Here’s the Ripple Effect Jets are Hoping for With Darnold Return

Now that Sam Darnold’s return to action is officially slated for this Sunday versus the Dallas Cowboys, it’s time to take a look at the overall impact he stands to have on Gang Green moving forward.

First and foremost, if Darnold plays anywhere near as well as he did toward the end of last season, he’ll have an immediate impact on the offensive line and running game.

The Jets O-line is bad, but they’ve been made to look a whole lot worse while facing defenses who have zero reason to respect the quarterback.  Poor play from Luke Falk has allowed opposing defenses to stack the box with 8 or 9 defenders, overwhelming the Jets blockers at times.  Certainly they’ve lost their fair share of one-on-one battles, but they’ve also faced plenty of fronts in which the number of oncoming attackers outnumbered the Jets blockers.  All it will take is for Darnold to connect on a few attempts down the field to get defenses to back off and make life easier on the offensive line.

This, of course would mean more room to work with for Le’Veon Bell, who has been consistently hit in the backfield through the season’s first four games.  Getting Bell going is critical in allowing the offense to start sustaining drives and scoring points.

Last, and certainly not least, is how much better Darnold can make head coach Adam Gase look.  While the Jets inept offense has led countless fans to rip the organization for hiring him in the first place, Jets beat writer Rich Cimini shared this little nugget on the Jets receivers that should reflect well on Gase.  According to Cimini, Jets receivers stand atop of the NFL (yes, number 1 of 32) in their rate of “open targets” at 55.9%.

The Jets lead the league with the highest rate of “open” targets — 55.9 percent. (An open target is a pass target when the separation between the receiver and nearest defender is three-plus yards at pass arrival.) Despite this, the Jets are averaging a league-low 131 passing yards per game. It isn’t difficult to figure out what’s happening there.

This is according to NFL Next Gen stats ,which tracks the movement of every player on the field, classifying an open receiver as any player with three or more yards between himself and the nearest defender.  With Luke Falk misfiring all over the field, an open receiver didn’t amount to much.  If Gase can continue to scheme receivers open at that rate and Darnold is on target, all of a sudden Darnold’s presence can help get this thing turned around in a hurry.  If not, Gase may be looking for work sooner than anyone could have anticipated.

Jets vs Patriots Week 3 Preview: Gang Green Looks to Avoid Pats Pummeling

This one should be ugly folks.  Getting ready to square off against the 2-0 New England Patriots, the winless Jets will once again be without quarterback Sam Darnold, linebacker CJ Mosely and defensive lineman Quinnen Williams.  That trio will be joined on the sidelines by starting outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins as Luke Falk makes his NFL debut.  It’s a recipe for disaster.  Where re some of the key matchups?

DC Gregg Williams vs QB Tom Brady:

Brady has orchestrated a pair of wins that has seen the Patriots outscore their first two opponents by a whopping total of 76-3.  Granted, that took place against a minor league Miami Dolphins team and a Steelers team without their starting quarterback, but that’s the situation the Jets will be in today.  Williams was able to keep Baker Mayfield guessing last week, but that’s nothing compared to what Williams will face in Brady.  

DL Henry Anderson vs OG Shaq Mason: 

Anderson gives the Jets their best chance at consistent pressure on Tom Brady but given the veteran quarterback’s penchant for getting the ball out with lightning quickness if the secondary isn’t able to hold up.  If the DB’s can play as well as they did last week versus the Browns, Anderson may have a shot to get to Brady.  If not, his presence will be nullified.

ILB’s Blake Cashman and Neville Hewitt vs RB’s James White and Rex Burkhead:

It’s no big secret that Tom Brady keeps most of his passes within a few yards of the line of scrimmage and Burkhead and White make that possible.  The two have combined for 15 receptions out of the backfield in the season’s first two games and will likely be heavily featured again.  Cashman stood out in his first pro start last week and Hewitt has filled in nicely since Avery Williamson was placed on IR.  Both will have their hands full today.

CB Brian Poole vs WR Julian Edelman:

Poole was nicked up in practice the other day but hasn’t been ruled out.   Edelman spends as much time on the boundary as he does in the slot, but inside is where he’s  a menace for opposing defenses.  Look for Pool to draw Edelman on the inside with the possibility of getting some help from Jamal Adams.

RB Le’Veon Bell vs LB Dont’a Hightower:

If the Jets O-line doesn’t get their act together, this matchup will actually be meaningless as Bell will be getting wrapped up well before he hits the second level.  If the Jets interior can hold up just a bit and give Bell a chance to make a play, Hightower is going to be the most likely obstacle he’ll face to breaking a big run.

RB Le’Veon Bell vs LB Ja’Whan Bentley:

One player listed twice?  You betcha.  If Adam Gase continues his ultra conservative ways, look for plenty of swings and screens to Bell.  Bentley has been an excellent coverage ‘backer for the Patriots and may draw this assignment regularly.

