New York Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan, 12.3

Opening Statement…

First off, I thought the game, I know it’s been described as ugly and all that stuff but any time you are one point better than the opponent or 30 points better, it’s a beautiful game.  I thought that was a beautiful game. Obviously, anytime you find a way to get a win. I thought the defense was, that’s about as good as we’ve played in a long, long time. Statistically, they had that 40-yard fake punt, I don’t know what that would’ve given them had we had prevented that, but it was really a great game on defense. The 0-15 on third down obviously was huge for us. We’ve been struggling at getting off the field on third down and we came up big.

But the play on the backend in particular, guys like Ellis Lankster and  Kyle Wilson had a big game. (Antonio) Cromartie, the type of game he had, Larry Fitzgerald’s about as good a receiver as there is in this league and he gives up one catch for 23 yards and he just continues to play at a super Pro Bowl level and, obviously, I know the voting for that but they shouldn’t even have one if that kid doesn’t get in there. Muhammad Wilkerson’s still, that’s another guy that just keeps continuing to make plays. (I’m) really happy with the defense in particular. And then on offense, two guys that don’t get a whole lot of attention I think, Jason Smith, I thought had his best game. I thought he did a tremendous job playing that big tight end for us. I thought he had a tremendous game, (and) did a great job of finishing those blocks. Then, Austin Howard, he just keeps getting better and better and I thought he had a super game. Brandon (Moore), you expect that from him as a Pro Bowl player and things but he was tremendous as well.  One other guy too, Robert Malone, I think when you look at the game that he had. You’re going against one of the premier punt returners in the game (Patrick Peterson) and our thing was look, just kick it out of bounds. Whatever you do, just kick it out of bounds. Finally Peterson got so frustrated, he fielded that ball on the two-yard line (and) made us all hold our breath.  I thought the game (Malone) had was absolutely tremendous and I think, without question, he’ll be getting the game ball for his efforts.

On who the starting quarterback will be on Sunday…

Well, I think right now, I definitely need a little more time to make that decision. I’m comfortable and confident with all three quarterbacks.  I think all three guys, well now have proven they can win in this league, with Greg (McElroy) at the end of the game and obviously, Mark’s (Sanchez) history here and the way Tim (Tebow) has played. So, I’ve got three guys I’m confident in but I’ll make that decision as the week goes on.

On whether Tebow could be the starter…

I’m just saying this, I think when you look at Tim, he is a proven winning quarterback in this league. Each game’s different, I think when you look at who you play, the opponent you’re playing and things like that, you make decisions on what gives you the best (chance to win). I make decisions on what gives us the best chance to be successful to win. And really this week, obviously, is going to be about competing and beating Jacksonville and that’s what will go into all decisions.

On whether Tebow has a chance to be the starter…

You can put him in there, you can put whoever in there. Tim, we’ll have to monitor his situation as the week goes on. He was cleared to play, but it was my decision that (he didn’t). I never felt that he could (play), I just never thought that he was where I think he should be. He might be able to play, but I don’t think he’s near 100 percent and I think I just wasn’t comfortable. Quite honestly, I let Tim talk me into activating him the week before and I think that was something I regretted and I wasn’t going to let him talk his way into it this time. That’s basically what happened.

On whether he’s not sharing his decision for competitive reasons…

Right now, I haven’t made that decision. But again, obviously, that could be a thing that I’ll consider as the week goes on. But right now, I’m not ready to say that. I want to make sure that I talk to Tony (Sparano), Matt (Cavanaugh), everybody and make sure that I get a sense of what will be the right decision. I know nothing about Jacksonville. I haven’t watched one film on Jacksonville as far as their defense is concerned. There are a lot of things that go into every decision you make, even how we’re going to play Kyle Wilson. Is Kyle going to play corner or is he going to play the nickel? Those are decisions you make based on opponent specifics.

On how he’d describe his quarterback situation…

Well, I have three good quarterbacks and I feel good about (all) three quarterbacks. I think we’re in a lot better situation than probably a lot of teams.

On what McElroy provided that in a game that was “ugly” by the media’s standards…

Beautiful by mine, clearly. I just thought at the time, it was the right move that sometimes you have better days than others and it’s just something I felt needed to be done and gave our team the best opportunity to win. That’s what it’s always about and that’s why I made that move.

