million, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Fitzpatrick appeared in 14 games for the Jets last season, throwing for 2,710 yards with 12 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. 

Tags: Ryan Fitzpatrick
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McCown on team chemistry 00:01:51
Jeane Coakley talks to new Jets QB Josh McCown about how Bart Scott's Taste of the Jets event is bringing the whole team together

Jeane Coakley talks to new Jets QB Josh McCown about how Bart Scott's Taste of the Jets event is bringing the whole team together.

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Leggett on Jets offense 00:01:43
SNY's Ralph Vacchiano talks with Jets rookie tight end Jordan Leggett about his adjustment to the NFL and his role in the team?s offense.

The Jets have signed fifth-round pick Jordan Leggett who the team selected with the 150th overall pick in last month's NFL Draft...

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New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) runs with the ball during the first half against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland)
New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) runs with the ball during the first half against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland)

Jets running back Matt Forte says the Jets do not want a repeat of last season's locker room issues this year.

"Being in that locker room and going through that season, we know what the issues were," Forte told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Tuesday. "We identify those issues as a group and meet with the coaches and talk about, 'How do we change that? How do we change the culture in the locker room? How do we change the mistakes we made last year?'"

Forte went on to say that team leaders have conducted "a lot of meetings" with the coaching staff throughout the offseason, and have relayed the message to the rest of the team. The veteran running back touched on a topic that was brought up by WR Quincy Enunwa at the end of last season, about how the Jets simply did not play as a team.

Tags: Matt Forte, Quincy Enunwa
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Aug 19, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) looks on from the sidelines against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedEx Field.  (Brad Mills (USA Today))
Aug 19, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) looks on from the sidelines against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedEx Field. (Brad Mills (USA Today))

Jets linebacker David Harris said on Monday at a charity golf outing that former Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis still has "a lot of football left in him."

"I think he'll keep playing," Harris said. "I think he has a lot of football left in him. He didn't have his best year last year, and he knew that. But I'm sure somebody will pick him up. He knows too much of the sport and he's too good of a player to be finished.

"I'm pretty sure he'll get picked up," he said. "I know Darrelle. He works hard. He's a student of the game. He loves football. So I think somebody will give him a shot.

Tags: Darrelle Revis
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Chad Hansen talks joining Jets 00:03:52
SNY's Ralph Vacchiano catches up with rookie WR Chad Hansen to talk about his long road to the NFL Draft, and his opportunity with the Jets.

The Jets have signed wide receiver Chad Hansen, their fourth-round selection out of California in last month's NFL Draft, the team announced on Tuesday.

Hansen (6'2", 202) ranked third in the FBS as a redshirt junior last season, with 9.2 catches/game and fourth with 124.9 receiving yards/game. He totaled 92 catches for 1,249 yards and 11 touchdowns despite missing two games with an ankle injury...

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Derrick Jones on minicamp 00:02:13
SNY's Jeane Coakley chats with Jets rookie cornerback Derrick Jones about his first workouts with the team.

SNY's Jeane Coakley chats with Jets rookie CB Derrick Jones about his first workouts with the team, and starting to learn the playbook.

 

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New York Jets player Jamal Adams (33) during New York Jets mini rookie camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. (Noah K. Murray)
New York Jets player Jamal Adams (33) during New York Jets mini rookie camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. (Noah K. Murray)

Jets linebacker David Harris was surprised when the Jets selected safeties in the first two rounds of last month's NFL Draft.

"It's very odd to have two safeties get drafted in the first and second rounds," Harris said to Connor Hughes of NJ.com. "All you can do is trust [the front office's] decision and try to move on." 

New York selected LSU's Jamal Adams at No. 6, and 33 picks later, took Florida's Marcus Maye. It marked the first time in franchise history the Jets selected two safeties, and also defensive backs, with its first two picks.

While he expected the team to draft one safety, Harris said management "surprised everybody" by doubling down and selecting two. 

