Does Maccagnan Deserve Praise for Unpopular Purge?

If you’re a die hard fan of the New York Jets, there’s a good chance you had the chance to take a look at this article from Brian Costello of the New York Post in which he offers praise to Jets GM Mike Maccagnan for his purge of the Jets roster in 2017.

There were plenty of fans who were unhappy with some of the decisions Maccagnan made when he cut ties with fan favorites Darrelle Revis, David Harris, Eric Decker, Nick Mangold and Brandon Marshall.  Also sent packing were right tackle Breno Giacomini, safety Marcus Gilchrist and left tackle Ryan Clady.  Plenty of big names let go, and plenty of cap space saved as a result.

For Maccagnan, some of those decisions had to be more difficult than others, but to offer nothing but praise for the moves seems a bit disingenuous.  After all, of those players let go, how many were brought in by Maccagnan in the first place?  Should a GM be lauded for dumping a player he decided to sign if the deal turned out to be a failure?  Well, let’s look at each one individually.

Darrelle Revis: The re-signing of Revis was one that had Jets fans fired up.  After all, the roster from the previous season as constructed by failed GM John Idzik had the likes of Darren Walls and Antonio Allen starting at cornerback (yes, that really happened).  Revis got huge money, and while Maccagnan was the GM, prevailing wisdom is that Jets owner Woody Johnson was behind the move.  Revis was solid for most of the 2015 season, but faltered down the stretch and was a disaster in 2016.

Signing Revis and being forced to let him go is a wash for Maccagnan as the rookie GM was simply following orders from an owner who was none too pleased after watching his best player win a Super Bowl elsewhere.

Pass or Fail:  Incomplete A splash move under the direction of the team owner is a reflection of a general manager doing what his boss calls for, so while Revis’ re-signing blew up in their collective faces, this one falls on Woody Johnson.

Brandon Marshall: The Jets acquired Marshall for a fifth-round draft choice prior to the start of the 2015 season.  The immediate dividends were exceptional as Marshall had one of the best seasons in team history in 2015.  However, the former Bronco and Bear  was let go after a poor showing both on and off the field in 2016.  Having given up just a fifth round pick and getting Marshall along with a 7th in the deal, the price tag, in reality was a few pennies.  So while the deal would have looked far better today had Marshall given the Jets another season or two of quality play, the reality is that the acquisition was a bad one, albeit one that came with a negligible price tag.

Pass or Fail: Pass Had the Jets surrendered perhaps a third round pick for Marshall, this would have to be deemed a huge failure by the GM.  However, losing a fifth and gaining a 7th almost makes the deal and the subsequent release of Marshall after a fantastic 2015 season feel like a wash. Call it what you like, but the team lost close to nothing in the deal and created cap space in sending Marshall on his way.

David Harris: Both Harris and Decker were let go just before the start of the 2017 season in a pair of moves that came with plenty of scrutiny.  Especially for Harris, who was a mainstay in the middle of the Jets defense for a decade.  Harris was on the final year of a deal that was given to him by Maccagnan just a few years earlier.  As is the case with every NFL great, the day will come when your performance no longer matches up with your salary, and the Jets believed that would be the case with Harris.  Apparently they were right.  Harris would spend one season on the bench in New England before walking away from the game.

Pass or Fail: Pass The proof was in the pudding.  Harris didn’t have much left in the tank and the Jets replaced him with former Jets linebacker Demario Davis who had a career year in 2017.  With Davis having also walked in free agency, Harris’ spot will be filled this season by Avery Williamson.

Eric Decker’s success with Gang Green was short-lived.

Eric Decker: Decker was a rare player for the Jets as somebody who was signed by John Idzik and then went on to play some quality football.  He was eventually released along with Harris after an ineffective 2016, Decker struggled to stay healthy in Tennessee and when he was, didn’t manage to do much anyway.

Pass or Fail: Pass With the emergence of some of their young receivers, the decision to cut the dinged-up Decker proved to be a good one.

Nick Mangold: Another victim of the purge, Mangold was trying to come back from an ankle injury that would likely hobble him for at least part of the 2017 season.  Even still, if the Jets would have gone with a dinged up Nick Mangold, it would have been better than what they got in going with a healthy Wesley Johnson.