WR Robby Anderson vs Jason McCourty and Stephon Gilmore:

If at any point in the game Adam Gase decides to dial up a few plays that go outside of fifteen yards, Robby Anderson should be the target as he gives the Jets their best opportunity for a big play.  It won’t come easy though as McCourty and Gilmore make up a formidable duo.

As far as predictions go, we’re going to be kind and call it 35-13 Patriots, while well aware of the fact that it could be a whole lot worse than that.

 

 

 

Darnold to Face Tough Test at Home; Jets vs Bills Week 1 Preview

The Jets will open the 2019 season this Sunday with a 1pm kickoff against the division rival Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium in what could be a challenging afternoon for Sam Darnold.  The Second-year quarterback will look to get rolling in Adam Gase’s offense but that could be easier said than done as the Bills defense is a formidable unit.  Where are some of the key matchups?  Let’s take a look.

Sam Darnold vs Bills Secondary: Buffalo has one of the top secondaries in the NFL and didn’t allow more than 210 yards passing in 10 of their final 11 games last season according to NFL.com.  Bills safety Micah Hyde will move all around the Bills defense and can be  a difference maker against the run and the pass while Levi Wallace and Tre’Davious white look to clamp down on Quincy Enunwa and Robby Anderson.

RB Le’Veon Bell vs MLB Tremaine Edwards: This could turn out to be the biggest match-up of the day.  If Darnold struggles to get the ball moving through the air against Buffalo’s secondary, he could lean heavily on Bell who is one of the premiere pass catching backs in the NFL with one of the league’s most athletic linebackers in Edwards trying to keep him in check.  The two also figure to meet from time to time when the Jets look to get Bell moving as a runner.

S Jamal Adams vs QB Josh Allen: At this point in time, it may not be a stretch to say that Josh Allen is a bigger threat as a runner than a passer.  After completing 53% of his passes last season, Allen may have to rely on his legs once again if he continues to struggle in hitting his target.  If and when that happens, expect Adams, who should spend a fair amount of time around the line of scrimmage, to give chase.  Containing Allen on the ground will be key to stopping Buffalo from stealing a win, and Adams should be the one leading the charge when the game plan calls for it.

CB Brian Poole vs WR Cole Beasley: Bills quarterback Josh Allen is among the least accurate in the NFL so look for him to seek out Cole Beasley underneath quite a bit to get some “gimme” completions.  Beasley is  a quick slot guy who could pose some challenges for Poole.

LT Kelvin Beachum vs DE/OLB Jerry Hughes: Hughes can be a terror off the edge and spends most of his time coming from the blind side.  If Beachum isn’t able to keep him at bay for much of the day, the Jets offense will have a hard time establishing a rhythm.

K Kaare Vedvik vs K Kaare Vedvik: Vedvik has never kicked in an NFL game and only hurt himself after being traded to the Minnesota Vikings to displace Dan Bailey.  Following the trade, Vedvik promptly missing 3 of his next 4 field goal attempts and was cut loose.  Will the confidence be there for Vedvik to make a big kick in what should be a tight contest, or will the mental hangover from being cut be a distraction?

 

 

 

Who Stays, Who Goes? Projecting the Jets 53 man Roster

With just one more preseason game remaining which will consist largely of players who will get their walking papers in the coming days, it’s time to take a stab at which players will make Gang Green’s final 53-man roster before the season kicks off on September 9th.

Quarterbacks (2): Sam Darnold, Trevor Siemian

Luke Falk becomes a practice squad candidate while Davis Webb is looking for work.

Running Backs (4): Le’Veon Bell, Ty Montgomery, Bilal Powell, Trenton Cannon

Eli McGuire gets bumped by the return of Bilal Powell and Cannon edges him out for a roster spot due to his outstanding special teams coverage and potential as an explosive situational player.  Valentine Holmes lands on the practice squad.

Wide Receivers (7): Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa, Jamison Crowder, Deontay Burnett, Josh Bellamy, Charone Peake, Greg Dortch

Bellamy did little in the preseason but makes it as a Gase favorite.  Charone Peake barely hangs on for another season (for now).

Tight End (3): Ryan Griffin, Eric Tomlinson, Trevon Wesco

Chris Herndon is suspended for the first four games of the season so Daniel Brown is the odd man out.  Wesco has shown enough as a blocker that it could bump Eric Tomlinson when Herndon returns.

Offensive Line (9): Kelvin Beachum, Kelechi Osemele, Ryan Kalil, Brian Winters, Brandon Shell, Tom Compton, Jonotthan Harrison, Chuma Edoga, Alex Lewis

Brent Qvale’s injury kept him on the shelf and keeps him off the roster as the new regime didn’t get an extended look at him.  Roster hopeful Ben Braden doesn’t hang around after Joe Douglas traded for Alex Lewis.

Defensive Line (6): Henry Anderson, Quinnen Williams, Leonard Williams, Steve McLendon, Foley Fatukasi, Bronson Kaufusi.

