New York Jets: Ricky Sapp

Jets activate Goodson, cut Spadola

October, 5, 2013
10/05/13
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The Jets made four moves Saturday to set their roster before heading to Atlanta for a Monday night game against the Falcons.

Running back Mike Goodson, coming off a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, was added to the 53-man roster -- a confirmation that he will suit up for the game. There was some doubt Friday, when he missed some practice with a tight hamstring.

The Jets also added WR Michael Campbell, previously on the practice squad.

To make room for Campbell and Goodson, the Jets released rookie WR Ryan Spadola and LB Ricky Sapp. The Spadola move came as a surprise. The Jets are taking a calculated risk by putting him on waivers for 24 hours, as they'd like to bring him back if he clears waivers. Spadola, an undrafted free agent from Lehigh, made the team after an impressive preseason.

The Jets are down to four healthy-for-sure receivers -- Jeremy Kerley, Clyde Gates, David Nelson (signed Tuesday) and Campbell. Santonio Holmes (hamstring) hasn't been officially ruled out, but he won't play. The big question surrounds Stephen Hill (concussion), who practice on a limited basis Friday in a red, non-contact jersey, as required by league rules.

The team has yet to release its final injury report.

Observation deck: Jets-Eagles

August, 29, 2013
8/29/13
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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.

Rex says Maybin wasn't putting up numbers

November, 14, 2012
11/14/12
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The Jets waived linebacker Aaron Maybin on Tuesday to allow them to sign running back Kahlil Bell and give linebacker Ricky Sapp more opportunities, according to head coach Rex Ryan.

"I like Aaron," Ryan said. "I love the way he plays. He flies around, does a tremendous job on the practice field, everything. It's just numbers haven't been there this year for him."

Maybin revived his career in 2011, registering a team-high six sacks for the Jets after Buffalo released him. This year, he struggled to produce at that level -- he had four combined tackles and didn't record a sack in 119 defensive snaps. In the loss to the Seahawks, Maybin was a healthy scratch for the first time this year.

While the team waived Maybin, Ryan did not rule out a future return for the former first-rounder. Maybin's biggest moment of the season came when he said the defense would be targeting Miami running back Reggie Bush, only for him to be called out for a lack of playing time by Miami center Mike Pouncey.

In waiving Maybin, the team is giving Sapp a chance to showcase his talents. Sapp, a second-year linebacker out of Clemson, played in just his first game of the year Sunday after being on the practice squad for most of the year. He had one assisted tackle and played 13 defensive snaps.

"I'm just happy for the opportunity," Sapp said. "Definitely glad to be here. I'm so thankful that Rex and (GM) Mike (Tannenbaum) gave me this opportunity and chance and I'm just going to take it and run with it and try to help the team as much as possible."

Sapp said he doesn't believe there's any pressure on him knowing his play is part of the reason Maybin was waived. He said Maybin was one of the guys he looked up to, and he learned from him about how to approach games and how to bring intensity in practice.

Safety Yeremiah Bell was sad to see Maybin go but knows it's next man up.

"(Sapp's) going to have to come in and be that pass rusher everyone expects him to be," Bell said. "He does a great job in practice and Ricky is a guy once he gets some snaps on the field he'll do a great job. He's got an opportunity and I'm sure he's going to make the most of it."

The Jets signed Bell at a time when their running back situation is dicey. Two of their backs, Bilal Powell (concussion) and Joe McKnight (ankle), are dealing with injuries. McKnight, who missed last Sunday's game, did have a limited practice Wednesday, while Powell sat with the concussion he suffered vs. Seattle.

Bell, 25, played in two games this season for Chicago, rushing 12 times for 32 yards. He has 131 carries for 589 yards in his career, which had been exclusively with the Bears prior to this move.

Practice report: Another action-packed day

August, 23, 2012
8/23/12
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- There was action before, during and after practice on Thursday here at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center.

Before practice, coach Rex Ryan revealed that Wayne Hunter has lost his starting job at right tackle in favor of Austin Howard.

After practice, Santonio Holmes declared himself fit to play Sunday night against the Carolina Panthers.

