Getting to know the Jets ... again

October, 15, 2013
10/15/13
5:00
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We normally use this space to introduce the New England Patriots' upcoming opponent, but as the team takes on the Jets for the second time this year, that task was previously covered.

While the players highlighted in that entry remain critical cogs on the New York Jets roster, there are a host of others who have contributed to the team’s 3-3 record.

So rather than scrapping the post for this week, here’s a re-introduction to the Jets and a new set of players to know on either side of the ball.

Record: 3-3 (3rd in AFC East)
Head coach: Rex Ryan (fifth season)
Offensive coordinator: Marty Mornhinweg
Defensive coordinator: Dennis Thurman

THREE MORE PLAYERS TO KNOW, OFFENSE

1. LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson. As far as first-round investments are concerned, few have proven more reliable than Ferguson, a top draft choice out of Virginia in 2006. Since being drafted fourth overall by the Jets, Ferguson has played and started in all 118 regular-season games in New York, ably manning the left side of the line regardless of who has been under center. He’s been a Pro Bowl pick three times and signed a gigantic eight-year extension in the summer of 2010. Based on his performance thus far, he’s been worth almost every penny.

2. WR Jeremy Kerley. The Jets have been beaten up in the receiving corps with veteran Santonio Holmes forced to miss time recently due to a hamstring injury, but Kerley has remained a steady presence. The shifty slot man has the quickness to be a factor in the underneath passing game and also is a reliable returner. With rookie quarterback Geno Smith still working to adapt to the pro game, Kerley presents him with a target that can be effective in routes run at or near the line of scrimmage.

3. OG Willie Colon. He’s not a star, but the 30-year-old Colon has brought significant leadership to the Jets’ huddle after spending his first seven seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He’s a no-nonsense grinder who can hold his own in the middle of the offensive line. After being limited to just 12 games over the previous two seasons, Colon -- who has started in every NFL game that he has appeared in -- has played in each game this season.

THREE MORE PLAYERS TO KNOW, DEFENSE

1. LB DeMario Davis. The billing on Davis coming out of the draft via Arkansas State last season was that he was a top-notch athlete who had play-making potential at the NFL level. At a shade under 240 pounds, Davis isn’t a huge thumper, but he can move laterally and cover ground in pass defense. He’s developed into an emotional leader in just his second season in New York, as chronicled by ESPNNewYork.com’s Rich Cimini in this recent piece.

2. DT Sheldon Richardson. It is too soon to hand out any hardware, but if votes were cast today for defensive rookie of the year honors (and this scribe had a vote to cast), I’d pick Richardson, the player the Jets took with a pick acquired from the Buccaneers in the Darrelle Revis trade. The lightning-quick near-300-pounder out of Missouri already has proved to be a disruptive force up the middle, logging 2.5 sacks and 30 tackles in just six games. Paired along the line with Muhammad Wilkerson, Richardson already looks like the real deal.

3. CB Darrin Walls. The important reason to know this name? Walls is in line for his fourth consecutive start this Sunday as the Jets deal with a lingering hamstring issue to their top pick in this year’s draft, Dee Milliner. Walls was signed to the Jets’ practice squad during the 2012 season but has since worked his way on to the active roster and now is playing a significant role. Though he’s yet to intercept a pass this season, Walls has gotten his hands on four balls through the first six games.

OTHER NOTES: Former Patriots tight end Zach Sudfeld, claimed off waivers by the Jets, made his team debut in Week 6, totaling just one offensive and one special teams snap. ... Former Patriot Kellen Winslow, Jr. will miss Sunday’s game as he continues to serve a suspension as a result of a violation of the league’s performance enhancing substance policy. ... Running back Mike Goodson was activated for Week 5 after serving his own four-game suspension, and in two contests had 80 total yards. He left Sunday’s game, however, and is out for the season with a knee injury. ... The Jets lead the NFL with 56 penalties through six games, putting them near the pace of the 2011 Raiders for the most all-time during a 16-game season (163).
Field Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston's Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.

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