AFC East: New York Jets

Jets sign seven to practice squad

August, 31, 2014
Aug 31
6:55
PM ET
Under the new rules, teams are allowed to place up to 10 players on the practice squad. On Sunday, the New York Jets announced the signing of seven players to the practice squad:
The New York Jets need help at cornerback. You probably knew that already. Anybody with a cursory knowledge of the NFL knows that. Problem is, there isn't much out there. In the opinion of an AFC personnel executive, no front-line corners were released Saturday, only backup types.

Some of the "name" players available:

Bailey
Champ Bailey, cut by the New Orleans Saints (free agent): The future Hall of Fame cornerback is 36 and declining. He lost out to Patrick Robinson for the Saints' No. 2 corner position. On the upside, he's healthy now after sitting out with a foot injury early in camp.

Brandon Harris, Houston Texans (waivers): He was a second-round pick in 2011, but he failed to win the hearts of the new coaching staff.

Kelvin Hayden, Chicago Bears (free agent): He's been around for a long time, but he's a cover-2 corner, not an ideal fit in Rex Ryan's system.

Phillip Adams, Seattle Seahawks (free agent): His first stint in Seattle came at the end of the 2011 season, when Jets GM John Idzik was a Seahawks executive. Adams is a solid journeyman who has played with a handful of teams.

Derek Cox, Baltimore Ravens (free agent): A free-agent signing that didn't work out for the Ravens. Cox, who has played with the Jacksonville Jaguars and San Diego Chargers, has appeared in 63 games, with 13 interceptions.

Dominique Franks, Ravens (free agent): Like Cox, Franks didn't stick in his first season in Baltimore. Franks, formerly of the Atlanta Falcons, has three interceptions in 48 games.

Leon McFadden, Cleveland Browns (waivers): Like Ryan, Mike Pettine loves to have plenty of corners. He just didn't love this one. McFadden was a third-round pick last year and played in every game.

Jets release rookie QB Tajh Boyd

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
1:10
PM ET
Rex Ryan's handpicked draft choice was handed a pink slip Saturday.

Former Clemson star Tajh Boyd, picked in the sixth round of this year's NFL draft, was among the players cut by the New York Jets. It came as no surprise, as Boyd struggled throughout training camp, losing the No. 3 quarterback job to Matt Simms.

On draft day, Ryan admitted he wanted Boyd on the team. The coach's son, Seth, is a wide receiver at Clemson, allowing Ryan to develop a relationship with Boyd. Ryan spoke effusively of Boyd, praising his intangibles, his mobility and his ability to throw the long ball.

But it quickly became apparent Boyd was overwhelmed by the transition to a pro-style offense after years in Clemson's spread-option.

Boyd played in two preseason games, completing eight of 17 passes for 98 yards, including one touchdown and no interceptions. His passer rating was 84.9. There's always a chance he could be added to the practice squad, assuming he clears waivers.

The Jets also announced the release of running back Alex Green, tight end Chris Pantale and defensive lineman Zach Thompson. Defensive lineman Tevita Finau also was released, according to his agent.
The New York Jets made three mildly surprising moves Saturday, releasing running back Daryl Richardson, linebacker A.J. Edds and cornerback Johnny Patrick, the team announced.

All three veterans were thought to be in good position to make the team, especially Edds, who played well in the preseason. He played inside linebacker and contributed on special teams. His release likely means Nick Bellore's calf injury, sustained in the final preseason game, isn't serious. He also could open the door for fifth-round pick Jeremiah George, who had a non-descript training camp.

Richardson wasn't impressive in the preseason, but many figured he'd land the fourth tailback spot by default. He rushed a team-high 31 times for only 95 yards in the preseason, with a long run of only eight yards. He also caught three passes for 58 yards. His competition, Alex Green, also is likely to be released.

Patrick, whom the Jets acquired on waivers in the offseason, failed to capitalize on a wide-open cornerback position. That the Jets cut a healthy corner, considering the dire situation, shows how little they thought of Patrick.

There are many more cuts coming Saturday.
Good morning. Welcome to the bloodiest day of the year in the NFL. Rosters must be cut to 53 by 4 p.m. ET For the New York Jets and that means slashing 22 players.

A quick look at some of the more intriguing decisions:

Hill
Stephen Hill: Stay or go? The Jets could trade Hill (they're talking to teams) or simply cut him. From all indications, his future with the Jets is bleak. If they dump the former second-round pick, the Oakland Raiders or Houston Texans (No. 1 waiver priority) could be interested. No matter how it shakes out, they will be cutting one or two wide receivers with NFL experience.

