New York Jets: Kellen Winslow

Free-agency scorecard: Grading 2013

February, 27, 2014
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Before we dive into the upcoming free-agency period, which begins March 11, let's take a look back at how the New York Jets fared last year in general manager John Idzik's first foray into free agency.

We'll limit our scorecard to the offseason, meaning we won't get into in-season acquisitions such as Ed Reed and David Nelson. Simply put, our grades are based on bang for the buck.

Overall grade: C-

Analysis: This was a vintage "hold-the-fort" crop of free agents -- inexpensive players, many of them on one-year contracts. Idzik, restricted by the salary cap, let several proven veterans leave, replacing them with bargain-basement players. Even though only two emerged as full-time starters, we're grading on a curve because these were no-harm, no-foul signings that had very little impact on the salary cap. In the end, a lot more talent walked out the door than came in, but they're hoping for payback with compensatory draft picks. They could receive the maximum number of comp picks (four), with experts predicting three fifth-rounders and one sixth-rounder.

FREE AGENTS

Player: Mike Goodson, running back
  • Contract: Three years, $6.9 million, including a $1 million signing bonus.
  • Grade: F
  • Analysis: He was a train wreck, giving the organization more agita than production. He spent more time on the suspended list than in a uniform. His days could be numbered.
Player: Antwan Barnes, linebacker
  • Contract: Three years, $4.05 million, including a $900,000 signing bonus.
  • Grade: D
  • Analysis: Tough luck. He contributed as a pass-rushing specialist before wrecking his knee in Week 4. His recovery is going well and he should be back.
Player: Dawan Landry, safety
  • Contract: Two years, $3 million, including a $650,000 signing bonus.
  • Grade: B-
  • Analysis: He played almost every snap, bringing intangibles to a rebuilt secondary. That alone was worth the modest contract. Too bad he didn't make any plays.
Player: Willie Colon, guard
  • Contract: One year, $1.162 million, including a $162,000 roster bonus.
  • Grade: B
  • Analysis: He played reasonably well, save for all the penalty flags, instilling toughness in the offensive line. His tore his biceps in the final game, clouding his future.
Player: David Garrard, quarterback
  • Contract: One year, $1.1 million, including a $100,000 signing bonus.
  • Grade: F
  • Analysis: Not Idzik's finest moment. Two months after signing, Garrard retired, citing a chronic knee condition. He returned at midseason, carrying the clipboard, mentoring Geno Smith and becoming the most quoted third-string quarterback in recent memory not named Tim Tebow.
Player: Antonio Garay, defensive tackle
  • Contract: One year, $905,000, including a $65,000 signing bonus.
  • Grade: F
  • Analysis: It was worth a shot, but after a career filled with injuries, Garay had nothing left and didn't make it out of training camp. He was out of the league last season.
Player: Stephen Peterman, guard
  • Contract: One year, $905,000, including a $65,000 signing bonus.
  • Grade: F
  • Analysis: Few probably remember that Peterman actually started the first two preseason games. He eventually lost the left guard job to Vladimir Ducasse, who lost it to Brian Winters. Peterson was cut in camp and sat out the season.
Player: Kellen Winslow, tight end
  • Contract: One year, $840,000.
  • Grade: D
  • Analysis: What started out as a cool comeback story turned into a tawdry mess, starting with his PED suspension and ending with a Boston Market craving that ... um, turned embarrassing in a parking lot.

Examining team needs: Tight end

February, 11, 2014
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Prepare for an overhaul.

The New York Jets' most experienced tight ends, Jeff Cumberland and Kellen (Boston Market) Winslow, are headed to free agency. Winslow won't be back. Behind them, the Jets have Zach Sudfeld and Konrad Reuland, coming off major knee surgery. In other words, it's time to send up an S.O.S. signal.

[+] EnlargeJeff Cumberland
Daniel Shirey/USA TODAY SportsRetaining Jeff Cumberland, a free agent, might be the best value for the Jets.
You look around the league and you see so many young, athletic tight ends playing integral roles in the passing game. The Jets went the other way last season, de-emphasizing the tight end. In fact, they ran only 206 plays with two or more tight ends, 29th in the league, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Their tight ends combined for only 63 receptions. It's time for some fresh blood.

Projected offseason plan: They need two immediate contributors. In an ideal world, it would be a pass-catching tight end and a thumper at the point of attack. Geno Smith needs a reliable target, especially in the red zone.

