Disclaimer: All analysis was taken from the TV coverage, so at times it may have been hard to identify players or what was happening, because I was limited by their footage. However, I have tried to be as accurate as possible and apologize for any inaccuracies or omissions (which I am happy to correct).

It’s time to take a final look back at the AFC Title Game against the Steelers. After the jump, I respond to your questions from the comments in the original BGA post, which you can access here if you missed it.

I would like to know about the penalties that weren't called on Pittsburgh. - Klecko71

Let's run down some of the more controversial calls:

- James Harrison late hit on Sanchez. No question...that should have been a fifteen yarder.

- James Farrior helmet-to-helmet on Greene. Not a penalty, because Greene is not a "defenseless receiver"...they got that right.

- Eric Smith late hit. Yes, he did slow up, but he still lowered the shoulder and made contact at around the head and neck area. No question...that was a penalty and they got the call right.

- Two coverage penalties on Cromartie. Both appeared to be correct.

- Two coverage penalties on the Steelers. Again, both appeared to be correct.

- Keller's drop in the endzone - did Clark make contact before the ball? Barely, so they probably were correct not to flag that one.

- False starts - Braylon did flinch, but as the ball was snapped. Ferguson didn't move a muscle. Both were wrong IMO.

- Holding. Pittsburgh weren't called for a single hold in this game. I noticed one on Harris (8 yard gain), one on Tevaseu (11 yard gain), one on Scott (7 yard gain), one on DeVito (4 yard scramble), and one on Coleman (5 yard scramble on 3rd and 5) that I thought should have been called. Pittsburgh's linemen combined for 49 penalties in 18 cames this season, so they average about three per game.

On the whole, I do think the Jets got the rough end of the officiating, but I guess that's because Pittsburgh earned the homefield advantage and the Jets didn't.

What about the bad spotting of the ball…3rd play of the game and from what i remember it was a 3rd an 6 and it looked like we stopped them by at least 2 feet…bad calls…bad ball placement…that whole 1st half worked against us from the word GO. - dakar

Yes, and the spotting of the ball. The Jets seemed to lose half a yard each time and the Steeler gained half a yard (at least), just like in the last meeting. Again, that falls under the same category as the penalties.

So I hate to ask but… who was it and how many times did they each miss the tackles? - juunit

Okay, I have three answers for you...pick your favorite:

First of all, this comes from Rich Cimini (hat tip: WOJF) - Here’s an unofficial breakdown of the players that missed tackles and the amount of extra yards that resulted:

LB Bart Scott — 4 for 22 yards (including Mendenhall’s 1-yard TD run)

NT Sione Pouha — 3 for 20 yards

LB David Harris — 1 for 33 yards

S Brodney Pool — 1 for 17 yards (on a pass play)

DT Trevor Pryce — 1 for 6 yards.

S Eric Smith — 1 for 7 yards

Totals: 11 for 105 yards

This was PFF's breakdown:

Pouha 2, Ellis, Pace, Harris, Scott, Pool, Smith, Scott. Total: 9.

And now for the correct my breakdown:

Pryce 2 (16 yards)

Pouha 2 (13 yards)

Pace 1 (2 yards)

Mauga 1 (1 yard, TD)

Pool 1 (17 yards)

Ellis 1 (2 yards)

Scott 2 (3 yards)

Harris 1 (33 yards)

Smith 1 (2 yards)

Revis 1 (2 yards)

Coleman 1 (in pocket - pass intercepted)

Total - 14 (81 yards)

Notes:

- I define a missed tackle as any tackle where the tackler has the defender lined up and a shot at making the tackle, but either has hold of him and the tackle is broken, or they miss completely.

- Those 14 missed tackles came on 11 plays, because there was one play when three different guys missed a tackle and one where two did. I divided up the yards gained on the play between the players based on where they missed their tackle.

- The biggest difference between my/PFF's numbers and those of Cimini, who seems to have overlooked the less obvious ones was in his review was the fact that he credited Bart Scott with four. He also said this about Scott:

Bart (Can’t Wait) Scott played one of his worst games as a Jet. Not only did he miss four tackles, but he took a false step on Ben Roethlisberger’s next-to-last completion — the 14-yarder to Heath Miller. Scott came free on a blitz, but bit inside on the play fake, allowing Roethlisberger to break outside to his right. It bought Big Ben an extra second to complete the throw.


