Note: This article was written by Jason (from nyjetscap.com).

It has become almost an annual tradition for fans and draft gurus alike to rave about the steals each team finds in the middle of the NFL draft; those players that somehow slipped through the cracks and are going to be starters and pro bowlers for their respective teams. It is also an annual tradition for those same fans to end up disappointed when reality sets in and they realize that there was a reason the player was not drafted in the first round.

Sometimes, however, special players come along that really do slip through the cracks and fulfil those dreams of every fan of the team. Jets fans have to look no further than former Tight End Mickey Shuler to find that special player that rewrote the history books at his respective position.

Shuler, a 3rd round draft pick out of Penn State, is arguably the greatest third round pick in the history of the Jets organization, and the best offensive talent the team ever selected in that round. He was the type of player that was easy for the fans to embrace. Fans love to cheer for the player that might not be the most physically gifted athlete but gives 110% each and every week for the team, and nobody gave any more than Mickey Shuler gave the New York Jets. The fans watched Shuler grow from a part time player into a star who became one of the endearing names synonymous with eighties Jets football.

Shuler's journey began in 1978 when he was expected to be the blocking complement to starter Jerome Barkum, more of a receiver than blocker. Shuler's first action came in week 1 against the hated Miami Dolphins. His first catch as a pro came in the second quarter of that game--- a 1 yard touchdown pass from QB Richard Todd, his first of 3 scores as a rookie.

Though Shuler was used sparingly in the passing game, he was gaining the attention of then offensive coordinator Joe Walton for his all around ability to play the position. In 1979, with Barkum forced to the sidelines, Shuler began to show off his potential as a receiver, snagging 189 yards at 21 yards per reception over a 4 game stretch. Shuler was slowly becoming the type of player that every winning team desires.

Shuler’s role continued to grow in the offense and was becoming the preferred option at Tight End in 1980. Head Coach Walt Michaels considered Shuler one of his offensive centerpieces and thought that he, along with WR's Wesley Walker and Lam Jones, would make the Jets "just about unstoppable in the air".

While Jones proved to be a bust, Shuler set a career high with 22 receptions. Shuler was about to make that leap to the next level before a separated shoulder suffered in a preseason game saw him miss almost the entire 1981 season. He returned for a memorable playoff performance where he hauled in 116 yards in a furious attempt at a comeback against the Buffalo Bills that fell just short in the final seconds of the game.

By 1984 Shuler had become one of the best players at the position in the entire NFL. Shuler shattered team records and led the Jets in receptions and yards in 1984 and 1985, while maintaining his status as an excellent blocker on the line. He was credited with a reception in 86 consecutive games during the mid eighties and was named to the Pro Bowl in 1986 and 1988. Perhaps his greatest game came in a 62-28 victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he hauled in 3 touchdowns from starter Ken O'Brien. During that special 5 year stretch, Shuler caught 326 passes for 3,575 yards and scored 25 touchdowns, numbers that would have been even higher if not for the strike shortened 1987 season.

Shuler’s contributions to the team went well beyond the field of play. His work ethic was unparalleled at the time. Shuler was one of the first players to understand how the NFL was evolving into a much more complex game and was a firm believer in using video to prepare for his opponents, taking tapes home at night for study sessions. In an era where the off season was nothing like it is today, with most players completely abandoning football for months, Shuler was one of the most dedicated players, often showing up at the facilities by 7AM before heading off to his offseason job. His incredible efforts were summed up by former offensive coordinator Rich Kotitie in 1988:

He'd come in and do some work, talk to me, and then go over to the company he owns and put in a full day. If you have something you want to criticize him about, you start to say it and before you finish he says: "I know. I should have done this."


Shuler was one of the unquestioned leaders of the Jets in the mid 1980’s and one of the few players that seemed to always say the right things week in and week out. He constantly fielded questions from the media during both the good times and bad, often finding himself in the middle of some very tenuous situations. Always a strong supporter of a young O'Brien and constantly praising him in the media, Shuler was the man who showed that the team still believed in Kenny, but also understood why he was benched by Walton, who was now head coach.