The Dimitri Patterson saga: Accusing your bosses of lying is never good for one's job security. Patterson should've handled his matter privately instead of calling out John Idzik and Rex Ryan. Idzik is old school -- he likes to keep family business in-house -- and he has to be fuming. But, unless another serviceable cornerback falls out of the sky, it would be a surprise if they cut him Saturday. Why give him a chance to catch on with another team? Let him stew and suffer the consequences.

The three-quarterback issue: They could use the roster spot elsewhere -- like, cornerback -- but it would be a surprise if third-stringer Matt Simms is released.

The Barnes dilemma: Eleven months removed from knee surgery, linebacker Antwan Barnes (on the physically unable to perform list) still isn't practicing. Ryan said he's impressed by Barnes' progress, but progress doesn't warrant a roster spot. It's all about production, so they have three primary options: Move him to the in-season PUP list (six weeks), place him on short-term injured reserve (eight weeks) or simply carry him on the 53-man roster. Look for the PUP list.

Safety dance: Former practice squad player Rontez Miles was one of the best players on the field in the final preseason game. Word has it he could replace Josh Bush as the fourth safety, behind Dawan Landry, Calvin Pryor and Jaiquawn Jarrett.

New York Jets' projected roster

August, 29, 2014
Aug 29
10:00
AM ET
Examining the New York Jets' roster:

QUARTERBACKS (3)

Smith and Vick are locked in at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. Simms didn't play particularly well in the preseason finale, but he made enough progress over the summer to win a spot. His position coach, David Lee, thinks the world of Simms. The Jets could try to get cute, attemping to slip him through waivers for the practice squad, but why take a chance with a quarterback who might develop into a solid No. 2 down the road? Rookie Tajh Boyd, a sixth-round pick, showed flashes in the finale, but it was too little, too late.

RUNNING BACKS (5)

It's a tough call between Richardson and Alex Green; there's sentiment for both in the organization. In the end, it will be Richardson, a better receiver than Green, who fumbled twice Thursday night. It's an insurance position, anyway, as the Jets figure to dress only four running backs per week.

WIDE RECEIVERS (6)

The big story on the final cutdown is Stephen Hill, a former second-round pick who played his way from a near lock at the start of camp to squarely on the bubble. He didn't get many opportunities Thursday night, but he failed to seize what opportunities he did get -- i.e. yet another dropped pass. The Jets would love to trade Hill, but it might be hard to find a taker. If he makes the team, it's because they're afraid he might actually realize his potential, and that would be embarrassing if it happens with another team. Salas isn't a lock, not after a so-so outing in the final game, but his above-average camp can't be dismissed. Clyde Gates is pushing because of his speed and kickoff-returning ablity. Hakim was one of the underdog stories in camp, winning a job because of his special-teams prowess.

TIGHT ENDS (3)

This is fairly straight forward, although a strong finish by Chris Pantale might cause them to give pause. Cumberland will need time to get up to speed after missing significant time with Achilles' tendon tightness, so Amar0 -- better of late -- might have to carry the day early in the season. It was a solid camp for Sudfeld, but the knock on him is that he fades when the lights go on. Is there a legit blocker in the house?

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (9)

Winters played in the final preseason game, which should tell you something. Chances are he'll hold off Aboushi at left guard, but he shouldn't get too comfortable. Aboushi will continue to be the swing right tackle/guard, pushing Winters. Freeman beat out Caleb Schlauderaff for one reserve spot. Ijalana probably will make it by default, because he's the only backup left tackle, but the Jets will be looking for an upgrade. Dozier is this year's version of Aboushi and Will Campbell, meaning it will be a "redshirt" season.

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (5)

This is one of the top young defensive lines in the league, a tough group to crack. The coaches really like T.J. Barnes, a Jacksonville Jaguars castoff who worked hard to drop 20-plus pounds. Unfortunately, there's no room at the inn.

LINEBACKERS (8)

Edds is the surprise here, coming out of nowhere to win a job. He was a non-roster player in minicamp but earned a contract, displaying excellent coverage skills and ability on special teams. Troy Davis (quadriceps) and rookie IK Enemkpali (foot) were sabotaged by late injuries. Babin, signed on the eve of training camp, looks like he will be a nice pickup. Antwan Barnes, still not practicing, probably will start the season on the physically unable to perform list, meaning he must sit at least six weeks. Fifth-round pick Jeremiah George could be a rare draft pick that gets cut. Ditto for seventh-rounder Trevor Reilly, which won't make it so rare.