Clearly that contradicts what I wrote in BGA and also PFF's analysis, where they rated him at +2.6, including +2.7 against the run, both of which were 2nd best on the team and a better overall grade than every Pittsburgh linebacker apart from Lamar Woodley. It certainly wasn't his best game as a Jet, but it was far from his worst - grading out as his 7th best game of the season. It seems Cimini's analysis doesn't account for all the positive plays that he made, many of which you can't appreciate without looking in detail at every snap.

In terms of the four missed tackles that Cimini counted, let's address those plays:

- Scott beat his man on the outside, forcing the runner back to the inside. He did get a hand on him, so I assume Cimini has counted this as a missed tackle. However, it seems like he carried out his assignment there. The play would have gone for no gain, but Trevor Pryce missed a tackle at the line, which Cimini seems to have missed. So, if Scott does get a missed tackle there - and if we were counting based on such harsh criteria, there would have been way more than 11 - Pryce should get one too and be credited with the eight yards.

- Scott shed a block and almost made a tackle in the backfield, but the runner escaped. However, he didn't make any additional yardage (which is why PFF apparently didn't count this one) and lost two overall. Again, it seems harsh to count this as a negative play against Bart, because he - along with Shaun Ellis - blew up the play.

- On Mendenhall's touchdown, Scott met the runner on the edge and he was able to break the plane with his second effort. Cimini counts this as a missed tackle, but Scott never let go of him. This was really just yards after contact and again there would be way more missed tackles in total if we counted one every time a runner moved the pile an extra yard. Cimini is also missing the fact that Josh Mauga had him wrapped up and Mendenhall actually did break that tackle as he drove for the line. Scott held the runner up long enough that a defensive back should have been able to assist him, but both Brodney Pool and James Ihedigbo allowed themselves to get driven back by blockers and got there a split-second too late.

- The last one went for a 7 yard gain, as both Ellis and Scott missed tackles on the play. This was the one where Doug Legursky blatantly held him. I don't know if many linebackers could have secured that tackle while being dragged back by the waist with a handful of jersey.

I assume they were the four plays he counted as missed tackles, unless he found a phantom one, but I stand by my assertion that Scott was solid on closer inspection - even in the first half - and that any mistakes he did make were nothing like as costly as those made by some of his teammates.

Is it me or do you think Calvin Pace has been underwhelming the last two seasons? Maybe I’m being too harsh but it seems to me that he has not been the impact player we were hoping for. - BobP

Pace was kind of inconsistent this year and nowhere near as productive as a pass rusher, even though his sack numbers were similar. He had six pressures all year - and 35 last year! However, much of that was down to the fact that he was often used as a DE in just a three or even two man rush, as the Jets employed more guys in coverage this year.

He grades out pretty good against the run, but had a poor finish to the year in that area and had particularly rough games against Cleveland and this week. Last year, he made a really slow start after missing the first four games and this year, although he started faster, I wonder if the foot injury continued to plague him through the year, because I noticed him looking tired and not playing to the whistle and foot/toe injuries can drain your energy, even if they don't slow you down.

Due to his contract situation, I think the Jets will retain him for one more year and hope that his production improves if he gets through camp healthy and if they line another good pass rusher up across from him. Overall, he has been a slight disappointment, but not a complete bust.

I am wondering where the Devito to NG talk is coming from. He is developing into a solid DE why are people talking about NG. I cant remember seeing him line up at NG very often this year. I can remember Ellis, Gholston, Pryce, Tevaseu and of course Pouha at NG at various points – but not Devito. Am I missing something? - Brian311

After the first game of the season, I had spoken to an analyst from PFF that happens to be a Ravens fan and was familiar with how Rex develops his schemes. He predicted that the Jets might eventually look to use DeVito as a nose tackle, because he felt DeVito's skillset and build were similar to that of Kelly Gregg.

Sure enough, the Jets tried him out as a more or less full-time nose tackle in the final game of the regular season against the Bills and he had a great game. They then continued to use him in that role at times throughout the postseason (usually with Trevor Pryce and/or Shaun Ellis rushing from the DE position, but Kris Jenkins or Ropati Pitoitua would look good in the same role). The results were again encouraging, so I do expect to see more of that this season.

They didn't do it as much on Sunday, but there was a heavier front being employed, with both Pouha and DeVito playing over 75% of the snaps.

