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17 minutes ago, bitonti said:

it should be noted that by the time the Jets picked, Stanley, Conklin, Decker were all off the board.  As was Ryan Kelly the center.

They could have taken Ifedi, a guard, but he's also out with a high ankle sprain and not starting the season. They could have taken Jason Spriggs but he's a 2nd rounder and 2nd string player with the Packers.

In other words, these Jets' front office are not avoiding investing in OL they are just sticking to their board and going best available player. 

Indeed. Your draft acumen never ceases to amaze me Bit.

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Poor Kelly, one of our least appreciated posters.  

I’ve been on this site for over a decade now, consider myself a reasonably intelligent individual, but for the life of me cannot figure this out. For the sweet love of jesus can someone finally, non-j

Now under contract: rookie TE @Chris_Authentic! MORE → https://nyj.social/2IA2zUI  11:26 AM - 21 May 2018

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 The Jets rotated right tackles Ben Ijalana (who started) andBrent Qvale in Sunday's season-opening loss to the Bengals. 

Expect that rotation to continue Thursday night in Buffalo, as the Jets seek a replacement for Breno Giacomini (lower back strain), who is on the physically unable to perform list and must miss at least the next five games.Against the Bengals, Ijalana played 39 snaps, while Qvale played 32. They rotated every other series. 

Jets coach Todd Bowles said Monday that "it's possible" Ijalana and Qvale will rotate again Thursday."Both of them had their ups and downs, but it could be similar," Bowles said.Neither guy was noticeably better or worse than the other. Or at least that's what Bowles thought after he watched the film. 

"I don't think so," Bowles said, though he added he doesn't want to rotate right tackles for much longer. 

He said he will eventually settle on a starter, between Qvale and Ijalana. Bowles said that decision-making process should take just "a couple more" games.Ijalana on Sunday started for the first time in his career. This is Year 6 for him in the NFL. He had previously played in just seven games. Qvale, a third-year pro, has one career start (in an extra-tackle package last season). He has now played in 17 career games. He didn't play at all in 2014, as he was on the practice squad.

Rotating offensive tackles in a regular season game is unusual. But considering how inexperienced Ijalana and Qvale are, it was seemingly an effective way for the Jets to get an accurate read on which player is better suited for the starting job in Giacomini's absence.  

>     http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/2016/09/what_is_jets_plan_going_forward_with_right_tackle.html#incart_river_index

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The veteran tackle started and played 66 snaps for New York in his return after ACL surgery last season. John Clayton believes Clady should continue to progress as the season wears on. Stars returning in Week 1 (Insider)



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— Near every time Jets head coach Todd Bowles spoke to the media after the 2015 season ended, he was asked how he wanted his team to improve. And near every time Bowles answered, he said the same thing: 

Get faster on defense. 

In the 2016 NFL Draft, the Jets did. The team used the No. 20 overall selection on Darron Lee, a playmaking linebacker from Ohio State who ran a 4.47 second 40-yard dash (Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott ran the same) at the NFL Combine. 

In his first NFL game this past Sunday, Lee recorded six tackles. This week, NJ Advance Media caught up with him to pick his brain on a number of topics including Zin Burger, XBOX or Playstation, and his thoughts on Rex Ryan. 

QUESTION: You weren't on the Jets roster last year, so you weren't a part of the playoff-eliminating defeat to the Bills in Week 17. Have you heard about it, though?

Lee: No one has spoken to me about it, but I'm aware of what happen. It has been referred to by other people. You hear bits and pieces about it here and there. I know we didn't beat them at all last year. That's all I've really been told. We don't like them, they don't like us, and that's all I really care about. 

QUESTION: What have you been told about Bills coach Rex Ryan?

Lee: I actually met him during a pre-draft visit. He's a great guy and a great coach. He's definitely a player's coach. He gets his guys ready to play. I know he'll have his guys ready this Thursday. 

QUESTION: So you met Ryan, you play for Todd Bowles. What's the biggest difference between the two?

Lee: [Laughs] Coach Bowles is much, much more reserved, in my opinion. He's also a lot cooler. That's because he's my coach. 

QUESTION: Looked like you may have had your first 'Welcome to the NFL' moment on Sunday when Bengals tight end C.J. Uzomah got past you for the long gain. Can you take me through that play?

Lee: It was man-to-man coverage. It was more on myself than him getting me. I took a bad angle, but I settle in after that for sure. It is what it is. It was a rookie mistake. I saw him, then I froze up a little bit. I guess that was like my rookie moment, you know what I mean? They say you can freeze up. It didn't happen again, thank God. That's all it was though. Nothing else. 

QUESTION: So you've been in the New York, New Jersey area for a couple of months. What's your favorite part about it?

Lee: The diversity. It's really diverse. It's definitely a change of venue, for sure. Every time I go into the city, seeing the skyline, it's like a completely different world. Honestly, I love it. I still have a lot of exploring to do, though. We're into the season now, so I don't have much time to go out and see stuff. I will, but right now, I don't have much of a chance to do it.

QUESTION: You miss anything about home?

Lee: [laughs] Nah. Nothing.

QUESTION: There are quite a few good eats around this area. You have a favorite so far?

Lee: Zin Burger off of Route 10 (in Morris Plains). That place is awesome. That's one of the best, if I not the best, burger I've ever had. It was delicious. Delicious. 

QUESTION: You're big into video games, and from what I understand, you play all the systems. You've got to have a favorite though, right? Which is it? XBOX or Playstation?

Lee: Playstation. It's better for my hands. Makes it easier for me to do what I've got to do. XBOX is a little bigger. It's doable, but Playstation is a lot easier for me. Plus, the first system I ever had was the Playstation. I had the Playstation 1 and Playstation 2. 

QUESTION: OK, back to football. Do you have a game you're most looking forward to playing this year?

Lee: Any team that my former teammates are on. But honestly, any team. This is my first year in the NFL, so I'm just eating it all up and soaking it all in. 

Connor Hughes may be reached at chughes@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connor_J_Hughes. Find NJ.com Jets on Facebook.

