NFL Nation: Terrance Ganaway

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Although St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher ended whatever drama remained in the competition for the starting running back job Monday when he anointed Daryl Richardson, that doesn’t mean everything is settled at the position.

For most of training camp, all signs pointed to Richardson claiming the No. 1 job. Given that, it became clear that players once competing to win the top spot on the depth chart were actually competing to hang on to the No. 2 gig and players in the third position were closer to moving up to a backup role.

With two preseason games remaining, only the starting spot has crystallized while the rest of the running back depth chart remains a bit cloudy.

“As far as who’s going to come in, that remains to be seen,” Fisher said. “We still have some more evaluating to do.”

[+] EnlargeIsaiah Pead
Ron Schwane/USA TODAY SportsIsaiah Pead has the most carries of any Rams running back this preseason, but he has averaged just 2.6 yards per carry.
Having Richardson as the starter doesn’t necessarily mean he’s going to carry a heavy load on game day. The Rams and Fisher have been consistent in saying they want to use multiple backs. Richardson’s never carried more than 15 times in a game and it seems likely his workload probably won’t exceed that number by more than a few carries at any time.

All indications are that Isaiah Pead is the primary candidate to be Richardson’s main backup. Pead got plenty of opportunities in the second preseason game against Green Bay when he carried 11 times for 19 yards. His 14 carries are the most among Rams running backs in the preseason but he’s averaging just 2.6 yards per attempt, lowest among the backs legitimately in play to win the job.

Pead also fumbled in his first preseason carry against Cleveland but he’s at least shown some aptitude in other areas such as pass protection and pass-catching. He cleanly picked up at least two blitzes against the Packers.

The rest of the contenders to land spots on the depth chart include fifth-round pick Zac Stacy, undrafted rookie Benny Cunningham and second-year back Terrance Ganaway.

Stacy and Ganaway have been slowed by injuries in the first two weeks of the preseason, making it more difficult to gauge where they are in their progression.

Against Cleveland in the opener, Stacy rushed seven times for 23 yards after missing most practices the week prior because of a leg issue. He practiced on and off again last week but was a pregame scratch against Green Bay. He did practice Monday afternoon.

Ganaway appeared to tweak a hamstring just before the Cleveland game and did not play against the Browns. He played against the Packers but did not get a carry. The Rams originally picked Ganaway up off waivers from the Jets in the final round of cuts last year and he still has yet to get an attempt in his time with the team.

The lack of sample size for Stacy and Ganaway has opened the door for Cunningham to make his mark and so far, he’s done nothing but help himself in his opportunities.

The Rams signed Cunningham as an undrafted free agent following the draft in April and thought enough of him that Fisher personally made the recruiting phone call to convince him to sign.

Through the first two games, Cunningham leads the team in rushing yards with 39 yards on 11 carries.

The rushing numbers aren’t the only thing being monitored, of course. Fisher said Monday that things like blitz pickup, catching passes and knowing assignments will be just as important in helping to sort out the rest of the running back depth chart.

“It’s consistency, and it’s not just the game,” Fisher said. “It’s consistency on the practice field, understanding, first and foremost, probably how to play without the football. For us, that’s more important than how he plays with the football. By that I mean, is he getting to the right place in the passing game? Is he proficient, and does he know exactly what to do in protection? Once you get that down, then we’ll evaluate the run skills.”

One other way for a backup running back to make his mark is on special teams, namely at kick returner. The Rams are likely to give rookie receiver Tavon Austin the first crack at being the punt returner but are more hesitant to turn over the kick return duties to their prized rookie.

That leaves a clear opening for someone to claim the kick return job and if that player happens to be a running back, all the better.

Pead has returned four kicks for 79 yards, an average of 19.75 yards per attempt. Cunningham’s sample size is much smaller but he had the longest return of any kick returner in the first two games with a 36-yard attempt in Cleveland.

"It’s a bonus," Fisher said. "It gives them an opportunity to be active, and that’s important. There’s plenty of spots open in our core group of special teams right now. If a running back wants to step in there and take one of those spots, that would be great.”

What to watch: Packers-Rams

August, 17, 2013
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EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The Rams and Packers kick off tonight at 8 ET at the Edward Jones Dome.

St. Louis is coming off a 27-19 loss in the preseason opener at Cleveland and makes its home debut for 2013.

Hometown fans hoping to see the Rams unveil some of the new weapons they acquired in the offseason will likely leave disappointed as all indications are that the team will again stick to the vanilla game plan it used last week.

With that in mind, here are five things that are worth keeping an eye on as the Rams host Green Bay.

Right tackle redux: Projected starting right tackle Rodger Saffold suffered a dislocated left shoulder two plays into the opener in Cleveland. He hasn’t practiced all week and won’t play against the Packers.