CORNERBACKS (7)

It's hard to imagine the suspended Dimitri Patterson on the opening-day roster. The question is, how and when do they dump him? Not only was he AWOL for 48 hours, but he called out Rex Ryan and John Idzik, basically accusing them of lying. This situation could get uglier before it gets resolved. If Idzik doesn't replace Patterson, it's because he's desperate for cornerbacks and doesn't want to admit he made a mistake by signing him in free agency. It would be a shock if they don't acquire a veteran, either in a trade or on waivers. We're listing Allen at cornerback, not safety, because ... well, they're hurting here. Lewis and Patrick make it by default -- unless something better comes along. Sixth-round pick Brandon Dixon is raw and needs time to develop.

SAFETIES (4)

Pryor has a chance to be special; he'll learn a lot, playing alongside Landry. The new addition here is Bush, who offers help on special teams -- a big point of emphasis after a couple of down years.

SPECIALISTS (3)

Quigley helped his cause with an improved performance in the final game, but one thing we know about the Jets: They like to change punters.

Observation Deck: New York Jets

August, 28, 2014
Aug 28
10:05
PM ET


PHILADELPHIA -- The New York Jets held out almost all of their starters, and even many of their backups, in their fourth and final preseason game Thursday at Lincoln Financial Field. The Jets lost to the Philadelphia Eagles, 37-7, in what essentially served as a final audition for the last few spots on the teams' 53-man rosters. (The Eagles sat their starters and backup quarterback Mark Sanchez, the former Jet, as well.)

A few takeaways from the game regarding the Jets:
  • Michael Vick started at quarterback, but it was only a cameo appearance. After serving as the team's lone game-day captain, Vick handed the ball off on the Jets' first offensive play and his night was over. Coach Rex Ryan immediately called a timeout, and third-string quarterback Matt Simms came trotting onto the field. The half-full stadium cheered the ex-Eagle as he exited, and Vick lifted his visor off his head to thank them -- a nice moment.
  • Former second-round pick Stephen Hill, with his job possibly on the line, was not particularly impressive -- targeted twice, with one catch for 13 yards and one drop. It was a bad drop, but fellow wideouts Greg Salas and Clyde Gates each had a drop as well. Hill and Salas were both taken out before the end of the first half -- apparently Ryan and company had seen enough to make a final decision on those two. (Salas had one catch for eight yards.) The Jets' best passing play of the first half was a 50-yard catch and run by fourth-string tight end Chris Pantale. Gates caught a 42-yard touchdown pass from fourth-string QB Tajh Boyd in the second half for the Jets' lone score.
  • The only starters who played for the Jets, according to the team's depth chart, were guard Brian Winters and fullback Tommy Bohanon. Winters and Oday Aboushi have been competing for the starting job at left guard, and both started against the Eagles: Winters at left guard, Aboushi at right guard. Aboushi committed two penalties in the first half, a 10-yarder for illegal use of hands and another 10-yarder for holding. Advantage, Winters.
  • With the Jets sitting Dee Milliner (ankle), Dimitri Patterson (suspension) and Antonio Allen (concussion), and holding out Kyle Wilson and Darrin Walls as well, the starting cornerbacks were Ellis Lankster and LeQuan Lewis -- and it didn't go very well. Lewis made an interception in the end zone in the first quarter, but also was toasted on a 43-yard touchdown by Arrelious Benn and gave up a 32-yard reception to Jeff Maehl. Lankster was flagged twice for defensive holding.
  • Linebacker Nick Bellore (calf), safety Josh Bush (leg) and cornerback Johnny Patrick (head) suffered injuries and did not return to the game. Bellore is a major contributor on special teams, and the Jets' secondary lost two more members.

W2W4: New York Jets

August, 28, 2014
Aug 28
12:00
PM ET
The New York Jets (2-1) face the Philadelphia Eagles (1-2) on Thursday night at Lincoln Financial Field, in the final preseason game for both teams. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

1. A sort of homecoming: Michael Vick will start at quarterback for the Jets, against the team he played for the past five seasons. It'll be interesting to see how he is received by the fans in Philadelphia. The Jets are sitting all their starters, and even Vick won't play for long. Ex-Jets starter Mark Sanchez is now the backup to Nick Foles in Philly, but Eagles coach Chip Kelly isn't planning to use either of his top two QBs in this game. Nevertheless, it'll be an opportunity for Sanchez and his former teammates and coaches to reconnect on the field before and after the game.