On whether he has confidence in McElroy playing on the road…

I think he’s played and all these guys have played in big games. It’s not (something new). He’s not foreign to big games, he’s won a National Championship, Tim has won a National Championship, (he’s) been a quarterback, Mark’s obviously played in big games before. We’re fortunate to have guys that are tested that way.

On how he will divide practice reps for the quarterbacks…

As the week goes on and the days go on, I’ll make that decision and we’ll make that decision as a staff.

On why Coach Sparano told Sanchez that McElroy was going in…

Tony went over, I told Greg (and) I told Tony. And he just grabbed him (Sanchez) and clearly, I would’ve, but we were playing defense, right away, we were up on defense. I saw Tony had grabbed Mark (and), obviously, I was going to find my way to tell Mark myself, but I wasn’t going to go grab him and let him know. Tony already did it. So when he asked, when I stepped back, I reached over I told Greg, I told Tony, Tony went to (Sanchez) and then I saw (Sparano) with (Sanchez) and then I was over on defense. The message was clearly delivered, he (Sanchez) knew exactly where it was coming from. I made that decision. I made sure that Tony knew that that was my decision. He went and told Mark. I saw (Sparano) there. I wasn’t going to go over and pile on him. I’m trying to get focused on the defense.

On if he has made up his mind of who will be the starting quarterback…

I just want to make sure that I get all of the facts and everything else. It’s a big decision. Obviously, the decision, I think, has to be made in what gives us the best opportunity to beat Jacksonville.

On if the decision is open for discussion among the staff…

I want it to be an open discussion, so I don’t want to say there is definitely a way I am leaning. I want to make sure that everybody knows that it’s an open discussion. I want honest feedback.

On if practice has anything to do with who will be the starter…

We’ll see.

On it sounding like he has decided to make Sanchez the starter this week…

It sounds like you’ve already made your opinion. But again, I haven’t. To me, it’s a decision that you make based on the moment, on who gives you the best opportunity to win that particular game. I have more time. I will make what I think is the appropriate decision on who gives us the best opportunity to beat Jacksonville.

On if Tebow would have replaced Sanchez if he was active yesterday…

Again, I really don’t want to get into the “what ifs” and all that stuff because each situation is different. I just felt like I’ve never really pulled Mark before in a game, but I just felt that for our team, the best move was that we were going to make a change. I thought that was going to give us (the best chance of winning). Sometimes, if you step back and look at things, obviously the quarterback position is different than any other position that’s why I’m slower to make that move. I’ve benched a lot of great players as a coach, a lot of great ones, on defense in particular. I just felt like I needed to make that change.

On comparing the short and long term when making his decision…

I just have to focus on (my job). My job is to win games and I’m going to focus on what gives us the best opportunity to beat Jacksonville.

On his conversation with Sanchez in the locker room after the game…

I think anybody that goes through that, when it’s a decision that I personally made to put a guy down, I think you have a little more time to explain why (and) I thought I needed to do that, so that’s what I did. Obviously, nobody wants to be pulled from anything. Mark and everyone else I’ve ever put in a situation like that always believe that they would give us the best opportunity to win. I think that’s why they’re so competitive. That’s just the nature of the man that’s playing, so I understand that. Anyways, it was a conversation I thought I needed to have.

On if the fans will impact his decision…

There will be no impact that way.

On why he made the quarterback change…

I just thought at that particular time, in that game, that I needed to make a change. I just felt it. We were fortunate that we ended up finding a way to win the game, but that was the reason.

On if he would have felt comfortable replacing Sanchez if Tebow was active…

Again, I don’t want to get into the what-if’s and all that stuff. The fact is that Greg was the guy that was active. I thought the decision was in the best interest (of) the team. That’s why I made that decision.

On if yesterday was the final “wake-up call” for Sanchez…

Mark Sanchez (has) won a lot of football games for this franchise, has won some big games for us, has produced a lot of big wins for us and has been a good player for us. ‘Final wake-up call?’ I don’t know about that.

On making a run at the playoffs…

It’s just about finding a way to beat Jacksonville. That’s where it is. We’re a sub-.500 team, so we’re just trying to scratch and claw our way back into it. Obviously, you want to be playing at the end of the year for an opportunity to get in (the playoffs). It’s hard to get in the playoffs, but you want to fight like crazy to get in there if you can.

On making tough decisions as a coach…

There are a lot of decisions you make as a coach that are tough decisions. A lot of times, they’re easy decisions if you always put the three priorities first: the team, the team and the team. When you do that, the decision is sometimes easier. But as a head coach, there are a lot of tough decisions. You have to take personal feelings outside of it because it’s bigger than just me, this person or that person.

