Gregg Williams
Gregg Williams

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The first time Gregg Williams stood in front of the Jets' defense after a practice, some of his players were shell-shocked. He was loud. He was harsh. He was brutally honest.

He didn't care if any of his players were embarrassed or hurt. In fact, that was the point.

And nobody was spared.

 

"I think it's great, the fact that sensitivity is out the window," said Jets coach Adam Gase. "He's not afraid to say anything to anyone. I think guys are hardened to it, and that's a good thing. We all get criticized in this business, we all get picked apart, and you have to have thick skin. And by doing that at least it's holding guys accountable. There are no sacred cows."

"He says what guys need to hear," added linebacker Jordan Jenkins. "He's not going to sugarcoat it. He's not going to baby you. He's not going to belittle you. He's going to treat you like a man, and you have to respond like a man. And that's it."

Well, that's not all of it when it comes to the 61-year-old Williams, the most important and perhaps riskiest addition to Gase's first Jets staff. He may be one of the most brilliant defensive minds in the NFL, but he's a controversial man, an intense personality, and most definitely an acquired taste. He became infamous for the BountyGate scandal in New Orleans, when the NFL suspended him for allegedly running a "bounty" program that paid his players for, among other things, injuring opponents.

But his current players don't need financial incentives to get his direct message. He wants them to play hard, play fast, and do whatever it takes -- even in practice. Everything is a competition. Every day, every moment, needs to be won.

And if not ... well, be prepared to hear about it, loudly. If a player doesn't like it? Too bad. No matter who he is.

"Gregg's not shy about saying anything to anyone," Gase said. "If something occurs on the field that he wants to make the correction, he's not afraid to tell him."

"It's been that way for my whole life -- I say what I mean, and I mean what I say," Williams said. "You can't BS players. You can't BS that. It has to be an everyday thing. And the thing that is easily convinced when you go to a new place is find the best guy there and make him do it. Then everybody else says, 'Uh oh.'

"Yep. 'Uh oh.' Mom and Dad didn't make you do that stuff. Mom and Dad couldn't play either."


Hiring Williams on Jan. 16 was a gutsy move for Gase. There isn't a higher-profile assistant coach in the entire league. Adding to that juice, Williams has a clear desire to be a head coach again -- a position he hasn't held since 2003 in Buffalo. He was the interim head coach in Cleveland last season when Hue Jackson was fired, but he was passed over for the permanent job when Freddie Kitchens was hired instead.

That's an imposing figure to have over a new head coach's shoulder, but Gase knew the risk had a huge reward. Gase is an offensive coach, convinced he can transform the Jets into a high-scoring juggernaut. But he needed someone who could match his expertise from the other side.

There's no doubt, that's exactly what Williams does.

"I told him the first day I met him, 'You're a pain in the ass to game-plan for,'" said Jets offensive line coach Frank Pollack. "So it's nice to have you in the same meeting room.' He's a good coach."

"God, I hate that guy," added new Jets center Ryan Kalil. "I hate Gregg Williams. He's one of those coaches though. Guys on his team love him. But God, I hate playing against Gregg Williams."

Unfortunately for Kalil and Pollack, they do still have to face Williams -- in practice. And since he arrived, the competition at Jets practices has taken on a game-like intensity. The practices are controlled, of course, just not nearly as much as they used to be. Gase and Williams try to out-scheme each other. Players and coaches keep track of who wins and loses each day. They prepare like it's a game day. There's more trash-talking, more celebrating, and even the hits seem a little harder to some.

It's a battle between Gase's offense vs. Williams' defense on the field every day. In the meeting rooms, too.

"It's like the best thing I've ever been a part of, literally," said Jets running back Le'Veon Bell. "I've literally never had anything like it. Coach Williams is a defensive genius, vs. an offensive genius (in Gase). Both of those guys go at it each and every day. It's like, 'The offense won today, the defense will win tomorrow.' Gase is like, 'OK, they want to do this, then I'm going to put this in tomorrow.'"