2. Last chance? One Jet who will play is wide receiver Stephen Hill, and his job appears to be on the line. The former second-round draft pick, a major disappointment in his first two years with the team, has just two catches for 29 yards in three preseason games. Fellow wideouts Eric Decker, Jeremy Kerley and David Nelson are locks to make the final roster, and coach Rex Ryan talked up Greg Salas and Saalim Hakim on Tuesday, and fourth-round pick Jalen Saunders is currently tabbed as the team's No. 1 punt returner. Hill better make some plays Thursday, or else his Jets career could be over.

3. Around the corner: The Jets' lack of talent and depth at cornerback has been the biggest topic of conversation regarding the team during the preseason, and it could get ugly against the Eagles. Dee Milliner (ankle) is still out, and Dimitri Patterson has been suspended for the rest of the preseason. Third-round pick Dexter McDougle (knee) is out for the season, and converted safety Antonio Allen (concussion) is still out as well. Darrin Walls sat out practice Tuesday and will not play against the Eagles, and Ryan is holding nickel back Kyle Wilson out of this game, too. That leaves you with Ellis Lankster and LeQuan Lewis as your likely starters, with Johnny Patrick, Brandon Dixon and Jeremy Reeves as your reserves. Yikes.
Muhammad Wilkerson is serious and reserved, not always quick with a smile. Sheldon Richardson is funny and engaging, a yapper's delight. He could have a future in stand-up comedy.

Wilkerson
Richardson
They're different in so many ways, including their playing style, but Wilkerson and Richardson form one of the top young defensive duos in the NFL. With nose tackle Damon Harrison, they form the New York Jets' "Sons of Anarchy" defensive line.

"I hope the whole defensive line goes [to the Pro Bowl]," Richardson said.

For now, Richardson and Wilkerson are the big names. Wilkerson, coming off a 10.5-sack season, jumped 60 spots in the ESPN #NFLRank list of defensive players, moving up to No. 31. Richardson, the reigning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, debuts at No. 39.

Wilkerson and Richardson are only 24 and 23, and are still under contract for two and three years, respectively. If the front office doesn't mess it up, the Jets should have two defensive anchors for the next decade.

They're good friends, but there's a personal rivalry between them. When Richardson said last season that he considers himself the best defensive lineman on the team, it sparked something in Wilkerson, who responded with his best season.

"I consider myself an elite player," said Wilkerson, who somehow wasn't named to the Pro Bowl.

A first-round pick in 2011, Wilkerson is straight out of central casting. He's 6-foot-4 and 315 pounds, with a 76-inch wing span. He can play any position on the defensive line, even nose tackle in certain packages. In the Jets' 3-4 base, he's not a true defensive end -- he rushes mostly against guards -- making his sack total more impressive.

His production faded late in the season, so his primary goal for 2014 is consistency. He expects big things. How big?

"I've got a personal goal, but I'm not telling you. I don't tell it out to people," he said, revealing a rare smile. "I've got a [sack] number in my head, and I'm going to do my best to get it and get past it."

Figure he's thinking 15, minimum.

Richardson recorded only 3.5 sacks as a rookie, but that total should double now that he's comfortable in the defensive scheme. He relied on instincts and athleticism last season, emerging as a force against the run. Line coach Karl Dunbar said the plan this year is to feature Richardson as a pass-rusher, calling plays designed to get him free.

Because of his rookie honor, Richardson's nickname is "D-ROY." He will be a marked man after a breakthrough season, which means more double-teams.

"Bring it on, man. I ain't worried about that," he said. "It's football. Only so many ways you can block a 3-technique. So bring it on."

Time to cut bait, trade Stephen Hill

August, 25, 2014
Aug 25
10:00
PM ET
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Stephen Hill could be in his final days with the New York Jets.

The disappointing wide receiver is expected to play Thursday night in the final preseason game, a clear indication his roster spot is in jeopardy. Starters and key reserves don't play in the annual Backup Bowl against the Philadelphia Eagles. Hill was granted that status in his first two years, when he was a big-shot, second-round pick with a bright future. Now he'll be grinding with the other marginal players, trying to convince the Jets -- or another team -- he still can be a legit player in the league.