Free agency: Assuming Jimmy Graham (New Orleans Saints) lands the franchise tag, it's a thin market with no impact receivers. Jermichael Finley (Green Bay Packers) is young and talented, but he's a risk, coming off spinal-fusion surgery. Maybe the Jets can approach him with a one-year, prove-it contract. Another top receiver is Dennis Pitta (Baltimore Ravens), but he missed most of last season with a hip injury. The Jets had a high draft grade on former first-round pick Brandon Pettigrew (Detroit Lions) when he came out in 2009, but his receiving numbers have fallen off. He was used last season mostly as a blocker; he'd certainly add some punch at the line of scrimmage, but he won't threaten the seam as a receiver. Former first-rounder Jermaine Gresham (Cincinnati Bengals) might be a thought if he's released. All things considered, the best value might be Cumberland, a decent two-way tight end. If they can retain him for $2 million-to-$3 million a year, and add a threat in the draft, they'd be OK at the position.

Draft: It's not a deep crop. You're talking about five or six draftable tight ends. The consensus top choice if Eric Ebron (North Carolina), a 6-4 pass catcher who could come off the board in the middle of the first round. He'd be hard to pass up with the 18th pick. He averaged nearly 16 yards per reception last season, and he can move around the formation, creating matchup advantages. Jace Amaro (Texas Tech) was a pass-catching machine, catching 106 passes for 1,352 yards last season. At 6-5, he has terrific size. The knock on him is that he's a one-year wonder. ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper, Jr. Insider has Amaro going to the New England Patriots at No. 29. Figures, right?

Union chief: Winslow won't be suspended

January, 31, 2014
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NEW YORK -- The beleaguered Kellen Winslow finally got some good news. He hopes.

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The New York Jets' tight end, found in possession of synthetic marijuana in November near the team's facility in Florham Park, N.J., won't be suspended under the NFL's substance-abuse policy, according to NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith.

Smith, speaking to reporters Thursday at a news conference in the Super Bowl XLVIII media headquarters, said synthetic marijuana isn't on the banned list of substances.

"Our drug policy is one that has strict and well-defined drugs that are banned," Smith said, via NJ.com. "If they are not on the list, they can't serve as the basis for discipline."

Police discovered synthetic marijuana from various manufacturers in Winslow's vehicle, according to records. He told police the NFL doesn't test for it and he buys it on the Internet and at gas stations. The story took an embarrassing turn when it recently was revealed that Winslow was masturbating in his car, according to a witness, who called police. That's when they found the substance.

Winslow was suspended four games last season for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs. He will be a free agent in March and is not expected to return to the Jets.

Injury notes: Goodson's rehab on track

December, 30, 2013
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Mike Goodson was one of the highly touted free agent signings after New York Jets general manager John Idzik took the job, but a late-night arrest for marijuana, an illegal gun and illegal ammunition charge took the running back off the field for a four-game suspension.

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When Goodson did play -- he had 7 carries for 61 yards in the two games he played -- he looked good, but an MCL and ACL injury took him off the field for the rest of the season. On Monday, Goodson was in the locker room in the middle of a projected five-month recovery, following surgery he had prior to the Jets' bye week.

“It was real frustrating,” Goodson said. "Starting off with those two games and they said they wanted to work me in slow. And when I was working in slow I was making plays. I felt myself coming along strong and then the injury. It’s discouraging and encouraging because I know what I can do. I’m going to rehab my knee, it’s feeling stronger and stronger every day, so just come back next year man, I’ll be ready.”

Goodson said he will stay in the area during the offseason in order to continue to rehab with team trainers. He is on a three-year, $6.9 million deal with the Jets, but has been indicted on the weapons charges and could face a trial in the coming year. If convicted, Goodson could be sentenced for 10 years.

He declines to talk about the legal issue, but said it wasn’t part of the consideration for staying in the area. Goodson said the Jets were encouraged by what he did on the field.

“They said they liked what they saw,” Goodson said.

Goodson wasn’t the only injured player to discuss his future on the last day of the season.

Winslow
WINSLOW WANTS BACK: Jets TE Kellen Winslow Jr. said he hasn’t discussed a new deal with the Jets yet, but would want to return and play for the team. Winslow said he felt the team managed a persistent knee injury well during the season, giving him a day off from practice once each week.

“I can play 16, it’s just all about getting to the game,” Winslow said.