Nathan Shepherd loses his roster spot while the much improved Folorunso Fatukasi makes the 53.  In our view, Kyle Phillips is another practice squad candidate.

Linebackers (8): Jordan Jenkins, Neville Hewitt, CJ Mosley, Frankie Luvu, Tarell Basham, Jachai Polite, Blake Cashman, Anthony Wint

Safety (4): Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye, Rotez Miles, Derrick Kindred

Adams and Maye look to become what so many had hoped when they were drafted a few seasons ago and Miles looks for an expanded role in Gregg Williams’ defense.  Kindred’s familiarity with Williams helps him hang around and bump Doug Middleton.

Cornerback (7): Trumaine Johnson, Darryl Roberts, Brian Poole, Marcus Cooper, Alex Brown, Parry Nickerson, Kyron Brown

Some of these guys only stick because the position is littered with question marks.  Waiver wire moves (and possibly trades) will mean some changes will be made in a hurry.

Spcialists (3): Taylor Bertolet, Lac Edwards, Thomas Hennessey

Bertolet is a place holder while the Jets wait for another kicker to shake looks.  Keep an eye on veteran Dan Bailey.

As we already said, some of these names will change in the hours and days after teams finalize their 53, so keep your eyes peeled.

 

 

For Jets Offense in 2019, “V” is for Versatility

As the weeks and months of this past offseason were ticked off the calendar, a theme seemed to appear in the Jets approach to building their roster for 2019.  It was discussed several times on JetNation Radio and now with training camp being just a few days old, we’re starting to see it play out on the field.  The versatility the Jets will have on offense in 2019 should make them a tough team to game plan for.

Because of the weapons Adam Gase has to work with and their ability to fill multiple roles, this is a team that can go from a power run formation to a one-back set or five wide without losing much in terms of firepower.

Picture this; Sam Darnold lines up under center with Le’Veon Bell alone in the backfield in a two tight end set.  Chris Herndon is (eventually) on one side and Trevon Wesco is on the other.  Robby Anderson is split out wide to one side with Quincy Enunwa opposite him for what should be a pass play.  Darnold peers over center and sees a defensive set that makes him think that a run play is the way to go.  He has three players who can motion inside to block for a handoff to Bell in Enunwa, Wesco and Herndon.  Perhaps two tight ends to one side (Herndon/Enunwa) and a fullback to lead the way in Wesco.

If the call is a run but Darnold likes a pass, we could see Bell motion to the slot and Herndon splitting out wide from his initial spot, giving Darnold four wide receivers and a tight end to choose from.  Of course any team or quarterback can make such calls, but how many can do it with a personnel grouping that has proven they’re a threat in any of the roles they’re placed in?  This won’t be Brian Schottenheimer motioning Jerald Sowell out to the boundary just for the sake of it.  This will be a scheme with the potential to create mismatches all over the field.

Bilal Powell has filled a variety of roles over the years and could be asked to do it again this season.

And it seems that no matter who makes the roster, these possibilities won’t be all that limited when reserve players get the call.  Bilal Powell and Eli McGuire are two backs who can run it, catch it and hang back to block if need be.  Then of course there’s WR/RB Ty Montgomery who adds a whole new dimension.  We haven’t seen enough of Daniel Brown to say exactly what he might be capable of, but he’s a tight end who played wide receiver in college so it’s not all that far-fetched to assume he’ll get a shot to show what he can do in multiple roles.  The possibilities are limitless and Adam Gase is already showing an interest in maximizing the group’s potential.

With an offensive line that is neither elite nor as bad as many suggest, being able to create mismatches and attack all levels of the field should make life easier on them.  Want to key on Le’Veon Bell?  That’s fine, but now he  moved to the slot and Ty Montgomery has motioned to the backfield.  Want to key on the run with any combination of Bell, Anderson, Enunwa, Herndon, Wesco or Jamison Crowder on the field?  Adam Gase would probably like nothing more.

Entering the 2019 off-season, the general consensus  was that the Jets had to add some legitimate weapons around Sam Darnold so that he could take the next step.  Adding Bell and Crowder to Anderson, Enunwa and Herndon does just that.  Powell, Montgomery and Wesco could be icing on the cake, but now it’s up to Adam Gase to show that he can create the mismatches his personnel allows him to, and quiet the doubters who questioned his hiring in the first place.

Not Ready for Training Camp? Here’s a 90-Man Roster Rundown

Let’s face it, the NFL off-season is long and painful chunk of the calendar year in which countless players come and go in both big-time transactions and under-the-radar moves.  Training camp is just about under way, and JetNation.com has you covered with a full rundown of all 90 players on Gang Green’s roster as the season approaches.

33 S Jamal Adams: The dynamic defender looks to be on his way to becoming one of league’s premiere players.  In 2018 he excelled in all facets of the game.  In pass coverage, against the run and in pressuring opposing quarterbacks.  There’s nothing Adams can’t do on defense and Gregg Williams will look to use that to his advantage on game days.