Pass or Fail: Fail: After being let go, Mangold made it clear that he was never approached about coming back at a lower price.  This was a huge miscalculation by the Jets, who should have at least brought Mangold in for a look during training camp and during the pre-season.  They didn’t, and they paid for it.

Ryan Clady: Brought in to replace D’Brickashaw Ferguson after the former first round pick announced his retirement, the oft injured Clady had a difficult time staying on the field and was gone after just one season.

Pass or Fail: Fail Maccagnan fails here because the whole situation stinks of something that could have been resolved sooner to give the Jets a chance at a more capable left tackle.  Waiting as long as they did to present Ferguson with a pay cut that led to his retirement is part of what left the Jets scrambling to find a replacement.  They took a shot and failed with Clady and were reportedly willing to take one more look at him at the position, but Clady declined, opting to retire after years of serious injuries.

Things didn’t go as planned in New York for Marcus Gilchrist.

Marcus Gilchrist: Gilchrist had a nice first season in Green and White before falling apart along with the rest of the secondary in 2016.  He caught on with the Houston Texans where he seemed to be closer to the 2015 version than the 2016 version of himself.  He’s now in Oakland trying to win himself a job.

Pass or Fail: Pass Gilchrist saw his play suffer after a strong first season in New York.  With safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye taken in round 1 and 2 respectively of the NFL draft, there wasn’t going to be room for Gilchrist.

Breno Giacomini: Giacomini struggled with penalties and injuries during his time with the Jets.  When healthy, he struggled with football.

Pass or Fail: Pass Rookie right tackle Brandon Shell outplayed Giacomini in the closing weeks of the 2016 season, so it was time to cut bait with one of John Idzik’s prized free agent signings to make room for a better, younger and cheaper player.

So while Maccagnan does deserve a great deal of credit for cutting many of the right players at the right time for the right reasons, there are some moves he could have handled differently.  All in all, as much of it was done to start a full re-build and the Jets are primed to enter season two of said rebuild with the top quarterback in the NFL draft. you’d give new meaning to the term “Same Old Jets Fan” if you can’t find reasons to be happy with the way things have transpired thus far.

Timeline to the Tank; How did Maccagnan and Company get Here?

By Glenn Naughton

 

Maybe it’s unfair to refer to the Jets upcoming 2017 season as “tanking” in an effort to secure the top pick, or as close as possible to it, in next year’s draft.  Perhaps, justifiably or not, the team believes Christian Hackenberg can be the long-term answer at quarterback.

Todd Bowles has led the Jets to a 15-17 record in 2 seasons.

No matter the plan or expectations s at 1 Jets Drive in Florham Park, you couldn’t blame the average Jets fan for looking at the team’s roster, with all of the negative press surrounding the team, and asking, “how did they get here”.  Well, let’s take a look and see how things have transpired from the day Mike Maccagnan and Todd Bowles took over for the failed John Idzik and former head coach Rex Ryan.

Dec 29th, 2014- Woody Johnson does away with the duo of Ryan and Idzik following a four-year long playoff drought for Ryan, and one of the worst drafts in team history from Idzik.  In two seasons, Idzik would draft 19 players.  Just two seasons later, 14 are already gone, with many out of the league.  Only Quincy Enunwa, Sheldon Richardson, Brian Winters, Dakota Dozier and Dexter McDougle remain…for now.  (We took a look at just how bad Idzik was earlier this offseason right here).

January 13th/14th 2015- Johnson replaces the Ryan/Idzik tandem with Bowles and Maccagnan respectively.  Bowles is later named the league’s top coordinator for the 2014 season, while Maccagnan brings years of experience in personnel.

January 19th, 2015- Bowels hires Chan Gailey as his offensive coordinator.  Gailey is the ideal choice, having gotten the most out of every young quarterback he’s ever worked with.  It makes sense to expect the hire to give Geno Smith, then the team’s starting quarterback, his best chance to succeed.