"That's the way you get ready for the game," said outside linebackers coach Joe Vitt, who coached with Williams in New Orleans (and drew his own six-game suspension in 2012 for his part in the BountyGate scandal). "You have to practice hard and smart with the proper intent. You can't make the same mistakes again."

That's definitely Williams' coaching style. Some coaches spend practices with their heads buried in a play card, huddling with other coaches, calmly speaking instructions into a headset. Williams paces the sidelines, barking instructions at players. He makes sure they're alert. He'll rip into them if they're not. His intensity is never turned off.

"When we have to worry about the intensity of the players, we have the wrong players," Williams said. "When we have to worry about the competition and the lack of competition in practice or games, we have the wrong people -- coaches and players."

So far, Williams believes the Jets have the right kind of people around him.

"There has been a smile on my face since I've walked in here," he said. "These young men want to compete. Whether it's an argument, whether they're playing chess or checkers in the room, where they're (doing) anything, they want to compete. And they just want to know that I'm there to pull them back if they go too far. That's what I'm supposed to be doing. "If they won't do that, we've got the wrong people. You can't win at this level without that kind of competition."


Competition is great, but it's really attitude and accountability that fuels Williams' approach. That's what caught the attention of his players. And that was his message the first time he met them.

"His first three days, all he did was talk about the culture of the defense," said linebacker C.J. Mosley. "How we were going to come on the field, how we were going to play, how we were going to run to the ball. He didn't say anything about the schemes or things like that."

And the "culture" he's trying to build, the attitude he wants every day, is simple, Mosley said.

"We want to come after the offense and not let them dictate what we do," Mosley said. "We're trying to throw the first punch."

That most definitely describes' Williams' approach -- every day, to even the smallest detail. He'll hit first, he'll hit hard, and he won't let up.

"He basically kills a gnat with a sledgehammer," linebackers coach Frank Bush said. "That's his mentality."

"It permeates," Bush added. "Because it's every day with him. It's an attitude. It's a way we go about things. And it spreads throughout the rest of the team. Because they start to see when you're that way and you try to be organized and try to do things at a high level every day, it makes a difference."



Williams doesn't change his approach with his better players, either. He's always looking for ways to spark them, to give them an edge. And he can be harsh with them, too. When he first met Jamal Adams, the Jets' fiery defensive leader, he told him, "I've coached a lot better people than you before."

Harsh? Yes. But Adams loved it.

"He's coaching us hard and he wants the best out of us," Adams said. "And you can run through a wall for a coach like that, you know what I mean?"

That approach, though, is not for every player. The accountability part of Williams' approach can be jarring. He has no problem calling out anyone, no matter their status, in front of the rest of the team. He has no issues with embarrassing a player, or forcing them to explain their mistake -- or transgression -- in front of their peers.

"It's probably something they never experienced," said Jets defensive line coach Andre Carter, who played for Williams in Washington in 2006-07. "It can be a little sensitive. But us as coaches, once we get into our position rooms, we just tell them, 'Look, what is he trying to say? What's the message?' There's content and context. You've got to be smart about 'What is the message' when Gregg is trying to talk to you as an individual and what Gregg is trying to say to the team."

In other words, as Jenkins said: "Don't listen to how he conveys the message. Listen to the message itself."

"He's very hard, very demanding, a yeller," Carter added. "But it's more about what he's trying to say. It's not just words. It's not just fluff. It's all positive. It's energetic, but it's definitely positive. He wants to bring the best out of every individual."

But Williams doesn't just do that by standing in front of a room and yelling. His communication skill does appear to go both ways. One defensive player marveled at how willing Williams was to listen to ideas from his players. They are free to offer their opinions, and often Williams gives their suggestions a try.

"I've never had a coach do that before," the player said.

"Gregg is intense, he's loud and he's an aggressive guy," Jenkins said. "But if you respect Gregg, he respects you."

"He holds people accountable," Vitt added. "But once you've earned his trust, he will listen to you."


