Gase: Darnold not Cleared for Contact, Jets Players to Start Competing for Playing Time

Jets head coach Adam Gase met with the media and had some critical pieces of information for anious fans wanting an update on the state of the team.

First and foremost, quarterback Sam Darnold has been cleared for non-contact activities only at this point.  Light running and throwing are likely next on the agenda.  This makes it highly unlikely he’ll be under center in six days.

On the plus side of things, it sounds as if Gase is going to start having players compete for playing time from this point onward, starting the best players on Sundays.

Previously, Gase handed out some jobs to tenured veterans such as Ryan Kalil, Brian Winters and Brandon Shell.  With a new approach, don’t be surprised if we see at least one major change on the O-line (Jonotthan Harrison over Kalil) with the possibility of Winters and Shell losing some reps to the likes of Tom Compton, Alex Lewis or rookie Chuma Edoga.  

 

 

Luvu Ready to Make the Leap? Notes on Defensive Dominance and More

After taking the time to watch and re-watch Gang Green’s preseason victory over the Atlanta Falcons the other day, we thought we’d share a few takeaways that may not have been quite so evident at first glance.  Some good news here on the defensive side of the ball.

  • The Jets front seven was impressive this week, and for the second game in a row linebacker Frankie Luvu’s effort and production stood out.  In two contests, Luvu has looked like a much improved player from last season when he did some good things as a rookie but was more hesitant.  Appearing to be more than just a “situational pass rusher” type, Luvu has shown himself to be strong against the run in the early going.  Luvu has to be a lock to make this roster.
  • After years of hyping up the Jets D-line, could this be the year they finally break out?  The addition of Quinnen Williams is expected to  pay immediate dividends and Henry Anderson, Leonard Williams and Steve McLendon are known commodities.  In addition to the starters, Bronson Kaufusi and Tarell Basham have also stood out.  Both linemen have been consistently disruptive and could offer high quality depth behind a group of high-end starters.  A former draft pick of respected GM Ozzie Newsome, Kaufusi finished last season on a high note and looks to have picked up where he left off.

https://twitter.com/PFF_Jets/status/1163127729925087234

  • Undrafted free agent cornerback Alex Brown saw extended action against the Falcons, playing 39 snaps (25 in coverage) according to pff.com and dispelled the notion that he’s not a physical corner with some jarring hits.  Brown graded out as one of Gang Green’s top defenders and with such a depleted cornerbacks group, his progress is worth keeping an eye on.

  • Avery Williamson was knocked out for the year after colliding with a teammate and tearing his ACL.  The assumption seems to be that it’s Blake Cashman’s job to lose.  Don’t write off Neville Hewitt who is an underrated player.  Wouldn’t be surprised to see Hewitt start at ILB this season with Cashman taking over at some point.
  • Deontay Burnett was impressive yet again and scored a late TD to help his chances.  If it were up to us (and we know it’s not) Burnett would be WR4 right now.
  • We said immediately following the game that 3rd string center Jon Toth appeared to have a solid night and we felt even more so after a second go around.  Nice job in pass protection.
  • Would it be all that crazy to say that the Jets current backup interior linemen (Alex Lewis, Jonotthan Harrison, Tom Compton) are a better trio than the Jets starters have been over the past three years due to injuries and ineffectiveness?
  • We’d hoped Jordan Morgan would be a player who could be developed as a quality backup lineman but he didn’t look the part at all against the Falcons.  It’s going to be a battle for Morgan to stick.
  • Trenton Cannon has speed to burn but looked too hesitant as a return man and wasn’t used to his strengths as a runner.  The Jets ran the 180 lb Cannon up the gut like a power back several times without much of a chance to play to his strengths and run to the outside and he was bottled up by the defense.  Odd approach.

 

 

2019 Positional Preview: Offensive Line

With Jets training camp just around the corner, we continue to preview each position group as the team gets revved up to kick off the Adam Gase/Joe Douglas era.  Today, it’s one of the more suspect groups on the roster in the offensive line.

The 2018 Jets offensive line was tied for 14th in the NFL is pass blocking efficiency per pro football focus but the team was one of the worst run blocking units in the NFL.  A pair of new starters and some additional new faces will look to help improve in both areas in 2019.  Here’s a look at the current O-line in its entirety.

LT Kelvin Beachum: 

Kelvin Beachum will be responsible for Sam Darnold’s blind side once again in 2019.

We’ve been saying the same thing about Beachum for over  a year now.  He’s an average to slightly above average pass blocker whose run blocking could use improvement.  A middle of the pack player making middle of the pack money.  In the final season of his deal, Beachum will likely give way to a new starter in 2020, but his character is impeccable and he’s an excellent model for younger players to learn from.  He’s a perfectly suitable “hold the fort” player for another year.