59 LB Justin Alexandre: An undrafted free agent out of the University of Incarnate Wood, there isn’t much out there in terms of live snaps to evaluate.  The edge rusher racked up 8.5 sacks and 12 tackles for loss in his final collegiate season.

49 LB Jeff Allison: Undrafted out of Fresno State, Allison is a heady linebacker with a good motor who has his work cut out for him.

76 OT Calvin Anderson: Let go by the New England Patriots after being signed as an undrafted free agent out of Texas, Anderson becomes one of the many camp bodies hoping to earn a spot on the offensive line.  He has the length you look for in an offensive tackle but the consensus on Anderson appears to be that there is a need to bulk up.

96 DL Henry Anderson: One of the most pleasant surprises of the 2018 season, Anderson returns with a hefty contract with expectations to match.

11 WR Robby Anderson: The speedy receiver who showed off an expanded route tree late in the season will be looking for a big pay-day if he picks up where he left off in 2018.  Look for Anderson to go well over 1,000 yards this season.

41 CB Bless Austin: Oft-injured late-round pick who has plenty of potential to be a legit starter, but an injury history that suggests it will never pan out.

93 LB Tarell Basham: Basham saw some reps late in the year last season and showed he was deserving of a longer audition.  It looks like he’ll get one under the team’s new regime.

68 LT Kelvin Beachum: An average tackle who makes average tackle money who might be the best person in the locker room.  This will likely be Beachum’s final season as a Jet as the team will look for a long-term answer this offseason.

26 RB Le’Veon Bell: Perhaps the most dynamic player ever to don the Green and White, the Jets hope Bell can be close to what he was as a Steeler when he was arguably the most difficult offensive player in the NFL to game plan for.

15 WR Josh Bellamy: A free agent addition who played for Adam Gase in Chicago, Bellamy looks to be a key special teams contributor with an expanded role on offense.

87 TE Daniel Brown: A converted collegiate receiver, Brown earned rave reviews from the Jets beat during OTA’s and he’ll hope to carry that over to camp and the regular season.

40 DB Kyron Brown: The Jets have the undrafted Brown listed a cornerback but don’t be surprised if he gets a look at safety at some point.

38 S Brandon Bryant: Snagged by the Jets after going unclaimed in the supplemental draft last season, Bryant had an impressive close to the 2018 preseason and hopes that will carry over to 2019.

58 LB James Burgess: The former Cleveland Brown reunites with Gregg Williams in a wide open competition at outside linebacker where the Jets have few proven players.

18 WR Deontay Burnett: Never has a player who has done so little been such a fan favorite as Deontay Burnett.  As Sam Darnold’s top target at USC who made one big catch after another, many a Jets fan called for Burnett to get on the field last season but Todd Bowles would have none of it.  This season under Adam Gase with a clean slate, Burnett could get a decent look.

35 CB Tevaughn Campbell: The 25-year-old former CFL player couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity than the one he’ll have with the Jets.  With so little in the cupboard at corner, any and all comers will earn a look.  The speedy Campbell (4.35 40) has had auditions with the Giants and Redskins several years ago that didn’t work out.

40 RB Trenton Cannon: The speedy second-year player could have a hard time sticking in what is suddenly a crowded running back room.  The Jets will consider keeping Cannon on the roster as a gunner but the best plan might be to stash him on IR for a season if he’s not going to make the final 53.

53 LB Blake Cashman: A rookie who was a collegiate tackling machine with plus athleticism, Cashman enters camp as an intriguing rookie with a chance to get on the field as a situational defender as he’ll compete with the likes of Neville Hewitt for playing time.

7 K Chandler Catanzaro: The former Jet returns for  second tour of duty after a one-year hiatus.

23 DB Jeremy Clark: A former Michigan Wolverine who has shown little in his first two seasons with the Jets.  Likely a make or break year for Clark.

77 OL Tom Compton: A dark horse to steal the starting RG job, Compton is a more athletic player than Brian Winters and may be a better fit for Adam Gase’s offense.

51 OLB Brandon Copeland: Another pleasant surprise in 2018, Copeland put up a respectable 5 sacks as a part-time player and will look to play as an every down backer this season.

82 WR Jamison Crowder: This is a player to keep an eye on.  The shifty slot receiver could thrive under Gase this season.

14 QB Sam Darnold: The single most important player on the roster, Darnold is looking to pick up where he left off following a strong finish to his rookie season.

3 P Matt Darr: Darr provides the first competition that incumbent punter Lac Edwards has ever faced as a pro.  He could steal the job.

2 WR Greg Dortch: A shifty slot receiver and return man, Dortch has generated a lot of buzz this offseason and is viewed by many as the undrafted free agent most likely to make the roster.