Winslow, drafted in 2004, had 31 catches for 388 yards this season. He know his knee could make another season.

CRIBBS NOTES: Josh Cribbs, the KR/RB the Jets signed after the season started, had surgery immediately after he suffered a pectoral injury in December. There is a 4-5 month recovery window on the injury.

“I hurt it on a Sunday, I had surgery that Friday,” Cribbs said.

Cribbs
Cribbs, the former longtime Cleveland Brown, also weighed in on Rob Chudzinski's firing earlier in the day.

"I thought he'd have more of a chance to put his niche on things, because that wasn't his team,” Cribbs said. “Those weren't the guys he drafted. I would've liked to have seen that regime play out."

DESTROYER PACKAGE: Sheldon Richardson said the Jets have a name for the offensive formation they used yesterday -- the "Destroyer Package." It consisted of three defensive linemen in the backfield -- Richardson, Damon Harrison and Kenrick Ellis. Sheldon: "That's a cool 1,000 pounds." Richardson got the handoff and ran for 1 yard.

Richardson also said DL coach Karl Dunbar, who has an expiring contract, should stay: "I don't think we're going to lose him."

OPEN GATES: Clyde Gates, who had shoulder surgery after an October injury, said he hopes to be back next season. He is under contract, but had an issue with drops during a 24-catch, 122-yard season.

THIS AND THAT: RB Chris Ivory has a hip pointer after sustaining the injury in the win over Miami. …WR Stephen Hill said there is no surgery planned on his injured knee, and he said trainers are trying to set up a rehab program that will strengthen it.

Upon Further Review: Jets Week 14

December, 9, 2013
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- An examination of the four hottest issues from the New York Jets' 37-27 win over the Oakland Raiders:

[+] EnlargeGeno Smith
AP Photo/Kathy WillensThe Jets are 4-0 when Geno Smith runs for a TD, as he did Sunday.
1. They ain't dead yet: Sunday could've been a really, really big day for the Jets, but the two teams they're chasing for the second AFC wild-card spot -- the Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins -- squeezed out late, come-from-behind victories. That leaves the Jets (6-7) one game behind them, but it's really two games because they lost to both teams, meaning they'd lose a head-to-head tiebreaker. They still have a game with the Dolphins, in the season finale, but the Jets might be eliminated by then. But, hey, it's Week 15 and they're still alive. Hear that, Kellen Winslow?

2. Run, Geno, run: Geno Smith is "definitely known as just trying to be a gunslinger," fellow quarterback David Garrard said, but the rookie has the ability to make plays outside the pocket. He showed it against the Raiders, rushing for 50 yards, including an 8-yard touchdown on a read-option play. What took so long? Smith has been reluctant to embrace the idea of becoming a running quarterback, but he needs to understand he can spark the offense with his athleticism. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg also did a better job of calling designed runs and rollouts, allowing Smith to throw on the run. If you have a weapon, use it. The Jets are 4-0 when Smith scores a rushing touchdown.

3. Disappearing defense: Rex Ryan's defense usually gets stronger late in the season, but this particular unit is backsliding. The Jets allowed a fourth-string running back -- Marcel Reece, who actually plays fullback -- to rush for 123 yards. Are you kidding? In the past two games, their once-feared run defense has allowed 275 yards. Part of the reason is because they're playing fewer eight-man boxes -- they need a second safety to help in pass coverage -- but they're also missing far too many tackles. Frankly, the tackling has been atrocious. They got away with it against the bad team like the Raiders, but they have no shot next week against the Carolina Panthers if they allow short gains to turn into big plays.

4. Special K's: Jeremy Kerley's return to the lineup sparked the slumping offense, which scored more points than it did in the previous three games combined. Another "K" player, Kellen Winslow, also provided a boost. For a change, Winslow played a significant role in the passing game, finishing with three catches for 61 yards. In recent weeks, he had become after afterthought, partly because of his chronic knee. But it also seemed like the coaching staff had phased him out. Well, he was phased in against the Raiders. Winslow knows how to get open, a big help to a rookie quarterback. He could be a key down the stretch.

Halftime Report: Jets up 20-3

December, 8, 2013
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Jets, up 20-3 at halftime, managed more first-half offense than they've had in a month with an offensive touchdown, a defensive touchdown and two field goals against the visiting Oakland Raiders.

The last time the Jets scored this many points in a first half was Week 9 against the Saints.

