Thoughts and observations on the Jets' roster, as it stands Sunday morning:
1. When evaluating the safety position, Rex Ryan obviously felt comfortable with Brodney Pool and Emanuel Cook as the backups to Jim Leonhard and Eric Smith. That resulted in the trade of Dwight Lowery to the Jaguars. In a sense, Lowery was victimized by the change in systems. He was drafted by Eric Mangini, who played mostly zone -- ideal for Lowery, who has terrific instincts but not ideal speed. In Ryan's man-to-man scheme, Lowery simply didn't have the wheels to play corner at a high level. But I know this: The dude made plays. In limited action last season in sub packages, he had two sacks and three interceptions.
2. Want a scouting report on rookie G Caleb Schlauderaff, the newest member of the offensive line? Hall-of-Fame NFL writer Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, who does the best tape breakdowns in the business, wrote this about the former Packers lineman:
"The coaches must have been really down on Schlauderaff after his brutal outing against the Colts because he didn’t see the field until the 8-minute mark of the third quarter (in the final preseason game). To his credit, he didn’t have a bad play in 13 snaps at left guard.
"Schlauderaff, a sixth-round draft choice, can only play guard. With 4 minutes left, he attacked Jovan Belcher, the Chiefs’ starting inside linebacker. When Belcher went onto his back, Schlauderaff made sure to rake his knees and feet across his foe’s neck and head.
"Belcher certainly didn’t appreciate that but Green Bay’s coaches most assuredly did. Schlauderaff’s zeal to finish and overt nastiness are his redeeming qualities. Still, he lacks desired athleticism and strength."
3. The Jets will start filling their eight-man practice squad once players clear the 24-hour waiver period. Some of the candidates are LB Matt Berning, CB Julian Posey, QB Drew Willy, WR Patrick Turner, WR Scotty McKnight, TE Josh Baker, C Robby Felix and G Matt Kroul.
4. They didn't make a move for a fullback, which suggests they believe John Conner (sprained ankle) will be ready for the opener. Ryan seemed confident, but not certain that Conner will be good to go. Tony Richardson is a phone call away, but if he's on the opening day roster, his salary becomes guaranteed -- and they don't want to guarantee $910,000.
5. The next move to expect? They need a No. 3 quarterback. The most likely candidate is Kevin O'Connell, who was waived by the Dolphins. At least he knows the Jets' system. He was one of the participants in Mark Sanchez's "Jets West" camp, so he obviously has a good rapport with Sanchez.
6. A lot of people are asking about S Brandon Meriweather, cut by the Patriots. I'd never say "never" with GM Mike Tannenbaum, who likes to explore every available player (especially when he can tweak the Patriots), but a move for Meriweather would be a surprise. He'd cost decent money, and the Jets don't like to spend a lot of safeties. Plus, they just gave Eric Smith a three-year, $7.5 million deal. In Ryan's system, the safety position is mentally demanding (ask Kerry Rhodes) and it would take time to get comfortable. So I see them sticking with the Smith-Jim Leonhard tandem. Ryan answered the question Saturday, when discussing the reason for the Lowery trade. He said "we're pretty much loaded" in the secondary.