March 6th- The Jets send a 5th round draft choice to the Chicago Bears in exchange for wide receiver Brandon Marshall and a 7th round choice.  Smith is now expected have Marshall and Eric Decker as his top two targets.  With a stellar pair of receivers, Maccagnan is clearly building around Smith to determine if Idzik got it right or not when he drafted him to be the team’s quarterback of the future.

March 10th- Wide receiver Percy Harvin is let go by the team.  One of John Idzik’s solutions to the Jets offensive woes, Harvin struggles to stay healthy and isn’t seen as being worth the hefty price tag.

March 11th- Maccagnan sends a late-round conditional draft pick to the Houston Texans for quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.  Fitzpatrick’s knowledge of Gailey’s offense and experience offers the Jets stability at the position should Smith fail to show improvement over his previous two seasons when he was voted the NFL’s worst starting quarterback.

March 2015- With a cornerback depth chart that consisted of Kyle Wilson, Marcus Williams, Darrin Walls, Philip Adams and the oft injured Dee Milliner and Dexter McDougle, Maccagnan gets to work rebuilding the secondary. He inks cornerbacks Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie and Buster Skrine.  Team owner Woody Johnson is hit with tampering charges for comments he made in regards to the team’s interest in Revis before the start of free agency. That development leads many to believe the mega-contract given to Revis was ordered by the owner.

Maccagnan also adds guard James Carpenter, a former first round pick who struggled at offensive tackle with the Seattle Seahawks.

Darrelle Revis’ return to New York looked like a good move early on, but it wound up being a flop.

April 30th- Despite a plethora of talent along the defensive line, Maccagnan grabs Leonard Williams as the team’s first round draft choice, a decision that surprised many at the time, but has proven to be the right move as Williams is an ascending elite talent.

April 31st/May 1st- After the Williams pick, Maccagnan chooses Ohio State WR Devin Smith, OLB Lorenzo Mauldin, OL Jarvis Harrison, QB Bryce Petty and defensive lineman Deon Simon.  Smith is likely done as a pro due to injuries and Harrison is long gone.  Beyond that, Mauldin and Simon have shown the potential to be anything from solid back up to starter material and Petty flashed briefly in spots last year but is likely some time away (if ever) from looking like an NFL starter.

Devin Smith’s NFL career may very well be over before it ever really got started.

May 8th- Jets sign undrafted free agent linebacker Julian Howsare who is converted to fullback.  Howsare spends the season on the practice squad before making the team and 2016 before being cut.  He has since been re-signed to audition again at fullback.

August 11th, 2015- Geno Smith suffers a broken jaw as the result of being punched in the face by teammate IK Enemkpali over what was said to be a failure to repay a $600 debt.  Fitzpatrick, who spent much of the offseason program rehabbing a broken leg, gets the starting job before taking a single pre-season snap.

One report surfaced claiming Maccagnan contacted the Washington Redskins in an effort to acquire quarterback Kirk Cousins in the wake of the Smith saga, but the uncertain future of Robert Griffin III leads the Redskins do rebuff Maccagnan’s offer.

The purging of the roster, addition of talent through trades and the draft were in an effort to get a look at Geno Smith to determine once and for all if he was a franchise quarterback.  Had Smith bombed, the Jets would have likely torn it all down and started from scratch.

As we all know, the opposite occurred as Fitzpatrick, to the surprise of many onlookers, had a career year.  He would throw a franchise record 31 touchdowns en route to a 10-6 record, a mark that earned Maccagnan executive of the year honors.  Then, in a surprise move, Todd Bowles named Fitzpatrick his starting quarterback before he had the chance to enter free agency despite Smith still being on the roster.

With the Maccagnan/Bowles era set to enter year two, the focus became contending versus re-building, essentially delaying the inevitable.

Feb 22nd- In a highly anticipated move, the Jets part ways with Cromartie, who was signed to a deal with no guaranteed money beyond year one of his deal.

March 9th- Completely invisible in Chan Gailey’s offense, wide receiver Jeremy Kerley and tight end Jeff Cumberland are both cut loose.

March 10th- With running back Chris Ivory gone via free agency, Maccagnan signs veteran running back Matt Forte along with Khiry Robinson, formerly of the New Orleans Saints.