That’s not to say it’s been pretty. Jets quarterback Geno Smith has benefitted from the return of WR Jeremy Kerley, who scored with 3:17 left in the first quarter with a 25-yard reception, while the Raiders struggled to figure out who they were going to use at quarterback.

Best defense is offense: Ed Reed had an interception in the second half to give the Jets the ball at Oakland’s 4 yard line, and the Jets had to settle for a field goal after Santonio Holmes dropped a third-down pass in the end zone. Jets safety Antonio Allen blocked a punt for a touchdown with 3:55 left in the second quarter, giving the Jets a 20-3 lead.

Back after this: The Raiders had their top three running backs on the inactive list. That meant they used FB Marcel Reece to run the ball, and substituted quarterback Matt McGloin with backup Terrelle Pryor, who ran a few option plays en route to a field goal before getting swapped back out for McGloin after an interception.

More time for Kerley: The Jets offense has been led by Kerley, with 3 catches for 35 yards and a touchdown, and TE Kellen Winslow Jr. and Holmes, who both have 45 yards on 2 catches at the half. All three are playing more snaps than they have in recent weeks, with Winslow in on 10 plays, Holmes on 21 and Kerley in on 14. There may be more time to go around since Stephen Hill was declared inactive before the game.

Sunday notes: Hot air or nice draft?

December, 8, 2013
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Thoughts and observations on the New York Jets:

1. Rex being Rex: Rex Ryan went overboard by claiming the Jets' draft was the best in the NFL, giving it an A+ grade. Mind you, this is the same coach who once called Wayne Hunter the best backup tackle in the league. He should've said it has the potential to be the best draft, because it does. It has produced five starters, which is rare. In fact, no other team can say it has five draft picks that have started at least seven games, based on stats from ProFootball-Reference.com. No team has four picks that meet that criterion, and only five teams have three.

Judging on quantity, yes, it's a grade-A draft for the Jets, but the problem is that only one player -- defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson -- has proven he can play at a high level in the NFL. Cornerback Dee Milliner, quarterback Geno Smith and left guard Brian Winters are question marks, and fullback Tommy Bohanon is a serviceable player at best.

Obviously, there may have been ulterior motives for Ryan's gush fest -- praising his new boss, general manager John Idzik, and trying to infuse confidence in a couple of his embattled rookies, Milliner and Smith. I solicited an objective viewpoint. Here's an AFC personnel director, speaking on the condition of anonymity, assessing the Jets' draft:

"It's one thing to say five starters, but it's another thing to say they're playing well or with a winning performance. [Richardson] is a real good player, but the quarterback is struggling, [Milliner] is struggling and [Winters] has had his struggles, too. Two offensive linemen [Oday Aboushi and Will Campbell] don't even get a jersey, and [Bohanon] is an ordinary talent.

"With that said, they're young players and they all may develop in time, but they've taken some rookie lumps. I don't know yet about the cornerback and the quarterback. I think the guard has a chance, but this is probably too much, too fast for him. The offensive linemen are future developmentals and the fullback is what he is."

In my book, it's a B draft.

2. The big man speaks: On Wednesday morning, left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson received a standing ovation from his teammates. It came in response to an announcement by Ryan, who told a team meeting that Ferguson was about to become the first player in team history to start the first 125 games of his career.

Wednesday was an eventful day for Ferguson, who joined linebacker David Harris in addressing a players-only meeting, as first reported by the New York Post. That two of the most reserved players on the team became the point men illustrates two things: The situation is dire. The team lacks fiery leaders.

Harris didn't want to discuss what he told the team, and Ferguson wasn't around to comment. Ferguson is a man of few words, so a speech by him evokes memories of the old EF Hutton commercials. One player told me Ferguson's message stressed the importance of team over individuals, adding of the meeting: "Two guys stepped up to the plate, commanded the stage, said their piece and took on leadership roles, just to make sure that, 'Hey, this is where our mindset should be. We're in a rough spot right now, but we're not going to die. We're not going to throw in the towel, we're going to keep fighting.' "

3. Tribute to Brick: A 125-game streak is impressive. As a side note, Ferguson has missed only one snap in seven-plus years. He began in 2006 as a gangly rookie and developed into a Pro Bowl-caliber player. Former left guard Pete Kendall, who played alongside him in 2006, offered this recollection:

"We could tell he'd likely be successful, and it turns out we were right. It wasn't necessarily natural for him. He had to work at it. I think he struggled with his weight his rookie season, and there was an adjustment, learning to play in the Sunday league. But you could always see the ease with which he was able to move. You knew that with a tweak here and there, getting to understand how the pieces fit together, he'd turn out to be a very good player."