75 OL Chuma Edoga: Likely a future offensive tackle, Edoga could get an audition to play on the inside a little bit in the early going.

4 Lac Edwards: Edwards will be pushed by the aforementioned Darr as he looks to keep his roster spot.

81 WR Quincy Enunwa: If Enunwa can avoid the injury bug, something he has failed to do in the past, it will go a long way in making this a top-tier offense.

8 QB Luke Falk: A camp arm or a guy who has an opportunity to win the back-up job?  Time will tell.

94 DL Folorunso Fatukasi: A second-year D-lineman who has flashed excellent strength at times, Fatukasi is in a crowded D-line room that could it tough for him to stick.

TE Ryan Griffin: The former Houston Texan was added after Chris Herndon’s suspension was announced.  A true in-line tight end, Griffin could end up stealing Eric Tomlinson’s roster spot if given a legitimate shot.

78 C Jonotthan Harrison: Few players will be under the microscope the way Harrison will as the season approaches.  He’s been a serviceable player with the Jets and Colts, but the team could look to upgrade before the season kicks off. If not, Harrison is a better player than he gets credit for and nobody should be reaching for the panic button.

10 WR Quadree Henderson: A speedy receiver who has a shot to win a job as a return man.

42 LS Thomas Hennessy: Thomas Hennessy is the long snapper for the New York Jets and wears number 42.  If we learn anything more about him, it’s probably a bad thing.

89 TE Chris Herndon: Suspended for the first four games of the season, the promising young tight end will have to be a spectator for a little bit before stepping in and resuming his role as the team’s starting tight end.

46 ILB Neville Hewitt: Hewitt filled in admirably for Darron Lee at times last season and looks to hold off rookie newcomer Blake Cashman.  The former college safety could be a valuable piece for Gregg Williams.

TE Temuchin Hodges: Formerly knows as Bucky, Temuchin Hodges was added to the roster in the last 24 hours to add another pass-catching tight end who can also split out with his 6′ 6” frame.

39 RB/WR Valentine Holmes: International player from the world of rugby, Holmes can reside on the Jets practice squad without counting against the 10-man limit.  Will get a shot to show what he can do as a return man.

48 OLB Joran Jenkins: Fresh off of a career high 8 sacks, Jenkins looks to net his first double-digit sack season under the aggressive Gregg Williams and an improved front seven.

22 CB Trumaine Johnson: The biggest disappointment on the roster by a long shot last season, Johnson will look to bounce back under Gregg Williams who was his coordinator with the Rams when he played his best football.

31 CB Derrick Jones: One of the most physically gifted players on the roster, Jones may get a look this season with a new head coach in town.  Like Deontay Burnett, fans were desperate to see Jones get some live reps.  When his time came in week 17, he looked like a player.

84 WR JJ Jones: There are  a few long shots on the roster with speed to burn and Jones is one of them.  The former West Georgia product has been clocked in the mid 4.3’s.

63 OL Tyler Jones: This undrafted college tackle was one of the top pass blockers in the country and is now listed as a guard on the Jets official site.  More competition at a spot with a shaky future.

91 DL Bronson Kaufusi: A former Baltimore Raven who flashed late in the season as a rotational player, Kaufusi has earned plenty of praise from the media this offseason.  He’s one to keep an eye on.

44 LB Harvey Langi: A former BYU product who has spent some time on the Jets and Patriots practice squads, he’s a long-shot to stick.

60 OL Toa Lobendahn: The undrafted rookie out of USC has enough positional versatility to earn a long look on the O-line.

50 OLB Frankie Luvu: A player who showed last season as a rookie that he has some attributes that give him the chance to be a situational pass rusher at the very least.

37 DB Arthur Maulet: Maulet has appeared in just 12 career games as a reserve player.

26 S Marcus Maye: After starting all sixteen games as a rookie, Maye missed 10 games in year two.  If he can stay on the field, he should be a part of a special safety duo between him and Jamal Adams.

25 RB Eli McGuire: A third-year back whose versatility has earned him high praise from Adam Gase.  With Bilal Powell in the fold it could make things tough on McGuire, but expect him to get every chance to stick.

99 DL Steve McLendon: Underrated lunch pail player who doesn’t get nearly enough credit for how good he is at his job.  McLendon should receive a contract offer to join somebody’s coaching staff the second he retires.  Believes in accountability and the perfect person and player to show the young kids how it’s done.

30 CB Montrel Meander: One of Joe Douglas’ first additions after taking over as GM, the 6′ 3” DB looks to find a role in Gregg Williams’ defense.

36 S Doug Middleton: The undrafted free agent safety has looked good when given the opportunity but has struggled with injuries.

45 S Rontez Miles: With a new regime, Miles may have a hard time sticking around as a box safety whose getting a bit long in the tooth.  His enthusiasm is top-notch, but will that and his hard hitting ways be enough?

71 OT Wyatt Miller: An undrafted free agent tackle who showed great durability and good versatility in college.  A practice squad candidate at the very least.