On McElroy…

I think with Greg, you see every day the improvements that he makes, albeit running the scout team. This is a smart guy. He grew up under Nick Saban, who’s a great coach, obviously. He’s had a lot of advantages even going (back) to his high school (Southlake Carroll) in Texas. You talk about big games, the National Championship Game probably pales in comparison to the State Championship Game he quarterbacked in. He’s grown up that way. I’m sure he’s comfortable with any situation he’s in.

On Dustin Keller and Joe McKnight’s injuries…

Dustin’s (injury) doesn’t look like a high ankle sprain, (so) that’s good. We’ll know about him later. He has some swelling there. Joe McKnight’s ribs (tested) negative as far as (being) broken, so that’s good. We’ll know more about the other guys as the week goes on.

On Bilal Powell getting the early carries instead of Greene…

Both guys got a lot of carries. I think (Shonn) might have had (24) attempts, so that was just something we decided to do.

On if he will consult other NFL coaches he trusts about making the quarterback decision…

It’s certainly a possibility, but I think I’ll just lean on the guys in here. The decision will be made based on our situation, our football team and what ultimately I feel will give us the best chance to win.

On if he will decided the starting quarterback by Tuesday night…

I’m not going to get into it 100 percent, but that would be my initial thought.

New York QB Greg McElroy, 12.3

On what the day after the game feels like…

Just a normal Monday, honestly. Woke up, got a great breakfast here at the facility, got a work out in, now I’m just watching the film of the game. Just a standard Monday, wouldn’t have it any other way.

On what he saw on film…

Well, actually I’ve watched it briefly, I just (watched it quickly), but I was about to break it down and take notes on it.  Obviously, (I have) a lot of stuff to learn.  But it was a good experience for me and I was actually happy with the way things looked at first glance.

On if there’s any indication to whether he’ll start on Sunday…

No, no indication. (There’s) no information at this point obviously. That’s going to come, I assume, in the next few days. I know Coach Ryan and Coach Sparano and everybody involved, they’re going to make the decision that’s best for the team. I think we all feel comfortable with their decision and we all are looking forward to what the decision may be.

On whether they have a quarterback meeting today…

No, it’s a victory Monday so it’s basically an off day. It’s one of those things that’s voluntary but you can’t go a day without coming up to this place. For some reason, I have a hard time getting away from the facility. So I had to be here, I saw Tim (Tebow and) I saw Mark (Sanchez) and I think most of the guys on the team will be around the facility at some point today.

On whether Coach Cavanaugh or Coach Ryan has said they’ll have a decision by Wednesday…

No, I haven’t really visited with those guys. It’s just one thing that I’m sure they’ll let us know and it will obviously be in the best interest of the football team.

On how it’s been talking to Tebow and Sanchez not knowing who will be starting on Sunday…

It’s not worth worrying about. It doesn’t change our relationship (and) it doesn’t change how supportive we are of one another. Whoever’s on the field, I know the other two guys will be pushing for that person and supporting him every step of the way and that’s been the case up to this point and I wouldn’t expect that to change.

On Brandon Moore’s comments that he was borderline cocky in the huddle…

(Laughing) I don’t know. That thing, confident, bordering on cocky, I would like to think its leaning a little bit more towards confident. (Laughter) But yeah, one thing I’ve always tried to approach this game with is you just never let them see you sweat. And that includes the players in your huddle, the players in the opposite huddle, the players on the opposite sideline, on your sideline, never let them see you sweat. Regardless of the situation, always stay with an even keel, always have a positive mindset and good things will happen and that’s been the case up to this point.

On whether anyone reached out and congratulated him…

One or two. One or two hundred that is. (laughing) A lot of people are very, very supportive and people that have just always been in my corner and I have a tremendous support group and I am very, very thankful and grateful for those people. A lot of people were able to reach out and tell me congrats and tell me that they were happy for me and it was really great. It was an experience I really appreciate. A lot of people were able to reach out and (get in) touch (with) me and all those things, I appreciated that.

On what it’s like going from a third-string quarterback to possibly the starter…

It doesn’t change any approach at all obviously. (When) you love this game, (when) you play this game a long time, you’re always going to approach it the same way.  Whether I was in high school as a backup, whether in college you’re a backup or a starter, and especially at this level, you just approach it the same it doesn’t change anything. Whether you’re a third-string quarterback, second-string quarterback, starter, you always have to prepare the same because you never know when your opportunity’s going to come.  I think you have to take every opportunity that you possibly have and you try to make the most of it and when that opportunity’s there you better be prepared because you don’t know when you’re going to get another one.