The 3 LT runs netting 4 yards and costing 1:23 during the Jets last drive will drive me nuts until Schotty is fired. There was no reason to run, the Jets had to hurry up and, after the first no gain, why keep going to the well? Presumably, Schotty didn’t run 4 times at the goal line because of the Steelers stout run defense, so why test it when you’re trying to conserve time and time outs? I can throw out all the other mistakes because Keller and Sanchez should’ve had a TD on the goal line…that’s lack of execution. Running LT 3 times up the middle against the NFL’s best run defense in the hurry up? That’s just idiotic play-calling. Did anyone really expect LT to pop a quick hitter for 10 yards? - Sackdance99

Actually, I believe they were trying to score a touchdown or at least get big chunks of yardage on these plays - well, two of them at least - because they ran the "Blast" play, which historically has been the one which can break the runner out into the second level. It failed both times because there was no surge from the right side of the line. The other run failed because Robert Turner got owned by Casey Hampton and Tomlinson tripped over him. I do agree that they perhaps shouldn't have gone back to this play after the lack of success the first time.

You wrote “…the Steelers had loaded guys into the middle and Dustin Keller got open easily. The pass was a little off target and Keller couldn’t make a fingertip grab with a defender draped all over him.” This seems to imply that Sanchez was late finding Keller, because if he got open easily, there shouldn’t have been a defender draped all over him. Or did the defender make a great play? - The NYC Parking Expert

Well, he was open, but with the defender on his back. Yes, the timing was slightly off and the pass was thrown about six inches too far ahead of the receiver, but that was a makeable throw.

You wrote: “The gameplanning and play calling has not been the problem this year and the Jets simply haven’t executed well enough this year to be the elite offense many Jets fans seem to expect them to be.” ... That seems to be a true statement but I wonder if Shotty does not have a lot to do with their execution problems. If the execution is consistently off (which it was for games at a time), this implies to me that something about either the preparation, gameplan or timing/order of the plays called is causing them to lose focus. - The NYC Parking Expert

I don't know about that. Whenever the execution lets them down, it's a play that would have worked if the execution was better, so the play call was good. It's hard to establish rhythm when you call a good play but it fails anyway and lands you in obvious passing situations. Schottenheimer does have something to do with the execution problems, because it's part of his job to get his team ready to execute, but the position coaches and the head coach are also a part of that too and it's not possible for me to apportion that blame accurately from watching the film.

You wrote “Credit Edwards with an excellent block on the WR screen to Cotchery. He has the ability to do that more often, but has been inconsistent as a blocker all year.” Funny that Rex said a week or so ago that he thought Braylon was one of the best blocking WRs in the game, up there (but close behind) Hines Ward. Maybe he was trying to motivate Edwards? - The NYC Parking Expert

As I wrote a few weeks ago, Edwards is capable of being a good blocker and has all the tools, including great size. However, he grades out (per PFF) as one of the worst blockers in the league (90th out of 110, last time I looked). Although he is a good downfield blocker - which I view as a routine play - when called upon to make key in-line blocks or from the slot, he has a poor record when you compare bad blocks and good blocks. Of course, he also had a ton of penalties. The fact the Jets do give him those kinds of blocking assignments speaks to his ability, but on a play by play basis, he's not graded out well as a blocker this year. He is certainly capable of doing so, though, as the afore-mentioned play shows.

You wrote “This looks to be a disappointing end to the Mike Westhoff era.” Has he said he’s done? I heard them say on the radio that they thought he had another year on his contract. - The NYC Parking Expert

I gather he has alluded to the fact that he might stick around for another year. However, he has previously stated that he's gone if Brad Smith is and also the looming sceptre of the lockout has to be considered. I'd welcome him back, but it was a disappointing end to the year.

Did you notice on the Roethlisberger run for a score who screwed up? I did not want to re-watch but it looks as if two linebackers or a LB and safety ran into one another and Im assuming one was the Ben spy. - Jason

I answered this in BGA:

Scott would have been keying Roethlisberger, but Darrelle Revis’ man went in motion and as he followed him across the field, the pair collided and fell to the floor. This left Bryan Thomas in an impossible two-on-one situation.
On the 3rd down failed slant play, does Brandon Moore react / grab sanchez arm or facemask after the play? As if to say “what was that?" ... A friend of mine's brother knows someone in the jets video department….said that the 3rd down slant was supposed to be a fake throw and delayed handoff…which would EXPLAIN why turner was in the passing stance…b/c he was supposed to sell pass… - Klecko71

Moore appeared to say something to Sanchez after the play, but there's no way of knowing what he was saying. If he did fake the throw then he could have scored easily, similar to the QB draw play against the Browns, but Tomlinson's actions on the play didn't suggest he was expecting a handoff.

