NFL Nation: Josh Bush

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Out of playoff contention, the New York Jets are planning to use the final two games to evaluate certain young players. Reading between the lines, it could mean Rex Ryan feels secure and isn't worried about having to win the final two games to save his job.

Or it could mean nothing. It could mean general manager John Idzik is calling the shots. There are many ways to interpret it.

Bush
"We're going to utilize out entire defensive roster the next couple of weeks and we'll get a chance to evaluate some guys who haven't played as much," defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman said, mentioning safeties Josh Bush and Jaiquawn Jarrett among that group.

Thurman emphasized they're still trying to win the games. He acknowledged "it can be difficult" to balance it, adding, "But we have to try to do it. It's something that's important to us, to get a look at these guys on tape in game action against another team's first unit."

There was no official word on whether they will take the same approach on offense, but it wouldn't be surprising to see wide receiver Saalim Hakim, running back Alex Green and tight end Zach Sudfeld in expanded roles.

The Jets are starting five rookies on both sides of the ball, so it's not like the bench is filled with young players starved for playing time.

If Bush and Jarrett see more time, it would appear that future Hall of Famer Ed Reed would have a reduced role. Reed, 35, has played the vast majority of the defensive snaps since signing with the Jets last month.

Statistically, this has been a disappointing season for the defense, which ranks 12th in yards allowed. In eight seasons as a defensive coordinator (Baltimore Ravens) and head coach, Ryan's defense has ranked no lower than eighth -- and that was last season.

In the preseason, Ryan predicted a top-five finish.

"I just assumed that's where we'd always be," he said. "I'd just assumed we'd be there, but to me, it's just the wins and the losses. I think that's the disappointment. That's where the disappointment comes in."

Reed's potential impact on playing time

November, 15, 2013
11/15/13
10:25
AM ET
Newly signed safety Ed Reed will have a "defined role" Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, said New York Jets defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman, adding: "We’re going to use him in situations where we feel like he can help us be successful."

Reed
Presumably, that means passing situations where he can do what he does best -- play the deep middle in a single-high safety look. Of course, it wouldn't be at all surprising if Reed plays a significant amount of snaps. That would mean more bench time for Antonio Allen and Jaiquawn Jarrett, who have been sharing the No. 2 safety spot.

Here's a breakdown of how the Jets have divided the playing time at safety through nine games:

Dawan Landry -- 620/626 snaps (99 percent)

Antonio Allen -- 397/626 snaps (63 percent)

Jaiquawn Jarrett -- 234/626 snaps (37 percent)

Josh Bush -- 47/626 snaps (8 percent)

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