On whether he had damage control after his comments at the end of last season…

I reached out to a lot of players as soon as everything happened and just apologized. (I reached out to) a lot of the veteran guys and just apologized and just tried to explain what the situation was and how things happened. A lot of guys were upset and rightfully so. I completely understand that and that’s one thing I did have to own up to it and I had to do a little bit of damage control for sure. Those guys are understanding and Rex (Coach Ryan) made a point that, “Hey, last season’s in the past and rip off the rear view mirror and let’s go forward.”  To everyone it really wasn’t an issue at that point. Just don’t worry about it, don’t do it again. I think Wayne Hunter actually said it best, “Rookie mistake, don’t do it again.” I think that was the best advice. That’s the way a lot of them handled it.

On whether he thought he was going to get cut after his comments at the end of last season...

You don’t worry about those situations. That’s kind of a hypothetical so it’s not something that I worry about. Obviously, it’s always a possibility it doesn’t matter what the situation is. We play a game for a living and it’s not the most stable career, I’ll be honest. But at any point you don’t know when your number might be called so it’s always a possibility but I wouldn’t say that that one particular incident really changed my view on that. You always have to be on edge and you always have to be prepared for a possible situation like that.

On whether he breaks down film with Tebow and Sanchez…

Every game (gets broken down), regardless of who’s on the field. I always come in and I watch it and I grade it. It’s just a plus-minus (grade). I usually do a footwork grade, I do a passing grade, and a running grade and a position grade. So, just pluses and minuses across the board. I’ve done that because I chart the plays, as of when I was on the sideline in the past 11 games, I was always charting the plays and writing down what the coverage was. I’d go back and grade Mark and I’d grade myself on how I did with the coverages. I think I’m a little bit obsessive compulsive when it comes to the grading. It’s something I love. I love this game and I love studying it and its part of the reason why I just have a tremendous passion for this game.

On the case for him to be the starter…

You don’t need to make a case, obviously. There’s no case being made obviously. Coach Ryan will make a decision and he’ll do what’s best for this football team. He’s a tremendous coach, he has a tremendous vision and he knows exactly what he wants to accomplish. Coach Ryan is the man to make that decision, so there’s no case needed to be made for (any) of us. It’s just going to be Rex’s decision and we’ll deal with it when he decides.

New York Jets DE Mike DeVito, 12.3

On who should play quarterback on Sunday…

That decision is above my pay grade. I couldn’t even tell you. I trust all three of those guys. I’m grateful that we have all three of those guys on our team and I know the coaches will make a really informed and smart decision for the benefit of the team. I trust in that and all I can do is worry about what I’m doing on defense.

On if the situation at quarterback could divide the locker room…

I think in most locker rooms it could do that, but not in this locker room. We put a real (emphasis) this offseason on building a really tight-knit group, a team that cares about each other (and) a team that really bonds together as a family. We’ll face this just like every other situation, as a family. It definitely won’t divide this group of guys. Last year, I might have had a different answer for you, but this year I have no doubt that this team is going to stick together.

On Greg McElroy…

(He is) just a really smart quarterback. He’s not always put in the most favorable positions running (the) scout team, but just his ability to set the right protections and find the open man against our defense, we see it week-in-and-week-out. He’s a special quarterback and a guy that can get the job done. He faces one of the most complex defenses in the NFL each week, so he knows how to play NFL football.

On the strong defensive performance…

It was so needed. We really needed that. That’s the defense that we’ve seen all (of) training camp (and) that we’ve seen off and on all season. It’s the defense that we know we have on this team. It was great to see it manifest itself on Sunday to the full extent and to play that way across the board was just awesome. We needed that going into this last quarter of the season.

On if the defense can move up in the statistical rankings even more…

That’s what I was saying last week too, ‘Let’s wait until the end of the season before we start deciding where we’re at. Let’s wait until the end of the year, and then we’ll look back and see how we played.’ It’s right there in front of us. We know we can play that way week-in-and-week-out. Let’s continue this upward trend and continue to play Jets defense.

