NFL Nation: Mike Goodson

So now we know the whereabouts of one Mike Goodson: He's in his home state of Texas, according to his New Jersey-based attorney. We know he wasn't in New Jersey Thursday, missing a court appearance that prompted the judge to threaten him with arrest if he skips the next one, July 24. And we certainly know he wasn't at work last week, prompting the New York Jets to fire him.

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There are many questions surrounding Goodson and his case. Here's one: Is he in violation of his bail by leaving the state of New Jersey, where he was arrested 13 months ago on weapons charges?

Superior Court judge Mary Gibbons Whipple said Goodson didn't inform the court that he was going home, according to The Star-Ledger of Newark. Goodson's attorney, Alfred Gellene, claimed that Goodson had received permission in the past, adding, "I am assuming that he felt -- and our office felt -- that he was within confines of what was permissible, to have him go back at the time," per the Star-Ledger.

Oh, really?

On Jan. 2, Goodson requested and received written permission from the court to go home to Texas "for the purposes of visitation with his family," according to court records obtained by ESPN.com. The timing made sense, considering the Jets' season had ended only four days earlier. The document, signed by Judge Whipple and presented to Goodson's legal team, clearly states the visitation window closed Jan. 14.

We know that Goodson made it back to New Jersey at least once, as Rex Ryan indicated last week that he saw him in the team's facility two or three months ago -- March or April. Now he's back in Texas, apparently without the court's blessing. Goodson's attorney didn't return a call for comment.

Goodson skipped the court appearance because of "financial issues" while trying to book a flight, according to Gellene. That might seem curious, considering he received a $1 million signing bonus last year from the Jets, but people who know Goodson aren't surprised. He's had a history of money problems, starting when he entered the NFL in 2009.

His attorney promised that Goodson will show up for the next hearing, which is Judge Whipple's version of a mandatory minicamp. On the same day, his former teammates will have their first training-camp practice. Is that a cruel or fitting coincidence?
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Notes and observations from Wednesday's OTA practice:

1. He-e-e-e-re's Dex: Third-round pick Dexter McDougle, who missed the final nine games of his senior year due to major shoulder surgery, made his practice debut for the New York Jets. After three weeks of wearing a red (non-contact) jersey, the rookie cornerback wore green with the rest of his defensive teammates and impressed Rex Ryan so much that the coach called him out in front of the team afterward. McDougle worked with the second-team nickel package and didn't seem tentative at all. This, of course, is good news for the Jets' revamped cornerback position.

[+] EnlargeEric Decker
AP Photo/Julio CortezThe Jets will be counting on receiver Eric Decker to produce in the red zone this season.
2. Rex comes clean: The Jets received mild criticism for taking McDougle in the third round, considering the time he missed at Maryland. Ryan admitted he, too, thought it was a risky pick, but others in the organization -- mainly defensive coordinat0r Dennis Thurman -- "eased my doubts" about McDougle. Ryan said Thurman, after watching McDougle on tape for the first time, came up to him and said, "I've got the guy right here." Ryan said they graded McDougle as one of the top "character" players in the draft. Assuming he has no setbacks, he will be able to participate in next week's minicamp.

3. Changing of the guards: 'Tis the time of year to experiment. With Willie Colon (arthroscopic knee surgery) sidelined for the remainder of the offseason, the Jets have been rotating players at right guard. On Wednesday, it was Brian Winters' turn. He traded places with Oday Aboushi, who moved to Winters' spot at left guard. No, this doesn't mean Colon is in danger of losing his starting job. Ryan acknowledged that Colon, who is expected to return for training camp, is a likely starter, but not necessarily at right guard. Interesting. Moving the players around in June creates competition and flexibility that could help in training camp.

4. Geno and Vick: There was a concentration on the two-minute offense and the red zone in practice. Both Geno Smith and Michael Vick looked sharp in the red zone, each quarterback completing four of five passes in team drills. Smith got most of the work with the starters. His best moment came when he stepped up in the pocket and found wide receiver Eric Decker in the back of the end zone for a touchdown. Decker dominated in the red zone, one of the reasons why the Jets are paying him $7 million a year. Vick displayed his old form, scrambling for a touchdown. He also made a nice scoring pass to rookie wide receiver Jalen Saunders.

5. Two-minute hiccups: Smith wasn't nearly as crisp in the hurry-up situation. He started off with a deep ball to Decker, but the drive stalled as he misfired on three of his last four passes. First-round pick Calvin Pryor came on a safety blitz to disrupt Smith on one play.