>    http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/2016/09/qa_with_darron_lee_talking_jets_bills_and_hamburge.html#incart_river_index

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 As the Jets prepared for Thursday night's game at the Bills, coach Todd Bowles this week offered some insight on his right tackles. 

The Jets have inexperienced co-starters right now — Ben Ijalana and Brent Qvale — because Breno Giacomini is on the physically unable to perform list (lower back strain). Bowles hasn't settled on a replacement yet, but hopes to do it soon. Expect Ijalana and Qvale to rotate series Thursday, as they did in Sunday's opener against the Bengals. Giacomini must miss at least four more games after Thursday. It is possible he could be sidelined for longer than that. 

Bowles would prefer to pick one replacement starter, rather than continue to rotate Ijalana and Qvale."One of them just needs to take control," Bowles said. "They both have strengths in different areas. Ben has better feet, and Qvale is probably a better run [blocker] at this point. Ben's probably a better pass blocker at this point.

"Somebody just needs to step up and snatch it and say 'this is my job,' instead of: 'OK, I go in, you go in, I go in, you go in.' It makes for good competition that they're both still fighting for it, but somebody has to take it and play well enough to make that decision." 

The reason Bowles prefers to go with one guy instead of a rotation ? 

"Eventually, you want continuity on every play with the offensive line," he said, adding that the lack of continuity would be the "downside" to a longer-term rotation of Ijalana and Qvale. 

>    http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/2016/09/how_are_jets_right_tackles_ben_ijalana_brent_qvale.html#incart_river_index

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Rich CiminiESPN Staff Writer 

Look for the Jets to continue their Ben Ijalana-Brent Qvale rotation at right tackle tonight against the Bills. "One of them just needs to take control," Todd Bowles said. Ijalana is the better pass protector, Qvale the better run blocker. Bowles hopes to settle on one as soon as possible. They alternated series in the opener.


>        http://www.espn.com/nfl/team/_/name/nyj/new-york-jets

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If you polled anyone with a relevant knowledge of the Jets this offseason, it was probably the biggest concern mentioned by most.Sure, it was good to have Ryan Fitzpatrick back. No doubt the receivers are going to be killer again. The defense has the potential to be ferocious and one of the league's best.

The offensive line ? Yeah, not much optimism there. 

But two games in ? So far, so good, with the big men up front. 

The combination of Ryan Clady (left tackle), James Carpenter (left guard), Nick Mangold (center), Brian Winters (right guard) and Ben Ijalana/Brent Qvale (rotating right tackles) has been much better than expected in the early portions of 2016. The group is keeping Fitzpatrick upright, while also opening rushing lanes for running back Matt Forte. 

Surprising ?   A bit.

The Jets gambled with that above combination and hoped for the best. Of the five, just Carpenter and Mangold are sure-things. Clady has played just 18 games the last three seasons. Winters started last year as a backup. Right tackle Breno Giacomini is on the physically unable to perform list, and his replacements, Ijalana and Qvale, entered this season with one start between the two of them. 

Concerns aside, the line has looked awfully good.

Although it has been just eight quarters, the offense, right now, is averaging 29.5 points and 416 yards— 279 pass, 137 rush— a game. The line has allowed just two sacks— one to the Bengals' Geno Atkins, and one to the Bills' Jerry Hughes. That's not bad. Not bad at all.And the Jets aren't facing light competition. The Bills and Bengals combined for 63 team sacks last year."I thought they did a really nice job," Fitzpatrick said last week. "In terms of my confidence level, the way I thought that they performed during the game, I didn't really notice anything which is usually a good thing."

The question now is if they can keep it up. 

The Jets' next four games aren't going to be easy. The team travels to Kansas City to face the Chiefs, and then hosts the Seahawks. The Jets will travel to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers, then to Arizona to battle the Cardinals. Each of those teams not only made the playoffs last year, but advanced to the second round.If the Jets want to survive such a grueling slate with their heads above water, they're going to need their line to continue to play at a high level. 

"If we get everything running on all cylinders, everyone on the same page," Forte said, "I think we can be really dangerous. It's up to all of us." 

>       http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/2016/09/jets_offensive_line_has_been_surprisingly_good_so.html#incart_river_index

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Preseason I thought we had a 50% chance to see the post season.  Thanks to the performance of the OL to date I've upgraded that to a 65% chance.  I'm especially psyched that Johnson filled in for Carpenter w/o missing a beat.  Go Jets!

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Rich CiminiESPN Staff Writer 

Former Patriots C Bryan Stork is visiting the Jets today, a source confirmed. With LG James Carpenter nursing a calf injury, they could be concerned about their depth. Backup C Wes Johnson probably would start at LG if Carpenter's injury keeps him out of action. Carpenter is likely to play Sunday against the Chiefs, a source said. The team is assessing its fallback options by taking a look at Stork. The NFL Network first reported the visit


>       http://www.espn.com/nfl/team/_/name/nyj/new-york-jets

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Johnson did well enough filling in for Carpenter, but I will feel much better with Carpenter back in there.  Stork I assume is in for a look because they don't want to have Carpenter out and Johnson with no one behind him.

But perhaps the big story so far is that Winters has actually looked decent to good at RG.  Wow I didn't see that coming.  Hoped for it, but that was merely hope.

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— When Jets head coach Todd Bowles said the team was considering rotating right tackles, many (this reporter included) took it as a joke.

No way Bowles would actually switch Ben Ijalana and Brent Qvale in-and-out in the middle of a game. He had to pick one, the best one, and roll with him. If said player struggled, then replace him. 

Only Bowles wasn't kidding. And now two games into the season, the revolving door on the right side of the line may not stop. 

"Right now," Bowles said on Monday, "I kind of like seeing them both in there."

Obviously, the hope on the Jets' coaching staff is that someone eventually separates himself as the guy at right tackle. But until someone does, Bowles doesn't appear to have any issue swapping them in and out.At least so far, the Jets' offense doesn't seem to be struggling wither either player. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has been sacked just twice, and the unit is averaging 416 yards a game. 

