Over the next few days, we're going to take a look at some key Jets players this season centered around a themes.  Next up, we'll look at some of the more reliable players on the team, whom the Jets will be relying upon for consistent and steady production once again...

Nick Bellore (LB) -- Bellore was used almost exclusively as a special teamer in 2013, ranking 15th overall (tied) according to Pro Football Focus, and while we expect him to still have a pivotal role as one of the leader's on special teams, don't be surprised if the Jets feel more confident in using Bellore on defense, thanks to the Jets bringing in a number of rookies who will help to fill out what was a depleted special teams unit in 2013.

Leger Douzable (DL) -- Of all the players on the Jets defensive line, Douz gets some of the least publicity, but as the 2013 season wore on, Douzable saw more reps on a game-by-game basis. While the Jets might not have been sure what they had in Douzable, what we're sure they saw was that the line's overall play didn't drop off significantly with him in on the field in sub-package work. Douzable was successful against the run and the pass and we expect more of the same from him in an expanded role to give the starters a rest more often.

David Harris (ILB) -- Rex Ryan praised Harris to the skies this week by questioning why a player like he would be left out of the NFL's Top 100 players. Lists are always bad, but Harris is just another poster child of why the NFL must recover the ranking from the hands of the players. The voting system is drastically flawed (ably demonstrated by Bill Barnwell last year) and this year's group is no less problematic. Stats producers and recency bias runs rampant and so it's not as shocking to me that Harris was left out, but while Harris is a crucial element to the Jets defense, his pay hasn't matched his ProFootballFocus grading for a long time. Harris is often one of the league's best inside players against the run, but the biggest problem with Harris has always been his ability to play well in pass coverage. With a group of linemen ahead of him that will have another year in Rex's system under their belt, expect good things from Harris in what might be his last year with the team.

Nick Mangold (OC) -- D'Brickashaw Ferguson might garner more attention for good or ill, but it is Mangold who has held the interior of this line together and done so at a very high level dating back to his early days as a Jet. Mangold's and Brick's grades suffered last year with a rookie quarterback and problematic play at left guard all season. Even so, Mangold's no less dominant than he has been and if the guard play can take a turn for the better in 2014, expect a return to top rankings for Mangold.

David Nelson (WR) -- Nelson came to the team late in 2013, but ended up as a helpful target for Geno Smith with 36 catches (20 for first downs) and 2TDs. Nelson's large catch radius and work as a possession receiver worked well with the rookie quarterback and the two developed a rapport quickly thanks to offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg's scheme. Nelson might lose some targets over the course of the season with more receivers on the roster and the possibility that the team will run more two TE sets, but expect him to still be a helpful third down and red zone target for the Jets offense.

Tags: avsny, bentdouble, brianbassett, NYJets, Brian Bassett

New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty stretches before Sunday's game against the against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. (Chuck Cook/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty stretches before Sunday's game against the against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. (Chuck Cook/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Bryce Petty has already been named the Jets starting quarterback for their game against the Los Angeles Chargers next Sunday.

Pencil him in for the start in the Jets' finale on New Year's Eve in New England, too.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown, New Orleans Saints, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty throws against the New Orleans Saints during the first quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. (Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty throws against the New Orleans Saints during the first quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. (Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Bryce Petty has now had five chances over the last 13 months to prove he can be the Jets' Quarterback of the Future.

He hasn't. And he's not.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Elijah McGuire, Josh McCown, New Orleans Saints, Robby Anderson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Bowles, Petty on loss to Saints 00:02:05
Jets head coach Todd Bowles and QB Bryce Petty discuss their inability to convert on big plays and capitalize on three forced turnovers.

In Bryce Petty's first start of the season after Josh McCown's season-ending injury, the Jets lost to the Saints 30-19. The defense played admirably against the league's offense, but struggled in covering the dynamic backfield of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara.

Petty completed 18 of 37 passes for 171 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Elijah McGuire led the team in receiving with three catches for 48 yards and a touchdown. 

Bilal Powell led the team in rushing with 44 yards on 13 attempts with a touchdown...

Tags: Bilal Powell, Bryce Petty, Elijah McGuire
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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)

The Jets announced that Leonard Williams suffered a concussion in their 30-19 loss to the Saints. 

Williams had enjoyed an active game with five tackles and an interception. 

The Jets will continue to evaluate Williams ahead of their next game on Christmas Eve against the Chargers. 