That "trust" is big for Williams. He didn't show up at 1 Jets Drive with that sledgehammer, looking for a gnat to kill. He knew he couldn't just scream at his players that his way worked and expect them to instantly match his intensity. They had to learn to trust that he was telling the truth, that his approach would work. He needed them to become believers.

"That's another thing about the respect that you gain from players," Williams said. "They see not only do they earn the trust of each other, but I have to earn the trust of them too. They understand that I've been around for a little while and can do a lot of different things and I've seen a lot of different things."

The regular season will tell the real story of how this experiment works, but for now it seems like players on both sides of the ball have become believers in those "things." The players on defense, after too many years of underachieving, believe they'll thrive under Williams' direct approach. And that's rubbed off on the offensive players, who seem to have loved the competition and intensity during camp.

The result has been an entirely new attitude in the Jets' building. Some of that was expected when they hired Gase as their new head coach. But there's no doubt that the addition of Williams turned everything up a notch.

"You know his personality. We all know his personality," Vitt said. "His record speaks for itself. His production in this league speaks for itself."

"The level of demand from his players as well as his coaching staff is high," Carter said. "There's a whole other level of competition in our meeting rooms and just in general day to day on the field. When you want to become a great defense, that's what you need."

Tags: CJ Mosley, Jordan Jenkins, Le'Veon Bell, Ralph Vacchiano
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The NFL put on a good show on Thursday, making it seem like long-term labor peace was at hand. The owners voted on a comprehensive collective bargaining agreement, complete with a 17-game schedule, expanded playoffs, and more money and better benefits for players.

They were hoping for a quick approval. But the players have responded: Not so fast.

The NFL Players Association want to head back to the bargaining table, according to a report from the NFL Network, after the union's executive committee voted 6-5 to not recommend the owners' proposal to their 32 team representatives. It was a stunning reversal, considering that is the committee that negotiated the deal the owners accepted.

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Aug 23, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions defensive tackle Damon Harrison (98) during the first quarter against the Buffalo Bills at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)
Aug 23, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions defensive tackle Damon Harrison (98) during the first quarter against the Buffalo Bills at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)

Former Jets and Giants defensive lineman Damon "Snacks" Harrison will once again be looking for a new team.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Harrison is being released by the Lions after one and a half seasons with the team. 

Listed at 6-foot-3, 350 pounds, the run-stuffing specialist played 25 games with the Lions, with 24 starts. With Detroit, Harrison totaled 5.5 sacks, 49 combined tackles, eight tackles for loss, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery.

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Jan 29, 2020; Miami, Florida, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell during a press conference before Super Bowl LIV at Hilton Downtown. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Jan 29, 2020; Miami, Florida, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell during a press conference before Super Bowl LIV at Hilton Downtown. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Sometime in the next few days, or maybe weeks, the NFL is going to add a 17th regular season game and two more playoff teams, which in turn will add to the number of teams in playoff contention.

The NFL owners have been steamrolling in this direction for years. And for all the resistance from the players, it's long been obvious that their compliance is for sale.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jan 6, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; General overall view of the NFC Wild Card playoff logo during a football game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Jan 6, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; General overall view of the NFC Wild Card playoff logo during a football game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

Changes are reportedly coming to the NFL's playoff structure.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the current CBA proposal includes seven teams from each conference making the the playoffs (currently six teams from each conference make the playoffs), with only one team per conference getting a bye.

The new rule would add one more Wild Card team per conference (meaning the Steelers and Rams would have made the playoffs last season), while putting extra importance on securing the number one seed.

Also of note in the new CBA, the players on the teams with a first-round bye would now be compensated for that weekend, whereas they currently are not. 

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Robby Anderson
Robby Anderson

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

After Jets general manager Joe Douglas spoke to Robby Anderson at the end of last season, he said "He knows how valued he is here."

But the problem for the Jets is Anderson likely knows how valued he might be everywhere else, too.