It's unorthodox, but the two-tackle approach is working for the Jets. There are things Ijalana does better than Qvale. There are things Qvale does better than Ijalana. Not to mention, rotating the two keeps a defense off balance."I think it's probably an edge if you keep both of them in there and both of them are healthy, and both of them are fighting at the same time," Bowles said. "It probably keeps the defensive culture off balance trying to do certain things on that side of the football. But they're both still fighting, they're both playing well."

While Ijalna and Qvale are both technically starters now, the plan, per Bowles, is to go back to Breno Giacomini once he's healthy. Giacomini, who injured his back this offseason, can begin practicing and be activated off the physically unable to perform list after Week 6. 

Then again, if the offense is rolling, Bowles may never make a change. 

"It's still too early to tell," Bowles said. "Right now [the starting spot] is Breno's, but we'll see how long he's out and how well these guys play."

>        http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/2016/09/breno_giacomini_will_be_jets_right_tackle_when_hea.html#incart_river_index

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 Through two games, the Jets have gotten the solid and reliable play they desired from their new left tackle, Ryan Clady.And most important for Clady, his surgically repaired knee is holding up just fine. Clady missed all of last season after tearing his ACL in May of 2015. 

As for his play, Clady isn't celebrating anything yet. 

"I've still got some rust I'm dealing with," he told NJ Advance Media on Monday. "I'm not exactly perfect, but I plan on improving."He said the rust involves "just a couple plays here and there. On some pass sets, I might win, but it's just not the proper technique that I need to be using." 

Could this perhaps be another Pro Bowl season for him ? 

"I think I'm close," he said. "Just a couple things here and there, and I'll be track to have a good year." 

In addition to not playing last season, Clady was limited to two games in 2013 by a foot fracture. So he came to the Jets in the offseason with durability concerns.But Clady has otherwise been a very productive player. Since entering the NFL in 2008, he has made the Pro Bowl in 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2014. He was a first-team All-Pro in 2009 and 2012.After the remarkably durable D'Brickashaw Ferguson retired this offseason, the Jets pulled off a trade with the Broncos to acquire Clady. If Clady, 30, stays healthy, then there's a good chance he could be an upgrade from Ferguson, whose performance had declined in recent seasons. 

Physically, Clady said he feels "real good" right now, in terms of his knee. He has long since moved past the post-ACL surgery anxiousness."I think I'm over that," he said. "I think I felt that a little bit more in [organized team activities]. Even in early [training] camp, I felt more confident." 

Regarding the Jets' offensive scheme, Clady said it is "very similar" — especially with the zone blocking stuff — to what he did in Denver when Adam Gase was the offensive coordinator there from 2013-14. That has helped make Clady's transition to the Jets all the more seamless. 

>    http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/2016/09/how_is_ryan_clady_doing_through_2_games_as_jets_ne.html#incart_river_index

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Perhaps concerned about their offensive-line depth, the New York Jets are visiting Tuesday with former New England Patriots center Bryan Stork, an NFL source confirmed.Stork, who has 17 career starts, was released by the Patriots in the preseason after a trade to the Washington Redskins was voided by a failed physical. Stork has a history of concussions.

The Jets are evaluating fallback options on the line. Left guard James Carpenteris nursing a strained calf, an injury that forced him out of last Thursday's win over the Buffalo Bills. He was replaced by backup center Wesley Johnson. The only other backup interior lineman on the roster is Dakota Dozier, who was inactive against the Bills.

As of late last week, Carpenter's chances of playing Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs appeared promising.Stork, 25, also can play right guard and has played right tackle in an emergency.

>       http://www.espn.com/blog/new-york-jets/post/_/id/63255/source-former-patriots-c-bryan-stork-to-visit-jets

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After experiencing some ups and downs early in his career, Jets RG  Brian Wintersicon-article-link.gif  has found his comfort zone. The 6’4”, 320-pounder, who now has started 30 career games, has become a key cog on the interior for the Green & White.“It’s growing pains. Obviously you go through some things earlier on in your career and it takes time for players to develop,” he said during an appearance on Inside the Jets. “I went into this season with a chip on my shoulder, obviously from last season and I carried it over to this season. It’s one of those things where you settle in somewhere and you feel more comfortable and that’s how I felt.”

Winters was one of three new OL starters for the Jets on opening day in 2016 compared to the 2015 opener. While Winters eventually took over for Willie Colon last year and started 10 contests,  Ryan Cladyicon-article-link.gif replaced the retired D’Brickashaw Ferguson at LT and both  Ben Ijalanaicon-article-link.gif  and  Brent Qvaleicon-article-link.gif  are working with the first team at RT with  Breno Giacominiicon-article-link.gif  (back) on the PUP list.“They’re both doing a great job and they have been since camp. Without Breno it’s tough because you build a relationship with someone, but these guys have stepped in,” Winters said. “Obviously, I’ve talked with them and done some things with them and it doesn’t really matter who’s next to me because I feel confident with both of them.”

Adversity struck the Jets in Buffalo when LG  James Carpentericon-article-link.gif  exited with a calf injury. But Wesley Johnsonicon-article-link.gif  stepped in and the offense continued to dominate, totaling 493 yard in all as the team notched 28 first downs.“Obviously Carp going down, no one wants that, but Wesley stepped right in and we continued to move the ball and do good things,” Winters said. “He’s a versatile player, so it was good.”

Last month, Winters received praise from both head coach Todd Bowles and offensive line coach Steve Marshall for an outstanding training camp. Still just 25, Winters knows how valuable Marshall has been in helping him take strides.“He’s unbelievable. He’s one of those guys that’s not so huge on technique. As long as you get the job done, he’s super happy,” Winters said. “He’s real good with the younger guys. He goes in there, he teaches them and he likes to run the football too so that’s one thing we have in common. I think he’s a great coach and he’s definitely helped us out a lot.”Entering Week 3, the Jets have some impressive offensive rankings: No. 4 overall, T6 scoring, No. 5 run and No. 10 pass. Second-year WR  Quincy Enunwaicon-article-link.gif  continues to flash and RB  Matt Fortéicon-article-link.gif  (196 rush yards, 3 TDs) has fit in quite well behind Winters and the rest of the line.