On stopping teams from scoring…

As far as we think in that room, we know that we recognize, when any team scores, they can win, and if they don’t score, they can’t win, and that’s on us. We can’t really be concerned about the other side of the ball and what’s going on. We trust everybody in that locker room. We trust the coaches. We trust the guy’s playing. We know everybody out there is doing their job. That’s all we can focus on. Again, it’s in our hands. If the other team doesn’t score, they can’t win.

Tags: Transcript, Brian Bassett
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Dec 2, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) gestures at the line of scrimmage against the Los Angeles Chargers during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The Chargers won 33-30. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Dec 2, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) gestures at the line of scrimmage against the Los Angeles Chargers during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The Chargers won 33-30. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

As the Steelers search for a trade partner for Antonio Brown, they have set some loose boundaries. 

Per ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, the Steelers will not trade Brown within the AFC North, nor to the New England Patriots, if possible. Ideally, the Steelers would like to send Brown to the NFC and get him out of the conference altogether. 

GM Kevin Colbert said on Wednesday he would not totally rule any team out, but would be judicious in the process. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Sam Darnold
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New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams and Jets linebacker Jordan Jenkins sack Denver Broncos quarterback Case Keenum in the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams and Jets linebacker Jordan Jenkins sack Denver Broncos quarterback Case Keenum in the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Gregg Williams has a history of coaching an aggressive, 4-3 defense, which he has been expected to bring to the Jets even though they've run a 3-4 scheme for years. That would mean not only a philosophical change, but some big personnel changes, too.

But what if Williams doesn't change the scheme at all?

Apparently, he won't be changing the Jets' base alignment, according to a report in the New York Post. Several NFL agents have speculated that's the way the Jets were leaning in conversations with SNY over the last few weeks, but the Post said the decision has been made.

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New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft walks the field before the AFC Championship game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the New England Patriots at Arrowhead Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft walks the field before the AFC Championship game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the New England Patriots at Arrowhead Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

Patriots owner Robert Kraft has been charged with soliciting prostitution in Jupiter, Florida, in a human trafficking investigation.

Kraft was among 25 people charged by Jupiter Police in a seven-month investigation, police said Friday.

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Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Some of the best movies ever -- including some of the best sports movies ever -- have been filmed in and/or take place in New York. Here is our ranking of the 10 best...

10. Above The Rim (1994)

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Florida Atlantic Owls running back Devin Singletary runs for a first down during the second quarter against the UCF Knights at Spectrum Stadium. (Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports)
Florida Atlantic Owls running back Devin Singletary runs for a first down during the second quarter against the UCF Knights at Spectrum Stadium. (Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the next month or so, we're going to review some of the top draft prospects at each position to assess some potential candidates in whom the Jets may show interest. We continue with a look at the 2019 running back class.

Jets needs: Running backs

Whether or not the Jets will draft a running back in 2019 will heavily depend on how free agency plays out. The Jets are widely expected to be in the mix for Le'Veon Bell, and if they end up signing him, the running back position is unlikely to be a priority. Some pundits have suggested the Jets could target a less expensive back like Tevin Coleman instead.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire, Isaiah Crowell
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It was an interesting hire to say the least when the Jets brought on Joe Vitt for next season. Yes, he may be head coach Adam Gase's father-in-law, but teaming up with Gregg Williams once again seemed like a problem waiting to happen. 

For those of you who don't know why, here's a little context: Willams, the Jets' new defensive coordinator, and Vitt, a senior defensive assistant working with the outside linebackers, were the two faces of the infamous "BountyGate" with the Saints from 2009-2011. After a bad departure following their suspension from the league, it was an educated guess that these two defensive minds wouldn't be on the same staff again. 

However, according to the Daily News' Manish Mehta, Williams and Vitt ended their feud years ago. In fact, when it was clear Gase's former defensive coordinator Vance Joseph was going to walk back in 2016, Vitt suggested Williams to his son-in-law. Williams went on to fill the Browns' same vacancy. 

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Dec 10, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) celebrates with wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) after scoring a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Dec 10, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) celebrates with wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) after scoring a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

The Steelers will not be placing the transition tag on Le'Veon Bell -- making him an unrestricted free agent -- GM Kevin Colbert told Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.

If the Steelers placed the transition tag on Bell, it would have given them the opportunity to match any offer sheet Bell signs with another team.

Now, armed with roughly $100 million in cap space, the Jets could make Bell one of their top targets. But they could be facing an uphill climb if they do.