One minor point…I thought that Turner ran onto the field with the defense on a goal line play, but was subbed for before the play went off. I don’t recall seeing this previously. Did he play any defensive snaps this year? - Spindoctor

Yes, he's been on the goalline defense all year. Wayne Hunter was too, until Woody got hurt and he became indispensable.

On the failed 4th down run, was hoping you could clarify something ... One report (the tipping the play report) indicated LT was lined up 7 yards deep, resulting in an initial huge hole to close before he could get there. It insinuated he would have scored if he lined up at the usual 5 yard deep spot ... Cimini claimed this is the “blast” play that the Jets love to use on the goal line, except usually with Greene, I think ... Does Greene or LT usually run this play? ... If indeed it is the same play does the runner usually line up that deep? ... I suspect that LT usually does not run this play, and screwed up by lining up too deep. - WOJF

I'm not sure it was a "Blast" play. Matt Slauson would usually pull to the right side, but on this play he just pulled behind Mangold and tried to get a surge up the middle. Also, the runner wouldn't typically plow over the right side, and instead would look to cut back. However, it was a tight formation, so perhaps they executed it slightly different. Anyway, let's say it was a "Blast" play for the purposes of answering your questions. I'd say - based on gut feel - that Tomlinson ran that play more than Greene over the course of the season. Also, the runner does line up that far back, because you need to wait for the blocks to develop and you need to give the Fullback room to hit his block. As for the "huge" hole, it was filled by two linebackers, who simply timed their explosion into the hole to arrive just before Tomlinson did. If Tomlinson lines up closer, that wouldn't have prevented them from still timing their hits in the same manner and would have also given Tomlinson less room to select his lane.

Your explanation for the LT overreliance makes sense, but at the time I thought Greene got dinged during the game (first half) and LT therefore got more reps. Can't remember the play, but remember Greene walking very gingerly to the sidelines. - WOJF

I did mention that Greene hurt himself on the 23 yard run as he was knocked out of bounds on the first drive of the second half. I didn't see if he was hurt earlier on, but if he was, that may well have been a factor.

Didn’t see any mention of Sanchez wiping a booger on Brunell’s coat. What was that all about? - TB

Perfect timing, good placement, almost hit him right between the numbers. The kid's come a long way.

That's it for this week. Thanks again for your questions and comments and I'll be back next week to wrap up the season.
Tags: Main Page, Bent Double

Nov 26, 2016; East Hartford, CT, USA; Tulane Green Wave cornerback Parry Nickerson (17) returns his interception against the Connecticut Huskies in the second quarter at Rentschler Field. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Nov 26, 2016; East Hartford, CT, USA; Tulane Green Wave cornerback Parry Nickerson (17) returns his interception against the Connecticut Huskies in the second quarter at Rentschler Field. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

With the first of their three sixth-round picks in last month's draft, the Jets selected Tulane cornerback Parry Nickerson. This regime has already brought in several young cornerbacks, but none of them have managed to separate themselves from the pack.

Does Nickerson's skill-set give him a chance to eventually become the home-grown starter they've been trying to develop?

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North Squad defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd, of Fort Hays State, runs drills during the North team's practice for Saturday's Senior Bowl NCAA college football game in Mobile, Ala., Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
North Squad defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd, of Fort Hays State, runs drills during the North team's practice for Saturday's Senior Bowl NCAA college football game in Mobile, Ala., Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

The Jets have signed DT Nathan Shepherd, who they drafted 72nd overall last month out of Fort Hays State.

Shepherd was an Division II All-America selection in his 2016 and 2017 seasons. Last season, he tallied 38 tackles (12.5 for loss) and four sacks. 

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: If you're a team like the Jets, still in the beginning stages of a total rebuild, you can take a chance on raw players like Nathan Shepherd, a Canadian who was a smallish linebacker in high school before growing into an NFL-caliber defensive tackle at Division II Fort Hays (Kan.) State.

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets charity 00:01:47
The New York Jets hosted the "Taste of the Jets" event to help raise money for the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

The New York Jets hosted the "Taste of the Jets" event to help raise money for the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. 