“He’s a huge student of the game. He’s one of those guys that will talk to me after and tell me how he approaches certain plays,” Winters said of the Work Horse. “Then in my head, I know how to block it for him and make it easier for him. He’s a great guy, he has great patience, he waits on things and doesn’t blow out a play. He waits for us to set up our block and then he approaches. It’s something different and I’m excited to continue to play with him for the rest of the season.” 

The Jets have a talented collection of playmakers, a number wideouts and running backs who can make things happen with the ball in their hands. But it all starts up front and Winters and the rest of the O-line are off to a fine start.

>         http://www.newyorkjets.com/news/article-7/Winters-Has-Settled-In-at-RG/afeb5144-7ae0-4ee2-8ec3-49d10ecaa173

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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Examining the five biggest surprises (positive, negative and otherwise) of the New York Jets' first two games : 

~ ~  4. The right tackle rotation hasn't backfired : The decision to alternate Ben Ijalana and Brent Qvale drew skepticism because, let's face it, how often do you see a team rotate two guys at the same position on the offensive line? Not often. It raises continuity questions. Coach Todd Bowles acknowledged it's not an ideal situation, but the results haven't been terrible. Statistically, the offense has been more productive with Ijalana -- 37 points in 10 possessions. With Qvale, it's 23 points in 10 possessions, not counting a kneel-down at the end of a half. Bowles said neither one has done enough to unseat Breno Giacomini (herniated disc), who is eligible to start practicing in four weeks.

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>     http://www.espn.com/blog/new-york-jets/post/_/id/63275/jets-early-surprises-include-darrelle-revis-slump-new-receiving-leader

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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Examining the five biggest surprises (positive, negative and otherwise) of the New York Jets' first two games :

~ ~  5. Lorenzo Mauldin's quiet start : The coaches raised the bar in the offseason, saying they expected Mauldin to be an every-down linebacker. That hasn't happened yet, as Mauldin has played in only 41 percent of the defensive snaps. Part of the reason is because they've played more 4-3 than 3-4, but this coaching staff is known for finding ways to get good players on the field. Mauldin does have a sack, but it's his only tackle.

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When Todd Bowles was asked earlier in the week about his team’s situation at right tackle, the head coach still would not commit to either of the substitute starters working in place of Breno Giacomini. He also was not sure when Giacomini would be ready to play. The right tackle will have to sit out at least through Week 6 with the back injury that landed him on the PUP list.

On the right tackle position and the factors he weighed in deciding to rotate two players…

We’d like to eventually settle on one. I don’t know if I will. They both have pluses and minuses, and they both play good and bad. I think it’s probably an edge if you keep both of them in there and both of them are healthy, and both of them are fighting at the same time. It probably keeps the defensive culture off balance trying to do certain things on that side of the football. But they’re both still fighting, they’re both playing well and with Breno (Giacomini) down, right now I kind of like seeing both of them in there. But eventually you hope one of them takes it.

On if he believes Giacomini will be healthy once he’s eligible to return from the PUP list…

It’s still too early to tell.

Brent Qvale and Ben Ijalana have rotated in Giacomini’s absence. It hasn’t been a major detriment yet. The next test comes Sunday in Kansas City.


>       http://www.ganggreennation.com/2016/9/21/12999258/jets-right-tackle-situation-remains-murky

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 Jets left guard James Carpenter, who is dealing with astrained calf, did not practice Thursday for the second consecutive day. 

The Jets are formulating a contingency plan in case Carpenter can't play Sunday at the Chiefs. Could the plan involve right tackle Brent Qvale playing left guard? 

Qvale, at the very least, is getting scout team guard work in practice, he told NJ Advance Media on Thursday.The Jets' other backup guards are Wesley Johnson and Dakota Dozier. Johnson replaced Carpenter when he was injured last Thursday in Buffalo. Dozier was inactive for that game.Qvale has spent the first two games rotating at right tackle with Ben Ijalana, because Breno Giacomini is on the physically unable to perform list. 

Qvale, a third-year pro, has been mostly a right tackle in the NFL. But he has gotten some guard work in practice, too. When Giacomini was injured in June, Qvale only practiced at right tackle from then until the end of training camp.But when the regular season began, Qvale started getting scout team reps at left and right guard. So he has familiarized himself with the positions again. And that could come in handy if the Jets decide to start him at left guard in Kansas City. 

"I get some reps at each side during scout team, to keep it fresh in my mind," Qvale said. "I feel confident doing either guard or right tackle. I've done enough of [guard], to where I feel confident doing all of our plays at guard. It's just getting the techniques back, because it is a little different than tackle."Jets coach Todd Bowles would not reveal his potential replacement plans for Carpenter. Bowles on Thursday refused to even say which players are auditioning for Carpenter's spot. Bowles said there are three guys. 

It stands to reason that Johnson and Dozier are two of them. Though Qvale has gotten scout team reps lately at guard, it's not clear how seriously Bowles is considering him as a potential starting left guard Sunday.Qvale, at least, has more game experience this season than Johnson or Dozier, though Johnson and Dozier have more overall recent practice reps at guard. If the Jets started Qvale at left guard, they would still have Ijalana at right tackle.  

"If that is what happens, I'll be ready to go," Qvale said. "Whatever needs to happen, we'll take care of it and go out there and give it everything we have." This is all Bowles would say about the left guard situation Thursday: "We're rotating guys in and out right now, about three of them. We can rotate them in the game, but there's three of them going there, so we'll see who takes it." 

>         http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/2016/09/jets_working_right_tackle_brent_qvale_at_guard_wit.html#incart_river_index

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~ ~   Jordan Jenkins Nears Debut

Bowles has said that rookie OLB Jordan Jenkins, who has returned to full practice, is close to making his pro debut after rehabbing his calf injury for the past month." If he gets in shape and does some things," the coach said this week. "He is up to play Sunday. I’m not saying he will, but he’s up to play."

That's music to Jenkins' ears. He told me today what the process has been for him to get back in position to play."It was getting to me just sitting on the side and watching everybody play and knowing you can't do anything to help," he said. "You'd see guys tired and say, man, I wish I could sub for him and get him out of there so he can get fresher. But sitting on the sideline, you don't have any impact. All you can do is try to keep your guys' heads in the game. And then just seeing everybody interact on the practice field, talking about how someone made this play, and you're just getting a third-person view.