The 26-year-old Anderson is set to hit the free agent market in March as one of the top receivers available -- and possibly the top target, according to some NFL sources, depending on which receivers actually shake free. That could mean a huge contract for Anderson, who may already be priced out of the Jets' range.

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With his future in Cleveland uncertain, Odell Beckham Jr. would view the Jets as an "ideal landing spot" if the Browns trade him, reports Kristian Dyer of Sports Illustrated.

The source Dyer spoke with said Beckham isn't actively seeking a trade, but that a return to New York would be "welcomed" by him.

SNY's Ralph Vacchiano reported on Dec. 12 -- when the possibility of Beckham wanting out of Cleveland first arose -- that Beckham would "not be afraid of a return to New York." Vacchiano also listed the Packers, Vikings, and Rams among potential suitors for Beckham.

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Danny Abriano
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Dec 30, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports  (Brace Hemmelgarn)
Dec 30, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)

Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs doesn't seem to be too attached to his current team. 

Diggs, who expressed frustration with the Vikings in October prior to the NFL trade deadline, removed all Vikings content from his Instagram account on Tuesday night, leading people to believe that he's once again ready to move on from the team. 

The only problem is that Diggs is still under contract with the team for four more years, and has about $48 million left on the contract that he signed just this past summer.

Tags: Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Le'Veon Bell's future with the Jets remains as uncertain as it was at the end of last season, when GM Joe Douglas said he'd listen if teams called about his star running back. A trade remains "unlikely" according to a source familiar with the Jets' plans, but they'd consider it for the right offer.

It's just complicated because of Bell's contract. And it all depends on how eager the Jets are to get rid of Bell -- if they're even eager at all.

It's the contract that makes it "unlikely," though. Bell, who turned 28 on Tuesday, is entering the second year of a four-year, $52.5 million contract that includes $13 million in guarantees for 2020, which would be the responsibility of his new team. The Jets would almost certainly have to eat some of that money, as they did when they traded defensive lineman Leonard Williams to the Giants for a third- and fifth-round pick back in October.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Ralph Vacchiano
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Dec 22, 2019; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell (26) reacts after his game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 22, 2019; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell (26) reacts after his game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets still haven't full closed the door on moving running back Le'Veon Bell before next season, but it could cost them to do so. 

According to a report from NFL Network's Ian Rapoport on Monday, the Jets have never been fully closed off to the idea of potentially trading Bell. Bell's name was tossed around in the rumor mill during the 2019 NFL trade deadline, but the Jets never pulled the trigger on any deal. 

The latest report says things are status quo. 

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As he continues to pursue his dream of playing in MLB, Mets minor league prospect and former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow addressed the media on Sunday afternoon, and made some positive comments on the two young quarterbacks playing in New York.

When asked if he was "yay or nay" on Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, Tebow laughed at the question and then gave an encouraging answer on the No. 6 overall pick in last year's draft.

"I think he's got a lot of talent," Tebow said on Jones. "I think he was coached really well in college. I think he will continue to improve. I think continuing to get him more weapons and confidence is pretty critical."

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Nov 17, 2019; Landover, MD, USA; New York Jets tight end Daniel Brown (87) celebrates after catching a touchdown pass against the Washington Redskins in the first quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)
Nov 17, 2019; Landover, MD, USA; New York Jets tight end Daniel Brown (87) celebrates after catching a touchdown pass against the Washington Redskins in the first quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)

The Jets have signed tight end Daniel Brown to a one-year contract extension, the team announced on Thursday.

Brown made seven receptions for 72 yards and one touchdown in 16 games (five starts) for the Jets in 2019. He also finished third on the team in special teams tackles with 11.

Brown, 27, was signed by the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent out of James Madison in 2015. He played eight games for the Ravens from 2015 to 2016 before getting claimed off waivers by the Chicago Bears on Oct. 24, 2016.

In 34 career games with the Bears from 2016 to 2018, Brown made 29 receptions for 253 yards and one touchdown.