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Aug 26, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets acting ceo Christopher Wold Johnson (left) talks to general manager Mike Maccagnan before a preseason game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aug 26, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets acting ceo Christopher Wold Johnson (left) talks to general manager Mike Maccagnan before a preseason game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

A lot of people sure seem certain that the Giants are going to take Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins with the sixth pick of the NFL Draft - or at least one of the franchise quarterbacks to become Eli Manning's heir apparent.

But there are still more than two months left and even the Giants don't know for sure what they're doing just yet. Picking something other than a quarterback is absolutely still an option.

So what happens if that's what they do? It could shake up the Top 10 a bit. Here's a look at one possible scenario:

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 (Bob Donnan)
(Bob Donnan)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the next month or so, we're going to be reviewing some of the top draft prospects at each position to try and assess some potential candidates that the Jets will show interest in. We continue today with a look at the 2019 safety class.

Jets Needs: Safety

When the Jets used their first two picks on safeties in 2017, that made it unlikely the safety position would be considered a draft priority for the next few years, especially since Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye had such impressive rookie seasons. However, while Adams went from strength to strength in 2018, Maye had multiple injury issues, missing 10 starts.

Tags: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye, Rontez Miles, Terrence Brooks
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Dec 4, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) sits on the bench against the Cincinnati Bengals in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
Dec 4, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) sits on the bench against the Cincinnati Bengals in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

The Jets appear ready to make a strong bid for running back Le'Veon Bell as soon as the NFL free-agent market opens on March 13.

One problem, though: Bell might not actually be a free agent.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are reportedly considering placing the "transition tag" on the 27-year-old running back, which would certainly complicate the Jets' pursuit of Bell. The Steelers have from now until March 5 to make that decision on a tag that is expected to be about $14.5 million for a one-year deal. And "all indications are (they) still intend to do that," according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

If they do use it, though, that doesn't mean he's off the market. In fact, several NFL sources believe the Steelers will tag Bell with the intention of trading him. Obviously it would be easier for the Jets if Bell were an unrestricted free agent and they could simply use some of their projected $95 million in salary cap room to shower him with money. But they'd still have other options to get him.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive back Terrence Brooks (23) celebrates during the second half against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive back Terrence Brooks (23) celebrates during the second half against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Already boasting a ton of cap space, the Jets now have even more room to work with. 

The Jets announced Tuesday that they're not picking up contract options on safety Terrence Brooks, DT Mike Pennel and LB Kevin Pierre-Louis

The 26-year-old Brooks just completed the first season of a two-year deal. His option was for $200,000 and he was due $1.6 million in 2019, so the move clears $1.8 million of cap space for the Jets. Brooks appeared in 31 of a possible 32 games for the Jets over the last two seasons, starting once. 

Tags: Terrence Brooks
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Dec 1, 2017; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal tight end Kaden Smith (82) catches a pass for a touchdown against the USC Trojans in the third quarter of the Pac-12 Conference championship game at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports (John Hefti)
Dec 1, 2017; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal tight end Kaden Smith (82) catches a pass for a touchdown against the USC Trojans in the third quarter of the Pac-12 Conference championship game at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports (John Hefti)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the next month or so, we're going to be reviewing some of the top draft prospects at each position to try and assess some potential candidates that the Jets will show interest in.

We begin today with a look at the 2019 tight end class.

Jets Needs: Tight ends

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Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams before the 2019 College Football Playoff championship game against the Clemson Tigers at Levi's Stadium. (Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports)
Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams before the 2019 College Football Playoff championship game against the Clemson Tigers at Levi's Stadium. (Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The Jets need all the help they can get as they try to quickly rebuild in one of the most important offseasons in franchise history. So they sure could use the pick near the top of the second round that they gave to the Indianapolis Colts.

Not that the Jets would do it any differently, of course. Dealing that pick (and two others) put them in position to draft quarterback Sam Darnold, the most important piece in their rebuilding puzzle and the franchise quarterback they've been seeking for 50 years. So there are no regrets, no hindsight and no wishing they still had two selections in the first 34 picks.

The Jets do still have two picks in the first two days, though. The NFL Draft is 2 1/2 months away and they'll have to get through the combine, the Pro Days and interviews before their draft board settles down. But here's an early look at what the Jets might do on Days 1 and 2:

Tags: Leonard Williams, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Earlier this week, the Buffalo Bills announced they had signed former Jets center Spencer Long. The Jets had reportedly held out some hope of bringing Long back on a reduced salary having released him last week.