6. Rex on the QB competition/non-competition: Not surprisingly, Ryan spoke glowingly on the Smith-Vick battle -- even though it's not really a battle, if you ask Vick. "Both guys are sharp," Ryan said. "They're pushing themselves and pushing each other. That's exactly what we wanted to have happen. ... I've been really impressed with it."

7. Attendance report: Players that didn't participate in the voluntary practice included wide receiver Jeremy Kerley (personal), running back Mike Goodson (undisclosed), running back Chris Johnson (knee), running back Daryl Richardson (toe), wide receiver Jacoby Ford (undisclosed), Colon (knee), rookie wide receiver Shaq Evans (school obligation) and linebacker Antwan Barnes (knee). Ryan said he expects Goodson to show up for next week's mandatory minicamp. As expected, Johnson -- six months removed from knee surgery -- isn't expected to do much, if anything, in the minicamp. Ford will be full speed by next week.

8. Dee's cranky hammy: Cornerback Dee Milliner, who sat out last week's open practice, participated on a limited basis. Officially, the team is calling it hamstring "tightness," not a pulled hamstring. Got that? Ryan said they kept him out for precautionary reasons.

9. Odds and ends: Pryor continued to work with the starters. It was Pryor and Antonio Allen at safety, with Dawan Landry practicing with the second team. Landry already knows the defense; the plan is to let Pryor and Allen get as many reps as possible. ... The Jets are continuing their penalty/push-up tradition. When a penalty is committed, the entire team drops for 10 push ups. General manager John Idzik was among the non-players that did pushups. ... Matt Simms, battling rookie Tajh Boyd for the No. 3 quarterback job, threw an interception. ... Rookie tight end Jace Amaro, coming off a three-drop day last week, had another drop but looked much better catching the ball.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- They didn't draft a running back, but the New York Jets acquired one Friday on waivers, picking up veteran Daryl Richardson.

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Richardson was cut by the St. Louis Rams after two seasons. The former seventh-round pick showed promise as a rookie in 2012, rushing 98 times for 475 yards -- an impressive 4.8 average. His production dropped dramatically last season (only 215 yards and a 3.1 average), but a patchwork offensive line might have contributed.

The Jets already have added Chris Johnson to their backfield, giving them good depth. They also have Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell and Mike Goodson, who will attempt to return from major knee surgery and still faces a gun-possession charge from his arrest last May.

There is no guarantee Richardson will make it to training camp, but if he does, it won't bode well for Goodson's chances of sticking around.
As far as Rex Ryan is concerned, it's 2009 all over again.

He can only hope.

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On Monday, Ryan referenced 2009 when discussing his vision for the New York Jets' backfield, which now includes Chris Johnson. With Johnson, Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell and, possibly, Mike Goodson, the Jets have an "unbelievable amount of depth" at tailback, according to Ryan. He said it reminds him of '09, the heyday of the Ground-and-Pound era, when they began the season with Thomas Jones, Leon Washington and Shonn Greene.

Ryan refused to be pinned down in terms of his plans for Johnson, insisting his role has yet to be determined. This much appears certain: Johnson won't get 18 carries per game, his career average. Coming off arthroscopic surgery, and approaching his 29th birthday, the former Tennessee Titans star figures to be a complementary back.

"Nothing was ever promised that, 'You’re going to get X amount of carries,'" Ryan claimed. "We're going to have to compete for roles. No role has been determiened for anybody on this football team."

Johnson's surgically repaired knee (torn meniscus) could go a long way toward determining his workload. He has some arthritis in his right knee, according to an ESPN report, but it obviously didn't cause him to flunk the team's physical. Ryan said Johnson will be among several players limited in the offseason program.

Another player is Goodson, whose roster spot could be in jeopardy. Ryan said he hopes to have Goodson, but he didn't sound confident. Aside from the knee injury, he's dealing with pending legal charges (and a possible suspension) stemming from his arrest last May.

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"If Goodson comes back, we’ll see what he can provide," said Ryan, adding: "I don’t anticipate anything in the near future that he’ll be able to do, but we’ll see how he progresses."

Goodson was supposed to be the breakaway back last season, but that never materialized. Now it falls to Johnson, who ran a sub-4.3 time in the 40 when he came out of college in 2008. Some of Johnson's new teammates sounded excited about having him.

"He's a highlight reel waiting to happen," defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson said.

Quarterback Geno Smith said "the first thing that comes to mind is speed and home-run hitter. I don't know how many times he's broken runs for 50, 60 yards, but it seems like he does almost every week. He brings another explosive dimension into our running-back room."

