New York Jets: Jason Smith

New York Jets cut-down analysis

August, 31, 2013
Most significant move: It wasn't a surprise, but the New York Jets waived Greg McElroy, their only quarterback not named Mark Sanchez who has started a game in the NFL. Granted, McElroy has only one career start, but the move is significant because it underscores the lack of experience at the position. If Sanchez (shoulder) doesn't dress for the season opener, it leaves the position to Geno Smith, Matt Simms and Graham Harrell, who have a combined total of four career pass attempts -- all by Harrell. The former Packers backup made the final cut despite having spent only three days with the Jets. McElroy was waived with an injury, so he wouldn't have been ready for Week 1 anyway. Still, this is a precarious situation to say the least.

Not much depth on offense: Aside from quarterback, the Jets are perilously thin at a few spots. They have only five receivers, one of whom (Santonio Holmes) is a question mark because of his surgically repaired foot. The group includes a rookie free agent, Ryan Spadola. They also don't have an experienced backup at tackle. Jason Smith was supposed to be that guy, but he was atrocious in the final preseason game. Vladimir Ducasse can play some tackle, but that's not his best spot. Rookie OT Oday Aboushi (fifth-round pick) isn't ready to play. They have low numbers in the backfield -- only four backs, although Mike Goodson will be eligible to return from his suspension in Week 5.

What's ahead: The Jets need help on offense. You can't go into a season with Aboushi as your No. 3 tackle, so look for them to address this over the next 24 hours. Anybody up for a Wayne Hunter reunion? The wide-receiver situation is interesting. Right now, the Jets have only three healthy and experienced receivers. They're either confident Holmes will return for the opener or they have plans to add a veteran. The quarterback situation bears watching, too. If Sanchez is sidelined a few weeks, it might behoove New York to import an experienced backup. A couple of former Marty Mornhinweg-ites are available -- Vince Young and Trent Edwards.

Jets cuts: QB Greg McElroy (injured), RB Mossis Madu (injured), WR Michael Campbell, WR Mohamed Massaquoi, WR Ben Obomanu, WR Zach Rogers, TE Chris Pantale, C Erik Cook, OT J.B. Shugarts, OT Jason Smith, DL Junior Aumavae, DL Lanier Coleman, DL Tevita Finau, DL Antonio Garay, LB Troy Davis, LB JoJo Dickson, LB Jacquies Smith, DB Royce Adams, DB Mike Edwards, DB Rontez Miles, PK Dan Carpenter.

Placed on reserve/suspended: RB Mike Goodson.

Jets release final cut list -- finally

August, 31, 2013
The New York Jets announced their final cuts, paring the roster to 53. Keep in mind, this doesn't mean the roster is final. There will be moving parts as the weekend continues. The 22 cuts:

QB — Greg McElroy (with an injury).

RB — Mossis Madu (with an injury).

WR — Michael Campbell, Mohamed Massaquoi, Ben Obomanu, Zach Rogers.

TE — Chris Pantale.

OL — Erik Cook, J.B. Shugarts, Jason Smith.

DL — Junior Aumavae, Lanier Coleman, Tevita Finau, Antonio Garay.

LB — Troy Davis, JoJo Dickson, Jacquies Smith.

DB — Royce Adams, Mike Edwards, Rontez Miles.

K -- Dan Carpenter.

Running back Mike Goodson was moved to the reserve/suspended list and thus will not count against the 53-man roster limit, the Jets noted in a press release.

Jets have big questions at cornerback

August, 30, 2013
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Interesting night for a couple of Jets cornerbacks.

Rookie Dee Milliner, who didn't play in the Jets' 27-20 victory over the Eagles, was seen leaving MetLife Stadium in a walking boot. The top pick has been dealing with a calf injury for a couple of weeks, but this was the first time he was seen in a boot -- hardly the picture you want to see 10 days before the season opener.

Another interesting scene: Nickel CB Kyle Wilson, working with the starters in Milliner's place, started and played much of the first half. Rex Ryan rested nearly every starter and key reserve, so it was a surprise to see Wilson so involved in the final preseason game.

Teams often have a hidden agenda when giving a veteran significant playing time in the finale, perhaps showcasing him for a trade.

"We want to get Kyle some returns," Rex Ryan said. "That was the main thing because he's our backup kickoff returner and punt returner. You don't want to throw him out there just to do that specifically, so we put him out there on the corner and let him have at it."

Wilson didn't return any kickoffs; he had one punt return for six yards. The Jets' top cornerback, Antonio Cromartie, got the night off.