4. Special K: Don't get me wrong, I like Jeremy Kerley as a player, but it's not like Victor Cruz or Wes Welker is returning to the lineup, which is how it sounded all week in Florham Park. Kerley isn't a savior; he's a good role player on an offense desperate for something positive.

5. Welcome home, Chad: Former Jets quarterback Chad Pennington will lead the player-walk through the parking lot Sunday at MetLife Stadium. It's good to see that Pennington has reconnected with his old team, which kicked him to the curb when Brett Favre arrived in 2008. A lot of players would've carried a grudge forever. Pennington made an appearance two summers ago in training camp, but that was a favor to then-coordinator Tony Sparano, his former Miami Dolphins head coach.

6. Belichick and the Jets: Patriots coach Bill Belichick tweaked them last week, saying he habors nostalgic feelings for all his former teams -- except the Jets. No surprise there. We all know he hates the Jets, but he apparently hasn't shared that part of his past with his players. I mentioned Belichick's tweak to recently signed linebacker Jermaine Cunningham, who played with the Patriots from 2010 through last summer. Cunningham's response: "He coached with the Jets? I never knew that."

7. A tale of the rookie QBs: Smith and EJ Manuel commanded most of the attention before, during and after the draft, but the most impressive rookie quarterback is Mike Glennon of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was chosen in the third round, 34 spots after Smith. Playing in a dysfunctional environment for most of the year, Glennon has 13 touchdown passes, only five interceptions and a 90.3 passer rating. He's growing into the job; Smith is growing out of the job. The Jets spent a lot of time with Glennon before the draft (he was tutored by former Jets quarterback Ken O'Brien), but they obviously didn't like him as much as Smith.

8. What a tweet: When the Jets inform Kellen Winslow they have no intention of re-signing him for 2014, they should do it via Twitter. That would be poetic symmetry.

9. Rex-speak: This is what Ryan said the other day about offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg: "I think Marty is doing a terrific job. The numbers sometimes can be a little misleading. I think the job he's done and this staff, with some of the challenges we’ve faced, I think guys have done a great job."

This is what Ryan said 13 months ago about Sparano: "I’m happy with the job he’s done. I’m not happy with our results, but to say I’m going to pin that on Tony, there’s no way." A few weeks later, he fired Sparano.

This time, Ryan won't fire Mornhinweg. They'll either leave together or stay together.

10. Central castoffs: The Raiders opened some eyes last week by dressing 16 players who entered the league as undrafted free agents. The Jets weren't far behind with 13.

Ryan: Cleaning up Winslow's comments

December, 4, 2013
12/04/13
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – It was a tempest in the Twitter pot. Jets tight end Kellen Winslow tweeted Donte' Stallworth with his predictions for the AFC Championship Game, and the Jets weren’t one of the teams.

Winslow
So was Winslow bailing on the Jets?

Later, Winslow deleted the tweet and posted a new one: “Lol man twitter is very dangerous! I'm a fan of the game also. Thought we were out of it mathematically but we still got life so forgive me.”

Winslow declined interview requests in the locker room, but everyone asked about it from Jets coach Rex Ryan to Stallworth -- who sent out a request for title predictions to all his followers -- downplayed the notion that Winslow had crossed a line.

"Kellen's an honest guy,” Stallworth said in an email. “Will that stop him from playing his butt off? Not him, I've played with this guy in Cleveland. He's a competitor and loves the game."

What did bother Ryan was Winslow’s other comment, the one about bad practices that translated into bad games.

“I’ve got to clean up his comments, but other than that he’s a pretty dependable guy,” Ryan said.

Winslow has questioned why he isn’t getting more reps in games, something he isn’t alone in asking about. Ryan addressed that concern by having Winslow sit out of practice on Wednesday this week instead of his usual Thursday.

“Part of that is that there is more of a pass emphasis in certain areas, that’s why I chose to practice him on Thursday,” Ryan said.

So the bottom line appears to be that Ryan is looking to use a quieter Winslow a little more.

Do you believe in miracles? Not Winslow

December, 4, 2013
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After Sunday's loss to the Miami Dolphins, tight end Kellen Winslow basically said the New York Jets are out of playoff contention. On Monday night, he took it a step further, tweeting his predictions for the AFC and NFC championships.