Johnson doesn't break as many long runs as he used to, but anything is an improvement for the Jets.
Chris Johnson's days in Tennessee are numbered, according to his agent. And, yes, the New York Jets already have been linked to the former 2,000-yard rusher.

On Wednesday night, agent Joel Segal told SiriusXM Radio, "Had some communication with Titans management today. I think it’s a matter of time before Chris won’t be with the Titans, just don’t know when."

Johnson's declining production, combined with a $10 million cap charge, has made him expendable. The Titans are trying to trade him, but if they can't swing a deal, they're expected to release him before Monday. Why Monday? The Titans' off-season program starts Monday, and they don't want Johnson to show up, risking an injury that could put them on the hook for his salary.

Speculation already is building that the Jets will be a major player for Johnson. Of course, we heard that about DeSean Jackson, too, fueled by owner Woody Johnson, and nothing came of it. This situation is a bit different because Johnson doesn't have the character issues that raised red flags with Jackson. I believe the Jets will have some level of interest in Johnson, but -- and you can probably predict the next sentence -- it would have to be at the right price.

As you know, the Jets are in a cost-conscious mode, so I can't see them spending a ridiculous amount of money on a 28-year-old running back. On the other hand, they recognize there's a need at the position. Early in free agency, they flirted with Donald Brown and inquired about Maurice Jones-Drew, although that never got serious.

The Jets have a decent stable of backs, led by Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell, but they're complementary backs. In Ivory's case, there are durability questions. They need a home-run hitter. Johnson, despite his shrinking numbers, offers that dimension. Mike Goodson was supposed to be that guy, but he's still facing weapons charges and the possibility of another suspension by the league for violating the personal-conduct policy.

So prepare for the CJ2K Watch, which should be commencing shortly.

The latest on DeSean Jackson, CJ2K

March, 31, 2014
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Took a rare, two-day respite over the weekend, so let's bring you up to speed on what's going on with the New York Jets:

As of now, they don't appear to be pursuing DeSean Jackson. If they are, they're doing a nice job of keeping it quiet. There was no contact between the Jets and Jackson's agent during his first 24 hours of his free agency, according to multiple reports. Am I surprised? Yes and no.

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Despite some definite interest within the organization (we know owner Woody Johnson likes him and he's not alone), Jackson doesn't seem to be a fit in John Idzik's rebuilding plan, mostly because of character concerns, potential cost and the fact that they already have a big-money wide receiver on the books, Eric Decker. It's also a receiver-rich draft. That said, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, who coached Jackson with the Philadelphia Eagles, has endorsed the talented receiver -- and his opinion carries some weight. (See Michael Vick.) For that reason, I thought the Jets would at least make a due-diligence call.

Could they be lurking in the weeds, waiting for Jackson's asking price to drop? In the world of free agency, it's never over until the player signs on someone else's dotted line, so I wouldn't say the Jets are completely out of it. That the owner is interested (you know, the guy who signs the checks) leads me to believe there's still a chance. Of course, if they really wanted him, I think they would've tried to get him in the building ASAP. Jackson will visit the Washington Redskins on Monday; he reportedly is drawing some interest from the Oakland Raiders and Buffalo Bills. You already know how I feel about Jackson: Despite his talent, he's not a fit for the Jets.

There's also some Chris Johnson chatter on this snowy Monday morning. The Tennessee Titans are expected to trade or release the former 2,000-yard running back before the start of off-season workouts next week. I heard some rumblings a couple of weeks ago about the Jets' potential interest in Johnson, mentioning it Saturday in my Twitter mailbag. The NFL Network took it a step further Monday morning, saying the Jets do have some interest.

This might surprise some people because running back is thought to be one of the Jets' strongest positions, but take a closer look. There are deficiencies in the backfield, mainly no home-run threat and durability questions. Chris Ivory was a beast late in the year, but he's never played a full season. Mike Goodson has the kind of speed they need, but he's coming off ACL surgery and still facing charges from last year's arrest. Bilal Powell is a solid No. 2, entering the final year of his contract.

There was some buzz about the Jets' interest in running backs at the scouting combine, and I was told they were high on Donald Brown and Ben Tate in free agency. The chatter faded away, but there apparently was a stealth pursuit of Brown. The Jets made a bid, the New York Daily News noted Monday, but they lost him to the San Diego Chargers.

Johnson would be a nice addition because he's still fast, only 28 and would command respect from opposing defenses. But don't get your hopes up just yet. The conservative Idzik likes to flirt with the big names, but more than not, it doesn't progress to the serious stage. You also have to wonder why Johnson would be interested in the Jets, where he'd probably be part of a two- or three-man committee.