March 10th- The Jets reportedly make a last-ditch effort to re-sign defensive lineman Damon Harrison by increasing their offer, but they’re outbid by the co-tenant Giants.

March 21st- Maccagnan signs defensive lineman Steve McClendon who is viewed by some as a replacement for Damon Harrison.  McClendon clears that up by saying he signed with the understanding that he will not be a true nose tackle, but used in a variety of roles in Bowles’ defense.

April 10th- Following the sudden retirement of left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson and only Ben Ijalana to turn to, the Jets send a 5th round draft choice to the Denver Broncos for LT Ryan Clady.

April 28th- Looking to get faster up front, the Jets select Ohio State linebacker Darron Lee in the first round of the 2016 draft.

April 29th/30th- Maccagnan follows up the Lee pick by taking Penn State Quarterback Christian Hackenberg, Georgia linebacker Jordan Jenkins, NC State cornerback Juston Burris, South Carolina offensive tackle Brandon Shell, Sam Houston punter Lac Edwards and Clemson wide receiver Charone Peake.

Jets beat writers Rich Cimini (ESPN) and Brian Costello (NY Post) have both predicted second-year receiver Charone Peake will be the Jets no. 3 receiver in 2017.

May 5th- The Jets add undrafted free agents; WR Robby Anderson, FS Doug Middleton, WR Jalin Marshall and defensive lineman Lawrence Thomas.

July 15th- The Jets re-sign defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson to a five-year deal that pays him close to $16 million per season.

July 27th- On the eve of training camp, the Maccagnan gets Bowles’ preferred starter in Ryan Fitzpatrick.  It’s a one year deal worth $12 million that’s spread over two seasons.

September 3rd- Former first and second round draft choices, Dee Milliner and Jace Amaro are among the team’s announced cuts.

September 4th- Cornerback Darryl Roberts is claimed off waivers.

September 11th- The Jets open the season with a 23-22 loss at home to the Cincinnati Bengals and the game is a sign of things to come.  Todd Bowles’ secondary falls apart and allows multiple long drives to the Bengals whose top receiver, AJ Green, lights up Revis and the rest of the secondary for 180 yards on 12 catches.  Nick Folk misses an extra point, Brandon Marshall drops a critical pass in the fourth quarter and Ryan Fitzpatrick throws a game-ending interception.

Brandon Marshall was one of many players whose performance dropped off dramatically in 2016.

A torched secondary dropped passes and interceptions become a theme for what would be a disastrous 5-11 campaign.  There was no capitalizing on a strong 2015.  No catching of lighting in any bottles.  Maccagnan, Bowles, the Jets and their fans all knew that it was time to start the rebuild that should have started one year earlier.  A rebuild that was delayed by a locker room knockout, and a standout performance by Fitzpatrick.

That brings us to the current off-season, one that is about to come to a close, and where it leaves the Jets roster today.

Some of the biggest names (and salaries) have been purged in an effort to start a full-on rebuild.

One of many cap casualties this offseason, Eric Decker is no longer in Green and White.

Darrelle Revis, Nick Mangold, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, Marcus Gilchrist, Calvin Pryor, Nick Folk, Breno Giacomini…all gone.  The moves have the Jets sitting on $24 million in cap room as of today, and a projected surplus of up to $80 million next off-season.

To fill some of the voids on a short-term basis, Maccagnan has imported veteran quarterback Josh McCown to take on the role of veteran starter/mentor.  Kelvin Beachum, a highly regarded free agent just two seasons ago will likely be protecting the quarterback’s blind side after one down season in Jacksonville.

Maccagnan used the NFL draft to help shore up the team’s secondary.  Jets fans, after hearing at length how Todd Bowles’ defense relies heavily on interchangeable safeties, will ideally have just that in 2017.

When LSU safety Jamal Adams fell to the Jets with the sixth overall pick, Maccagnan tabbed him with the team’s first pick, then doubled down in round two by taking another safety in Marcus Maye.