Jason's horror show: The Jets' pass protection in the first half was brutal, to use one of Ryan's favorite words, largely because veteran LT Jason Smith was a human turnstile. Unofficially, Smith allowed three of the seven sacks. The Jets, looking for a backup swing tackle, re-signed him last week, thinking he'd be a veteran presence. Now they may have to look elsewhere.

Afterward, Smith "respectfully" declined to comment.

With the starters resting, the Jets' line, from left to right, was Smith, rookie Brian Winters, Caleb Schlauderaff, Vladimir Ducasse and Oday Aboushi. Smith didn't play the second half and the Jets didn't allow a sack. Coincidence?

One and done: Newly signed QB Graham Harrell, who arrived Wednesday, played a grand total of one snap -- a kneel-down at the end of the game. The Jets have five quarterbacks on the roster. Ryan didn't rule out the possibility of keeping four. Greg McElroy, who aggravated a knee injury in practice, didn't play.

Observation deck: Jets-Eagles

August, 29, 2013
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Jets' quarterback competition took a night off, as neither Mark Sanchez nor Geno Smith played Thursday night in the final preseason game. Matt Simms got the call and led the Jets to a 27-20 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium.

What it means: The Jets finished the preseason at 3-1. Big deal. No one will remember their record in 24 hours. The focus shifts immediately to opening day and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There are a myriad questions for the Jets, starting with the quarterback position: Smith or Sanchez? Sanchez (shoulder) remains day-to-day and should know more about his status when he meets with the medical staff over the weekend.

No Geno: That the Jets didn't play Smith suggests they believe there's a good chance he will be the opening-day starter. The rookie could've used the work -- his preseason consisted of 3½ quarters -- but it would've been too risky to expose him to potential injury. Coach Rex Ryan bubble-wrapped almost his entire starting lineup. The only projected starters/key reserves that saw action were Vladimir Ducasse (started at right guard), cornerback Kyle Wilson and safety Antonio Allen. Why play Wilson, a virtual starter? It was very curious and, no doubt, will fuel speculation about his future. Were the Jets showcasing him for a trade? Wilson has been a first-round disappointment, but he has value because of his versatility.

Tough dude, Simms: Battling for the No. 3 QB job, Simms was absolutely terrific. Undaunted by a seven-sack first half, Son of Phil completed 33 of 44 passes for 285 yards and no turnovers, although there were a couple of near-interceptions. He went 25-for-27 in one stretch, shades of his dad in Super Bowl XXI. He showed toughness, poise and accuracy. How can he not make the team? Greg McElroy (knee), who didn't play, should be worried about his roster spot. Newly signed Graham Harrell didn't play, but could factor into the equation.

Porous pass protection: The Jets had better hope their starting offensive linemen stay healthy, because the backups are shaky -- and that's being kind. They could be in the market for a backup swing tackle because veteran Jason Smith, who re-signed last week, played quite possibly one of the worst games ever by a lineman. Facing the Eagles' backups, Smith -- the No. 2 overall pick in 2009 -- allowed at least three sacks. He was pulled at halftime, the best thing to happen to Simms all night.

Defensive stand: The Jets' No. 2 defense dominated Chip Kelly's No. 2 offense. LB Ricky Sapp, LB Danny Lansanah, DE Leger Douzable, LB Nick Bellore and S Jaiquawn Jarrett were among the standouts.

Kicking competition: It was a draw between incumbent Nick Folk and challenger Dan Carpenter. Folk was good from 28 yards, Carpenter from 43. Each recorded a touchback on his only kickoff.

What's ahead: Now comes the bloody part of the business. Teams must pare their rosters to 53 by 6 p.m. ET Saturday, meaning the Jets have to slice 22 players over the next 48 hours.

Jets re-sign Jason Smith [UPDATED]

August, 23, 2013
Offensive tackle Jason Smith, cut this week by the Saints, re-signed Friday with the Jets.

The Jets acquired Smith last summer from the Rams in the highly publicized Wayne Hunter trade. Smith, the No. 2 overall pick in 2009, ended up playing as an extra tight end in the jumbo package.

This time, the Jets were looking for a backup swing tackle. Evidently, they're not comfortable with rookie Oday Aboushi, a fifth-round pick.

To make room for Smith, the Jets released C Scott Wedige, whom they acquired on waivers earlier this week.