Tags: Leonard Williams
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Anderson plays Pick Six 00:02:29
Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson plays Pick Six with SNY's Jeane Coakley.

New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (96) warms up before an NFL football game against the New England Patriots Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)
New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (96) warms up before an NFL football game against the New England Patriots Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)

Mo Wilkerson won't play for the Jets on Sunday afternoon, and it's possible he'll never play for the Jets again.

Jets coach Todd Bowles is considering turning Wilkerson's one-week punishment into something more, according to a team source, including possibly sitting him for the final two games of the season, too. And with Wilkerson now a virtual lock to be cut in March before his 2018 salary becomes guaranteed, that means he may have played the final game of his Jets career...

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson
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New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson gestures after a play against the Buffalo Bills during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson gestures after a play against the Buffalo Bills during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

As Todd Bowles announced earlier in the week, Muhammad Wilkerson is inactive, the team announced.

The rest of the Jets inactives are: CB Derrick Jones, CB Jeremy Clark, RB Akeem Judd, LB Freddie Bishop, OT Ben Ijalana and C Jonotthan Harrison.

The Jets take on the Saints in New Orleans at 1 p.m.

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Sep 10, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets tight end Eric Tomlinson (83) warms up before the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports (Timothy T. Ludwig)
Sep 10, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets tight end Eric Tomlinson (83) warms up before the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports (Timothy T. Ludwig)

One of the few positives to emanate from the Jets 23-0 loss to the Broncos was TE Eric Tomlinson's competence as a long snapper. Tomlinson was forced into action after regular long snapper Thomas Hennessy went out injured.

"It's funny because when I walked up to him I said, 'Hey, man, you're up,'" Jets special teams coordinator Brant Boyer said, via Associated Press. "And typical Tomlinson, he looked up at me and said, 'I got you Boyer,' and gives me knuckles. He's that kind of guy, though, so he was great..."

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Aug 19, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) quarterback Bryce Petty (9) and quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)
Aug 19, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) quarterback Bryce Petty (9) and quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)

THE GAME: The Jets (5-9) at the New Orleans Saints (9-4) at the Superdome in New Orleans on Sunday, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. ET.

THE WEATHER: It's a dome, so I wouldn't worry about it.

WHAT IT MEANS: Well, technically the Jets are alive...

Tags: Bryce Petty
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Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon are frustrated after another loss in a game they were supposed to win. The guys discuss Josh McCown's broken left hand, and how it impacts the team going forward. Later, Jets linebacker Demario Davis joins the show to talk about his leadership as team captain, McCown's impact, and the rise of the team's young linebackers - Darron Lee and Jordan Jenkins.

Click below to listen

Tags: Darron Lee, Demario Davis, Jordan Jenkins
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New York Jets wide receiver Jermaine Kearse catches a pass during the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets wide receiver Jermaine Kearse catches a pass during the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

Richard Sherman has kept tabs on former teammate Jermaine Kearse and went out of his way to praise the receiver. Sherman scribed a piece for The Players' Tribune called "Underrated Wide Receivers 101", highlighting who he believes to be underrated receivers in the league. He led with Kearse. 

The Jets acquired Kearse from the Seahawks, along with a second-round pick, for Sheldon Richardson just before the season started. Kearse has made 52 catches for 681 yards and 5 touchdowns this season-- all already career highs or on pace to set career highs. 

"It's safe to say that Jermaine is clutch," Sherman said. "And ridiculously underrated..."

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Vacc's 3 keys to Jets win 00:01:36
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano gives his three keys to a Jets victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano gives his three keys to a Jets victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

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Wilkerson not playing at Saints 00:02:19
Jeane Coakley and Ralph Vacchiano report from Jets practice where the team announced that Muhammad Wilkerson will not play this Sunday.
Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson

New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (96) celebrates after intercepting the ball, during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) (Lynne Sladky/AP)
New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (96) celebrates after intercepting the ball, during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) (Lynne Sladky/AP)

Jets DE Muhammad Wilkerson is out for Sunday's game against the game after he was benched for showing up late to the team facility Friday. 

Wilkerson will not travel with the team to New Orleans as it was a 'coaching decision,' according to head coach Todd Bowles. Wilkerson supposedly showed up to the facility "very late," a source told SNY's Ralph Vacchiano. This is the third straight year the 28-year-old has been benched for being late. 

This season, Wilkerson has been underperforming with only 3.5 sacks and 46 combined tackles. 

