NFL Nation: Rodrique Wright

Jets: Pace to have foot surgery; Coles cut

August, 29, 2010
8/29/10
1:10
PM ET
New York Jets outside linebacker Calvin Pace will be out at least as long as the four games he missed last season.

Pace
Pace
Pace will have foot surgery that will sideline him four to six weeks. He missed the first four games in 2009 because of a suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

The Jets did all right without Pace. They went 3-1, beating the Houston Texans, New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans before losing to the New Orleans Saints.

Vernon Gholston replaced Pace in the starting lineup last season. Pace's proxy this time around will be six-time Pro Bowl pass-rusher Jason Taylor.

The Jets' first six opponents this season:
In other Jets news, they released receiver Laveranues Coles and waived receivers Aundrae Allison and Marcus Henry and defensive lineman Rodrique Wright.

Coles is expected to retire. He was brought in to compensate for Santonio Holmes' four-game suspension to start the upcoming season.

Apparently, head coach Rex Ryan couldn't count on Wright after imploring him in last week's "Hard Knocks" episode. Ryan, upon learning defensive lineman Ropati Pitoitua had torn his Achilles tendon against the Carolina Panthers, approached Wright on the sideline.

"Hey, you going to make this [expletive] team?" Ryan said to Wright. "This kid just tore his [expletive] Achilles. Or do I need to pick somebody else up?"

'Knocks' reveals Jets' internal depth chart

August, 26, 2010
8/26/10
12:25
AM ET
Storylines for this week's episode of "Hard Knocks" focused on the New York Jets' fringe players, laying the groundwork for drama on final cutdown day in a couple weekends.

Most revealing from my perspective was the chance to eavesdrop on general manager Mike Tannenbaum and head coach Rex Ryan discussing their roster numbers. On a dry-erase board, Tannenbaum tried to do the math and gave a glimpse of what the 53-man roster will look like, more or less.

Next to the team's official depth chart, Tannenbaum scrawled out the number of players they plan to keep at each position, with the caveat they can adjust for special teams.

Offense (25 players):
  • Three quarterbacks
  • Five running backs
  • Five wide receivers (including Santonio Holmes)
  • Four tight ends
  • Eight offensive linemen

Defense (23 players):
  • Six defensive linemen
  • Four outside linebackers
  • Four inside linebackers
  • Five cornerbacks (I think because I couldn't decipher the abbreviation)
  • Four safeties (I think for the same reason)

Add a kicker, punter and long-snapper, and that's 51 players, leaving two special-teams spots for everybody else to fight over.

The show suggested the bubble players were running back Danny Woodhead, fullback Jason Davis, receivers David Clowney and Larry Taylor, tight end Matthew Mulligan and linebacker Lance Laury.

Injuries, of course, can impact the numbers. The breakdown was done before defensive end Ropati Pitoitua suffered a season-ending torn Achilles tendon in Saturday's preseason game against the Carolina Panthers.

Pitoitua's injury was significant for Rodrique Wright, who had an "X" next to his name on the depth chart, suggesting the Jets planned to cut him.

"Hey, you going to make this [expletive] team?" Ryan says to Wright on the sideline after learning of Pitoitua's injury. "This kid just tore his [expletive] Achilles. Or do I need to pick somebody else up?"

"Hard Knocks" revealed others with an "X" next to his name or a "PS" to indicate practice squad. A slow and up-close pan of all the unmarked name plates helped determine who had been designated in the shot of Tannenbaum sketching out the roster.

These were the other "X" players still on the roster I could decipher thanks to the high-def on my big-screen plasma: quarterback Kellen Clemens, running back Chauncey Washington, center Robby Felix, guard Marlon Davis and tackles Dan Gay and Michael Turkovich. An "X" also appeared next to a blank spot at fullback, suggesting Jason Davis.

These were the "PS" players: defensive linemen Matthew Kroul, Ty Steinkuhler and Martin Tevaseu and safety Emanuel Cook.

Also notable about the depth chart, rookie Vladimir Ducasse was above Matt Slauson at left guard. Shonn Greene was on top of LaDainian Tomlinson.

Not a lot of surprises, but interesting nevertheless.

Yet based on Ryan's comments about his third-stringers late in the 9-3 victory over the Panthers, there's plenty of room to make an impression over the final couple weeks.

"Guys, we're dead with this group. We have replacements?" Ryan says into his headset to his defensive assistants in the press box. Ryan's voice gets angrier. "Do we have any replacements? Get me the No. Twos out there! I'm not going to lose this [expletive] game! Give me the [expletive] Twos out there. Finish the [expletive] job!

"We're leaving the Twos out there if we have to. Finish the game. I don't give two [expletive]. Some of those guys can't play dead in a B western."

Washington, for example, went from having an "X" next to his name to receiving a game ball for a jarring hit on punt coverage and strong running.

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