LG Kelechi Osemele:

A former All-Pro left guard who was made available via trade due to a bloated salary and in injury-plagued 2018, Osemele is expected to be one of the biggest upgrades on the roster as he replaces the departed James Carpenter.

C Jonotthan Harrison:

Harrison filled in admirably at center toward the tail end of the season and held his own at the pivot.  A player whose athleticism could make him an ideal fit for Adam Gase, Harrison will never be an upper echelon player, but he should certainly be an upgrade over what the Jets started each of the past two seasons with in Wesley Johnson and Spencer Long.  This is also a position the Jets could look to upgrade via trade or free agency before the season kicks off.

RG Brian Winters:

Winters is pencilled in as the team’s starting right guard, but don’t be shocked if he loses that job at some point.  Free agent addition Tom Compton is a more athletic player than Winters and Adam Gase may not be willing to put up with Winters’ inconsistency at the position.  Another player who is a better pass blocker than run blocker, Winters’ $6.5 million cap savings if cut could work against him if another player performs to a similar level.

RT Brandon Shell:

Shell is another player who could be on a short leash this season.  He’s been a solid player since entering the league, but lacks the mean streak you’d like to see in an O-lineman.  With the addition of USC product Chuma Edoga, don’t be surprised  if Shell gets pushed aside at some point should Edoga progress quickly enough for the team’s liking.

OT Calvin Anderson:

An undrafted free agent offensive tackle out of Texas, Anderson spent a brief period with the Patriots as an undrafted free agent before being let go and snapped up by the Jets.  Anderson has excellent size and wing span, but his strength is a concern.

G Ben Braden:

Ben Braden prepares to enter year three as a pro.

Braden enters his third pro season after signing with the Jets as an undrafted free agent out of Michigan a couple of seasons ago.  Braden has a reputation as a mauler who struggles in pass protection.  If he sticks with another regime, it will bode well for the big guard.

OG Tom Compton:

A free agent addition who has played both guard and tackle at the pro level, Compton should be given a shot to steal the right guard job.  Will Adam Gase and company give him that chance?  Only time will tell.

OT Chuma Edoga:

Likely drafted with a vision of moving him to left tackle at some point, Edoga will likely get most of his work as a rookie on the right side of the offensive line.  A look at right guard should be a possibility.

G Tyler Jones:

Jones was one of the better pass blockers in all of college football as on offensive tackle but shows up on the Jets official roster as a guard.  A position switch was predicted by some experts and that looks to be the case early on.

G/C Toa Lobendahn:

Another undrafted free agent, Lobendahn’s versatility may be what gives him his best chance to land a roster spot.

OT Wyatt Miller:

An intriguing prospect who played both left and right tackle at UCF, Miller is another player who could find himself auditioning on the inside and outside.  Very durable player with a good motor.

G Jordan Morgan:

A small school prospect entering year three, the Jets are hoping Morgan will come in to  his own after being cut loose by the Chicago Bears.

RT Brent Qvale:

A solid veteran back up, Qvale has been a spot starter for the Jets at both right tackle and right guard.  With a new regime and several offensive tackles competing for depth spots on the roster, Qvale could have his work cut out.

OT Eric Smith:

A little-known player who has made the rounds in the AFC East, Smith is a player with whom Adam Gase will be familiar.  It was under Gase that Smith made the Dolphins 53-man roster in 2017 at right tackle, but was eventually let go before spending a brief time with the Patriots.  Smith was eventually signed away from the Patriots practice squad to the Jets active roster.

C Jon Toth:

Toth bounced on and off of the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad before signing with the Jets in December of 2018.  A stout run blocker who excelled at the University of Kentucky, pro football focus mentioned Toth as a player who has the potential to one day become a starting center.  A strong showing at the Senior Bowl had some mentioning Toth as a possible mid-round pick.  In the end, he went undrafted and looks to show he belongs this season.

 

 

Gase: Quinnen Williams and Marcus Maye to be Limited for Mini Camp

Jets head coach Adam Gase met with the media prior to kicking off the team’s 3-day mini camp and said a couple of high-profile defensive players will be limited in first-round pick Quinnen Williams and safety Marcus Maye.

In addition to Williams and Maye, Tight end Neal Sterling and guard Tom Compton will also be held out with undisclosed injuries.  Gase also reported that as expected, all players reported.

Jets Sign Offensive Lineman Tom Compton

With the second wave of free agency under way, the Jets now look to be targeting depth players as the team announced the signing of former Minnesota Vikings left guard Tom Compton.

A veteran of seven seasons, Compton has had stops  with the Redskins, Falcons, Bears and Vikings.  He has just 30 career starts, but 14 of those came last season in Minnesota.