Now that Long is no longer an option, who could the Jets' starting center be in 2019?

Tags: Dakota Dozier
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Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan reacts on the field before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan reacts on the field before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Jets CEO Christopher Johnson made his choice on Dec. 30 when he fired Todd Bowles, but not Mike Maccagnan. It was a signal that he believed in his general manager, bought into his vision, and wasn't concerned about his spotty record.

And though Johnson insisted he would never give anyone a playoff mandate ("Absolutely not," he said), the message from his actions are perfectly clear: This is Maccagnan's roster, Adam Gase is Maccagnan's coach, and this is the offseason Maccagnan has to turn the Jets from laughingstocks into a winner.

In other words, as one of the most important offseasons in Jets' history begins, the pressure on Maccagnan is high.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 26, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets acting ceo Christopher Wold Johnson (left) talks to general manager Mike Maccagnan before a preseason game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aug 26, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets acting ceo Christopher Wold Johnson (left) talks to general manager Mike Maccagnan before a preseason game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets are sitting in a sweet spot in the upcoming NFL Draft. They hold a high pick (No. 3) in a draft that isn't thought of as quarterback rich. That means any team that wants a quarterback should want to move up to get their first choice, rather than wait and settle for seconds.

And the Jets are just the type of team that should be very interested in trading down.

For one thing, they already have their franchise quarterback.

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 (Geoff Burke)
(Geoff Burke)

Last week, the Jets decided to let C Spencer Long go, as they declined to pay his $3.5 million roster bonus. They were, however, considering bringing him back at a reduced rate for the 2019-20 season, per SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

So much for that. 

The Bills, an AFC East rival, signed Long to a three-year deal, as he was a free agent once the Jets parted ways with him. CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reports Long's deal is worth $13 million that could reach a max $15 million with incentives...

Tags: Spencer Long
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Dec 30, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark (55) pressures Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) during the first quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)
Dec 30, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark (55) pressures Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) during the first quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)

As the Jets consider how to improve their deficient pass rush, one of the biggest names set to become available might not make it to free agency.

Former NFL agent Joel Corry, who works for CBS Sports, told the Seattle Times he believes the Seahawks will use the franchise tag on Frank Clark. The 25-year-old edge rusher recorded a career-high 13 sacks for Seattle in 2018, and according to Pro Football Focus, Clark had 69 quarterback pressures.

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Nov 11, 2018; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt (27) runs the ball during the second half against the Arizona Cardinals at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 26-14. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports (Denny Medley)
Nov 11, 2018; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt (27) runs the ball during the second half against the Arizona Cardinals at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 26-14. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports (Denny Medley)

The Jets stuck to their word when it came to Kareem Hunt

The troubled 23-year-old running back signed with the Cleveland Browns on Monday, the team announced. He will join the Browns on a one-year deal and become a restricted free agent when the contract expires, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. 

Hunt was placed on the Commissioner's Exempt List after the Chiefs released him mid-way through last season after a video surfaced of the running back assaulting a woman in a Cleveland-area hotel last February. 

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New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Green Bay Packers at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Green Bay Packers at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

The high praise continues to come in for Sam Darnold. 

Despite a rocky rookie season for the Jets quarterback, the expectations for Darnold's future are still sky-high, with the latest bit of optimism coming from former Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis

The former shutdown corner told TMZ last week that Darnold has what it takes to lead the franchise to its first Super Bowl since 1969. 

Tags: Darrelle Revis, Sam Darnold
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Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase talks with the media during the 2018 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. (Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports)
Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase talks with the media during the 2018 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. (Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter: The Jets finally announced their coaching staff for 2019 on Friday and, although many of the hires had already been rumored, there were still a few surprises. Let's weigh up some of the more interesting aspects of this new staff.

A mixture of connections

Although this has been introduced as Adam Gase's staff, a few coaches that have no direct connection to Gase were hired. However, in these instances there are connections that lie elsewhere.

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Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)
Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

Jim Bob Cooter was among 11 assistants new Jets head coach Adam Gase hired as part of his staff on Friday.

Cooter, who previously spent time as Detroit Lions offensive coordinator, will be New York's running backs coach.

Shawn Jefferson will be an assistant head coach and wide receivers coach, as he previously coached players like Calvin Johnson and Jarvis Landry.