Jason Smith: Happy to be a Jet

November, 17, 2012
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- If Jason Smith has any residual feelings about being dealt from the Rams earlier in the season in a package for Wayne Hunter, Smith isn’t talking about it.

The tackle, sometimes used as a jumbo tight end, was crisp and definitive when asked about the trade that brought him to New York.

“I’m a Jet, happy to be a Jet,” Smith said.

Asked what stands out from his time in St. Louis, Smith seemed to follow the rule, if you can’t say anything nice ...

“I know what shoes to wear on the turf,” Smith said. “I know that the ground’s real nice. Other than than I’m happy to be a Jet, be part of what’s going on here. I’m not concerned with any other football team.”

Smith was the No. 2 overall pick of the 2009 draft, a high spot for a Baylor product, at least until Robert Griffin III equaled the feat by going to Washington at No. 2 this year. Smith signed a six-year deal with St. Louis worth $33 million in guaranteed money. He played right tackle his rookie year until he sustained a concussion.

Smith never reached his potential in St. Louis, as evidenced by the pay cut the Rams asked him to take, followed by the trade to the Jets for scapegoat right tackle Hunter.

The Jets haven’t inserted him into the offensive line, despite the fact that current right tackle Austin Howard has struggled at times in his new role. But he is used as an eligible receiver several times a game generally.

And he’s happy to be a Jet.

Rex: This could be my best team yet

August, 31, 2012
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The toned-down Rex Ryan hasn't made any brash statements recently, but some of that old bluster came out Friday.

"I really like this team," he said. "I don't know if we're as strong, like, in this one area or that area or whatever ... but overall, in my opinion, I think this team has a chance to be the best team that I've had since I've been the coach here."

In Ryan's first three seasons, the Jets went 9-7, 11-5 and 8-8, reaching the AFC Championship Game in the first two seasons. So if he believes this can be his best team ... well, you can drawn your own conclusion.

He listed some reasons why he feels that way, naming the philosophical approach (a re-commitment to the running game), the acumen of the coaching staff, and the togetherness of the players. Yeah, that's right, he likes the team chemistry -- which, of course, went bad last season.

McKNIGHT INJURES HAMSTRING: RB/KR Joe McKnight injured his hamstring Thursday night and didn't practice Friday. Ryan called it a "little" hamstring injury, saying he's not sure about McKnight's status for the season opener.

McKnight is the No. 3 back, behind Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell. Greene is the only proven commodity, so it wouldn't be a surprise if the Jets explore the running-back market this weekend.

INJURY REPORT: The Jets conducted a full practice, complete with post-practice gassers -- designed for the players that didn't play Thursday night. Among the players that didn't practice: RG Brandon Moore (undisclosed procedure), LB David Harris (ankle), TE Dustin Keller (hamstring), LB Bryan Thomas (undisclosed), S Eric Smith (hip), S Josh Bush (concussion symptoms) and LB Nick Bellore (shoulder). ... NT Sione Pouha (back), DT Mike DeVito (calf) and TE Jeff Cumberland (concussion) participated in positional drills. Teams aren't required to release an official injury report until Wednesday. Ryan said he expects everyone to play, with the possible exception of Smith.

GAME RECAP: Sorry to put you through this, but we're going to take one last look at the final preseason game. Ryan singled out several players for solid performances, including QB Greg McElroy, OT Jason Smith, OT Austin Howard, CB Isaiah Trufant and DE Quinton Coples.

Ryan said McElroy was poised, protected the ball in the pocket and showed good mobility. Smith, who played only two days after being traded from the Rams, got beat only once, according to Ryan. Ditto, Howard, who apparently has locked up the starting job at right tackle.

Jason Smith solid in debut

August, 31, 2012
PHILADELPHIA -- Jason Smith is a quick study. After only one meeting and an abbreviated practice, the former Rams first-round pick started at left tackle Thursday night and played the entire first half without any glaring mistakes.

The intial play for Smith, acquired Tuesday in the Wayne Hunter trade, to play 10 plays.

"I thought he held up well considering he had been here for one meeting," Rex Ryan said after the Jets' 28-10 loss to the Eagles. "I was proud to see that young man compete like he did."

Obviously, they scaled back the offense for Smith. The Jets played mostly backups, so it was going to be fairly vanilla anyway. Smith credited OL coach Dave DeGuglielmo, saying, "He basically simplified four weeks of training camp into one day. ... It was a crash course."

Smith faced a rookie, second-round DE Vinny Curry, most of the half. The Jets allowed two sacks in the first half -- one by RT Austin Howard, another when a player came free on a stunt. Smith, projected as a backup at both tackle positions, was pleased with his Jets debut.