New York Jets first round pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Friday, May 4, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP)
New York Jets first round pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Friday, May 4, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP)

When recently retired Cowboys TE Jason Witten watches Sam Darnold, he sees similarities between the no. 3 overall pick and former Cowboys QB Tony Romo. 

Romo and Darnold share the ability to thrive even when the scripted play goes awry. Romo made a career out of extending plays and Darnold earned a similar reputation while at USC.

"He's calm, he's got this poise. He reminds me a little bit of Tony Romo, the way he creates plays," Witten said...

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

Former USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin explained on The Jet Stream podcast Wednesday why Sam Darnold will be a great fit for the Jets.

"Sam is a great fit," Martin said. "Just going back to how he was recruited, when we first got to know him -- he was a guy that was a linebacker and played some wide receiver. Point guard on the basketball team. When he dropped back and started throwing a few passes, we were like 'this kid can throw the ball.'"

And the way Darnold threw the ball changed how USC viewed him...

Tags: Sam Darnold
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New York Jets first round pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Friday, May 4, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP)
New York Jets first round pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Friday, May 4, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP)

Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon are back for a special edition of The Jet Stream podcast where they take a deep dive into the Jets' newest quarterback, Sam Darnold. The guys chat with Sam's former offensive coordinator from USC, Tee Martin, about the kid's emergence in college and how he compares to Peyton Manning. Later, Sam's best friend and former USC teammate, Jake Russell, joins the show to discuss what he's like off the field and his competitiveness on it.

Click below to listen...

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) during second half against Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) during second half against Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Robby Anderson's felony resisting arrest with violence charge stemming from an incident at an event in Miami in May, 2017 will be dropped, his attorney, Ed O'Donnell told the NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.

During the incident, Anderson allegedly fought with arresting officers.

While Anderson's 2017 issue will be resolved, he is still dealing with his recent reckless driving arrest.

Tags: Robby Anderson
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Oct 29, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) is tackled by Indianapolis Colts defensive end Henry Anderson (96) during the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports (David Kohl)
Oct 29, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) is tackled by Indianapolis Colts defensive end Henry Anderson (96) during the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports (David Kohl)

On day three of the draft, the Jets opted to trade a seventh-round pick for former Colts defensive lineman Henry Anderson. However, this move has flown under the radar somewhat with the focus on the players brought in via the draft.  

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 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

The Jets still have some money to spend, which is why they will be hosting free-agent S Kenny Vaccaro this week at their facility, per the Daily News' Manish Mehta.

Vaccaro was drafted 15th overall by the Saints back in 2013, where he has spent the last five season. His best year came in 2015 when he totaled 104 tackles, three sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and five passes defended. 

Last season, the 27-year-old tallied 79 tackles, one sack, one interception, and one forced fumble over 14 games. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye
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Connecticut Huskies defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi participates in workout drills during the 2018 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi participates in workout drills during the 2018 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets had back-to-back picks in the sixth round of last month's draft, and they used the second of them to select defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi with the No. 180 pick. Let's provide some insight into what Fatukasi brings to the table and how he might fit in should he make the team.

Fatukasi is a player whose run-stuffing abilities have stood out over the past four seasons with UConn. He's strong at the point of attack, can get off blocks to make plays in the running game and can create penetration either with his strength or quickness.

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South squad offensive tackle Antonio Garcia of Troy battles defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon of Villanova in a blocking drill during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. (Glenn Andrews/USA TODAY Sports)
South squad offensive tackle Antonio Garcia of Troy battles defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon of Villanova in a blocking drill during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. (Glenn Andrews/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets claimed former Patriots offensive lineman Antonio Garcia off waivers and cut kicker Nick Rose, the team announced on Monday.

Garcia, 24, was a third-round pick last season but did not appear in a game after he had reportedly developed blood clots in his lungs, according to the Boston Herald's Jeff Howe.

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A general view of a New York Jets helmet and an NFL football during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Kevin Hoffman)
A general view of a New York Jets helmet and an NFL football during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Kevin Hoffman)

Former Jets coach Chuck Knox, who was paramount in the Jets drafting Hall of Fame QB Joe Namath, died Saturday at 86. 

Knox started his vast coaching career with the Jets in 1963 as part of Weeb Ewbank's first Jets staff. Knox was big on the run game, which awarded the nickname of "Ground Chuck."

However, he saw something in Namath during his time at the University of Alabama, and knew the Jets needed him...