"It's not fun sitting on the sideline and being in the training room day, in day out. It gets old pretty quick," Jenkins concluded. "And it feels amazing to be back out there."


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>        http://www.newyorkjets.com/news/article-randylangefb/Notes--Quotes-Enunwa-Ready-if-Needed/4f521d3c-a0dc-4b3c-a5dd-addf323e6a21

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  • 3 weeks later...

— Difficult doesn't even begin to describe what this has been like for Breno Giacomini. What he thought was a minor back tweak during a lifting session this summer, turned into a near four-month stay on the Jets' physically unable to perform list. 

Rehabbing and conditioning. Conditioning and rehabbing. Giacomini has had the same daily routine each and every day.  Now that he's eligible to return to practice next week, he finally sees the light at the end of the tunnel."My patience has been tested, that's for sure," Giacomini told NJ Advance Media on Thursday. "But everything happens for a reason. I've always believed that." 

For the most part, Giacomini has kept himself out of the limelight ever since he injured his back. He spoke to the media just once, back in late August, and said he was 80 percent healthy. He was listening to the trainers, doing what they told him to do, and not trying to push himself too hard.Now seven weeks later, Giacomini said his back stiffness is gone, and he feels "as good as I'm going to feel." 

"We've really advanced this every week," Giacomini said. "I'm doing so much more. A lot more position work. A lot more conditioning. I'm trying to get as ready as I can without practicing, and I feel pretty good." 

Giacomini said he finally felt himself again the first week of October. He told the trainers, and since that point in time, things have been ramped up as much as PUP List limitations allow. He's going through all the motions, blocking "two or three" of the Jets' strength coaches at a time, and lifting a ton to get his strength back. 

Jets coach Todd Bowles said he "anticipates" Giacomini returning to practice next week as long as he doesn't have any setbacks. Giacomini can't wait."I want to play tomorrow. That's the way I am," the lineman said. "Realistically, though, we've come so far. Why rush it right away?"

In Giacomini's place, the Jets have taken a rather unorthodox approach to find a replacement — err, replacements. They have been rotating Brent Qvale and Ben Ijalana, essentially, every other series.The plan, at least right now, appears to be Giacomini taking over as the every-play start once he's healthy. But a lot of that is dependent on how his back responds once he starts hitting people again.

"We'll see how practice goes first," Giacomini said. "They told me that they have to see how that goes, and how my back reacts. It's a process. It's the only way to do it, and that's what we've got to do."

>   http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/2016/10/breno_giacomini_feeling_good_ready_to_return_to_je.html#incart_river_index

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Describing his first four seasons with the Jets as “a little unorthodox” this week, veteran OL  Ben Ijalanaicon-article-link.gif is adjusting to life at right tackle.

“The stagger of my feet are different, so you know the technique (is different),” he said this week during a Jets Spotlight interview with Eric Allen. “If you could imagine, I’ve drilled something so much year after year. Although I did play swing tackle, I was predominantly the backup left tackle and then a couple reps I’d do at right. But now, it’s predominantly right and a couple reps I do left. It was just muscle memory that I haven’t had and I need to just beat into my body. Even to this day every time we start practice, I just take sets of footwork.”

A second-round pick of the Colts in 2011, Ijalana played in just four games as a rookie, suffered a pair of ACL tears and was waived/injured before the 2012 season. The 6’4”, 322-pounder signed with the Jets in 2013 and eventually became the primary understudy to D’Brickashaw Ferguson at LT.But when veteran RT  Breno Giacominiicon-article-link.gif  started the 2016 season on the PUP list with a back injury, Ijalana became a co-starter there along with second-year lineman  Brent Qvaleicon-article-link.gif  as they alternated reps at practice and series during games. A New Brunswick, NJ Native, who entered the season with seven career games played, Ijalana has started three contests and become a fixture in the lineup.

“When we first started doing that, it was a little different,” said the Villanova product of the rotation. “Brent is an invaluable resource to me and I hope I’m an invaluable resource to him. I go out there and tell him what I got, who I’m blocking against, what move they gave me, what looks, and he does vice versa. Truth be told, I go in for a series and give it my all. Then I have a series to recover and I get to go right back out there and do it again. So it’s been working.”

This week’s opponent presents a tough challenge for the offensive line, a unit that has surrendered 9.0 sacks. The Cardinals’ defense ranks No. 3 in the NFL in sacks with 18.0 and it features talented edge rushers Chandler Jones and Markus Golden.

“A lot of freak athletes, a lot of speed. I’m expecting them to throw a lot of stuff at us. We need to rise to the challenge,” Ijalana said. “They’re going to be at home in primetime. It’s the NFL, you expect everyone’s effort and I expected a very spirited effort from this team. I don’t think we’ll catch them off guard, they’ll be ready. It’s primetime — the lights are brighter, everything is shinier and you just have to be cleaner. The whole world is watching and all your peers are watching.”

>        http://www.newyorkjets.com/news/article-7/Ben-Ijalana-Finding-His-Groove/3a893e1b-1d45-4a53-bed1-c04e2abfa98d

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Rookie LB  Darron Lee  has been racking up some nice numbers through his first five games as a pro. Lee, not David Harris  for a change, leads the Jets in tackles — 32 from the coaches' video breakdown, 28 from pressbox stats. He's notched a half-sack, three tackles for loss, three more for no gain. And he got his first pro pass defense last Sunday on a third-quarter Ben Roethlisberger throw from the Jets 29.

Or did he ?

The Steelers statistical crew ruled that the pass was intended for TE Jesse James, crossing right to left, whom Lee was trailing. And since James didn't make a play on the ball solidly behind him and thus Lee knocked down a pass that was never in danger of being caught, he got no PD.Stat crews make real-time calls on all official stats as well as all unofficial ones, such as tackles, targets, forced fumbles and pass defenses. Because unofficial pressbox stats are, well, unofficial, they're rarely overturned, but the Elias Sports Bureau compiles and lists them anyway for all NFL players. And there Lee sat all week with zero PDs for the season.