"I came out of it with a right mind, and I came out of it healthy," he said. "I enjoyed the time I spent out there with the other guys, learning to play like Jet."

Pregame: Jason Smith starts at LT

August, 30, 2012
PHILADELPHIA -- The Jets face the Eagles on Thursday night in the final preseason game. As expected, the Jets are sitting most of their starters. The starting lineup is filled with second- and third-team players. Many of these names will be unemployed in 24 hours.

The news is that newly acquired OT Jason Smith will start at left tackle. On Wednesday, Rex Ryan said he wanted to get Smith about 10 snaps, depending on how quickly he picked up the playbook. Apparently, he's a quick learner -- although the Jets had no other options at left tackle.

OFFENSE: QB Greg McElroy, FB John Conner, RB Bilal Powell, WR Patrick Turner, WR Jordan White, TE Dedrick Epps, LT Jason Smith, LG Vladimir Ducasse, C Caleb Schlauderaff, RG Matt Kroul, RT Austin Howard.

DEFENSE: DE Quinton Coples, NT Martin Tevaseu, DT Marcus Dixon, OLB Garrett McIntyre, LB Josh Mauga, LB Demario Davis, OLB Aaron Maybin, CB Julian Posey, CB Isaiah Trufant, S Antonio Allen, S D'Anton Lynn.

Jason Smith practices, might play in Philly

August, 29, 2012
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Jason Smith, run out of St. Louis after three difficult seasons, is glad to have a fresh start with the Jets.

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," the newly acquired tackle said Wednesday. "To somebody, I was beautiful."

Well, let's not go that far. Let's just say the Jets think he's more attractive than Wayne Hunter, whom they shipped to the Rams in a ballyhooed trade for backup right tackles.

"He's five years younger and a little more athletic" than Hunter, Rex Ryan said. "That's why we made the trade. When the trade was proposed to us, we were like, man, I was comfortable with Wayne in that role, but this is an opportunity. Let's take a look at him and see this young man."

Smith, wearing No. 63, practiced for the first time with his new team. Ryan hopes Smith can play about 10 snaps Thursday night against the Eagles, but he admitted he's not sure if that's possible.

This has been a stunning downfall for Smith, the second overall pick in 2009. He took a $6 million pay cut last spring, lost his starting job in training camp to a former sixth-round pick (Barry Richardson) and got traded for a backup. The Rams were so eager to get rid of him they agreed to pay $1.55 million of his $4 million salary for 2012.

"I think a fresh start is good for a lot of people," he said.

Ryan believes Smith was hurt in St. Louis by unfair comparisons to Orlando Pace, a franchise left tackle. Smith agreed.

"Orlando Pace was an eight-time Pro Bowler, I believe," he said. "There aren't many guys to do that throughout the course of their career, let alone play eight years. I made the statement before that he had his own shoes and I had mine. It's his life. I never looked at it that way. No disrespect, but a lot of people with a pen in their hand looked at it that way, but I didn't. It's their opinion." PHILLY FINALE: Ryan reiterated that Greg McElroy and Matt Simms will share the quarterbacking duties for the final preseason game. Most of the starters will get the night off.

INJURY REPORT: TE Dustin Keller (hamstring), LB David Harris (ankle) and DT Mike DeVito (calf) were among those that didn't practice. They're all expected to be ready for the season opener ... OLB Ricky Sapp (ankle) will miss his fourth straight preseason game.

TOUGH CUTS: Ryan said the linebacker position might present some of the toughest decisions on the final roster cutdown. Right now, they have 12 linebackers, including eight returning vets plus third-round pick Demario Davis.

PUNTING COMPETITION: Incumbent T.J. Conley said he was a little surprised the team claimed Spencer Lanning on waivers, creating a competition for the final game. Conley's response: Bring it on.

"I know I'm capable of being a great punter in the NFL, and that's what I plan on doing," he said.

He also said this about Lanning's arrival: "I'm not too worried about it. It's competition. I've dealt with it before and I've always come out on top."

Actually, that's not accurate. He got cut twice by the Jets, 2009 and 2010.

Stat check: Smith vs. Hunter

August, 28, 2012
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Wayne Hunter and Jason Smith have a lot in common: Both lost their starting job at right tackle and both became a lightning rod for criticism in their respective cities. On Monday night, they were traded for each other. Interestingly, they've played about the same number of snaps over the last two seasons, providing a balanced comparison, per