Winslow
In a Twitter reply to free-agent wide receiver Donte Stallworth, Winslow said, "I got the pats vs broncos in AFC championship game and Panthers vs Seahawks in NFC championship," as first noted by Newsday.

The Jets (5-7) don't have the look of a playoff team, having lost three straight, but they're still mathematically alive. In fact, they're only one game behind the Baltimore Ravens (6-6) and Miami Dolphins (6-6) for the final wild-card spot, although both teams currently hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over them.

So, yes, it looks bleak, but it ain't over until it's over. Winslow's tweet likely won't sit well with his teammates or Rex Ryan, who is fighting for his job. Winslow has since deleted the tweet, but it remains on Stallworth's timeline.

On Sunday, Winslow said the Jets are all but eliminated.

"We've lost three straight, so, obviously [that's] not good," he said. "But we'll go down swinging. We have to go to work. This is our job. It's not like the season is over. It might be record-wise, but it's still football. We still love it."

Jets offense suffers 'brown' out

December, 2, 2013
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The NFL is a scoring league, so it's unusual when a team is held to a field goal. When it happens in back-to-back weeks -- see the New York Jets -- it qualifies as a rarity.

You have to go back five years to find a team that was limited to three or fewer points in consecutive games. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the last team to do it was the 2008 Cleveland Browns, who lost 14-0 and 31-0 in the final two games.

The Jets have a few connections to that Cleveland team, whose roster included kick returner Josh Cribbs and tight end Kellen Winslow, who was injured and didn't play in the final two games. The Browns, hurting at quarterback, used Bruce Gradkowski and Ken Dorsey. The team finished 4-12.

Coach Romeo Crennel and general manager Phil Savage were fired immediately after the season.

Winslow perplexed by lack of snaps

December, 1, 2013
12/01/13
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Since he returned from his four-game suspension, Kellen Winslow has barely seen the field in three games, including the New York Jets' 23-3 loss to the Miami Dolphins Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

The veteran tight end is perplexed as to why he's spending the majority of his time on the sideline.

"I don't know," Winslow said. "When they throw it, I catch it. I don't know."

Winslow
Winslow caught a 12-yard pass in the first quarter Sunday, and was rarely used again until garbage time in the fourth quarter. He added two catches on the Jets' next-to-last drive, and finished with three catches for 26 yards, hauling in every pass thrown his way.

Entering Sunday, Winslow had not played more than 19 snaps in his two games since returning from a four-game suspension for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances. He played 11 snaps two weeks ago against Buffalo and 19 against Baltimore last week, and it doesn't appear he hit 19 against Miami. Jeff Cumberland has received the majority of the snaps at tight end.

"I don't know how to feel right now. I'm just trying to do the best I can in the situation I'm in," Winslow said. "When the ball is thrown to me I'm going to catch it every time and that's that."

While Winslow did not complain or say he was upset about his lack of playing time, this is the second time the topic has become an issue with him. In the last game he played before his suspension, Oct. 7 against Atlanta, Winslow was frustrated on the sideline, according to quarterback Geno Smith. After returning to the team, Winslow acknowledged he had been frustrated with his decreasing role.

Winslow this season has 23 catches for 246 yards and two touchdowns. He didn't give any indication Sunday he'd be talking to Jets coach Rex Ryan or offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg about his place in the offense. Then again, he likely said all he needed to with his postgame comments.

"That's not my fight. That's not my place on the team to go do that. My job is to just make plays when it comes," Winslow said. "When my number's called I make plays. When it's not I try to help the other guys. That's all I can do. Some things you just can't control. I don't know what to say."

Green Day: Breaking out Buddy Ryan drills

November, 19, 2013
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- How do you attack the New York Jets' defense? Go deep.

The Jets have allowed 18 pass plays of more than 30 yards, and Rex Ryan is fed up. This week, it will be a major point of emphasis in practice.

"We're pulling in the old Buddy Ryan drills this week," said Ryan, referring to his father and some of his coaching tricks.

That means they will devote a day (i.e. Deep Ball Friday) to defending the long ball. Ryan said they will have competitive drills on downfield passes. In Sunday's loss to the Buffalo Bills, not known as a vertical passing team, the Jets allowed four long completions, including two touchdowns. The presence of future Hall-of-Fame safety Ed Reed had little impact, as rookie EJ Manuel passes for 245 yards (mostly into the wind) even though he didn't have his top two receivers.