Tags: Brian Winters, Matt Forte, Muhammad Wilkerson
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Wilkerson will not play Sunday 00:03:02
The Daily News Live crew discusses Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson not traveling to play in New Orleans this Sunday due to tardiness.

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Muhammad Wilkerson has no future with the Jets. He knows it and they know it. He'll be released long before his 2018 salary is guaranteed on March 16.

And really, there's no reason to wait that long anymore.

Wilkerson was punished by Jets coach Todd Bowles on Friday, after he showed up late -- very late -- to the team facility, according to a team source. Bowles immediately told the 28-year-old malcontent he wouldn't be traveling to New Orleans with the team for the game on Sunday. And according to one team source, his pseudo-suspension could last longer than that.

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson gestures after a play against the Buffalo Bills during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson gestures after a play against the Buffalo Bills during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

Jets DE Muhammad Wilkerson will not travel with the team to New Orleans to face the Saints on Sunday, head coach Todd Bowles said on Friday, saying it was a 'coaching decision' -- not injury-related.

Wilkerson was very late to the Jets' facility today, which is why he was benched, a source told SNY's Ralph Vacchiano, who says it wouldn't be a surprise if this isn't just a one-game punishment, either.

Earlier this month, a day after he benched Wilkerson for most of the first quarter because he showed up late to a team meeting, Bowles said he still considers the 28-year-old defensive end a team leader.

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Aug 26, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) calls a play at the line during the third quarter of a preseason game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aug 26, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) calls a play at the line during the third quarter of a preseason game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Jets (5-8) face the Saints (9-4) on Sunday in New Orleans. Here's what's going on today…

Need to know

The Jets practice today at Florham Park and Todd Bowles should be providing an injury update later. SNY's Ralph Vacchiano will be attending practice this week. Follow @RVacchianoSNY on Twitter to keep up with all the latest Jets news and rumors…

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John Morton on quitting vs. DEN 00:00:31
Jets offensive coordinator John Morton admits to calling it quits in Sunday's loss to the Denver Broncos.

Jets OC John Morton said his team waved the white flag last Sunday against the Broncos, with his team trailing, 23-0, in the fourth quarter.

"Listen, the game was out of hand and I didn't want to let some bad stuff happen," Morton said. "At that time, I don't like to say, 'No mas,' but it was time to get out of there. They kicked our butts, they kicked our butts. Sometimes that happens in the National Football League."

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | ArchiveI know there are some people bothered by this, but I don't get it at all. Jets offensive coordinator John Morton gave an honest and reasonable answer to a question about why he wasn't being more aggressive with his play calling in the fourth quarter...

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Kerley blames ghost for PED's 00:05:09
On Loud Mouths, the guys fill in the blanks on hot topics including Manny Machado, Ian Kinsler, Jeremy Kerley's ghost and Star Wars.

Jets wide receiver Jeremy Kerley said he still wasn't sure how a banned substance in his system led to a four-game suspension and suggested it was because of a ghost.

"I don't know, a lot of ghosts around here," Kerley said, according to Newsday's Calvin Watkins. "Ghost put it in. You know the ghost of Christmas past."

Tags: Jeremy Kerley
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Alabama Crimson Tide offensive lineman Korren Kirven (Jason Getz/USA TODAY Sports)
Alabama Crimson Tide offensive lineman Korren Kirven (Jason Getz/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets signed offensive tackle Korren Kirven to the practice squad and released tight end Zach Conque, the team announced Friday.

Kirven, an undrafted rookie out of Alabama, had signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after the 2017 draft.

Conque was with the Jets' practice squad for three weeks after the Houston Texans waived/injured him in August.

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GEICO SportsNite: Jets' plan 00:02:06
On GEICO SportsNite, Ralph Vacchiano discusses how the Jets are preparing to face Drew Brees and the formidable New Orleans Saints.

After Josh McCown's season-ending injury, Bryce Petty has been pushed to center stage for the Jets and will be starting this Sunday in New Orleans. The Saints won't take the Jets' backup lightly, citing a lack of film on the former Baylor quarterback.

Publically, multiple members of the Saints' secondary have been respectful of Petty's ability.

"For me having been in this league for a while, it's actually scarier going against a guy you don't have a lot of film on..."

Tags: Bryce Petty
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4 Keys to beating the Saints 00:04:30
On Jets Game Plan, the crew discusses the keys to stopping Drew Brees and the red-hot New Orleans Saints this week.