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Nov 25, 2018; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Ottawa RedBlacks defensive back Anthony Cioffi (24) tries to catch Calgary Stampeders wide receiver Chris Matthews (81) during the 106th Grey Cup game at The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports (Perry Nelson)
Nov 25, 2018; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Ottawa RedBlacks defensive back Anthony Cioffi (24) tries to catch Calgary Stampeders wide receiver Chris Matthews (81) during the 106th Grey Cup game at The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports (Perry Nelson)

The Jets have added some secondary help, signing a former local product in safety Anthony Cioffi, the team announced on Thursday. 

The Springfield, NJ native was a four-year standout at Rutgers where he totaled 169 tackles, eight interceptions and 13 passes defended over 41 games. 

After graduating in 2016, Cioffi spent time in training camp with the Raiders in 2017. However, he would move on to the CFL, where he has been since 2018. He had a breakout year with the Ottawa Redblacks, tallying 61 defensive tackles, two interceptions, two sacks and one forced fumble over 18 games. 

The Jets don't need safety help with Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye manning those positions. However, with the injuries the secondary as a whole endured last season, depth from a versatile player like Cioffi who can roam around is valuable. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye
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 (Ron Chenoy)
(Ron Chenoy)

Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay is entering the final year of his rookie contract, and while he seems to be content with that for now, it's fair to wonder if he could be a fit in New York.

"I wouldn't mind being in Detroit for a while," Golladay told USA Today's Doug Farrar. "Everything should work itself out. I'm enjoying myself."

Originally a third-round pick of the Lions in 2017, Golladay has been tremendous with Detroit. surpassing the 1,000-yard mark in two of his three pro seasons. In 2019, he caught 65 passes for 1,190 yards and 11 touchdowns, proving to be one of the league's best young wide receivers. He's also proven to be a big-play threat, as his 18.3 yards per reception ranked second in the NFL. 

Tags: Robby Anderson
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Dec 29, 2019; Orchard Park, New York, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Dec 29, 2019; Orchard Park, New York, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

The Jets made an addition to Adam Gase's coaching staff on Tuesday, hiring Leigh Torrence as the team's assistant defensive backs coach. 

Torrence has been a member of the New Orleans Saints coaching staff for the last four seasons. He was hired as coaching intern in 2016 and was then promoted to a defensive assistant the following season.

The 38-year-old Torrence made the transition to coaching after spending spending parts of seven seasons with five different teams as a player. After going undrafted out of Stanford, Torrence had his most significant playing time with the Saints from 2008-11, where he was a member of the Super Bowl LIV championship team.

In New York, Torrence will work with Jets passing came coordinator/defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson, and he'll be taking over for Steve Jackson, who was hired by Cincinnati as the Bengals cornerbacks coach.

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The NFL season officially came to a close last Sunday, as the Kansas City Chiefs knocked off the San Francisco 49ers to bring capture the Lombardi Trophy.

So that's it for football until training camp opens in July, right?

"Not so fast," says the XFL.

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Aug 22, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; NFL former player Michael Strahan is seen before a game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Aug 22, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; NFL former player Michael Strahan is seen before a game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

More than 18 years after Michael Strahan broke Mark Gastineau's single-season sack record, the former Jets pass-rusher wants the world to know that he thinks the record should still belong to him.  

"I just want to be recognized for the record," Gastineau told ESPN on Monday. "You wouldn't want your son getting a record like that. I don't think it's good for the NFL. It was never good for the NFL, and I'm surprised the NFL didn't step in."

Strahan's sack in question came against the Packers during the final game of the 2001 season. Sitting at 21.5 sacks, Strahan needed just one to break Gastineau's record. With the Packers up 34-25 late in the game, Strahan blew past Packers tight end Bubba Franks and had a free shot at Favre, who went down to give Strahan the single-season record.

 

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 (Seth Wenig)
(Seth Wenig)

Things didn't go according to plan for Chris Herndon in 2019. 