Ryan said he may make schematic changes, even hinting that he will play more Cover-2 if necessary. That would be radical, all right, because the Jets usually don't play a two-deep look at safety.

"It's frustrating to me," Ryan said, adding: "I'm confident we'll fix it. I don't think there's any doubt, when it comes to defense."

Surprisingly, Reed played almost the entire game in his Jets debut despite having practiced for only two days. He played 59 of 67 defensive snaps, replacing Antonio Allen, who got on the field for only three plays. Ryan said they had planned to use different packages, but they didn't vary it much because the Bills used more two tight-end sets than they had anticipated. Ryan called Reed a "Hall-of-Fame communicator," claiming he can galvanize the secondary even though he just arrived on the scene.

Right now, the Jets could use a Hall-of-Fame playmaker more than the communicator.

ICYMI: Geno Smith will start "this game," according to Ryan, but he hinted that Matt Simms could start to get work in the bullpen. ... Get ready to take a seat, Stephen Hill. Your scholarship is about to expire. ... Kellen Winslow said he's not upset with his lack of playing time. Do we believe him? Not really.

Kellen Winslow: Happy 'feeding my family'

November, 18, 2013
11/18/13
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- One week after claiming he was "weeded out" of the offensive plan in the game prior to his suspension, tight end Kellen Winslow insisted Monday he wasn't bothered by his lack of playing time Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.

Winslow
Winslow, returning from a four-game PED suspension, played a season-low 19 percent of the snaps in the New York Jets' 37-14 loss. He was on the field for only 11 plays, catching the only ball thrown to him. Before the suspension, Winslow was the team's leading receiver, so the drop-off in playing time was conspicuous.

This time, Winslow wasn't about to make any remarks that could be interpreted as controversial.

"I'm in the league and I'm happy, man," he said. "I'm feeding my family and I'm good."

Winslow said he wasn't surprised because he was told last week by coordinator Marty Mornhinweg that he'd play only 12 to 15 snaps. Clearly, his role has been altered. Through the first four games, he was used more than Jeff Cumberland even though Cumberland is listed as the starter. Things changed when the suspension came down. Winslow told ESPN.com last week that the coaches, aware of the looming suspension, slashed his role for the Atlanta game.

On Sunday, Winslow once again was a bit player. Cumberland got the bulk of the work (47 snaps) and finished with three catches for 25 yards, including a touchdown.

"I'm good, man," Winslow said. "Whatever my role is to help the team, that's what I'm doing."

W2W4: New York Jets at Buffalo Bills

November, 15, 2013
11/15/13
5:00
PM ET
It would be so typical of the New York Jets to lose this game, wouldn't it?

They're well-rested after the bye week and healthier than they've been in more than a month, facing the struggling Buffalo Bills (3-7), losers of three straight. Under Rex Ryan, the Jets have owned the Bills, having won seven of nine meetings.

With so much in their favor, the Jets should improve to 6-4 with a workmanlike victory, but we all know that's not in this team's DNA -- not yet, anyway. After upsetting the New Orleans Saints, they became only the second team in NFL history to alternate wins and losses through their first nine games, joining the 2005 New England Patriots. If they lose in Orchard Park, they'd be the first to do it through 10 games, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

This is their best chance to break the trend, winning two in a row.

"I think it’s time for us to start doing that," quarterback Geno Smith said.

[+] EnlargeEd Reed
William Perlman/The Star-Ledger vis USA TODAY SportsThe Jets will look to use newly acquired safety Ed Reed in their Week 11 game at Buffalo.
This game will tell us a lot about the Jets. Kickoff is 1 p.m. ET at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Here are the top storylines:

1. Raising the bar: The perception of the Jets has changed since the win against New Orleans. For two weeks they've been listening to playoff talk, people telling them how they're one of the biggest surprises of the season. On Thursday, they signed future Hall-of-Fame safety Ed Reed, a message from management that the future is now. This is heady stuff for the young Jets, who have 10 first- and second-year players in the starting lineup. They've proven they can handle failure, rebounding from some tough losses, but the mark of a good team is the ability to handle success. Can the Jets do it?

