AFC East: Drew Willy

Rapid Reaction: Eagles 24, Jets 14

September, 1, 2011
WHAT IT MEANS: The Jets finished the preseason at 2-2 after a sloppy, 24-14 loss to the Eagles on Thursday night at MetLife Stadium. Our advice: Erase those numbers from your memory because they don't matter anymore; it's time to focus on the season opener against the Cowboys. The only significant development from the annual Backup Bowl was a potentially serious thumb injury for rookie QB Greg McElroy, the Jets' No. 3.

QUARTERBACK ISSUES: With Mark Sanchez resting and Mark Brunell recovering from a pulled calf, the Jets started McElroy -- and he didn't make it past the second quarter. McElroy left the game after injuring the thumb on his throwing hand; he appeared to bang it on the helmet of right guard Matt Kroul on a follow-through. One preliminary report said McElroy dislocated his thumb, which would mean a long-term injury. The team didn't provide an immediate diagnosis.

Rex Ryan has said he expects Brunell to be ready for the opener, but it's still a precarious situation, considering Brunell missed all four preseason games and a lot of practice time. If something were to happen to Sanchez, they'd be in big trouble. One move that makes sense is re-signing Kellen Clemens -- assuming he's released by the Redskins. He knows the Jets' system and would be able to play in an emergency.

PHILLY'S QB ISSUES: Naturally, Michael Vick -- the $100 million man -- didn't play. His backup, Vince Young, pulled a hamstring just before halftime and didn't return. In came third-stringer Mike Kafka, who was drilled by linebacker Mattias Berning in the third quarter and nearly came out of the game. They have no other quarterbacks, so it would've been interesting if Kafka hadn’t been able to return. Andy Reid probably would’ve used the Wing-T before using Vick.

DREW WHO?: McElroy was replaced by fourth-stringer Drew Willy, an NFL journeyman who has bounced around on a few practice squads. He also played in the UFL. Willy did well for himself, throwing a 14-yard touchdown to rookie receiver Scotty McKnight on his first pass. Not bad, huh? Willy showed some mobility, running for his life on a few occasions. Willy was going to be released Friday or Saturday; maybe he earned an extended stay.

WOE-LINE: The Jets started their second-team offensive line and it was ugly. McElroy was under heavy pressure from the outset, suffering two sacks in the first quarter. That he got hurt on a freakish play was stunning, considering the pounding he took. Right tackle Vladimir Ducasse was a mess, committing three penalties -- two false starts and one holding (declined).

Clearly, the depth is a problem on the offensive line, with backup center/guard Rob Turner (leg) is down for at least two months. GM Mike Tannenbaum needs to get on the horn and bring in an experienced backup.

RUNNING IN PLACE: The coaching staff was hoping to see some big things from backup running backs Joe McKnight and rookie Bilal Powell, but they did virtually nothing -- a combined total of 10 rushing yards. Worse, McKnight lost a fumble, conjuring up memories of his mistake-prone preseason in 2010. So much for McKnight’s positive momentum.

POSITIVE AUDITIONS: Rex Ryan said they went into the game with three roster spots still up for grabs. Three defensive players helped their chances -- cornerback Ellis Lankster (67-yard interception return for a TD), outside linebacker Aaron Maybin (1.5 sacks) and rookie linebacker Nick Bellore. Outside linebacker Eddie Jones also flashed some potential. Ryan will have some difficult decisions to make at linebacker.

No one on offense really stood out, but rookie tight end Josh Baker showed some pass-catching ability and versatility. Baker, an H-Back in college, also lined up as a fullback. The Jets have only one fullback on the roster, John Conner, who is nursing a sprained ankle.

Does Terrelle Pryor make AFC East sense?

May, 31, 2011
Aftershocks from Jim Tressel's resignation at Ohio State could cause star quarterback Terrelle Pryor to petition for the NFL's supplemental draft.

ESPN's Adam Schefter, citing an unnamed NFL source, reported Tuesday that the league plans to hold a July supplemental draft if they have applicants.

Pryor is the subject of his own investigation for improper benefits and probably doesn't have anything to gain hanging around Columbus another autumn.

The supplemental draft is set up for prospects with circumstances that've changed since the filing deadline for the regular draft. Teams bid a round they'd be willing to draft a prospect. If they have the best bid, then they get the player and lose the corresponding pick in next year's draft.

Would an AFC East club be interested in taking a shot at Pryor?

Pryor is a tremendous athlete, but not a polished passer. He would be an NFL project. In March, Mel Kiper rated Pryor the fifth-best quarterback in next year's draft, but dropped him out of his top five in subsequent lists. And that factored in another year of college seasoning for Pryor.

Maybe Pryor would be worth a fourth- or fifth-round pick for a team willing to gamble. Or he could be had for a sixth- or seventh-round pick.

Buffalo Bills: The Bills have room for a developmental quarterback. Ryan Fitzpatrick is the incumbent starter. Last year's second-stringer, Brian Brohm, is a free agent. Third-string quarterback Levi Brown was a seventh-round pick who couldn't make the roster out of training camp. General manager Buddy Nix has stated the Bills will sign a free-agent quarterback, too.

Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins also have spot on their depth chart -- for now. But would they have the patience? The Dolphins didn't want to invest any longer than one season in Pat White, and they used a second-round pick on him. Chad Henne is the only known quantity. The Dolphins didn't draft a quarterback, and last year's backups, Chad Pennington and Tyler Thigpen, are free agents. Pennington also is recovering from a knee injury.

New England Patriots: There appears to be no room at the inn. Tom Brady was the MVP last season. Top backup Brian Hoyer is back. They also drafted Arkansas passer Ryan Mallett. Pryor would waste a roster spot unless the Patriots wanted to convert him to receiver or tight end.

New York Jets: The Jets still list six quarterbacks on their roster and a seventh on their inactive list. Mark Sanchez, Mark Brunell, Kellen Clemens, Kevin O'Connell, Erik Ainge, Drew Willy and rookie Greg McElroy. No need to go fishing with Pryor.