The Jets tight end was suspended four games for violating the NFL's PED policy, missed another four games with a hamstring injury, then fractured his ribs only 16 snaps into his season debut, ending his season. 

Without Herndon, Ryan Griffin stepped up.

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Nov 12, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive line coach Pepper Johnson gives direction as New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles looks on in the second half at MetLife Stadium. The Bills defeated the Jets 22-17 Mandatory Credit: William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports (William Hauser)
Nov 12, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive line coach Pepper Johnson gives direction as New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles looks on in the second half at MetLife Stadium. The Bills defeated the Jets 22-17 Mandatory Credit: William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports (William Hauser)

Pepper Johnson, was has been affiliated with both the Giants and Jets in his football career, was abruptly fired from his XFL gig only hours removed from the league's beginning over the weekend. 

Johnson, 55, was employed by the Los Angeles Wildcats as their defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. The team announced he was relieved of his duties on Monday.

The Wildcats had lost their inaugural game, 31-17, to the Houston Roughnecks, a game which featured winning quarterback PJ Walker tossing four touchdown passes. 

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Nov 24, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws in the first half against the Oakland Raiders at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 24, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws in the first half against the Oakland Raiders at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Jets quarterback Sam Darnold is listed at 100-1 to win the NFL MVP in 2020, according to BetOnline.ag.

Darnold played in Week 1 in 2019, but missed the next three games recovering from mononucleosis. He returned in Week 6 and played the rest of the season, finishing the year with a 7-6 record at quarterback. He threw for 3024 yards and a 61.9% completion percentage, along with 19 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

Darnold is joined at 100-1 by Giants running back Saquon Barkley, former Giants wide reciever Odell Beckham Jr., former Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and others. 

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Dec 29, 2019; Orchard Park, New York, USA; New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams (33) jogs on the field prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Dec 29, 2019; Orchard Park, New York, USA; New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams (33) jogs on the field prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

Pro Football Focus named New York Jets safety Jamal Adams to their list of the top-101 players from the 2019 season recently. 

Between both New York football teams, the Jets and Giants, only Adams was selected for the list produced by the football analytics outlet. 

Adams slotted in at the No. 32 overall spot. 

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 (Tim Fuller)
(Tim Fuller)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Free agency hasn't worked out well for the Jets. They spent a lot of money under former GM Mike Maccagnan and very few of those contracts have turned out to be worth the money. Some of them, in fact, now look like the worst deals the Jets have ever made.

So it's with that knowledge and a sense of great caution that the Jets head into their first offseason under new GM Joe Douglas. He's armed with about $50 million in salary cap space to spend, and likely a lot more coming when he's finished with his cuts. And he will spend, because he has to on a team filled with far too many holes.

Tags: Brian Winters, Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Brett Davis)
(Brett Davis)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets will head into the first free-agent signing period under new GM Joe Douglas with a ton of money to spend for the third straight year. This time they'll start with at least $50 million, and probably a whole lot more.

The question, though, is whether he'll spend it any better - or smarter - than former GM Mike Maccagnan did.

That remains to be seen, of course, but Douglas will have to begin this offseason erasing some of Maccagnan's mistakes. There are plenty of players on the roster with huge salaries who aren't exactly living up to the numbers. Douglas will have the opportunity to clear a few of them out.

Tags: Avery Williamson, Brian Winters, Quincy Enunwa, Steven McLendon, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Dec 29, 2019; Orchard Park, New York, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase looks on against the Buffalo Bills during the second quarter at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Dec 29, 2019; Orchard Park, New York, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase looks on against the Buffalo Bills during the second quarter at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

The 2019 Giants season ended up being a start of a rebuild, and as often happens in such cases, the team underwhelmed in the win column. In their own right, the Jets weren't rebuilding and had higher hopes heading into last season, but didn't have the year their fans had hoped for, either. 