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Daily News Live: Sports gambling 00:03:44
Eric Chemi of CNBC joins Daily News Live to discuss the legalization of sports gambling and the ramifications of this newly amended bill.

The United States Supreme Court struck down a 25-year old law on Monday that had basically prevented all states except Nevada from having legalized sports gambling. "The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make," the Supreme Court announced. "Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each State is free to act on its own."

The ruling was an enormous immediate victory for the state of New Jersey, which could have a gambling venue open in Monmouth Park within a few weeks, according to the NY Post. There will be a press conference in Monmouth Park on Monday at 1 p.m. Aside from New Jersey, The Post notes that New York and Illinois are among roughly 15 other states who have "introduced bills to legalize and regulate sports betting tied to the Supreme Court outcome." 

The NBA and MLB have been preparing for Monday's potential outcome, reports Brian Windhorst of ESPN, who said each league had hired lobbying firms, submitted written statements, and sent executives to testify in statehouses. Windhorst added that every professional sports league had been involved, but with the NBA and MLB at the forefront...

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Oct 15, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins center Spencer Long (61) lines up against the San Francisco 49ers at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)
Oct 15, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins center Spencer Long (61) lines up against the San Francisco 49ers at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)

Jets C Spencer Long is ready for an injury-free 2018 season with his new team.

Last season, Long was only able to make six starts for the Redskins due to a knee injury and was placed on IR in November. The ailment plaguing the 2014 third-round pick was rooted in a chronic quad issue which was corrected this offseason by surgery and an improved regiment.

"It was basically like a fraying rope," Long said...

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May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Trenton Cannon (40) during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Trenton Cannon (40) during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

With their final pick of the 2018 draft, the Jets selected Virginia State running back Trenton Cannon.

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New York Jets offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. (Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. (Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports)

In the post-draft Honeymoon period, most fans, players and media alike are heaping praise on QB Sam Darnold. But Darnold's teammate T Kelvin Beachum wants to wait before he fully joins the fray. 

Beachum started all 16 games for the Jets last season, blocking for Josh McCown and Bryce Petty. At some point this season, he may be blocking for Darnold. 

"I've heard that he is a great person," Beachum said via Darryl Slater of NJ.com. "I'm excited to get him in that room." 

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

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The Jets have four quarterbacks on their roster, which seems like one too many. They cut Bryce Petty last week to clear at least a little room on their depth chart, but they still have another move to make. Or maybe two.

Whatever they end up doing, the Jets' quarterback situation isn't as clear cut as some think, from the identity of the Opening Day starter all the way down to the likely odd-man out. As Todd Bowles said last weekend, the Jets are "open to anything right now" -- especially at quarterback.

"We're going to let it all play out before make those kinds of decisions," he said.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

For some draft picks, the process of becoming acclimated to a new environment is quicker given their circumstances.

Saquon Barkley of the Giants was born in Brooklyn, and didn't live far from his new home even when he was in Pennsylvania. Shaquem Griffin of the Seahawks may be making a shift from Florida to Seattle, but he has his twin brother Shaquill Griffin to guide him through the process.

Sam Darnold, on the other hand, is transitioning from sunny, laidback Los Angeles to the hustle and bustle of New York City without someone to lean on, or understanding of how this side of the states operates. In fact, he just visited the Big Apple for the first time only a few weeks ago.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon (89) during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon (89) during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Jets selected tight end Chris Herndon with the first of their day three picks in the 2018 draft last month. Herndon, who went to college at Miami, was injured towards the end of the 2017 season, which may have prevented him from going earlier. The Jets scooped him up with the 107th overall pick and will be hoping he proves to be a bargain. Let's weigh up his likely role in 2018 before reviewing his strengths and weaknesses.

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

The Jets have consistently said they don't want to throw their No. 3 overall pick Sam Darnold into the fire this season. Former Giants QB Phil Simms doesn't understand why. 

Simms looks at Darnold's situation as being the potential Jets savior at quarteback. In turn, he needs to get on his feet and hit the ground running. 

"He'll fit in fine," Simms told NJ.com's Darryl Slater at BTIG Charity Day on Tuesday. "If I was the Jets, I would play him from Day 1. That's just me. Start him. Let's go. Got a long offseason, training camp, preseason games. They probably won't [start Darnold in Week 1].

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Namath talks Darnold 00:01:07
New York Jets legend Joe Namath shares his thoughts on the team's rookie QB Sam Darnold, and what lies ahead for the new signal caller.