He would follow that up by drafting several pass catchers for whoever will be under center in the coming years for the Jets, grabbing Alabama wide receiver Ardarius Stewart, Cal wide receiver Chad Hansen, Clemson tight end Jordan Leggett and a pass catching running back in Elijah McGuire out of Louisiana-Lafayette.

The remainder of the Jets draft choices this season were all on defense. West Georgia DE/OLB Dylan Donahue and cornerbacks Jeremy Clark (Michigan) and Derrick Jones (Ole Miss).

Now, with training camp just a couple of weeks away, Maccagnan’s first draft class prepares to enter their critical third season, and it’s year one of a delayed tear-down and re-build.

There are only four players on the roster who are at least 30 years of age in McCown (37), Forte (31), McClendon (31) and long snapper Tanner Purdum (30).  Projecting at least 12 of Maccagnan’s 22 draft picks along with a few undrafted free agents to start or see a sizeable chunk of playing time isn’t at all unrealistic.  It’s also a number that would likely be higher if not for the off-field issues encountered by Mauldin and Jalin Marshall this off-season.

So for those of you asking how or why Maccagnan should be given a chance to right the Jets ship after what is perceived as little improvement over two seasons, remember that year one’s evaluation was out the window on August 11th of that year, and an attempt to progress after a 10-win season fell on its face when it seemed the entire roster got slow, tired and lazy in a hurry.

Gone are the aging, unhappy, ineffective veterans, and a youth movement is under way.  A youth movement that in just one draft, with the selections of Leonard Williams, Lorenzo Mauldin and Deon Simon, has already out-performed almost all 19 of the players drafted by the buffoon who sat in Maccagnan’s chair before him, and a year two draft class that could quite easily produce five starters this season.

Should Maccagnan’s three draft classes manage to live up to their full potential this season, expect Woody…err..Chris Johnson, to allow Maccagnan’s timeline to grow by at least one more year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jets Release Folk & Giacomini

The NY Jets have announced that they have released kicker Nick Folk and RT Breno Giacomini. Chris Lopresti is reporting that these moves free up 7.5 million against the salary cap.

Nick Folk, who is 32, is entering his 11th year in the league. He spent the last 7 years with the Jets.

The Jets have released K Nick Folk, who ranks No. 2 on the franchise’s all-time points list with 729.

“It’s a sad day, but that’s the business side of things,” Folk said as he finished cleaning out his locker at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center this afternoon. “I had a great seven years here. I think the only thing that would’ve topped it off would’e been a couple of Super Bowl wins.

“There’s been a great group of guys in this locker room from 2010 till now. I can’t thank Mike Tannenbaum, Rex [Ryan], John Idzik, Todd [Bowles] and Mike Maccagnan enough for keeping me around for seven years. This was our second home. It’s been a lot of fun and my wife and I have enjoyed every minute of it.”

Giacomini made 32 starts for the Jets his first two years with the team. He was hurt most of last year and only played in 5 games due to his back injury.

Tell us what you think about these moves in our NY Jets forum.

Inactives Report: Devin Smith Returns, Mauldin Still Out

A few weeks after being activated from the PUP list, Devin Smith will play in his first game this season. Smith will likely be used sparingly in the same fashion as Robby Anderson, on deep routes. Meanwhile, fellow rookie receiver Jalin Marshall will remain inactive with a concussion. Marshall has struggled this season with multiple fumbles. Cornerback Nick Marshall will assume kick return duties today. Two impact players on defense, Steve McLendon and Lorenzo Mauldin will remain out this week with a hamstring and ankle injury respectively. This week, and likely the next three weeks are about youth players.

Other inactives include: Christian Hackenberg, Breno Giacomini, Dexter McDougle, and Khiry Robinson

Christian Hackenberg will likely remain inactive for the remainder of the season, although at one point Todd Bowles did say that Hackenberg could dress as the backup for a couple of games.

Breno Giacomini was listed with back/calf/shoulder injuries on the injury report. Giacomini has been a disappointing signing, and has never quite panned out between injuries and inconsistency. The Jets could save nearly $4.4 million by cutting him, so he likely won’t be back next season.

Dexter McDougle has been another disappointment since being drafted in the third round by John Idzik&Co. McDougle only played in three games on defense last season, and has struggled to get playing time.