Problem is, Big Ben's ball wasn't intended for James. He was rifling it behind those two to WR Antonio Brown 10 yards further downfield. Brown would've been in position to try for a low catch but Lee prevented that. He should've gotten the PD.

Lee agreed with me when I told him about the scoring on the play.

"Really? They didn't give me that?" he said. "I knew he was throwing it behind and I just got a hand on it. It was a split-second decision to put my hand up because I could've easily not seen it and it would've been a completion."If you want to be that technical, I guess it doesn't matter," he said, adding after a pause, "I guess I would like the stat."

Because it's unofficial, there's no conflict with his coaches giving him a PD on the play, which they did. And the Jets are happy with how he's settling in after more than 230 defensive snaps.

"As each week goes on, I just get more and more comfortable," Lee said. "Some of the guys around here are starting to see it, especially with the communication aspect. Now that you're seeing the same stuff over and over and you're seeing the stuff you go over hold true, it makes it easier. I'm not saying it's so easy, but I'm a lot further along from when I first got here."

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>        http://www.newyorkjets.com/news/article-randylangefb/Inside-the-Numbers-Give-D-Lee-the-PD/c7637376-1064-4bb5-b99e-db075ec6ba7c

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— It's hard to find what's going right for the Jets right now.

Their quarterback situation is a mess. The running game can't get out of its own way. The defensive secondary can't stop anyone, and the defensive line can't get a pass rush.Oh, and the offensive line has become theprimary source of blame for Todd Bowles. While it's hard to disagree with the coach's assessment, the man running behind them still has faith. 

"Of course I have confidence in the offensive line," running back Matt Forte said. 

It seems like a long, long time ago that Forte gashed the Bills for three touchdowns and 100 yards in a Week 2 victory. Four weeks (and four losses) later, the back is among the offense's least-productive players.Forte has totaled 65, 27, 53 and 19 yards rushing. He ran the ball 22 times against the Bengals Week 1, 30 times against the Bills, but hasn't rushed more than 15 times in any game since. 

"My job is to run the ball," Forte said. "If we're not running the ball well, then I'm going to be frustrated anyway, and not happy with what's going on."Are the Jets struggles in the run game all Forte's fault? Probably not. The line isn't opening holes, and defenses don't fear Ryan Fitzpatrick. So, they're stacking the box to stop said run. Forte is running head-first into eight- and nine-man fronts. 

The Jets are in a funk. And there's no clear-cut way to get out of it."It's always easier said than done," Forte said. "Saying that we're a playoff team is easier said than done. Saying that we're going to build off of that is easier said than done. The truth is, you have to go out there and practice every week and translate over to the game. 

"Across the board, we all have to take a look in the mirror, look at the film, see what we're doing wrong and correct it."

>      http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/2016/10/matt_forte_still_confident_jets_offensive_line_eve.html#incart_river_index

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Rookie OLB  Jordan Jenkinsicon-article-link.gif  has been a member of the Jets for six months, but the surreal feeling of life as a professional athlete has yet to wear off.

“It’s an awesome feeling. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world,” Jenkins told Eric Allen and Larry Hardesty this week on Inside the Jets. “Each week we travel and go to another stadium. Walking into the Cardinals Stadium (University of Phoenix Stadium), I was just looking up at everything, thinking man this is my livelihood now. It really humbles you at times because when you really think about it, you never know what’s going to be your last snap, your last down to ball.”

After missing the opening two weeks of the season with a calf injury, the Georgia product has started three games and recorded 11 total tackles. He has also been a key cog in setting the edge for a defense that ranks No. 6 against the rush.“I feel like it’s starting to slow down. I’m starting to get a little bit of confidence, play a little more aggressive and nasty,” he said. “I don’t have to think about things as much. I jumped the snap on Arizona’s tight end a couple times and it’s really all about building that confidence and your comfort level. I feel like week in and week out, I’ve been building that and pretty soon I’ll be out there talking trash to some of the vets and just getting after it.”

In the Jets’ 28-3 loss to the Cardinals, the defense surrendered its first 100-yard rusher this season as David Johnson finished with 111 yards on the ground. The Jets will be in bounce-back mode this week against Terrance West, but they got back to their pressure packages in the desert. Jenkins, who is searching for his first QB sack, also had more opportunities to get up the field that at any previous point.“I probably got more rushes in one game than I’ve had probably the entire season. I’m excited about that, and I feel like we’re getting back to that,” he said. “I just hope moving forward we’ll continue to do that depending on who we have available and what the team is doing.”

Jenkins has also drawn the eye of his coaching staff since being inserted into the starting lineup.  Defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers highlighted the 6’3”, 259-pounder’s ability to play in space last Thursday in his weekly press conference. While Jenkins possesses the physical tools to play at a high level, he is still learning the recipe on how to become a successful pro in the NFL.

“The biggest challenge is really finding out if you know everything, when you know everything like this coverage or this pressure.  Come game time situation, you might panic or have a slight hesitation,” he said. “You just have to really just study as much film as you think you need to and then do some more on top of that.”

>      http://www.newyorkjets.com/news/article-7/Jordan-Jenkins-Is-Gaining-Confidence-/397c3202-4350-47c2-8c6b-107103de8b16

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Patriots acquired OLB Kyle Van Noy from the Lions.

Per ESPN's Field Yates, the Lions will receive draft-pick compensation. Van Noy has been a seven-game starter at strong-side linebacker this season, playing 60 percent of the Lions' defensive snaps. A 2014 second-rounder, he'll be a depth piece in New England. The Pats have had great success acquiring spare-part defenders in trades in recent seasons.
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 -- With the New York Jets dealing with several injuries, including multiple issues on the offensive line, offensive tackle Breno Giacominicould be activated off the PUP list for Sunday’s game in Cleveland and might step directly into the starting lineup, Jets coach Todd Bowles said Friday.

Seven-time Pro Bowl center Nick Mangold was listed as doubtful with an ankle injury Friday, as was right tackle Brent Qvale (neck). In addition, left tackleRyan Clady (shoulder) is questionable to face the Browns.