[+] EnlargeStephen Hill
Rich Barnes/USA TODAY SportsStephen Hill has a mere 45 receptions after two full NFL seasons.
The Jets should trade him. Yep, that's what they should do. Put him on the block and see what he can fetch. Maybe they'll get lucky and deal him for an experienced cornerback with a pulse. It wouldn't be a surprise at all if they try to move Hill, who, despite his lack of production, has some value because of his draft pedigree. He's big and fast, and the NFL likes big and fast even if he doesn't have the stats to show for it.

"I think there would be some interest," an AFC personnel executive said. "There aren't a lot of free-agent wide receivers out there, so it's supply and demand."

You'd be stunned to know how much the Jets wanted Hill in the 2012 draft. They wound up picking him 43rd overall, after trading up, but he was rated so highly on their draft board that he would've been a consideration with the 16th pick if Quinton Coples hadn't been available.

Clearly, their scouts goofed, thinking an unpolished receiver with only 28 catches in his final season was one of the top 16 players in the draft. At the time, the Jets' top scout, Joey Clinkscales, said Hill's size-speed combination reminded him of another former Georgia Tech wideout, Calvin Johnson. Yes, that Calvin Johnson -- aka Megatron. Talk about a kiss-of-death comparison.

Clinkscales is now an executive with the Oakland Raiders, and he should be the first person the Jets call after putting Hill on the trading block. The two teams play on opening day, but do you really think the Jets are worried about Hill coming back to haunt them?

The Jets have some tough decisions to make at receiver. Eric Decker, Jeremy Kerley and David Nelson, none of whom will play against the Eagles, are locks. Now that he's healthy, rookie Jalen Saunders, a fourth-round pick, is a virtual lock. Saalim Hakim has emerged as the leading kickoff returner, so he has the inside track on a roster spot. That leaves Hill, Greg Salas and Clyde Gates for the sixth spot, assuming there is a sixth spot.

"They're still battling for roster spots, and it's not a slam dunk to say it's going to be this player or that player," Rex Ryan said. "It's probably close in a couple of situations."

Asked if Hill's spot is up in the air, Ryan said, "Again, there is still competition, and there is still competition for roster spots."

If the decision comes down to Hill versus Salas, it should be a no-brainer. Clearly, Salas has outperformed Hill. John Idzik's meritocracy would take a big hit if the underachieving high draft pick makes it over the deserving journeyman.

After two years, the Jets know what they have in Hill. He's a one-trick pony, a vertical threat who may or may not catch the ball. He'll block, but he won't fight for contested balls. He doesn't play special teams, which means there's no point in dressing him on game day unless he's a regular in the receiver rotation. The fans are on to him. The crowds in Cortland, New York, and Florham Park gave him a hard time when he dropped the ball. It's time for a change of scenery.

By the way, Hill has missed two days of practice due to an illness. On Monday, he was sent home after vomiting. Foreshadowing? Perhaps.

Jets-Giants: Players to watch

August, 22, 2014
Aug 22
4:00
PM ET
New York Jets players not named Geno Smith or Michael Vick that we'll be watching Friday night at MetLife Stadium:

Stephen Hill, wide receiver: Two games, one catch, two targets. It's hard to imagine the New York Jets giving up on a former second-round pick after only two years, but Hill needs a strong showing to make double sure.

Calvin Pryor, safety: Warning to Victor Cruz: Watch yourself on those slant routes. The Jets' No. 1 pick makes his first NFL start.

Antonio Allen, cornerback: Allen gets his second start at corner, which tells me the Jets are concerned about Dee Milliner (high-ankle sprain) and his availability for the season opener. If they felt confident Milliner would be back, they'd start Darrin Walls and Ellis Lankster at corner, putting Allen at his natural spot -- safety. Clearly, they're trying to formulate a contingency plan.

Eric Decker, wide receiver: He returns after missing a game with various leg ailments. Decker, who caught two passes for 12 yards in the opener, is in an important stage of his relationship with Geno Smith. A lot of Decker's bread-and-butter routes are based on timing with the quarterback, which means he and Smith need to get busy.

Chris Ivory, running back: It was the Chris Johnson show last week, so now it's Ivory's turn to chip off some rust. He missed last week with a rib-cartilage injury.