2. Fireman Ed: Despite only two days of practice, Reed is expected to make his Jets' debut. The coaches have been cagey about his role, but if the Bills play their usual spread offense, there should be plenty of opportunities for Reed to be on the field. They signed him, in large part, to solve the problems against the long ball. Thing is, the Bills operate a dink-and-dunk passing attack, especially with rookie EJ Manuel at quarterback. He relies too much on his checkdowns, meaning there might not be a lot of ball-hawking chances for Reed in the deep middle. The Bills will have problems throwing the ball, especially with their starting receivers -- Stevie Johnson and Robert Woods -- out with injuries.

3. The Reinforcements: Unless WR Santonio Holmes aggravates his hamstring injury walking off the team plane -- hey, you never know with him -- he'll be in the lineup for the first time in six games. TE Kellen Winslow will be back, too, having served his four-game suspension. TE Jeff Cumberland also is expected to return from a concussion. WR Jeremy Kerley (elbow) is out, but all things considered, the Jets' offense is in pretty good shape. In theory, that should mean a balanced attack. The problem could be chemistry -- or lack thereof, as Smith hasn't had much practice time with Holmes and Winslow.

The Bills are healthier, too, especially in the secondary. In the Week 3 meeting, they played without ballhawking S Jairus Byrd and CB Stephon Gilmore. They're both back, as is CB Leodis McKelvin, who was injured early in the first game. It was "a little chaotic" on the back end, according to S Jim Leonhard. Sticking with man-to-man coverage despite a secondary filled with second- and third-stringers, the Bills were torched by Smith, who passed for a season-high 331 yards.

4. The Rookies: Some day, Smith versus Manuel might be a marquee quarterback matchup. But not now. The two rookies, the highest-drafted passers last spring, have experienced a serious case of NFL growing pains.

Smith is 1-3 on the road and he has only one touchdown pass and five interceptions in his last four games. The Jets have been trending toward the running game in recent weeks. In fact, Smith attempted only five passes longer than 10 yards in the last two games; he averaged 12 such passes per game over the first seven, per ESPN Stats & Information. Don't expect them to veer too far from the recent approach even though Smith's supporting cast is almost whole. When he throws, it could be off play-action, as the Jets hope to exploit Mike Pettine's aggressive defense. Manuel, who returned last week from a knee injury, was a rusty mess against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was rattled by the Jets' pass rush in Week 3, resulting in eight sacks.

5. The key to victory: Without their starting receivers, the Bills have to rely on their running game, Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. That plays to the Jets' strength, as they're allowing only 3.1 yards per attempt -- best in the league. Only one team has rushed for more than 100 yards against them -- the Bills, who ran for 120, including 59 on a fluke run by Jackson. The Jets thought he was down and let up, allowing him to escape a pile-up. The front seven takes a lot of pride in the run defense and it's looking for some payback.

Injury report: Jets are looking healthy

November, 13, 2013
11/13/13
5:00
PM ET
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Just a few days from an important divisional showdown with Buffalo, the New York Jets appear healthy, and could be welcoming back a few important players.

Receiver Santonio Holmes (foot/hamstring) was limited on Wednesday but appears on track to return after missing the past five games with his hamstring issue.

Holmes
"I feel pretty good about him playing," Jets coach Rex Ryan said.

Tight end Jeff Cumberland (concussion) and safety Antonio Allen (concussion) both had full practices, while tight end Kellen Winslow (knee) was limited. Winslow is eligible to play in his first game since being suspended for four games for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Receiver Jeremy Kerley (elbow) did not practice, but he's expected to be out for several weeks.

For the Bills, receivers Steve Johnson (groin) and Robert Woods (ankle) did not practice.

Here's the full report:

JETS

Did not practice
DE Leger Douzable (illness)
WR Jeremy Kerley (elbow)
LB Garrett McIntyre (knee)

Limited practice
DT Kenrick Ellis (back)
RB Alex Green (hamstring)
WR Stephen Hill (foot/knee)
WR Santonio Holmes (foot/hamstring)
TE Kellen Winslow (knee)

Full practice
S Antonio Allen (concussion)
G Willie Colon (calf)
WR Josh Cribbs (knee)
CB Antonio Cromartie (hip)
TE Jeff Cumberland (concussion)
RB Chris Ivory (knee)
LB Calvin Pace (hip)
WR Greg Salas (knee)
TE Zach Sudfeld (knee)
CB Darrin Walls (shoulder)

BILLS

Did not practice
WR Stevie Johnson (groin)
S Da'Norris Searcy (hamstring)
DT Kyle Williams (Achilles)
WR Robert Woods (ankle)

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