The Jets resigned Khiry Robinson after cutting C.J. Spiller. Robinson injured his leg during the preseason, and was waived before the beginning of the season. Robinson hasn’t practiced all week, and will sit out today. The Jets also signed running back Brandon Wilds from the practice squad.

With the post season officially out of the picture, the youth movement is in full effect. Bryce Petty will start the final four games, and Todd Bowles has said that younger players will be seeing more playing time down the stretch. Prepare to see some new faces today.

 

Jets, Dolphins Preview: Prepare for Trench Warfare

By Glenn Naughton

 

The 3-5 New York Jets head to Miami to face the 3-4 Dolphins with both teams looking to extend their respective two-game winning streaks to three in a row.

The driving force behind the Dolphins’ resurgence has been the performance of running back Jay Ajayi who has come from out of nowhere to rush for over 200 yards in each of the last two games since seeing an uptick in his rushing attempts.  Naturally, Ajayi has garnered all of the headlines, but you can’t overlook the play of the guys in the trenches who provided Ajayi with plenty of room to run.

Leonard Williams and company prepare to face an O-line that's firing on all cylinders.
Leonard Williams and company prepare to face an O-line that’s firing on all cylinders.

The Dolphins O-line is playing at a high level in both the run and pass games so the Jets defense will have a long day if their front seven can’t find a way to disrupt their rhythm.

First round draft pick Laremy Tunsil has been steadily improving for the fins and should see some one-on-one time with second-year defensive lineman Leonard Williams.  Williams is unlikely to allow Tunsil to gain control at the point of attack which will be key to slowing down Ajayi.

The Jets will also have to contend with Dolphins tight end Marques Gray who looked good in the Dolphins win against the Bills.  Lorenzo Mauldin has seen increased reps and has played more effectively in recent weeks.  Mauldin and Gray could be another match-up worth keeping an eye on.

On the opposite side of the ball things are a bit different, but far from something for the Jets to take for granted.

The Dolphins had visions of a dominant unit that consisted of Ndamukong Suh, Cameron Wake and free agent addition and former overall number one pick, Mario Williams.

Brandon Bostick may be called on to lend a hand against Cameron Wake.
Brandon Bostick may be called on to lend a hand against Cameron Wake.

Through seven games, the trio have accounted for 7 sacks.  Going up against Breno Giacomini in just his second game back off the PUP list,the key match-up here becomes Wake vs. Giacomini.  Should the Jets tackle struggle, the Jets primary blocking tight end, Kellen Davis, may be inactive.  If that’s the case, expect to see Brandon Bostick lining up tight to Giacomini in passing situations.

Given the season-long struggles the Jets have had in the secondary, no opposing receivers can be overlooked as possibilities to make any game-changing plays at any given time.  In this particular case, the obvious choice is the versatile Jarvis Landry.

The Dolphins use Landry both inside and out, and have even used him out of the backfield this season, where he has 3 carries for 18 yards.

Jets head coach Todd Bowles told reporters yesterday that he believes the struggling Darrelle Revis is still capable of covering any player they ask him to.  If he’s isolated one-on-one against Landry, look for Ryan Tannehill to look his way.

As far as play-making Jets receivers go, Brandon Marshall had some interesting things to say about Miami cornerback Byron Maxwell earlier this week when discussing their head-to-head battle in London last season.  “I don’t know him, and I don’t like him” said Marshall, claiming that Maxwell was guilty of holding “on every play” last season across the pond.

Maxwell denied Marahsall’s accusations, saying he “never holds”, following that up by telling Marshall, through the media, that  “I’m in your head“.

Conclusion:

The Jets secondary is simply not playing well enough to believe they’ll slow anyone down at the moment, and while Ajayi won’t see another 200 yard day, the Dolphins should be able to run the ball well enough to control the clock and Ryan Fitzpatrick still can’t be counted on to put up points on a consistent basis.  Thus…

Dolphins- 20

Jets- 17

 

Unlucky Sevens; Mangold, Wilkerson top List of Injured Jets

By Glenn Naughton

 

As was the case last week for the Jets in terms of a lengthy injury report, it was more of the same today as a total of seven players were held out of practice, while seven more were limited.