This is a team with a lot of players who pull together and we all realize this is our last chance… Pat's (Ryan) personality may be just what we need… "He's a gung-ho, go-get-'em guy who has charisma. If we need to give Kenny a rest, I can't think of a better guy to bring in


It was as good a job as could be expected and by the next summer, while O'Brien held out for a new contract, Shuler was helping O'Brien keep in shape by catching passes from him. Shuler was a team leader that wanted to win and he understood that meant going that extra mile to help your teammates.

Even bigger was his role in bringing unity back to the team after a very bitter players strike in 1987 that saw numerous Jets and friends of his cross the picket line. The 1987 team ended the season hating one another and their coaching staff. Shuler took the high road and took it upon himself to remain in constant communication with Walton and with every player on the team to get them all on the same page. It was that extra effort that helped him earn his spot as a team captain in 1988.

Shuler embraced that role as a leader and tried to demand excellence from his teammates. He did his best to convey the importance of every practice, every game, and every coach to the players, both young and old alike. It was in 1988, while watching the Redskins play the Broncos in the Super Bowl that Shuler realized these teams were not much better than the Jets, but that they were more confident and worked harder. He felt that he had to stand up in front of his team that spring and make them know that the way they played the previous season was unacceptable, telling them getting to that next level was "about paying the price, about playing for 60 minutes". He explained to the young players about how hard it was to be successful in the NFL and how they will deal with adversity they never encountered before.

Shuler did not just talk the talk, but walked the walk that year. Shuler’s year was filled with highlights that included a 152 yard game against the Kansas City Chiefs and a 91 yard, 2 touchdown performance that helped spoil Dan Marino’s 5 touchdown passes. He was determined to lead by example and did just that, earning his second trip to the Pro Bowl and leading all Tight Ends in receptions.

While the Jets did not make the playoffs that year, it was the first year in a long time where the Jets, notorious quitters, did not pack it in and give up in December. The team finished 3-1 down the stretch to end the year with a winning record and defeated the New York Giants in the season finale, knocking the favored Giants out of the playoffs.

Unfortunately the team was unable to capitalize on the momentum and the wheels fell off in 1989. Shuler's season was derailed by multiple injuries, including a broken hand, which allowed him to play in only 7 games.

With Bruce Coslet brought in as head coach in 1990, changes were made and late in the summer Shuler was released by the Jets. Shuler would go on to finish his career with the Philadelphia Eagles, never realizing his dream of playing in the Super Bowl, which he would state was the only regret he ever had in his playing career.

Since parting ways with number 82, the Jets have tried time and time again to find the next Mickey Shuler, drafting 10 Tights Ends, including four in the first round. None have been able to duplicate the heart and skill of that soft-spoken 3rd round draft pick.

Despite missing out on his Super Bowl dream there should be no regret for the great Jets Tight End. Mickey Shuler’s career stands head and shoulders above the rest. He remains one of the most cherished and decorated Jets in the history of the organization, having more receptions and yards than any other Tight End in franchise history, ranking 5th all time in receptions, and being named a member of the Jets All Time Team. He is the standard by which all future Jets Tight Ends will be judged and universally recognized as the greatest Jets Tight End in their 40 plus years of history.

The readers of The Jets Blog are proud to recognize Mickey Shuler’s contributions to the New York Jets and add to his accolades by forever enshrining him in the TJB Hall of Fame. Congratulations, Mickey!
Tags: Main Page, Bent Double

Daily News Live: Bowles' future 00:04:48
The Daily News Live panel discusses what Todd Bowles can do to save his job and if he is the right coach to lead a rebuilding effort.

 

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In the latest episode of The Jet Stream, Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon look back at the eight sacks the Jets' D laid on the Tennessee Titans, as well as Christian Hackenberg's performance. Later, the guys discuss the wide receivers, offensive line, and their expectations for this week's matchup with the Detroit Lions.