In between, the Jets worked out for 2½ hours Thursday afternoon in front of a few hundred fans as training camp winds to a close. They got to see Howard take all the reps with the first unit, and Holmes get a few live reps as well -- wearing a red no-contact jersey -- as he continues to recover from a rib injury.

In terms of other practice observations:

INJURY REPORT: RB Joe McKnight, who missed Wednesday's practice with shin splints, was back on the field, but limited. S LaRon Landry was also limited for precautionary reasons. ... TE Jeff Cumberland, WR Patrick Turner, WR Chaz Schilens, DT Sione Pouha, CB Ellis Lankster and LB Ricky Sapp did not practice.

GROUND AND POUND: The Jets worked extensively on their running game Thursday. Gang Green averaged just 1.8 yards per carry in Saturday night's preseason loss to the Giants, gaining 58 yards on 32 totes.

OPPOSITE SIDES: The first-team offense and first-team defense rarely matched up against each other Thursday. The Jets were likely preparing for Sunday night's game against the Panthers, having the first-stringers face scout teams.

THE HIGHLIGHT? Mark Sanchez completed a beautiful pass over the middle to Royce Pollard on one of the few plays when both the first-team offense and first-team defense matched up against each other, in 11-on-11 drills. Pollard went high to reel in the ball, in between safeties Yeremiah Bell and Josh Bush. Sanchez was fired up after the play.

On the day, Sanchez completed four of seven passes against the first-team defense. Tim Tebow went 2-for-3 against them, with a sack.

In 7-on-7 drills, LB David Harris dropped a gimme interception thrown by Tebow. But he made up for it with a nice pick on a pass thrown by Greg McElroy. Rookie LB Demario Davis also had an interception late in practice, in 11-on-11 drills.

THE KICKING GAME: Nick Folk nailed all three of his field goal attempts at the end of practice, including one from 53 yards away. Josh Brown also connected from 53 yards, but missed a shorter attempt.

REMEMBER ME? Former Jets offensive tackle Damien Woody, now an ESPN analyst, visited practice on Thursday, along with his two sons. Kind of ironic, considering this was the day the Jets made a switch at Woody's former position.

Take 5: Looking for football's Jeremy Lin

June, 29, 2012
6/29/12
11:30
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This is our seventh "Take Five" list. From now until training camp, we'll have periodic lists -- some serious, some not-so-serious. In this one, we list the top five candidates that could pull a Jeremy Lin in 2012 -- an out-of-nowhere player who jumps into the limelight and becomes a fan sensation.

1. TE Hayden Smith: The former international rugby star hasn't played a lick of organized football in his life -- he was born and raised in Australia -- but he has the size and physical tools to make a go of it. He struggled in minicamp, but he's upbeat and works hard. He'll be hard-pressed to make the 53, but if he does ... hey, you never know.

2. RB Terrance Ganaway: He'll enter camp as the fourth-string running back, but it's not like he has Chris Johnson or Adrian Peterson in front of him. The sixth-round pick rushed for nearly 1,600 yards last season at Baylor, so he obviously has some talent. At 240 pounds, he could start out as a short-yardage back and go from there.

3. QB Greg McElroy: It'll be hard to leap Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow on the depth chart, but, hey, stuff happens in the NFL. McElroy has no game experience, but there's something about him that grows on you. He's a poor man's Chad Pennington -- smart, tough and instinctive.

4. OLB Ricky Sapp: The hardcore fans know that Sapp was a prolific pass rusher in college (15 sacks in '09 at Clemson) and was projected as a top-50 pick. He slipped to the Eagles in the fifth round in '10, suffered a knee injury and ... well, here he is. Rex Ryan mentions Sapp whenever he discusses his outside linebackers, always a good sign. The Jets aren't overflowing with outside rushers, so he'll get a shot.

5. TE Josh Baker: He's had quite a football journey. He was thrown out of Delaware for off-the-field transgressions, ended up at a community college while moonlighting at an office-supply store and resurfaced at Northwest Missouri, where he caught the Jets' attention. He signed as an UDFA and caught three passes last season, including a touchdown. Baker, who can play fullback or tight end, will compete for playing time. He has the back story that makes him easy to root for.

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