According to head coach Todd Bowles, the non-participants were C Nick Mangold (ankle), DL Muhammad Wilkerson (ankle), LT Ryan Clady (shoulder), LB Darron Lee (ankle), LB Bruce Carter (quad), OL Brent Qvale (neck) and TE Kellen Davis (elbow).

Todd Bowles said Ryan Clady's status for Sunday is based on his pain tolerance.
Todd Bowles said Ryan Clady’s status for Sunday is based on his pain tolerance.

Those limited in practice included; WR Brandon Marshall (foot), CB Buster Skrine (knee), RT Breno Giacomini (shoulder), WR Charone Peake (ankle), RB Matt Forte (knee), WR Quincy Enunwa (knee/ankle), TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (ankle).

Bowles addressed several injuries, saying that the chances of Lee playing on Sunday are “slim”, and that a decision on Muhammad Wilkerson will not be made until Sunday.

 

Inactives Report: Mangold and Skrine Out, Wilkerson Active

Nick Mangold will miss his fifth game in 11 seasons with the Jets. Wesley Johnson will start in place of Mangold at center. Fellow lineman Breno Giacomini recently returned from the PUP list, and will start in place of Ben Ijalana at right tackle. Marcus Williams will start for Buster Skrine at cornerback, likely moving rookie Justin Burris into the nickel. The Jets are banged up, and have a number of contributors out today against the Cleveland Browns.

Other inactives include: Brent Qvale, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Bruce Carter, Darron Lee, and Christian Hackenberg

Brent Qvale will miss his second week in a row. Qvale would likely sit out today anyway with Giacomini returning to the lineup. Both Qvale and Ijalana played well while filling in for Giacomini and also playing for Brian Winters when he was out.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins has played in one game since he was signed, and has two receptions for 17 yards. Seferian-Jenkins has been listed as doubtful with an ankle injury the past three weeks, even though he was a limited participant in practice last week.

Both middle linebackers Bruce Carter and Darron Lee will be out today. Julian Stanford will start in place of Lee, and recently promoted linebacker Victor Ochi will likely see a little time on the field as well.

It was pretty obvious that the right choice was to make Bryce Petty the backup quarterback, so it’s strange why Todd Bowles didn’t announce it earlier this week. Petty has a year under his belt, while the rookie Hackenberg would benefit from a red shirt season. There’s no reason for the Jets to play Hackenberg this season unless they’re forced to.

The Jets rebounded from a four game losing streak at home last week, but if they can’t string together a few wins before the upcoming bye the season is lost. If the Jets can enter the week 11 bye at 5-5 they’d have some serious momentum heading into the home stretch. They have three relatively easy games before then, today against the Browns, then the Miami Dolphins, and then the Los Angeles Rams. If the Jets can’t win today against the 0-7 Browns, they might as well turn to one of their younger quarterbacks to look towards the future.

 

Jets Activate Giacomini From PUP List

By Glenn Naughton

 

The Jets today announced they’ll be activating right tackle Breno Giacomini from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list in advance of their Sunday game against the Cleveland Browns.

The move couldn’t come at a better time as the Jets are badly beaten up on the offensive line with right tackle/guard Brent Qvale already ruled out, center Nick Mangold unlikely to play with ankle injury and starting left tackle Ryan Clady listed as questionable.

Should Clady be unable to go, Ben Ijalana would likely slide over to the left side where he served as D’Brickashaw Ferguson’s back-up for several years before finally getting on the field this season.

Giacomini has been shelved since injuring his back during training camp.

Inactives Report: Seferian-Jenkins and Decker Out, Pope Active

After revealing that Eric Decker has a partially torn rotator cuff, Todd Bowles also revealed that Decker will be out this week against the Seattle Seahawks and is considered week-to-week. It’s highly likely that Decker could be out an extended period of time as he tries to rehab his shoulder without surgery. If he does receive surgery, it’d likely be a season-ending recovery. Newly acquired tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins will also be inactive today. Jenkins is still learning the offense, but could be ready to go next week. Former Seahawks running back Troymaine Pope will be active today, but it’s unclear how much of a role he’ll play, if any.