Tags: Calvin Pryor, David Harris, Marcus Gilchrist
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New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

Latest Update (May 16)

8:55AM:  An arraignment hearing has been set for Jets WR Robby Anderson on June 6, according to Miami-Dade court records.

Anderson has been participating in the Jets' voluntary offseason program. 

New York is scheduled to practice on June 6.

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 (Jim Brown)
(Jim Brown)

The Jets have signed LB Jevaris Jones and released LB Austin Calitro, the team announced Monday.

Jones attended the Jets' recent rookie minicamp.

He had 106 tackles last season for Division II Shorter University.

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 (Kelley L Cox)
(Kelley L Cox)

The Jets currently have 100-to-1 odds to reach Super Bowl LII, according to a list released by Bovada sportsbook in Las Vegas.

Their odds are tied with the Browns for the worst in the AFC.

The Jets currently have 150-to-1 odds to win Super Bowl LII. They opened at 75-to-1 odds shortly after the Super Bowl in February, which moved to 150-to-1 odds on April 1...

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 (Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports Images)
(Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports Images)

Jets QB Christian Hackenberg is more confident and comfortable heading in to his second season with the team, he said Monday, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN.

Hackenberg, who will battle with Josh McCown and Bryce Petty for the starting job, said he's excited about the opportunity.

Jets head coach Todd Bowles said earlier this offseason that there will be an open competition for the starting quarterback job...

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg
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Chad Hansen talks joining Jets 00:03:52
SNY's Ralph Vacchiano catches up with rookie WR Chad Hansen to talk about his long road to the NFL Draft, and his opportunity with the Jets.

In the last two years, the Jets have loaded up on young wide receivers. With all of the depth New York now has at the position, the team is ready for a great competition as the young receivers prepare to battle for a spot on the roster.

Quincy Enunwa and possibly Robby Anderson look like the two receivers whose spots on the team are secure, while veteran Eric Decker is returning from hip and shoulder surgeries and doesn't necessarily fit with the Jets' youth movement.

Second-year players Anderson, Charone Peake, and Jalin Marshall will compete in training camp with third-round pick ArDarius Stewart and fourth-round pick Chad Hansen as the young receivers fight to get on the field.

Tags: Charone Peake, Eric Decker, Jalin Marshall, Quincy Enunwa
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New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) makes a catch during practice at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Noah K. Murray)
New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) makes a catch during practice at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Noah K. Murray)

Jets WR Eric Decker is recovering well from hip and shoulder surgeries that were completed at the end of 2016.

According to SB Nation's Gang Green Nation, Decker said he is "back" and has "been doing everything." 

"The first phase was just the workout, so we were in the weight room and running," Decker said. "Now, we're on the field and I've been out there as a full participant. I feel great. It was a long four or five months, but to be where I am now and feel how I do, I'm excited."

Tags: Eric Decker
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Marcus Maye on joining Jets 00:02:43
SNY's Jeane Coakley talks with Jets rookie Marcus Maye about being drafted and playing alongside fellow rookie safety Jamal Adams.

SNY's Jeane Coakley talks with Jets rookie Marcus Maye about being drafted and playing alongside fellow rookie safety Jamal Adams.

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JR Sport Brief: Jets predictions 00:01:45
In the latest installment of JR Sport Brief on SNY.tv, JR has some solid advice for Muhammad Wilkerson and the rest of the Jets.

In the latest installment of JR Sport Brief on SNY.tv, JR has some solid advice for Muhammad Wilkerson and the rest of his Jets teammates.

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets have seemingly been searching for a franchise quarterback since Joe Namath was wearing green. So it's no surprise that Namath doesn't want to see them waste any more time in their search.

The Jets legend made it clear that he wants to see Christian Hackenberg emerge as the starting quarterback for his old team this season, not the soon-to-be-38-year-old Josh McCown. Speaking before the United Way's Gridiron Gala in Manhattan on Tuesday night, Namath said he understands why the coaches might go with McCown.