One last note: Linebacker Nick Bellore, one of the Jets' top special teamers, signed his one year, $1.4 million tender.

Sunday notes: Heard around the combine

February, 23, 2014
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INDIANAPOLIS -- Notes and observations from the NFL scouting combine:

1. Backs to the wall: This comes as a bit of a surprise, but I hear the New York Jets are exploring free-agent running backs -- namely Donald Brown (Indianapolis Colts) and Ben Tate (Houston Texans). Obviously, their greatest needs are wide receiver and tight end, with running back thought to be a secure position with Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell. But general manager John Idzik is a big believer in competition and depth. It also could mean that the troubled Mike Goodson is on thin ice. The bad boy from last offseason has legal issues, a surgically repaired knee and an upcoming $650,000 roster bonus. Why would the Jets pay that for a player in Goodson's situation? Both Brown and Tate have above-average running skills and they can catch the ball, a much-needed skill in the Jets' backfield.

2. Money to burn: When free agency opens March 11, the Jets should have at least $22 million in salary-cap space (not counting the anticipated veteran purge), but that doesn't mean they'll be spending like Kim Kardashian in a designer clothing store. Idzik still believes in building through the draft. "The draft is your lifeline," he said. "Free agency is phone-a-friend." That said, the Jets are expected to use the phone a few times. The feeling in the organization is they will sign a No. 2 wide receiver, a tight end (if they lose Jeff Cumberland), a veteran backup quarterback, a running back and a kicker (if they lose Nick Folk). They're optimistic about their chances of re-signing tackle Austin Howard. Yes, they have a fairly lengthy shopping list, but I don't see them breaking the bank for anyone with an $8-million-a-year-type deal. They will use the draft to find a potential No. 1 receiver and a pass-catching tight end, along with plugging some holes on defense.

3. QB quest: The Jets met with at least two quarterbacks, LSU's Zach Mettenberger and Eastern Illinois' Jimmy Garoppolo. The 6-5 Mettenberger, in the final stages of knee-surgery rehab, is an interesting prospect. Idzik, who scouted him in person during the season, is looking to add a developmental quarterback at some point in the draft. Mettenberger could be just that in the late rounds. I see the Jets going to training camp with Geno Smith, Matt Simms, a new veteran backup and a rookie.

4. Off the Mark: If the Jets decide they want to retain Mark Sanchez (unlikely), they will try to get him to swallow a massive pay cut. The amount of their proposal will tell Sanchez just how much they really want him. If they try to slash his base pay from $9 million to $1 million, it would be insulting, a strong indication he'd have no chance to unseat Smith. If they offer in the $3 million-to-$5 million range, with a chance to make more money with incentives, it would show they consider him a viable starting option.

4a. Butt fumble revisited: Former longtime GM and current ESPN analyst Bill Polian believes Sanchez has been unfairly stigmatized by the "butt fumble." "Unequivocally, the butt fumble wasn't his fault," Polian told me. "It's been played ad infinitum. The guard (Brandon Moore) got driven into him. Perception is often times reality, and that's what people think. If you ask the average person what they think of Mark Sanchez, they'd say the butt fumble. It wasn't his fault."

5. Legal tampering: The combine is the place where agents and teams meet to discuss free-agent deals. Technically, it's not allowed, but no one says anything. Curiously, a number of agents told me that teams are reluctant this year to discuss specific dollar amounts. It's likely that teams, concerned about having their offers shopped around, are waiting for the March 8-11 exclusive negotiating period to get serious.

6. Seen around Indy: Former Jets colleagues Mike Tannenbaum and Eric Mangini lunched together. Despite the awkward parting in 2009 (actually, Woody Johnson was the driving force behind Mangini's ouster), Tannenbaum and Mangini have remained close friends. Mangini, named last week as the tight-ends coach of the San Francisco 49ers, is working his way up the ladder on the offensive side of the ball. If he makes it to coordinator some day, he'll have the rare offensive/defensive coordinator on his résumé.

6a. Seen around Indy II: Rex Ryan and twin brother, defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, took a break from the combine to eat at a local Hooters restaurant. Naturally, they ended up on Twitter, posing in a picture with a group of Hooters' waitresses.