Oday Aboushi, offensive line: He got a surprise start last week at left guard, but he'll be with the backups in this game -- at right tackle. Because of his versatility, Aboushi is developing into an important "swing" player. Brian Winters will start at left guard, but he could get work at right guard with the backups.

Jets camp report: Day 29

August, 21, 2014
Aug 21
9:30
PM ET
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- A daily review of the hot topics from New York Jets training camp:
  • The Jets returned to their Long Island roots Thursday evening, drawing 11,000 fans for a "Family Night" practice at Hofstra Stadium. This was their way of throwing a bone to their Long Island fan base, which lost the team in 2009. Hofstra was the Jets' year-round home for four decades, but that changed when Woody Johnson decided to move the operation to Florham Park, N.J. They promised an annual visit to Hofstra, but those visits stopped in 2010. They finally made it back, and the atmosphere was terrific. Hey, they could be back next summer on Long Island. The Jets are considering SUNY-Farmingdale, about 20 minutes east of Hofstra, as their training-camp site. It would be a great way to reconnect with the loyal fans that feel abandoned.
  • With a game Friday night, the Jets dialed it down a few notches in terms of practice intensity, but we saw enough to realize the beleaguered secondary remains in flux. There will be two new starters when they face the New York Giants: Safety Calvin Pryor and cornerback Darrin Walls will replace Jaiquawn Jarrett and Ellis Lankster, respectively. Makes sense. Pryor is too talented to sit on the bench. Walls is a borderline starter, but at least he has experience on the boundary. Lankster played well last week, but his meal ticket is special teams. Basically, the Jets will be playing with three safeties -- Pryor, Dawan Landry and Antonio Allen, who remains at corner. You don't want to be in experimental mode for the third preseason game, but it's not as if the Jets have a lot of options.
  • It sure doesn't look like cornerback Dimitri Patterson (leg) will face the Giants; he didn't participate in any of the team drills. Tight end Jeff Cumberland (Achilles' tendon) was limited, so there's a chance he could play. It will probably be a game-time decision.
  • Thursday was a homecoming for guard Willie Colon, a Bronx native who played at Hofstra through the 2005 season. Upon arriving at the stadium by bus, Colon caught some flak from his teammates, many of them wondering why his old college number isn't retired and hanging with the other famous alums from Hofstra -- namely Wayne Chrebet, Marques Colston and John Schmitt, the starting center on the Jets' 1968 Super Bowl team. Said Colon: "It brought back memories. I keep getting heckled on why my name and number isn't up there, but Mr. Schmitt has (No. 77)." Hofstra disbanded its football program in 2009.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Some New York Jets have a lot on the line Friday night against the New York Giants in the third preseason game. Wide receiver Greg Salas, in particular, would like to take big step toward securing a roster spot after a long training camp.

"We'll see how much I get to play and how everything works [out], but every game is a big game," Salas said Wednesday. "Every time you step out on that field is huge. I can only do my best."

[+] EnlargeGreg Salas
AP Photo/Tony TribbleGreg Salas led the Jets with two catches for 31 yards last weekend in Cincinnati.
Salas, 25, has just 35 receptions since entering the NFL out of Hawaii in 2011. But Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg makes it clear that Salas is a valued member of the receiver corps.

"We don't care about [big] names," Mornhinweg said. "We only care about the play and the production and how a man can help our football team. I know that I trust Salas an awful lot."

In his Jets debut, Salas caught two passes for 57 yards in a 26-20 victory over New Orleans on Nov. 3.

"He came in and he was here a very brief time and helped us win a couple ballgames last year," Mornhinweg said. "[He] has performed at a high level and on a consistent basis as well, and so that's certainly what we're looking for. He has sure hands, he does everything right, typically, and he's a talented guy."

Eric Decker, Jeremy Kerley, Stephen Hill and David Nelson are the Jets' top wide receivers. Jacoby Ford is in the mix, and Salas and Clyde Gates are making a push to land coveted spots on the roster.

Salas is in a pretty good spot in advance of the first cut-down date. Two rookie wide receivers are out: Shaq Evans had shoulder surgery and Jalen Saunders has an undisclosed medical issue.

"I feel bad for the rookies," Salas said. "We had three rookies in the room and only [Quincy Enunwa] is left."

Jets coach Rex Ryan has lauded Salas for being consistent, and he also has been healthy. That can't be discounted.

"If you're on the field, then you can show what you can do," Salas said.