88 RB Ty Montgomery: A versatile player who can step in at running back or wide receiver, Adam Gase may have an under-the-radar play maker on his hands.

66 OG Jordan Morgan: Morgan was a fifth-round pick of the Chicago Bears just a couple of seasons ago but the Bears weren’t going to wait around and wait for the small school product out of Kutztown to develop.  Will the Jets give him a bit more time?  

57 ILB CJ Mosley: If you’re an inside linebacker getting paid like a franchise quarterback, expectations of an immediate major impact should be par for the course.

55 ILB Jamey Mosley: As is the case with Fred Jones, Mosely will have to show he’s deserving of this audition and that it’s not a favor to his older brother.  Who knows?  Surely there are some guys at Alabama who can’t get on the field but have NFL caliber talent.  

32 CB Mark Myers: The former Tampa Bay Buccaneer who played 33 games at Southeastern University is among the many corners on the roster at 5′ 10” 185.

43 CB Parry Nickerson: Nickerson enters year two after a down rookie season that saw him spend most of his time on the bench.  An audition in the slot would likely do Nickerson well.

70 LG Kelechi Osemele: The former All-Pro is an instant upgrade at left guard and could pave the way for a big season out of Le’Veon Bell.

17 WR Charone Peake: Strictly a special teamer, Peake has failed to make the most of his impressive size/speed combo on offense.  

98 DL Kyle Phillips: A talented undrafted free agent whose production may have been limited by playing on a defense that lacked much talent in Tennessee.  Best player on a bad defense is one of our early favorites among the undrafted free agents who could stick.

56 OLB Jachai Polite: A chance to be the biggest bang for buck pick of this class, Polite has exhibited the necessary skills too get to opposing quarterbacks, but first he has to show that his lackluster pre-draft showing was a fluke.

34 CB Brian Poole: Buster Skrine’s replacement in the slot can’t be much worse, can he?

29 RB Bilal Powell: If the Jets view themselves as a “win now” team, Powell has a good chance to stick this season.  If the Jets have their eyes on the future, Eli McGuire may get the nod.

79 RT Brent Qvale:  A solid backup player who may have a harder time with a new regime and plenty of competition at the position.

39 SS Santos Ramirez:  Hard hitter who is limited in coverage, Santos becomes a threat to Rontez Miles’ roster spot if the Jets are in fact looking to carry a box safety to lay the wood.

27 CB Darryl Roberts: There were times last season when Roberts looked like a legitimate starting cornerback.  Then there were times when he looked nothing close to it.  Consistency will be the key, but the tools are there.

64 DL Trevon Sanders: A 327 lb nose tackle out of Troy, Sanders will face stiff competition on the interior D-line.

72 RT Brandon Shell: Shell’s job may not be as safe as some assume.  He’ll likely be able to walk after this season and Chuma Edoga may get  a chance to take his starting job.

97 DL Nathan Shepherd: Second-year D-lineman coming off of a hugely disappointing rookie season.  Jets hoping he can make the year 1 to 2 jump out of a small college.

19 QB Trevor Siemian: Hard to believe but just a few years ago Siemian would have been the best QB on the Jets roster.  Now he enters camp as the favorite to win the no. 2 job.

65 OT Eric Smith: Smith was snagged from the Patriots last season and figures to enter the competition as the backup left tackle.  If we had to wager today, he’d be the guy to win that job.

9 WR Jeff Smith: A guy who started his career at quarterback for Boston College before moving to wide receiver with his 4.31 speed.  Has the potential to be a depth receiver and a gadget player.

62 DL MyQuon Stout: Another undrafted D-lineman, Stout goes from small school Appalachian State to the NFL.  Can he make the jump?

1 WR Deonte Thompson: A speedster who Dan Leberfeld of Jets Confidential says is not just another “camp body”

83 TE Eric Tomlinson: Hanging around for another year as the team’s blocking tight end will be no easy task for Tomlinson this season.  The aforementioned Griffin along with rookie Trevon Wesco could spell the end of Tomlinson’s time in Green and White.

64 OC Jon Toeth: A former college standout at center, Toeth enters camp battling for a position without a proven starter.

5 QB Davis Webb: In his second season with the Jets, Webb will look to battle for the number two QB job.

47 TE Trevon Wesco: A multi-dimensional player who can line up at tight end, H-Back or fullback, Wesco could be a valuable tool after smoothing out the rough edges.

6 WR Tim White: Another receiver with extensive return experience in college who is part of a crowded receiver room.

92 DL Leonard Williams: Entering a contract year, look for Williams to have a career year under Gregg Williams with an upgraded front seven.

54 ILB Avery Williamson: After living up to expectations as a stellar defender in his first year as a Jet, Williams will team with CJ Mosley to form what the Jets hope will be one of the top inside linebacker tandems in the NFL.