7. Give that man a pair of ear plugs: Former Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine's experience in a circus-type environment (the Jets, 2009-2012) should serve him well in his new job as the Cleveland Browns' coach. He got the job after 23 people turned it down (only a slight exaggeration), saw the two men that hired him get whacked (Joe Banner and Mike Lombardi) and was hit Friday with the news that the Browns reportedly came close to hiring San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh before turning to him. Pettine called the Harbaugh story "noise -- and my goal is to quiet the noise." He recently held a staff meeting in which he used a Power Point presentation to underscore the challenge before them -- two playoff appearances, one playoff win and 141 coaches since 1991. Said Pettine: "To turn around a franchise, you have to be extraordinary." Here's wishing him luck; he'll need it.

8. Best and worst: I thought Michael Sam handled himself extremely well Saturday in his first news conference since sharing he is gay. Facing perhaps the largest news conference in combine history, Sam was confident, yet not cocky, projecting the image of a young man who just wants to play football. On the other side of the news-conference spectrum was Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin, who fumbled his way through a Q & A that focused on the bullying scandal. He was all over the place, accepting responsibility in one breath but pleading ignorance in the next. How they fired longtime trainer Kevin O'Neill, portrayed in a negative light in the Wells report, was a low-class move. The Dolphins flew him to the combine and then fired him, two days before he was to receive an award in Indianapolis as the league's top trainer. He didn't attend the ceremony, but received a standing ovation when his prepared remarks were read to the crowd.

9. Respect for JC: It was interesting to hear offensive linemen talk about South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney, the possible No. 1 overall pick. Said Michigan tackle Michael Schofield: "I played a series against Clowney, and that was probably the hardest series of my life." Other linemen echoed similar sentiments. The Houston Texans, picking first, have a tough choice. They need a quarterback, but Clowney is the best talent in the draft.

10. Johnny Football speaks: Clearly, Johnny Manziel's mission at the combine was to shatter his image as a rock star-party boy quarterback. Asked to describe the difference between Johnny Football and Johnny Manziel, the former Texas A & M star shifted into third person. "Johnny Manziel is a guy ... I’m from a small town of Kerrville, Texas, 20,000 people. People make me out to be a big Hollywood guy, (I'm) really just still a small-town kid" -- who jets off to Vegas to party with the rich and famous.

Midseason Report: Give 'em a B

October, 29, 2013
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The Cincinnati debacle notwithstanding, the New York Jets have exceeded expectations with a 4-4 record. Some so-called experts didn't think they'd win four games for the entire season. You know who you are.

Before the season, I spoke to several personnel experts, and the consensus was that it was a six-win roster. A former Jets player, someone who understands the pulse of the team, told me in the preseason, "They're going to be terrible."

[+] EnlargeMuhammad Wilkerson
Rich Schultz/Getty ImagesMuhammad Wilkerson is the defensive star through eight weeks, notching a career-high seven sacks.
They were terrible in Cincinnati and in Tennessee, but the Jets aren't a terrible team. Despite having only one or two blue-chip players, DE Muhammad Wilkerson and maybe C Nick Mangold, they've managed to hang around in the wild-card race. Rex Ryan and his staff have done a nice job of coaching around the obvious deficiencies and a rookie quarterback. Sure, they've benefited from a couple of huge breaks (the Lavonte David late hit and the Chris Jones push), but at least they were good enough to capitalize on them.

Without further delay, our midseason awards:

Offensive MVP: QB Geno Smith. Not much competition here. Yeah, I know, he cost them a couple of games with turnovers, but he also won games with his deep-throwing ability (Buffalo Bills), poise in the clutch (Atlanta Falcons) and mobility (New England Patriots).

Defensive MVP: DE Muhammad Wilkerson. A no-brainer. He already has a career-high seven sacks, along with one interception and one forced fumble. He's a lock for his first Pro Bowl. If he keeps it up, he could get some votes for NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

Special-teams MVP: PK Nick Folk. You can't quibble with perfection. The man is 19-for-19 on field goals, including three game winners. Next to Wilkerson, he's the team MVP.

Most Improved: RB Bilal Powell. He began training camp as an afterthought, but he worked his way up to the starting job. He has become a more elusive runner than in past years.

Least Improved: NT Kenrick Ellis. He was expected to make a big jump in Year 3, but he was slowed by a preseason back injury and hasn't come close to being a dominant run stuffer.

Biggest Surprise: NT Damon Harrison. "Big Snacks" came out of nowhere last year and Wally-Pipped Ellis in the preseason. Harrison is one of the reasons why the Jets are No. 1 against the run.

Biggest Disappointment: CB Antonio Cromartie. Coming off a Pro Bowl season, Cromartie already has allowed five completions of at least 46 yards. His uneven play has made it harder for the defense to deal with the Darrelle Revis void.