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 (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

Looking to gain a physical edge on the field, Jets linebacker Darron Lee gained nine pounds heading into training camp. 

Lee, who was 227 pounds after minicamp ended, is now 236 at training camp. 

"On my conditioning test, everybody was like, 'You look noticeably bigger,'" Lee said, according to the New York Daily News. "Hey, I put in that work."

Tags: Darron Lee
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Bowles rewards team during camp 00:02:29
Jeane Coakley and Ralph Vacchiano report from Florham Park where Todd Bowles allowed his team to remove pads during practice on Wednesday.

 

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 (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
(Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

Jets linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin showed up to a Manhattan court on Wednesday for his alleged assault of a Queens man, but the case has been delayed because prosecution wasn't ready to file paper work, according to multiple reports

Mauldin had turned himself in to authorities in late June for his alleged role in the nightclub attack that took place on April 2. The New York Post reported on June 21 that Mauldin had been charged with misdemeanor assault, which carries a maximum sentence of year in jail.

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New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles answers questions from media at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles answers questions from media at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - In the wake of the ugly riots in Charlottesville, Va., there's a possibility that more NFL players will decline to stand for the national anthem during preseason games this weekend, joining a protest started by Colin Kaepernick last year. So far there's no indication any Jets players will join them.

But if they do, their coach will have their back.

"We don't have a rule book on what's right to protest and not protest," Bowles said at Jets training camp on Wednesday. "You don't know those things until the course of time, whether it's sitting for the anthem, whether it's raising your fist, wither it's speaking out, a walk to Washington -- who's to say whose protest is good or bad?"

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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass against the Tennessee Titans during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass against the Tennessee Titans during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

John Morton seemed to like everything he saw with Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg on Saturday night. He liked his poise, his decisiveness, the decisions he made. It was clearly a step in the right direction.

But was it a big step toward Hackenberg getting the starting job?

That's a question that Morton, the Jets new offensive coordinator, wasn't willing to answer on Tuesday. In fact, Morton made it sound like Hackenberg still has a long ways to go.

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Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Lucky Whitehead (13) during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Cowboys won 35-10. (Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports)
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Lucky Whitehead (13) during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Cowboys won 35-10. (Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports)

Jets WR Lucky Whitehead, who suffered a broken foot during Monday's practice, will have surgery for the injury, head coach Todd Bowles said on Wednesday.

Prior to deciding on surgery, Whitehead was expected to miss four-to-six weeks, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano confirmed.

Whitehead joined the Jets after he was released by the Cowboys on July 24. He returend two punts and a kickoff in the Jets' preseason opener. Serving primarily as a returner, he caught three passes for 48 yards for the Cowboys in 2016.

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GEICO SportsNite: Jets camp 00:01:46
Jeane Coakley reports from Jets camp, where Todd Bowles was pleased with his team's response to his criticism.

 

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Jets Training Camp report 00:01:37
SNY's Jeane Coakley reports from Jets training camp where head coach Todd Bowles was not pleased with the team's most recent practice.

 

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New York Jets running back Matt Forte is tackled by Miami Dolphins corner back Tony Lippett during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets running back Matt Forte is tackled by Miami Dolphins corner back Tony Lippett during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Jets running back Matt Forte is missing time in the preseason and training camp due to a hamstring injury for the second year in a row, but told NJ.com's JJ Conrad he feels he is close to returning to the field.

"I'm feeling good, but not good enough to be in full practice yet," Forte said to Conrad on Monday. "I'm just going through what the trainers tell me, easing back in. I don't want to go back out there immediately and get injured again."

Forte, who did not play in Saturday's 7-3 win over the Tennessee Titans in the Jets' preseason opener, said he the trainers are being cautious with him given the nature of hamstring injuries and the fact the veteran running back underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus at the end of last season.

Tags: Matt Forte
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Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet during the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports (Matt Kartozian)
Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet during the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports (Matt Kartozian)

The Jets have signed undrafted rookie WR Daniel Williams, and waived WR Deshon Foxx, per SNY's Ralph Vacchiano. 