Linebackers Bruce Carter (quad) and Darron Lee (ankle) are already ruled out for Sunday. Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (ankle) and cornerback Buster Skrine (knee) are doubtful and defensive end Mo Wilkerson (ankle) is questionable.

Mangold, the Jets’ best offensive lineman, would miss just the fifth game of his 11-year career if he is unable to play. He would be replaced by Wesley Johnson, a third-year player out of Vanderbilt. Bowles said if Clady can’t go, Ben Ijalana would take his spot at left tackle and if Qvale is also out, the team is discussing whether Giacomini could be activated and step in at right tackle.

“We haven’t made a decision on [Giacomini]," Bowles said. “If he can’t play, we’ll see how Clady is feeling."

Clady, who earlier in the week looked as if he would be ruled out, is trending in the right direction. He practiced on a limited basis Friday, and if he can play, then the team could play Ijalana at right tackle if it decides not to activate Giacomini.Meanwhile, with Skrine doubtful, Marcus Williams would likely start at corner opposite Darrelle Revis, though who would play the slot corner position is unknown. Julian Stanford would start in place of Lee, the Jets’ first round pick, at linebacker.Also eligible to come off the PUP list is receiver Devin Smith, their 2015 second-round draft pick out of Ohio State, who has been recovering from a torn ACL.

“It’s a matter of healthy bodies, and what we may need on special teams, what we may not need on offense and those things like that," Bowles said about whether Smith might be activated. “It’s not just him involved; it’s a bunch of people involved, and a lot of moving parts there. But he’s been working hard and he’s been playing [at practice]."

Wilkerson, who didn’t play in the Jets’ victory last Sunday over the Baltimore Ravens, practiced on a limited basis Friday.

>      http://www.espn.com/blog/new-york-jets/post/_/id/64392/jets-looking-for-help-on-injury-plagued-offensive-line

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Jets right tackle Breno Giacomini returned Sunday, in a win at the Browns, from an offseason back injury that sidelined him for the first seven games. 

Now, can he stay healthy for the rest of the year, which is likely to be his final season with the Jets ?

"My back is fine," Giacomini said Monday. "I feel good. The next day is kind of what you worry about, especially after being in a physical game." 

The Jets rotated Giacomini with Ben Ijalana on Sunday. Giacomini played 40 of 73 snaps, while Ijalana played 33.Though the team is bringing Giacomini back slowly from his injury, he is confident that the injury is totally behind him."I feel pretty good right now," Giacomini said. "I hope it doesn't pop back up. I'm pretty confident that as long as I stay with my routine, with the treatments, and keep getting better, I think it's definitely behind me." 

Shortly after Giacomini injured his back in June, he worried that he might never play again. 

"This was my first injury of my career that that actually ran through my head: Am I going to come back and be able to play at this level?" Giacomini said. "But that was really early [in the process]. With time, I kept getting confidence. There were a couple days there where I doubted it." Giacomini started all 16 games for the Jets at right tackle in 2014 and 2015. There was some thought that they might release him entering this season — a move that would have created $4.375 million in salary cap space. But they didn't do it. 

Next season is the final year of Giacomini's contract. Considering how he struggled last year, how he was hurt this year, and that he is now 31, it is likely the Jets will release him in the offseason, barring an unforeseen late rally by him this year.Releasing him would save $4.5 million in cap space. Giacomini's cap hit is due to be $5.125 million next year, compared to $5.625 million this year. 

>       http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/2016/11/can_breno_giacomini_stay_healthy_in_likely_final_s.html#incart_river_index

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-- When head coach Todd Bowles went over the New York Jets' injury list Friday, it certainly didn’t seem encouraging for a team getting ready to face AFC East rival Miami, with its defensive line led by Ndamukong Suh.For starters, center Nick Mangold, the unquestioned best player and leader of the line, is expected to be out for the second week in a row with an ankle injury, and both starting tackles -- left tackle Ryan Clady and right tackle Breno Giacomini, are questionable because of shoulder injuries. Backup tackle Brent Qvale (neck) is doubtful and even rookie tackle Brandon Shell is questionable because of a shoulder injury suffered in practice.

“The list keeps growing and growing," said Qvale, who hopes to be back next week.

Thankfully, when Mangold wasn’t able to go against the Cleveland Browns last week, Wes Johnson, the third-year pro out of Vanderbilt, stepped in and played well for the Jets. They’ll need him to do it again this week against Suh and Co.“Wes stepped in and has done a great job while Nick is out," Bowles said. “We already knew he was smart, he was tough; he’s a leader on the field. He learned a lot from Mangold and he’s been doing a good job for us."

Johnson said he thinks he “played pretty well" against the Browns, and he is ready to do it again versus the Dolphins. Mangold has helped him tremendously, he said, by showing him how to watch film and study and also by critiquing him on his play during the game. He’ll come back to the sideline and Mangold will give him a thumbs up or thumbs down on his performance in the series, he said.

“Surprisingly, he’s supportive," Johnson said. “He helps out a lot."

With all the injuries and uncertainty surrounding the line, Johnson said he’s trying not to think about who may or may not be playing next to him.

“Well, you don’t want anybody to go down, but you expect the next guy to come in and play just as well," he said.As for taking on the challenge of blocking Suh -- who is tied for fifth among defensive linemen in tackles, with 32, and who has 3.5 sacks -- Johnson said he is looking forward to it, but still is trying to focus on his own game, as opposed to who he’s playing against.“Suh is Suh. I don’t really have to describe him; he’s one of the great defensive linemen in the league," Johnson said. “But we’re just going to worry about us, worry about our technique, our fundamentals, and go out and play."

>    http://www.espn.com/blog/new-york-jets/post/_/id/64599/jets-offensive-line-weakened-by-injuries-ahead-of-dolphins-matchup

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Last Sunday was something of a transition for  Ben Ijalana , who knew he would be starting on offense against the Dolphins for  Ryan Clady  and his ailing shoulder. But with Clady going on IR this week, it's now official.

Ijalana is the Jets' new starting left tackle. And he's well aware of how that sounds."In Jets lore, for the last 10½ years, there've only been three people to man that position," Ijalana told me after today's practice. "That aspect is kind of like, wow, this is something that is hard-earned and not easily passed down."