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Joe Robbins/Getty ImagesIn 2013, Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie hasn't quite lived up to his Pro Bowl season of last year.
Best Rookie: DT Sheldon Richardson. If it weren't for him, GM John Idzik would be taking major heat for the Revis trade. Richardson, acquired with the Revis pick (No. 13 overall), is a future star.

Best Offseason Acquisition: RG Willie Colon. Plagued by injuries in recent years, Colon hasn't missed a play and has added an element of toughness to the offensive line.

Worst Offseason Acquisition: RB Mike Goodson. Because of his embarrassing arrest and the subsequent suspension, he was a disaster before he stepped foot on the field. Maybe next time the front office will put more stock in its background checks.

Best-kept Secret: CB Ellis Lankster. He's not the leading tackler on special teams (he's second, behind Nick Bellore), but Lankster is the most dynamic player on the coverage units.

Best Coaching Move: Ryan decided before the season to take control of the defense, running it on a day-to-day basis. Ryan is at his best -- ditto, the defense -- when he's in charge.

Worst Coaching Move: The decision to insert Mark Sanchez in the fourth quarter of a preseason game, behind a backup offensive line, was a brainlock for the ages.

Biggest Concern: There's not enough offense. In their four losses, the Jets have managed only two touchdowns. They have to face four top-12 defenses in the second half. Uh oh.

Key to the Second Half: Continued improvement from Smith. His passer rating in Games 5-8 (75.2) was better than Games 1-4 (68.6), meaning he's moving in the right direction, albeit with baby steps. The struggling pass defense is another key, but luckily for the Jets, they face only one top-10 passing offense -- Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.

The Jets will make the playoffs if: They win at least five of their remaining eight. Take a look at the AFC standings; a 9-7 record could be good enough for the second wild-card spot.

Player Ready to Emerge: RB Chris Ivory. He showed flashes against the Patriots. With the weather beginning to turn, Ivory's power-running style will be critical down the stretch.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Running back Chris Ivory said he's not unhappy with his role -- yet -- but he acknowledged Monday he's not getting the ball as much as he expected.

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"Honestly, I feel like it's been a little bit conservative," he said. "Hopefully, we get some things going. But it hasn't been as many [carries] as I thought."

Ivory has 34 carries in five games (he missed one game with a hamstring injury), 53 fewer carries than Bilal Powell. Ivory said the coaches told him he's the short-yardage back, yet he wasn't used Sunday on a third-and-1 from the Pittsburgh Steelers 2-yard line. Powell got the ball, and he was stuffed.

"I was actually supposed to be in there," said Ivory, adding that it was the short-yardage personnel grouping. "But [the coaches] told me to stay there on the sideline."

Ivory played only nine offensive snaps in the 19-6 loss, carrying the ball four times for 16 yards. He said he's not ready to make a stink yet because he believes his limited playing time has been dictated by the types of defenses they've faced, but he won't stay quiet for the entire season.

"I'm happy, I'm fine," he said. "I say that because we have a lot of ball left. But if it's close to the end of the season and it's still the same, I can say I wouldn't be too happy."

Ivory missed the bulk of training camp with a hamstring injury, falling behind Powell. His touches should increase now that No. 2 back Mike Goodson is out for the season with torn knee ligaments. But Ivory senses the coaches still don't have full confidence in his ability as a blocker in pass protection.

"Right now, I still don't think they really trust me all the way yet," he said. "Maybe in certain protections, but I'm not sure if they trust me all the way based on how many times they put me in. But I guarantee you, I'll gain it."

Actually, Ivory made a nice block on a blitzing linebacker in the third quarter. The play didn't end well, as Geno Smith threw his first interception.

Ivory was projected as the Jets' feature back. They traded a fourth-round pick for him and signed him to a three-year, $6 million contract, including $2.25 million to sign.

Locker Room Buzz: New York Jets

October, 13, 2013
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Observed in the locker room after the New York Jets' 19-6 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers at MetLife Stadium:

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No consistency: Rex Ryan and several players lamented the team's lack of consistency on a week-to-week basis. In fact, the Jets (3-3) have managed only one two-game winning streak over the last 25 games -- and that occurred last season. "It sucks, man," linebacker Calvin Pace said. "We talk about how we want to be a playoff team, but to be a playoff team, you have to win more than one game [in a row]. If you win one, lose one, you're 8-8. We have to be better than that." Sitting a few feet away, the usually affable Sheldon Richardson refused to speak to the media. "It's called being mad as hell, and I don't want to talk to y'all," the rookie defensive tackle said.