95 DL Quinnen Williams: As the third overall pick in the draft, fans are looking forward to the big man in the middle collapsing the pocket and pressuring QB’s for years to come.

52 ILB Anthony Wint: A good story as an undrafted linebacker who found his way on the field late last season, Wint will have to work to impress another coaching staff in year two.

67 RG Brian Winters: Due to count for $6.5 million against the cap and some options on the roster for a cheaper price, Winters will be pushed like never before as a Jet.

So there you have it, folks.  Plenty of changes likely on the way, but that’s the 90-man roster as it currently stands.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Training Camp Preview: Running Backs

Plenty of buzz should be humming around the running back group this training camp in Florham Park.  This is possibly one of the most talented groups on the entire team given the addition of Le’Veon Bell and the return of underrated Bilal Powell.  There are some new legs in the bunch and some familiar household names that will need to take a major step in order to get more snaps during the regular season.  Lets take a deeper look on how strong the Jets running game can be in 2019.

Le'Veon Bell
The Jets are expecting big things from running back Le’Veon Bell in 2019.

Le’Veon Bell:  Bell is one of the biggest and best moves made this off-season.  There is so much he can bring to the table for this offense and the young quarterback Sam Darnold.  Most know Bell for his patient run style but his receiving ability might be the biggest impact he brings to this offense.  His route tree is not as extensive as the normal Slot receiver but it’s his ability after the catch that will keep the chains moving.  He can also create opportunities for others as a decoy as well.   All teams will have to draw up a sturdy game plan for number twenty-six.  With all eyes on Bell, others will have plenty of opportunities to excel.

Bilal Powell: An oldie but a goodie.  This will be Powell’s ninth year as a Jet and the veteran is coming back from a neck injury that cut his 2018 season short.  Powell came in for a one day workout and walked away with a 1 year team- friendly deal of $930K plus a $90K signing bonus.  This move bodes well for the offense as the Jets will have a solid back up option behind Bell.  This gives Adam Gase the option to rotate his running backs and keep everyone fresh throughout the season.  Powell can run well between the tackles and provides another pass-catching back who also excels in pass protection.

2019 could be a make or break season for third-year running back Elijah McGuire.

Elijah McGuire:  The former Ragin’ Cajun will be entering his 3rd year on his rookie deal and no other running back will face as much pressure as #25.  It’s a crowded room with a lot of talent and McGuire needs to do everything possible to impress Adam Gase.  Many have speculated that he may be the odd man out if the Jets decide to roll with 3 or 4 backs this season.  McGuire has periodically flashed his skill set his production hasn’t been as consistent as you’d like to see.  He did have the opportunity late in 2018 as Bilal Powell and Isaiah Crowell were sidelined with injuries.  During his time as a starter, weeks 14-16, he averaged 73 all-purpose yards per game, leaving much room to be desired. This is definitely a make it or break it year for the young running back.

Trenton Cannon:  Cannon is one of the fastest running backs in this group and that ability might secure him a roster spot. The second-year speedster made a niche for himself on special teams in his rookie year.  Cannon excelled as a gunner on the kickoff squad and punt team.  He did have some preseason troubles with a couple of fumbles and that made Brant Boyer hesitant to give him any reps as a return man.  During the off-season, Boyer commented on Cannon, stating he looked much better in kick return drills but has not had any reps receiving punts.  As long as Cannon can continue to impress as a special team player he should be fine when the 53-man roster cuts take place.  He may even get some looks as a change of pace back in specific offensive packages.

De’Angelo Henderson:

A former Denver Bronco who split time between the Jets practice squad and active roster last season, Henderson has reportedly turned some heads at 1 Jets Drive with Connor Hughes of the Athletic reporting that Henderson appeared to be stealing some reps from Eli McGuire at times.  The shifty back with a low center of gravity has some experience as a return man, something that never hurts when you’re trying to make the 53. 

Dark Horse: Ty Montgomery 

Like his running mate Le’veon Bell, Montgomery is one of the most versatile offensive weapons on this roster.  He came into the league as a receiver for the Packers and was given the running back job due to injuries.  Since 2016, Montgomery has found himself splitting carries in multiple time share situations.  Not much has changed for him in New York but the Jets might utilize him more often as a Slot Receiver. A role in the passing game might be the most effective way to maximize his potential.  Look for Montgomery to be the “Swiss army knife” of the offense.  If the Jets can get him and Bell on the field at the same time it could create nightmares for opposing defenses.  He also provides a nice safety blanket in the event injuries occur as an experienced, versatile runner.

Le’Veon Bell Autograph Signing

Le’Veon Bell to Hold First Autograph Signing as NY Running Back at iPlay America

Freehold, NJ., (July 9, 2019) –  iPlay America and Ultimate Sports Marketing presents Running Back for the New York Jets, Le’Veon Bell, for an appearance at The Event Center @iPA on Saturday, July 20. The meet and greet experience will be an autograph signing only.

