- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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Examining the New York Jets' roster:
Geno Smith was only mediocre in Saturday night's intrasquad scrimmage, but that won't change anything. He still will get the vast majority of the first-team reps, and he's expected to start the preseason opener Thursday night against the Indianapolis Colts. Rookie Tajh Boyd still is on the outside, looking in.
RUNNING BACKS (5)
Richardson is a new addition. With Powell (hamstring) on the sideline, Richardson has capitalized on an increased workload, demonstrating change-of-pace skills. He's the only change-of-pace back among the top five, enhancing his chances of sticking.
WIDE RECEIVERS (6)
The toughest roster decisions will come from this position. We pared it to six spots, dropping Jacoby Ford -- and essentially handing that spot to running back. Slot receiver Greg Salas, terrific in the scrimmage, is making a strong bid. He has outplayed Saunders and Evans (shoulder), but it's hard to imagine them cutting a fourth-round pick or two. Saunders is getting a chance to return punts and kickoffs.
TIGHT ENDS (3)
Sudfeld has been one of the surprises of camp, but the book on him is that he fades when the games begin. The coaches expect Amaro to emerge from his rookie funk in the coming days. He's struggling with Marty Mornhinweg's offense.
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (9)
They have a three-guard rotation, with Colon, Winters and Aboushi. Colon and Winters, the incumbents, are the favorites, but the coaches are intrigued by Aboushi's athleticism. He has the ability to block in space, which can help the perimeter running game.
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (5)
These five are no-brainers. Rookie Kerry Hyder, an undrafted free agent from Texas Tech, is trying to crack the small fraternity. Hyder is a "bad-bodied" tweener (Rex Ryan's word), but he's one of the surprises in camp.
We have a change here, adding Edds in favor of Antwan Barnes (knee), who remains on the physically-unable-to-perform list. It wouldn't be a surprise if Barnes, with his surgically repaired knee healing slowly, begins the season on the PUP list. Edds is a smart, versatile player with NFL experience. George, a fifth-round pick, is hanging by a thread. Jermaine Cunningham was pushing for a spot, but it looks like he's lost for the season with an Achilles' tendon tear.
There are concerns across the board. No one is having a lights-out camp, providing fodder for those who criticized the Jets for passing on big-name corners in free agency. McDougle, slowed by a groin injury, has crashed to reality after a promising spring. Ditto, Ras-I Dowling.
The competition is getting tighter, especially with Pryor (concussion) having missed a week, creating reps for others. Jarrett has been one of the stars of camp, according to Ryan. Former practice-squad player Rontez Miles blew up the scrimmage. Josh Bush is lurking, too. Tough decisions ahead.
Memo to Mr. Quigley: Don't take anything for granted.
2hField Yates and Rich Cimini