Walking wounded: The Jets suffered four injuries -- CB Kyle Wilson (possible concussion), RB Mike Goodson (knee), WR Clyde Gates (shoulder) and RB Bilal Powell (shoulder), who insisted he was fine. That wasn't the case with Gates, who was seen in the locker room with his left arm in a sling. The Jets already are down a receiver, with Santonio Holmes (hamstring) likely to miss next Sunday's game against the New England Patriots. Losing Gates would hurt. Obviously, the backfield would take a hit without Powell and Goodson, whose injury could be serious.

Contradicting alibis: Geno Smith said his first interception, near the Steelers' goal line, was an intentional throwaway. Ryan gave a different version, saying he "would've liked to have seen him throw the ball away there and not force it." Looking at the replay, it sure looked like a forced throw into triple coverage. Graybeard S Ryan Clark read it perfectly and made the interception at the 1-yard line in the third quarter, ending Smith's streak of eight straight quarters without an interception.

Upon Further Review: Jets Week 5

October, 8, 2013
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An examination of four hot issues from the New York Jets' 30-28 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on "Monday Night Football":

[+] EnlargeGeno Smith
Dale Zanine/USA TODAY SportsRookie Geno Smith leads the NFL in game-winning, fourth-quarter drives. He has three for the Jets this season.
1. Broadway Geno: This is what makes the NFL so compelling: A week ago, Geno Smith was a turnover-prone rookie, hearing whispers about his job security. Now he's Mr. Clutch, delivering one of the Jets' best two-minute drives in years to stun the Falcons. Years from now, this could be remembered as a turning point in his career. For now, he should savor the moment. Consider: He became the first rookie quarterback in the Super Bowl era to compile this trifecta on the road -- 80 percent completion rate, three touchdowns and zero interceptions, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Oh, by the way, he leads the NFL in game-winning, fourth-quarter drives -- three. How meaningful is that? Prior to this season, it happened only twice in Jets history by a rookie quarterback. One word: Wow.

2. Three-headed monster: Asked about the wide receiver injuries last week, Rex Ryan joked that maybe they should play the wishbone. Was he really joking? On a few plays, they actually used two halfbacks and a fullback in a pistol set -- Bilal Powell, Chris Ivory and Tommy Bohanon, respectively. In fact, they opened the game in that formation. Overall, the Jets averaged 5.4 yards per carry and used their personnel to the max. They had their full complement of backs for the first time, with Ivory (healthy) and Mike Goodson (suspension served) joining Powell. Ivory and Goodson combined for only eight touches, but the workload included 19- and 26-yard runs, respectively. David Lee's fingerprints were on the game plan. He's a former college coach who helped bring the Wildcat to the NFL. The Jets ran five plays for 33 yards out of the Wildcat. The emphasis on the backs, as well as the tight ends, was designed to exploit the Falcons' patchwork linebacker corps.

3. Don't say the words: There might not be a phrase in the English language that Rex Ryan despises more than "bend but don't break." As an aggressive defensive coach, that philosophy simply isn't in his DNA -- but it sure looked that way in this game. The Jets allowed 363 total yards, didn't put up much of a fight on third down (6-for-12) and let the Falcons control the ball on four drives of at least 10 plays. If you didn't know better, you might have thought the strategy was to play soft between the 20s and crank up the pressure in the red zone -- where the Falcons had been struggling. If that was the plan, it didn't work, as the Falcons scored touchdowns on four of five trips to the red zone. In the past two games, the Jets' once-formidable red zone defense has slacked off, as opponents have converted seven of nine visits for touchdowns.

4. The tough guys won: Overshadowed in the pregame hype, which focused on Falcons QB Matt Ryan and his weapons, was the Jets' superiority on both lines. It played out that way, as they dominated in the trenches. The Falcons ran up some pretty offensive numbers, dinking and dunking and claiming an 11-minute advantage in possession time, but they got pushed around up front. Coach Mike Smith, perhaps trying to convince his players they could outmuscle the Jets, took that fourth-and-1 gamble at the end of the first half, passing up three easy points -- the difference in the game. The Jets were forced to play a near-perfect game, but they did, thanks to Smith and PK Nick Folk (3-for-3).

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.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Mike Goodson experienced a tight hamstring in Friday’s practice, his third after finishing a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. Goodson didn’t finish the practice, and moved over to the stationary bikes instead. Because he is not technically active yet, he was not on the injury report, but New York Jets coach Rex Ryan said that Goodson did not participate in team drills.

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The Jets had planned to use Goodson as a tailback and possibly as a kickoff returner, special-teams coordinator Ben Kotwica said. Goodson had been practicing at that spot before the hamstring issue, and he was still being evaluated in the afternoon.