Jets Camp Report: Day 28

August, 20, 2014
Aug 20
10:26
PM ET
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The New York Jets officially moved rookie cornerback Dexter McDougle to the reserve/injured list this afternoon. McDougle, who many thought was bound for the starting cornerback spot, tore his ACL on Aug. 10 and yesterday tweeted that he was going to be having surgery.

The Jets are struggling at the spot, since starter Dee Milliner has a high ankle sprain that will likely keep him out for a few more weeks.

McDougle, 5-foot-10, 195 pounds, was drafted in the third round. He played for Maryland last year, but missed most of last season with a shoulder injury.
  • Don't try to define Geno Smith. The Jets' don't-call-him-starting quarterback said he doesn't appreciate the limitations of quarterback labels. "I hate the fact that people always say, 'Pocket passer versus running,'" Smith said. "I understand why they say it, but a quarterback is a quarterback. You've got to do what it takes to win, whether it's run or pass."
  • Marty Mornhinweg was happy to discuss how great a quarterback competition is to make everyone better. But when he was asked if having Smith start meant that somehow Michael Vick lost the starting job in the competition. "No. No," Mornhinweg said. "Mike has done a beautiful job, and he has played at a high level. Mike can still play at a real high level."
  • It's never too early to talk smack, and Rex Ryan took Andre Williams' bait. When the Giants rookie running back from Boston College said the Giants were the real New York team, Ryan countered with: "Last time I saw him he was getting smoked by Clemson." Zing!
  • Cornerback Darrin Walls is the latest defensive back to get reps with the first team as a tryout of sorts. Ryan isn't sure if Walls will stick. "I always call him my outstanding middle [reliever]. He's a guy you can put in there and you don't lose much. But [can he] prove that he can be the starter, go out there and it's different. Sometimes, for whatever reason, there are some guys that would rather come off the bench than be the starter. I don't understand it, but sometimes that happens. Whether Darrin is that guy or not, I'm not sure."
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The annual preseason game between the New York Jets and New York Giants may not actually count, but you wouldn't know that for all the verbiage -- and regret -- that comes with it every season.

Jets coach Rex Ryan picked up on Giants running back Andre Williams' comments that the Giants were the "real New York team," and then Ryan shot back at the rookie. The teams square off on Friday night.

[+] EnlargeRex Ryan
AP PhotoCoach Rex Ryan and the Jets say they're fired up for Friday's preseason game against the Giants.
"Last time I saw him he was getting smoked by Clemson," Ryan said Wednesday, referring to an Oct. 12 game between Williams' Boston College Eagles and Clemson, the team Ryan's son Seth plays for. The Tigers won that game 24-14 and held Williams to 70 yards on 24 carries.

"I will say that kid's a good back, though. He is," Ryan said. "I was like, 'Is anybody going to tackle him?' It's great. I have a funny feeling he's going to get some Riddells [helmets] on him, but we'll see. I have a feeling he's going to be pumped up and trust me, our guys are going to be pumped up, too."

Ryan said the back and forth just shows once again that the matchup between the two New York teams means a little more than other preseason games.

"This is the only time you get to play each other," Ryan said, "and I think it amps up a little bit. I really do."

As if to back his coach up, Jets defensive lineman Damon Harrison called out Williams via social media.

"See you Friday Mr. Williams...#JetLifeeeeee," Harrison tweeted.

Now for the regret.

Last year, Ryan put likely starter Mark Sanchez in during the fourth quarter of the Jets-Giants game. The quarterback took a hit from Marvin Austin that resulted in a season-ending shoulder injury.

During his postgame news conference, Ryan got so frustrated by one persistent line of questioning that he turned sideways to answer.

"I got a lot of flak from you guys," Ryan said Wednesday. "Let's face it, they [wanted to] run me out of here. Was that my proudest moment? Probably not. It's kind of funny, I forget who I was sideways with. But you know what? I think I just got a little tired of [the questions]."

The question that got to Ryan that night: Was he ready to name Geno Smith as the starting quarterback, given the injury to Sanchez? Ryan said then he wasn't going to answer.

"Sometimes after games," the coach said Wednesday, "we tell our players to cool off a little bit, but sometimes I need to cool off, too."

Ultimately, the Jets put Sanchez on the reserve/injured list as the one player designated to return. Now he's playing backup for the Eagles, and looking a lot better.

Given an opportunity to redo the news conference, Ryan said he would do it differently.

"There's a lot of things you'd take back in life," he said. "That's probably one of them."

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Insider