But he said if there's a chance the 22-year-old Hackenberg is the future, then the future has to be now...

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Quincy Enunwa, Ralph Vacchiano
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Elijah McGuire on his future 00:02:26
SNY's Ralph Vacchiano talks with Jets rookie running back Elijah McGuire about being drafted and his professional football future.

SNY's Ralph Vacchiano talks with Jets rookie running back Elijah McGuire about getting drafted by the Jets and what he can add to the team.

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New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa misses a catch against Indianapolis Colts cornerback Darius Butler in the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa misses a catch against Indianapolis Colts cornerback Darius Butler in the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports Images)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

A year ago at this time Quincy Enunwa was just a former sixth-round pick with modest credentials who had been used mostly as a pseudo-tight end in the Jets' offense. He hadn't had his breakout season yet. And he was very deep in the shadow of some talented veterans on his team.

One year later, he's essentially the elder statesman and potentially the Jets' No. 1 receiver.

Tags: Quincy Enunwa
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Cornerback Jeremy Clark, one of the Jets' three sixth-round picks in the NFL draft, officially signed his rookie contract on Wednesday. Now he can focus on getting on the field.

Clark, whom the Jets took with the 13th pick of the sixth round (197th overall), became the last of the Jets' three sixth-rounders to sign, joining Ole Miss cornerback Derrick Jones (20/204) and Lousiana-Lafayette running back Elijah McGuire (4/188). The 6-3, 220-pound Clark, though, isn't quite ready to join his teammates. He's still rehabbing a torn ACL he suffered early in his final season at Michigan.

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NFL legend Joe Namath arrives on the red carpet prior to the 6th Annual NFL Honors at Wortham Theater. (Kevin Jairaj)
NFL legend Joe Namath arrives on the red carpet prior to the 6th Annual NFL Honors at Wortham Theater. (Kevin Jairaj)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

Woody Johnson thinks this Jets season should be measured by progress, not wins. Some Jets fans think the team should tank the whole season to secure the No. 1 pick in next year's draft. The expectations for this team could not be much lower.

Joe Namath understands all that. But count him among the few who believe the Jets will be a better team this year.

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Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is pursued by New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson in the second half at MetLife Stadium. (William Hauser/USA TODAY Sports)
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is pursued by New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson in the second half at MetLife Stadium. (William Hauser/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

As bad as things were for the New York Jets last season, most people think things are about to get even worse. But not Muhammad Wilkerson. He sees something different.

After a miserable 5-11 season, he sees the Jets on the way back up.

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Baylor Bears wide receiver KD Cannon celebrates after catching a touchdown pass against the Boise State Broncos in the first quarter during the Cactus Bowl at Chase Field. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)
Baylor Bears wide receiver KD Cannon celebrates after catching a touchdown pass against the Boise State Broncos in the first quarter during the Cactus Bowl at Chase Field. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

The New York Jets acquired former Baylor wide receiver KD Cannon off waivers from the San Francisco 49ers on Tuesday, the team announced.

Cannon, a 5-foot-11, 182-pound receiver, was waived on Sunday after the 49ers signed him as an undrafted free agent.

He scored 27 touchdowns and recorded 3,113 receiving yards in three seasons at Baylor, including 13 touchdowns and 1,215 receiving yards in his junior season in 2016.

Tags: Bryce Petty
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New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles leaves the field following a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles leaves the field following a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

The Jets will play three preseason games at MetLife Stadium this year.

New York opens its preseason slate at home against the Titans on Aug. 12 at 7:30 p.m. before traveling to Detroit to play the Lions on Aug. 19 at 7:30 pm.

The Jets will be the road team at MetLife Stadium against the Giants on Aug. 26 at 7 p.m., before closing the preseason by hosting the Eagles on Aug. 31 at 7 p.m.