Fans will have the chance to meet the NFL star live and in person prior to the start of his 2019-2020 NFL season. Bell, #26, considered one of the biggest free agent signings for New York of the entire off-season, is readying for his debut at his first and only autograph signing as a NY running back taking place at iPlay America.

The 27-year-old previously played for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2013 through 2017. Unfortunately, Bell had to sit out the entire 2018 season due to a contract dispute. The Running Back is ready to “Take Flight” at iPlay America before hits the field at MetLife Stadium this fall.

Doors will open at 11:30 AM and the event will start at 12:00 PM. The VIP Package includes priority admission and autograph opportunity to have one (1) personal item signed by Le’Veon Bell. General Admission ticket holders will receive an autograph opportunity to have one (1) personal item signed by Le’Veon Bell. In addition, original, unsigned merchandise will be available for purchase during the event. 

For more information, visit https://www.iplayamerica.com/event/autograph-signing-with-ny-running-back-leveon-bell/. Please Note: This event is an Autograph Signing only. There will be no photography permitted under any circumstance.

About iPlay America

 iPlay America is the place to Get Inside the Fun! It’s all indoor, family-friendly themed environment provides guests nearly four acres of outstanding rides, games, and attractions making it the perfect destination for FUN year-round! The Event Center @iPA is home to concerts, corporate events, expos, galas, trade shows, company outings, sporting events, social gatherings, and every kind of party. iPlay America offers guests a mouth-watering selection of Boardwalk style fare, classic American cuisine at Game Time Bar & Grill, and an impressive event catering menu. ALWAYS free to enter, iPlay America’s guests can enjoy exciting attractions like 2-level Laser Tag, Indoor Go-Kart Track, Spinning Coaster and the Sky Trails® High Ropes Course (the largest indoor ropes course in New Jersey). iPlay America is the first family entertainment center in the U.S. to feature Topgolf Swing Suite immersive sports simulator. It’s fun for all ages and golf skill levels with an array of games such as TopContender, TopPressure, Baseball Pitching, Zombie Dodgeball, Hockey Shots, and more. iPlay America is a 2017 winner of TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence for Outstanding Service. For FUN, fine food, and events of any size, the award winning iPlay America is the place to Get Inside the Fun. iPlay America is located on Route 9 at 110 Schanck Road in Freehold, New Jersey.

State of the Jets, Running Backs: A Packed House

Entering training camp, the New York Jets look to have a loaded group at running back.  There are currently seven backs under contract. While it’s no surprise that new addition Le’Veon Bell will be the feature back, the depth chart behind him is a bit of an unknown. Elijah McGuire and Trenton Cannon are picks that were made by previous GM Mike Maccagnan, while Bilal Powell will be entering his 9th season in Green and White.

Former Green Bay Packers tailback Ty Montgomery is a new addition this offseason, and looks to also compete for a role on special teams. At the bottom of the list is unproven De’Angelo Henderson and undrafted free agent Valentine Holmes, who will have an exempted spot on the practice squad as an international player.

Adam Gase likes to run a multiple look offense that is tailored around his roster’s strengths and weaknesses. This will create opportunity for more than one running back to be on the field at a time, which can confuse opposing teams schematically. It is very likely we will see Bell and Montgomery split out wide or in the slot often, as Gase loves to utilize backs who have shown themselves to be a threat in the passing game.

Bilal Powell is hoping to prove he’s still good enough to perform after a neck injury in 2018.

If Powell can return to form after suffering a nearly career ending neck injury last season, he will compete with Montgomery as the backup. McGuire and Cannon will have a battle throughout training camp to see who will end up as RB3, with McGuire getting the push in experience and overall potential. Cannon was a bit of a disappointment in his rookie season, but proved to be a reliable gunner on special teams. If he is able to improve his return skills, he may avoid getting cut. If he is in danger of not making the 53-man roster, the Jets may be able to stash him on IR to start the season.

The Jets will likely trim the number of running backs they keep on the roster in half, keeping only 4 to start the year. Due to inexperience and lack of production, Cannon and Henderson are the long shots. However, if Powell can’t recover enough to play at full speed, releasing him would possibly signal the end of his career.

Gase and Co. will have many decisions to make regarding the position in the upcoming months, and it sets up for healthy competition in the summer. The versatility of this group gives it the Jets plenty of moving parts and opportunities to create mismatches.  A welcome change from year’s past.

Report: Jets Working out Bilal Powell

Perhaps looking to add some more competition in the team’s backfield, the Jets are working out a familiar face in running back Bilal Powell.  It was believed that Powell’s time in Green and White was over forever when he suffered a season ending neck injury last season, but this could open the door for his return.

Brian Costello of the New York Post is reporting that Powell is working out for the team today.  With Le’Veon Bell, Eli Mcguire, Ty Montgomery and Trenton Cannon currently on the roster, bringing Powell back would decrease the likelihood of Cannon sticking on the team’s 53-man roster.