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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Giants and Jets organizations don't like each other very much, which happens when teams share a stadium and a city. The Jets have long had an inferiority complex from feeling like New York's little brother. The Giants have never hid their feelings of superiority when it comes to the Jets.

So neither franchise has ever been inclined to do anything that might even appear to help out the other, which is a huge part of the reason why the two have never made a trade.

It might be time they get over those issues and their egos, though. Because a trade of draft picks between the Giants and Jets this year makes a whole lot of sense.

Tags: Eli Manning, Sam Darnold, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets safety Jamal Adams reacts during the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets safety Jamal Adams reacts during the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The recognitions keep pouring in for Jamal Adams.

After making the Pro Bowl and being named second-team All-Pro by the Associated Press, the 23-year-old Jets safety was revealed Thursday as the No. 20 player on Pro Football Focus' list of the Top 101 players from the 2018 NFL season. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Le'Veon Bell
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New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan looks on prior to an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)
New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan looks on prior to an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)

To fit Gregg Williams' new 4-3 defensive scheme, the Jets will pick a defensive end, ESPN's Todd McShay predicts.

In his second mock draft, McShay believes the Jets will draft Michigan defensive end Rashan Gary with the No. 3 pick, predicting Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa goes No. 1 to Arizona and Kentucky linebacker Josh Allen goes No. 2 to San Francisco.

"Henry Anderson is a free agent, and Leonard Williams has one year left on his contract, so defensive end is a need for Gang Green," McShay wrote. "Gary has good size (6-foot-5, 283) and athleticism with an explosive closing burst."

Tags: Leonard Williams
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New York Jets defensive tackle Leonard Williams looks on during his game against the Atlanta Falcons at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets defensive tackle Leonard Williams looks on during his game against the Atlanta Falcons at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

It appears as if the Jets want Leonard Williams to be a part of their future, at least for 2019. 

Per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, the Jets do not have any plans to trade the 24-year-old defensive end as he enters his fifth-year option. 

SNY's Ralph Vacchiano also reports a trade is unlikely and that the team is not actively pursuing one.

Tags: Leonard Williams
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We are very excited to announce that we have a new commenting platform that we'll be launching on Thursday.

SNY has partnered with Spot.IM to bring you a more dynamic commenting experience across our web site. In the process, we migrated your current Livefyre user accounts and hundreds of thousands of comments to the new system.

The look is slightly different than before and we've added some great, new features. You'll still be able to publish comments and follow conversations in real time. You'll continue to benefit from threaded conversations. And if you have notifications settings enabled, you'll receive emails alerting you when others reply to one of your comments or mention you.

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Feb 4, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; General overall view of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium exterior and the State Farm Arena.The venue is the home of the Atlanta Falcons and the site of Super Bowl LIII between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Feb 4, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; General overall view of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium exterior and the State Farm Arena.The venue is the home of the Atlanta Falcons and the site of Super Bowl LIII between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

It was the first Super Bowl that people outside the state of Nevada could bet on, and New Jersey was among them. But it wasn't a profitable Sunday for the state. 

According to the Associated Press, sportsbooks operator in New Jersey saw $34.9 million in wagers, but they lost $4.6 million after having to pay out $39.5 million to winners. That means there were a lot of Patriots fans in New Jersey, who beat the Rams 13-3 with a -2.5 spread. 

Despite the pay backs, Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill US which runs three total sportsbooks in New Jersey, saw the day as a success. He said Sunday "was by far our biggest day ever in New Jersey in terms of handle. It was really good."

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Nov 4, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets center Spencer Long (61) prior to a game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Nov 4, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets center Spencer Long (61) prior to a game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

The Jets are letting Spencer Long go, but they may try to bring him back.

SNY's Ralph Vacchiano reports that the Jets are declining to pay Long's $3.5 million roster bonus, which will make the center a free agent. The move clears $6.5 million in cap space and leaves no dead money.

While the Jets are interested in bringing back Long at a reduced cost, Vacchiano reports he might first sift through the market to see if he can get more money.

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Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan on the sidelines before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan on the sidelines before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There are still nearly three months until the NFL Draft, which means draft boards are only in their early stages and there is much scouting left to be done. Only a blurry picture has emerged of what the Top 10 looks like. It will come into focus after the scouting combine in late February and the Pro Days throughout March.

With both the Giants and Jets picking in the Top 10, though - again - it's never too early to take a peek at what the Top 10 might look like...

1. Arizona Cardinals - DE Nick Bosa, Ohio State

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