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Donahue talks rookie camp 00:02:37
SNY's Jeane Coakley talks with Jets rookie linebacker Dylan Donahue about rookie minicamp, getting drafted and his small school background.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

It was a long road to the NFL for Dylan Donahue, from an NAIA school in Montana to a junior college in San Diego, to a Division II school in Georgia. Those aren't the places prospects usually go to get noticed.

Good thing for him he caught a Pro Football Hall of Famer's eye.

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New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) and quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) prior to action against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. (Bill Streicher)
New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) and quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) prior to action against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. (Bill Streicher)

Former Jets quarterback Michael Vick, who doesn't know which quarterback will get the starting job this season, is not optimistic on the Jets' chances this year.

"Man, good luck," Vick said to Andy Vasquez of NorthJersey.com with a laugh. "I don't even know who the quarterback is going to be. Good luck. I know there's three of them."

The Jets do have three quarterbacks under contract, and will hold an open competition throughout training camp to determine who will be the starter. The team signed veteran Josh McCown to battle against youngsters Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg
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GEICO SportsNite: Willie Colon 00:01:38
Willie Colon talks with former Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick at his golf outing on the outlook for quarterback Christian Hackenberg.

Brick, Colon and Mangold reunite 00:02:33
It's a New York Jets offensive line reunion, as Willie Colon chats with D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold on Monday at his golf outing.

It's a New York Jets offensive line reunion, as Willie Colon chats with D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold on Monday at his golf outing.

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Leggett on Jets offense 00:01:43
SNY's Ralph Vacchiano talks with Jets rookie tight end Jordan Leggett about his adjustment to the NFL and his role in the team?s offense.

Jordan Leggett is aware of how little tight ends have mattered to the Jets over the last two seasons. But he's been assured that's all about to change.

After talking with new offensive coordinator John Morton, Leggett - a tight end out of Clemson whom the Jets took in the fifth round of the draft - is convinced that he can be a big part of the Jets' new scheme. He said Morton, the former New Orleans Saints receivers coach, "loves" tight ends and plans to use them as a "go-to" guy in his passing attack.

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 (Brett Davis)
(Brett Davis)

The Jets may not be any better this season than they were last season, but one thing seems certain: Their coaching staff will be a lot louder.

That was crystal clear on Saturday, just listening to two of Todd Bowles' newest assistants -- outside linebackers coach Kevin Greene and offensive coordinator John Morton. The two could be heard constantly yelling and screaming at players -- both criticism and encouragement. Greene even slammed a garbage can after one broken play.

Yes, it was only rookie mini-camp and two practices filled with players who have little chance of making the team. But the intensity was high, particularly from Greene, the 54-year-old Hall of Famer who seemed more intense than just about every player on the team.

"Kevin is like Hulk Hogan and Randy 'Macho Man' Savage," Bowles said.

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Carolina Panthers offensive tackle Donald Hawkins during the second quarter at Bank of America Stadium. (Jim Dedmon/USA TODAY Sports)
Carolina Panthers offensive tackle Donald Hawkins during the second quarter at Bank of America Stadium. (Jim Dedmon/USA TODAY Sports)

The New York Jets signed offensive linemen Benjamin Braden and Chris Bordelon from rookie minicamp and cut long snapper Zach Triner and offensive tackle Donald Hawkins, the team announced on Sunday.

Braden, who measures at 6-foot-6 and 335 pounds, started two years for Michigan and was an All-Big Ten second team selection in 2016. Bordelon, who is 6-foot-6, 315 pounds, started 12 games at Nicholls State.

Hawkins spent time on New York's practice squad last season, while Triner had signed a reserve/futures contract in January.

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New York Jets owner Woody Johnson before the preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta)
New York Jets owner Woody Johnson before the preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta)

Former Jets wide receiver Braylon Edwards ripped owner Woody Johnson on Instagram and Twitter on Saturday.

"Keep your squad together from 2010 and the promise land shall reveal itself," the now-retired wide receiver said on Instagram. "Don't feel close to losing the franchise so now lie to save face and fans.

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