“I don't think there's much of anything there [with his hamstring],” offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said. “I'm excited to get Mike rolling.”

Goodson wasn’t available in the locker room after practice Friday, but the day before he had said he expected to play in Atlanta on Monday night.

“Yeah,” Goodson said Thursday. “I can’t say how much or what kind of load I’m going to carry, but I expect to play.”

Ryan acknowledged that expectations may have changed given the injury.

“The thing about Mike is we’ll see how he progresses during the week,” the coach said. “It’s tough when you’ve been out that long to get out. So how many reps he gets and all that, I just will say, like I said yesterday, I hope he plays.”

As Goodson rode the bike, running back Chris Ivory practiced in a limited capacity for the first time this week. The Jets are hoping to have him back on the field Monday as a complement to Bilal Powell, who is tied for third in rushing yards in the AFC.

Mike Goodson says he's ready to go

September, 30, 2013
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Running back Mike Goodson stepped onto a practice field for the first time in months as the active member of an NFL team. His four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy has ended, and he will be able to play on Monday night when the New York Jets head to Atlanta.

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“Words can’t even express how excited I am,” Goodson said. “Just to be able to be out there, we just had a walk-through to be back out there with my teammates, even just watching them go through a walk-through, being able to be out there is cool.”

Goodson, who was acquired in the offseason, was arrested in New Jersey soon after becoming a Jet. He was found stopped on the highway in a car that contained a gun and marijuana.

Goodson was absent through training camp for what the Jets would only describe as a personal matter. Goodson and Chris Ivory, who missed last Sunday’s loss in Tennessee with an injured hamstring, were big-ticket acquisitions, and Goodson hopes he can provide something for the Jets’ offense.

“Just a spark, hopefully a spark,” the six-foot, 210-pound Goodson said. “Wherever they choose to place me.”

In the meantime, Jets running back Bilal Powell is averaging 73 yards a game, which ties him with Arian Foster for second place in the AFC behind New England’s Shane Vereen.

“I just come in and work hard every day and try to let my abilities on the field speak for itself,” Powell said. “It’s good that the coaches notice my hard wok during the offseason and training camp, and give me the opportunities to get the carries.”

The fact is, the Jets' running game is the most reliable part of the offense, and Powell has been a steady and durable presence as the two shiny new running backs have been on the shelf.

With a rookie quarterback in Geno Smith who has eight interceptions in the first four games, some pundits have suggested the Jets would be better off letting the run game absorb more of the offensive pressure.

Having Goodson as a second healthy back might be a way to reduce the wear and tear on Powell.

“We look forward to seeing what he can do,” Powell said.

Goodson said he has been working out regularly at the facility and has spent the past four games focused on football and the playbook. He said he expects to be ready Monday, although he isn’t sure what the coaching staff has planned for him.

“I feel good,” Goodson said. “I’m healthy strong, fast, and ready to play.”

Stephen Hill diagnosed with concussion

September, 30, 2013
9/30/13
3:01
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Tough season for the New York Jets' wide receivers.

Stephen Hill, who left the game Sunday after suffering a head injury on the second play, was diagnosed with a concussion, Rex Ryan announced Monday. The second-year receiver was evaluated again as part of the league's protocol on concussions. It means he probably won't play next Monday night when they face the Atlanta Falcons (1-3) on the road.

Fellow receiver Jeremy Kerley suffered a concussion in the opener and missed the next game.

Hill was drilled by Titans safety Michael Griffin on the second play of the game, an underthrown ball that was intercepted by cornerback Alterraun Verner. Surprisingly, there was no flag thrown on the play. Hill walked slowly off the field and was taken to the locker room for testing.

Ryan didn't comment on the legality of the hit, saying only that there was no penalty.

The Jets could be without their starting receivers in Atlanta, as Santonio Holmes pulled a hamstring in the fourth quarter. He, too, didn't return. Ryan provided no update on Holmes, who missed the preseason as he recovered from last season's foot surgery.

Hill is the second-leading receiver on the team, with 13 catches for 233 yards and one touchdown. He's only 19 yards shy of his rookie total. Holmes has 10 receptions for 243 yards and a touchdown.

If they can't play, the likely starters would be Kerley and Ben Obomanu or Clyde Gates, with rookie Ryan Spadola also available in reserve. They could try to sign veteran free agent David Nelson, whom they worked out last week.

There will be one returning player on offense -- RB Mike Goodson, who became eligible Monday to rejoin the team for practice. His four-game suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy is over.

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