What's more, Ijalana is getting input not only from Clady, one of those two other LT starters, but also from  D'Brickashaw Ferguson , who anchored the O-line for all 10 seasons from 2006 until his retirement this past offseason."I see D'Brickashaw about once a week. He lives in a neighboring town and he's my good friend," Ijalana said. "He told me to just play ball, which is something I've already been doing. But I hope these next few weeks I'll maybe grow closer to him in relatability. Our schedule's the who's-who of edge-rushing monsters and All-Pros and and All-World-caliber athletes.

"Maybe we'll get to a point where I look at him and he looks at me and there's just a secret understanding of the day-to-day struggle of a left tackle."

Ijalana's next battle will be Los Angeles' active, tenacious four-man front and in particular RDE Robert  Quinn, the Rams' first-round pick back in 2011.But Ben's a former second-round pick himself that same draft and he's been patiently waiting his turn to play for the Green & White. He's not happy with the injury that moved him to the first offense but he's already gotten his feet wet with a good game at Miami in which he was a big part of the Jets' 140-yard rushing offense and didn't yield a sack.

"I'm appreciative that the organization was like, 'You know, Ben, you're the guy for the job,' which is kind of an honor," he said. "Nobody ever sings praises for the backup left tackle, but when the one goes down, the two steps up, so I think it's pretty cool."And Ijalana's plan for the Rams and beyond?

"My goal is to play well and become invisible," he said. "I don't want you to notice that there's a new tackle out there."

Tall Tales
You get used to talking up to large players in NFL locker rooms, but the newest Jets practice squad player,  Zach Sterup , is taller than almost every other player in franchise history."Yeah, I'm 6'9"," Sterup said, adding the measure isn't fudged. "Eighty-one inches."He's also 318 pounds, so it can be a long pass rush around him. But he said there are pluses and minuses to the height.

"I'm a long guy so I have some reach, and if I get my hands on people I can really lock out and keep the defender off my body," he said. "The biggest challenge is just leverage, getting low and staying low, underneath people."Sterup, who played with  Brent Qvale  at Nebraska, still has a way to go to play in a game and qualify as one of the tallest Jets ever. The tallest on record actually was a Titan, 6'9" DT Joe Katchik, who played two games for the franchise's first team in 1960.

Among the 6'8" players in franchise history are tackles Billy Shields, Matt Willig, Scott Gragg and Anthony Clement, and DT Ropati Pitoitua. And while T  Breno Giacomini  is listed at 6'7", we know he considers himself 6'8", which is mirrored in his uniform number 68.

>     http://www.newyorkjets.com/news/article-randylangefb/NotesQuotes-Ben-Ijalana-Steps-Up-at-LT/8dfd6129-7369-4c2c-b99e-a32d583c493d

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-- There have been rumblings at One Jets Drive about Nick Mangold and the severity of his ankle injury, which already has kept him out of two games. He missed only four games in his first 10 seasons, so, yeah, the concern level has been rising.

Will he play again this season ?

Speaking to reporters for the first time since the injury, Mangold said Thursday that he suffered a setback last week. He was out of his walking boot, preparing to return to practice, but he apparently pushed too hard in his rehab.Now he's back in the walking boot, still not practicing, poised to miss his third straight game. He's also dealing with some knee soreness.

"It was part of my own stupidity," Mangold said. "I was trying to do too much, too soon. I'm not very good at listening to doctors. I hear what they say, but I'm just not good at listening."Mangold said he expects to play again this season. The Jets have a bye next week, so the logical target for a return is Nov. 27 against the New England Patriots. That would give him five weeks of healing. If he's not back by then, it's really time to worry.

Always a quick healer, Mangold admitted this has been frustrating.

"That's what has been difficult," he said. "I've always trended in the right direction. As soon as I'd get injured, the next day was the worst I felt, then I always got better. To go backward has been difficult. ... It is getting better, slowly but surely."Mangold is 32, with a $9.1 million cap charge in 2017, the final year of his contract, so there's no guarantee he will be back.

>        http://www.espn.com/blog/new-york-jets/post/_/id/64725/jets-c-nick-mangold-says-stupidity-caused-setback-with-injured-ankle

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  • 3 weeks later...

-- At some point, Todd Bowles will stop pretending the 2016 season still matters and will start auditioning young players for 2017. We think.

"I have a timetable in my head for certain guys that I want to see at different positions," the New York Jets coach said Monday. "When that time comes, I’ll make those decisions."

But here's the thing : Football isn't like baseball, which has September call-ups. In football, you can't promote the entire practice squad and say, "Go play on Sunday." Teams in the Jets' position usually are playing young players anyway, so there really aren't many options.

That said, here's our top-5 list of players we'd like to see on the field during the meaningless stretch run :

~ ~ 4. Brandon Shell, OT : There could be considerable turnover at tackle in 2017, so it makes sense to get a look at Shell, if only for a few series per game. Ryan Clady will be released, Ben Ijalana will be a free agent and Breno Giacomini could be a cap casualty. Ideally, Shell would slide into a starting role next year. That's how the successful organizations do it: You draft a player and groom him to become a starter. The Jets thought enough of Shell to trade a 2017 fourth-round pick to pick him in the fifth round. So far, he has been active for only four games, playing only two snaps as an extra blocker.

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  • 2 weeks later...



The Jets followed up their two running back signings earlier in the day with another active roster transaction this afternoon, acquiring linebacker Arthur Brown on waivers from Jacksonville. To make room on the roster, the team has waived/injured LB Julian Stanfordicon-article-link.gif.Brown (6'0", 241) was a second-round selection of Baltimore in the 2013 draft out of Kansas State in the 2013 NFL Draft. He was a final cut this year, then was picked up on waivers by the Jaguars the next day.

He played in all 12 games with the Jags this season, primarily on special teams, and had three coverage tackles. For his pro career he's played in 46 games (no starts).Stanford came to the Jets a year ago on their practice squad after previous NFL stops with Jacksonville Detroit and Tampa Bay. He played in nine games for the Green & White this season, with starts at Cleveland and Miami and vs. Los Angeles, making 28 defensive tackles and three more on kick coverage.

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