Despite both teams hitting their unders in 2019, the two are trending in opposite directions in the eyes of oddsmakers early in the 2020 offseason. 

The Giants, entering 2019 with a win total of six and missing that with four wins, see their over/ under increase to 6.5, according to OddsShark. 

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Sep 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell (26) celebrates with New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) after scoring a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports  (Noah K. Murray)
Sep 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell (26) celebrates with New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) after scoring a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Le'Veon Bell's Jets tenure has been rocky, with head coach Adam Gase seemingly unhappy from the get-go with how much they spent to sign him and GM Joe Douglas refusing to rule out a trade.

But Bell, who is entering the second year of a four-year deal worth $52.5 million, seems confident he's staying put.

"Jets for four more years unless something drastic changes," Bell told TMZ Sports. "We'll see."

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Danny Abriano
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Jan 1, 2020; Orlando, Florida, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (4) makes a catch against the Michigan Wolverines during the second half at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Jan 1, 2020; Orlando, Florida, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (4) makes a catch against the Michigan Wolverines during the second half at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

While the Jets could use some help in the trenches at the 2020 NFL Draft, but Pro Football Focus says one offensive playmaker is simply too good to pass up. 

The football analytics outlet has Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy falling all the way to the No. 11 pick, and the Jets scoop him up. 

The upcoming class of wideouts has long said to be a talented and deep group, but the Jets are still able to make Jeudy the first one off the board.

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Dec 22, 2019; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase coaches against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 22, 2019; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase coaches against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2019 season in the history book after the Chiefs' win over the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV, the Giants and the Jets have some of the most salary cap to make their moves before next season. 

According to Spotrac, the Giants and Jets are both in the top 10 in terms of NFL teams with the most salary cap space heading into the offseason. 

The Jets round out the top 10, while the Giants slide in at No. 6. 

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Joe Douglas
Joe Douglas

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There are still nearly three months to go until the NFL Draft, and teams are a long ways away from having their draft meetings and finalizing their boards. It's too early to know anything, really, especially with the scouting combine still three weeks away.

But it's never too early to take a look, so here's a projection of how the first 11 picks of the draft will go, including the picks for the Giants (at 4) and Jets (at 11). Their needs are easy to figure out, even if it's still too difficult to zero in on the players:

1. Cincinnati Bengals - LSU QB Joe Burrow

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Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs
Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs

Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Jets GM Joe Douglas has a plethora of options to work with at No. 11 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, and that's mainly because there are holes left and right on his current roster. But one of, if not the, biggest hole to fill is on the offensive line.

It was a rough 2019 season for that Jets unit, which had Sam Darnold running for his life, and Le'Veon Bell left without many holes to run through. The Jets tried a bunch of different variations with the players they had, but nothing they did had positive results.

More help is definitely needed, and it could be coming in the form of Iowa tackle Tristan Wirfs

Tags: Brandon Shell, Kelvin Beachum, Scott Thompson
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Dec 22, 2019; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Dec 22, 2019; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

With the Chiefs beating the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV, the 2019-20 NFL season officially came to a close. And with the season over, it's time to look ahead to the 2020-21 season and Super Bowl LV, taking place on Feb. 7, 2021 in Tampa.

The Chiefs are the favorites to repeat, with the Ravens and 49ers right behind them.

As far as the Jets -- who finished the season 7-9 with a late surge -- their odds are not great.

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Before they entered the league as top-10 picks in the 2017 NFL draft at sixth and 10th, respectively, Jets safety Jamal Adams and Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes first crossed paths while playing Texas high school football.

So when Kansas City won 31-20 over the San Francisco 49ers for Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, Adams took to Twitter and congratulated Mahomes with an angle on the past.

Separated by an approximate two-hour car drive roughly 130 miles or so apart with Adams at Carrollton (Texas) Hebron and Mahomes in Whitehouse High School, Adams and Mahomes came up along similar paths, which gave the Jets safety a glimpse into what the Chiefs quarterback was capable of.

Tags: Jamal Adams
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