On Jets Game Plan, the crew discusses the keys to stopping Drew Brees and the red-hot New Orleans Saints this week.


Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) (Ed Mulholland)
Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) (Ed Mulholland)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Bryce Petty will make his fifth career start for the Jets on Sunday in New Orleans because Josh McCown has a broken left hand and because, as Todd Bowles said, "Bryce is the next man up."

That's a nice, tidy coach-speak way of avoiding the obvious truth about that decision: Starting Petty makes very little sense at this point for the 5-8 Jets. They need to see Christian Hackenberg play...

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 19, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) quarterback Bryce Petty (9) and quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)
Aug 19, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) quarterback Bryce Petty (9) and quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Josh McCown may be out for the season and unsigned for 2018, but he's not done helping the Jets young players just yet.

The 38-year-old quarterback was back on the practice field on Thursday, just two days after undergoing surgery on his broken left hand, and he will travel with the Jets to New Orleans this weekend for their game against the Saints on Sunday afternoon. There, according to Jets coach Todd Bowles, McCown will serve as a "player-coach" as quarterback Bryce Petty makes his first start of the year...

Tags: Bryce Petty, Josh McCown
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Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) celebrates his touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) celebrates his touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Matt Forte (knee) missed practice again Thursday. The good news, though, is he was the only player who missed Wednesday's practice to sit out Thursday's as well.

All of CB Morris Claiborne (foot), RB Elijah McGuire (ankle), S Rontez Miles (hamstring), CB Rashard Robinson (not injury related) and G Brian Winters (abdomen, ankle) were limited participants Thursday after being unable to go on Wednesday. 

LB Bruce Carter (groin) and LS Thomas Hennessy (concussion) were also limited participants. 

The Jets travel to New Orleans to play the Saints this Sunday in Bryce Petty's  first start of the season.

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GEICO SportsNite: Petty to start 00:01:59
With Josh McCown sidelined due to a broken hand, Bryce Petty is motivated to prove his worth in the final three games of the season.

The Jets (5-8) face the Saints (9-4) on Sunday in New Orleans. Here's what's going on today…

Need to know

The Jets practice today at Florham Park and Todd Bowles should be providing an injury update later. SNY's Ralph Vacchiano will be attending practice this week. Follow @RVacchianoSNY on Twitter to keep up with all the latest Jets news and rumors…

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Dec 3, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) runs the ball against Kansas City Chiefs corner back Darrelle Revis (24) during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Dec 3, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) runs the ball against Kansas City Chiefs corner back Darrelle Revis (24) during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

As he has done for the last month, RB Matt Forte (knee) was on the sidelines during the Jets' practice on Wednesday. 

LB Mo Claiborne (foot), RB Eli McGuire (ankle), DB Rontez Miles (hamstring), OL Brian Winters (abdomen/ankle) and DB Rashard Robinson (excused) joined Forte as inactives.

LB Bruce Carter (groin) and LS Tom Hennessy (concussion) were limited.

Tags: Brian Winters, Elijah McGuire, Matt Forte, Morris Claiborne, Rontez Miles
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Jets LB Demario Davis has been a cornerstone of the team's defense this season, but it wasn't always that way. 

When returning to the Jets this offseason after a season with the Browns, fans and media crushed Davis, saying he wasn't worth bringing back after serving four previous season in Green & White. Davis didn't prove them wrong in the first two weeks of the season either as he struggled mightily on the field. 

Davis spoke with SNY's Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon on "The Jet Stream Podcast" to talk about how he dealt with the pressure, and turned around his season...

Tags: Demario Davis
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Dec 31, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Louisville Cardinals quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) is sacked for a safety by LSU Tigers defensive end Arden Key (49) during the first half at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Dec 31, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Louisville Cardinals quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) is sacked for a safety by LSU Tigers defensive end Arden Key (49) during the first half at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Jets will select LSU DE Arden Key with the tenth overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, predicts ESPN's Todd McShay.

Despite the Jets' need for a steady arm at the quarterback position, McShay points out their edge rushers need some improvement as well. This is why McShay can't see the Jets passing up on who he thinks is the most natural defensive end coming out of college this season...

CLICK BELOW TO SEE MCSHAY'S ANALYSIS ON KEY

Tags: Leonard Williams, Muhammad Wilkerson
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New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) drops back to pass against the New York Giants during the third quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) drops back to pass against the New York Giants during the third quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets (5-8) face the Saints (9-4) on Sunday in New Orleans. Here's what's going on today…

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