Williams spent time with the Oakland Raiders after going undrafted out of Jackson State (Miss.). Standing at 6-foot-2, 234 pounds, he totaled 184 receptions for 2,497 yards and 19 touchdowns in four years at college. 

Foxx went undrafted as well out of UConn in 2016. He spent time on the Seattle Seahawks practice squad before joining the Jets this offseason. The Jets waived him on May 9, but eventually resigned him on May 22. 

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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) watches as quarterback Josh McCown (15) warms up before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) watches as quarterback Josh McCown (15) warms up before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

With Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty still early in their NFL careers, Josh McCown is taking a leadership and mentorship role at quarterback in his first season with the Jets. 

"Every quarterback goes out there and they want to finish each drive with a touchdown, so when those things are happening, there is kind of an inner fight of, man, do I need to do more?" McCown said, according to Newsday. "Things happen and you get kind of delayed, but the fight as a quarterback is to stay in the system, stay within the game and don't be greedy and force the ball. So my hat is off to both of them for not doing that."

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg
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SNY's Jonas Schwartz and former NFL guard Willie Colon are live from Jets training camp in Florham Park. The guys open the show with SNY Jets reporter Jeane Coakley to discuss the biggest storylines from camp. Then, they welcome in tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who opens up about the troubled start to his NFL career, and how he is a changed man. Later, rookie safety Marcus Maye joins the show to give his thoughts on his first NFL training camp, and how he is adjusting to life in the New York area.

Click below to listen

 

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
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Atlanta Falcons free safety Robenson Therezie returns a pass interception against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second quarter at the Georgia Dome. (Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports)
Atlanta Falcons free safety Robenson Therezie returns a pass interception against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second quarter at the Georgia Dome. (Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets signed former Atlanta Falcons defensive back Robenson Therezie after safety Doug Middleton reportedly suffered a torn pec.

Therezie, a 26-year-old free safety, recorded one interception, two passes defensed and 36 combined tackles in 25 games with Atlanta over the past two seasons. He was an undrafted free agent out of Auburn.

Middleton, who was competing for a backup role with New York, recorded six combined tackles and one pass defensed in four games as a Jet last season. He suffered the injury in the fourth quarter in Saturday's 7-3 preseason win over the Tennessee Titans and is expected to undergo surgery, according to the New York Daily News' Manish Mehta.

The Jets also announced they waived fullback Algernon Brown, who appeared in eight offensive plays and two plays on special teams on Saturday. He recorded 1,310 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns in four seasons with BYU.

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Jets WR Anderson on Hackenberg 00:01:31
Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson chats with SNY's Jeane Coakley about the Jets' preseason win over the Tennessee Titans.

 

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This preseason, I'll be spotlighting an under-the-radar player who impressed me in each game and assessing that player's chances of making the team.  Today we'll look at defensive lineman Claude Pelon, who was one of the top performers in the Jets' 7-3 win over the Titans in the preseason opener.

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Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass against the Tennessee Titans during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass against the Tennessee Titans during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The last time anybody saw Christian Hackenberg in a game was the preseason finale almost a year ago. It was a disaster. He completed just 11 of 31 passes for 54 yards and threw an interception, too.

It was a much, much different and better Hackenberg that the Jets got to see on Saturday night.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Alex Tanney (11) is sacked by New York Jets linebacker Julian Stanford (51) during the second quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Alex Tanney (11) is sacked by New York Jets linebacker Julian Stanford (51) during the second quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Josh McCown threw the Jets' first touchdown of the preseason and the team's defense tallied eight sacks in a 7-3 win over the Titans on Saturday at MetLife Stadium.

The Jets kept the Titans out of the endzone for the duration of the game, allowing only a field goal on a five-play, 49-yard drive in the third quarter. 

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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The good news is the Jets really have no choice but to play most of their starters in their preseason opener. Or maybe that's the bad news given the low expectations for this team.