Other inactives include: Jalin Marshall, Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Darryl Roberts, and Brandon Shell

The Jets will be without another offensive weapon this week with Jalin Marshall recovering from a torn shoulder labrum that will likely keep him out a few weeks. As insurance, the Jets re-signed veteran kick return specialist Jeremy Ross. Ross will be active for today’s game, and will likely be returning both kickoffs and punts.

Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg will both be inactive again this week. Hackenberg will continue his red shirt season, and Petty will continue to recover from his shoulder injury suffered in the preseason.

Backup cornerback Darryl Roberts will sit out today. It’s an interesting move by the Jets to activate the backup running back Troymaine Pope, who likely won’t see any action, instead of Roberts. With the secondary struggling the Jets could have mixed Roberts into the lineup for some competition. Maybe he’ll get a chance down the road if there’s an injury in the secondary.

Backup lineman Brandon Shell will remain on the sidelines. With most of the offensive line playing consistently, there’s no need to activate Shell anytime soon. Breno Giacomini will likely return after week six, meaning we could see another lineman added to the inactives report.

The Jets will look to bounce back after an embarrassing loss against the Chiefs. Ryan Fitzpatrick, who threw six interceptions that game, said “It would be crazy if I could sandwich two players of the week around that awful game.” He doesn’t need to earn player of the week, but he does need to clean up the turnovers to lead the Jets to a victory at home.

 

O-Line Depth a Pleasant Surprise Early on For Gang Green

By Glenn Naughton

 

Fresh off the heels of a critical week two 37-31 victorymost Jets fans will spend a good portion of their day replaying last night’s game in their heads.

A contest that saw quarterback  Ryan Fitzpatrick sling it for 374 yards and a touchdown to go along with Matt Forte’s 33 carries for 100 yards and 3 scores on the ground.  However, none of that would have been possible without quality O-line play, something the Jets have gotten through the season’s first two games under less than ideal circumstances.

It was impressive enough in week one against a stellar Cincinnati Bengals defense with veteran back-ups Ben Ijalana and Brent Qvale rotating out at right tackle for the injured Breno Giacomini.  The fact that starting left guard James Carpenter was lost to a calf injury early in the second quarter before being replaced by Wesley Johnson who may have played his best game as a Jet should bode well for the Jets moving forward.

Qvale struggled at times, but has been a solid find along with Ben Ijalana.
Qvale struggled at times, but has been a solid find along with Ben Ijalana.

One of the team’s perceived weaknesses heading in to this season was the depth along the offensive line.  A unit that many felt the Jets had recklessly failed to address early in the draft or through free agency.  Nobody is sending anyone to Canton or the Pro Bowl just yet, but the possibility of having three quality reserves on the offensive line is something nobody anticipated going in to this season.

In fact, Johnson isn’t even listed as the team’s primary back up at left guard.  That title belongs to third-year pro, Dakota Dozier, who was inactive last night.  A decision that forced Johnson, currently listed as Nick Mangold’s back-up at center, in to action.

With Johnson filling in, the unit was still plenty good against Rex Ryan’s Bills, as Fitzpatrick was sacked just once, and the ground game churned out a total of 123 yards.  Most of the work came from Forte, who did his best work in the second half.  Prior to his final three clock-killing carries in the closing minutes that consisted of 3 runs for 5 yards, Forte ran the ball 13 times for 67 yards (4.92 YPC) in the second and third quarter.

This isn’t to say the offensive line was perfect, because it wasn’t.  Fitzpatrick was pressured on several occasions, once having the ball knocked out of his hand for a fumble that was recovered by the Jets, and a second instance in which it appeared to be a second forced fumble, but replays showed Fitzpatrick’s arm to be moving forward on the pass.

All things considered, going to war without their best lineman in Carpenter for much of the night, and a pair of back-ups at right tackle, the results should put some fears to rest, at least for now, as far as the Jets offensive line is concerned.  Meanwhile, perhaps a bit of crow for those who blasted the Jets handling of the position in the off-season?