Legendary Jets QB Joe Namath spoke Tuesday about the recently-drafted Sam Darnold and whether starting him this season should be on the table.

"First of all, anybody that is starting on that field has to have convinced their teammates that he's worthy to start," Namath said. "And for a 20-year-old rookie quarterback, that's gonna be tough to do early on. Because the big leagues -- pro football -- is different than college football."

While Namath thinks Darnold and any rookie has a lot to prove, he believes he should be out there if he shows he's ready.

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

Jets CEO Christopher Johnson is confident Sam Darnold is the answer his team's decade-long quarterback question.

Johnson was present at BTIG Charity Day, where he appeared for the Lupus Research Alliance, on Tuesday. He had some strong words about his No. 3 overall pick, saying the moment Darnold's name was called, it was the start to the Jets' revival.

"I honestly think (people) are going to look back 20 years from now and say this is the moment the Jets shifted into a new gear -- that they became a new team," he told reporters.

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A general view of a New York Jets helmet and an NFL football during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Kevin Hoffman)
A general view of a New York Jets helmet and an NFL football during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Kevin Hoffman)

The Jets announced they have signed K Taylor Bertolet, while waiving CB Bryson Keeton

Bertolet was a tryout at the team's rookie minicamp this past weekend. The Texas A&M product spent time with the LA Rams in training camp last season. In his senior year back in 2015, Bertolet was a perfect 38-for-38 in extra-point attempts and 22-for-31 (71 percent) in field goals.

The Jets now have three kickers on their current roster with Cairo Santos and Nick Rose to compete with Bertolet at camp. 

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North Squad defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd of Fort Hays State stretches during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. (Glenn Andrews/USA TODAY Sports)
North Squad defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd of Fort Hays State stretches during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. (Glenn Andrews/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets selected defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd with their lone Day 2 pick in the 2018 draft. Shepherd, who attended Fort Hays State University, raised his stock throughout the offseason and was selected by the Jets 72nd overall. Let's consider his strengths and weaknesses and how the Jets might use him in 2018.

Shepherd is expected to be raw, having only played college football at Division II schools. That's a concern for a player who took a circuitous path to the NFL and will turn 25 during his rookie season.

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Connecticut Huskies defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi reacts after a sack. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi reacts after a sack. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets signed two draft picks and two undrafted free agents on Sunday.

Defensive end Folorunso Fatukasi and defensive back Parry Nickerson, both sixth-round picks, and linebackers Frankie Luvu and Anthony Wint, agreed to terms with New York as the Jets begin minicamp.

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GEICO SportsNite: Sam Darnold 00:03:53
Ralph Vacchiano reports on the impressions of Sam Darnold at the Jets minicamp and Jeane Coakley speaks with Todd Bowles about the young QB.

Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass during the second half of their game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass during the second half of their game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Christian Hackenberg has apparently made major changes to his throwing motion in an attempt to revitalize his stalled NFL career.

He just never bothered telling his current team about his plans.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Ralph Vacchiano
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Sam Darnold fumbled the first snap of team drills on his first two days in a Jets uniform, and he fumbled five snaps overall. That was eye-opening because he had some fumbling issues at USC that were a cause for concern for some.

But get over it. It was the first two days of an NFL career that likely will last more than a decade and he was working with a tryout center who's NFL career will likely be over by Sunday afternoon. In the bigger picture, there was a lot to like about the Jets' 20-year-old franchise quarterback who looked poised, accurate and showed off a strong arm throughout the weekend...

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May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Trenton Cannon (40) during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Trenton Cannon (40) during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

It's not Sam Darnold, but it's a start: Jets sixth-round draft pick RB Trenton Cannon signs his rookie deal, the first of the team's draft picks to do so. 

Cannon, who played his college ball at Virginia State, led the CIAA (Division II) in rushing after posting 1,638 yards on 212 attempts (148.9 per game). He also scored 17 touchdowns, which led his Trojan team. 

"I'm feeling good, just settling on in," said Cannon, via Jets official site. "Right now I'm getting into the playbook, learning the plays."

Cannon adds running back depth to Gang Green, who lost Matt Forte to retirement. He joins a running backs room that is led by Bilal Powell and sophomore Elijah McGuire

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 (Chuck Cook)
(Chuck Cook)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets today announced that they had signed seven undrafted free agents, so let's take a look into what each of them brings to the table...

FB Dimitri Flowers

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