But Jets GM Mike Maccagnan and coach Todd Bowles have promised competition all summer long for almost every job on the roster, and the competition begins for real against the Tennessee Titans at the Meadowlands on Saturday night. Not all jobs are up for grabs, of course, but quite a few are.

Here's an inside look at some of the battles and 10 intriguing players to watch:

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Chris Harper, Christian Hackenberg, Juston Burris, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Some of the Jets' newest additions, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins and S Marcus Maye, had high praise for their new head coach, Todd Bowles. 

Both appeared on SNY's The Jet Stream podcast, and when asked who is most impactful to the Jets this season, Seferian-Jenkins showed love to his coach. 

"I would definitely say, first of all, coach Bowles," Seferian-Jenkins told SNY's Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon. "I never had a coach like that, that really just says a real, honest thing. Just tells you the truth. He doesn't want to lie to you, he doesn't want to sugarcoat anything. I think he's a phenomenal coach."

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets camp 00:02:31
Jeane Coakley reports from Jets training camp to preview their first preseason game of the 2017-18 season on Saturday, August 12.

 

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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) warms up before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) warms up before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - The memories of Christian Hackenberg from last season are few and not very good. He had two ugly preseason performances and then was buried on the depth chart, only resurfacing to occasionally misfire in practice. His future didn't appear bright at all.

That's why all eyes will be on Hackenberg when the Jets open up their preseason slate against the Tennesssee Titans at the Meadowlands on Saturday night.

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Jets training camp 00:01:42
Jeane Coakley breaks down the latest news and updates from Jets camp as they get ready for their first preseason game on Saturday.

 

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 (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
(Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

Jets corner Buster Skrine thinks this year's secondary will not only be an improvement over last year's but that the group also has the potential to stand out. 

"This is my seventh year in the NFL and this is one of the most aggressive groups I've been around - and confident," Skrine said, according to Newsday.

Tags: Buster Skrine
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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) attempts to pass during New York Jets training camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) attempts to pass during New York Jets training camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)

Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg had another tough day at practice Wednesday, throwing two interceptions during team drills. It marked the second straight day that Hackenberg threw two picks during 11-on-11 drills. 

The second-year quarterback had not thrown an interception during his first eight practices of training camp. Head coach Todd Bowles is still confident in what Hackenberg can do on the field, regardless of what has happened the last two days. 

"It's practice," Bowles told reporters Wednesday. "The defense has got to get turnovers. I'd be concerned if they weren't. They got two today, but we're cleaning some things up, and we're learning as we go. It's going to be up and down every day, so we'll just go from there."

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 (Robert Deutsch)
(Robert Deutsch)

Though the Jets lost WR Quincy Enunwa for the rest of the season, the other receivers are not viewing it as a setback, per Newsday's Kimberly A. Martin.

Leading the wide receiver corps now is WR Robby Anderson who saw limited time in his rookie year last season. The 24-year-old viewed the situation entirely different than the reporters asking him questions after practice Tuesday. 

"It's not a challenge," Anderson said, "it's an opportunity."

Tags: Jalin Marshall
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets' offense 00:01:57
Jeane Coakley reports from Jets camp in Florham Park to discuss the Jets' depth chart and how the offense can stay competitive this season.

 

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New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson during practice at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson during practice at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Todd Bowles has had more than enough of the Sheldon Richardson-Brandon Marshall feud.

After 11 months of sniping back and forth between the two of them, and one day after Richardson reignited the war by ripping Marshall in a radio interview, the Jets coach made it clear he's had enough of their fighting. Bowles even grew testy with the media when asked about Richardson's latest remarks.

 

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Sheldon Richardson
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Jets rookie S Marcus Maye has been one of the best players at training camp so far, per NY Daily News' Manish Mehta. 

Maye, the Jets' second-round pick out of Florida, was known to be extremely aggressive and instinctive coming in, and he has certainly shown CB Morris Claiborne he is NFL-ready.

"You can tell: He's a guy that's all about his business," Claiborne said. "He's just aggressive and smart. You wouldn't expect the football smarts from him at this stage. But he's picking up the defense well and going out and making plays."

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