Joe Barksdale, who replaced Saffold last week, has taken almost all of the work with the first-team offense in practice this week and will make the start in Saffold’s place.

Barksdale fared pretty well in Saffold’s stead last week and the chance to start could give him some valuable reps for a group of backup offensive linemen that doesn’t have much in the way of experience.

Behind Barksdale, the Rams don’t have much in the way of tackles. Chris Williams, who started last week at left guard, could get a look at right tackle. The same can be said for rookie Barrett Jones and Brandon Washington, both of whom are projected to play on the interior but have filled in at right tackle this week.

Spread it around: The majority of the starting offense played just 14 snaps last week, leaving for another week the long anticipated first looks at tight end Jared Cook and receiver Tavon Austin. Neither caught a pass against the Browns as Austin was targeted once and Cook did not get a look.

Starting wideout Chris Givens stole the show last week with three catches for 82 yards and will again be involved, but the Rams would like to at least get the likes of Austin and Cook an opportunity or two to contribute.

Going deeper: All week, Rams coach Jeff Fisher has made it known that the first units will play a little longer on both sides of the ball. Part of that is to get the primary starters a few more reps than they had last week, but the other reason is he wants to get some of his younger players who are down the depth chart a chance to play with the top units.

Namely at running back and receiver, don’t be surprised if youngsters such as Zac Stacy, Terrance Ganaway, Benny Cunningham, Brian Quick and Stedman Bailey see a few snaps with the first-team offense.

Looking at linebackers: Veteran Will Witherspoon is all but certain to step into the starting role in place of suspended starter Jo-Lonn Dunbar. Dunbar is eligible to play but Fisher made it clear he wants to use the main workload to prepare the players who will start on the season on Sept. 8.

Witherspoon is a known commodity as he enters his 12th season in the league. Rookie starter Alec Ogletree will also look to bounce back from a rough start last week in Cleveland.

What might be more intriguing in this area is the hunt for talented depth that can serve as reliable backups for the starting group. Josh Hull is the only backup linebacker with any game experience but the Rams have some intriguing options that figure to get work with the No. 2 defense.

The three undrafted rookies -- Ray Ray Armstrong, Daren Bates and Jonathan Stewart -- have flashed potential during camp and proved to be potential long-term contributors on special teams. It seems likely at least one of those three will make the active roster and tonight’s game serves as the next chance to make a strong impression.

Corner three: Cortland Finnegan and Janoris Jenkins are pretty well entrenched as the starters at cornerback. Trumaine Johnson entered camp as the likely third corner in nickel packages after he finished the 2012 season as the team’s third corner.

Johnson is probably still in the lead to fill that role again this year, but rookie Brandon McGee seems to be at least stating his case for the job.

McGee got some reps with the first-team defense as the third corner in practice this week and it’s worth monitoring to see if he gets a shot to do it in the game. Considering Fisher’s statement that he wants to give some different young guys a chance to play with the first team, it’s entirely possible McGee will at least get a few reps in that role.

Fisher angered by Kosar's criticism

August, 10, 2013
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EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Working as the color analyst for Cleveland’s preseason television broadcast, former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar did not hold back with his observations and opinions during Thursday night’s game against the St. Louis Rams.

Through the course of the broadcast, Kosar was regularly critical of the Rams, focusing much of his ire on the team’s wide receivers and backup quarterback Kellen Clemens.

[+] EnlargeJeff Fisher
AP Photo/G. Newman LowranceJeff Fisher said he isn't fretting over the high amount of penalties that his Rams committed during the preseason.
Asked about it on Saturday, Rams coach Jeff Fisher first noted that he believes the Browns to be a “first-class organization” before making it clear he was none too pleased with Kosar’s idea of color commentary.

“I guess I’m a little disappointed,” Fisher said. “I feel bad for them that they had someone doing the broadcast who would feel the need to speak that way about players, specifically on our team, and coaches for that matter. I’m just surprised that Bernie has such a lack of respect for players and for this game. So I lost a lot of respect for him."

Kosar didn’t waste much time in trashing the Rams, and did so repeatedly throughout the evening.

After an incomplete pass intended for Tavon Austin: “I really think that he didn’t overthrow him and that Austin has to make that catch in the NFL. I see why Sam [Bradford] has been struggling watching how bad these receivers have been for him.”

After Nick Johnson dropped a pass: “This is actually not a bad throw. These St. Louis receivers are horrible. That’s a drop there.”

When play-by-play man Jim Donovan asked Kosar what he’d think if he knew that some of the Rams receivers' parents were watching, Kosar said he “would be embarrassed.”

Kosar then turned his attention from to receivers coach Ray Sherman.

“I’m checking through the itinerary here of guys and coaches to see who the receivers coach is to make sure I don’t know who this guy is because he’s not doing very good either,” Kosar said.

[+] EnlargeBernie Kosar
AP Photo/Mark DuncanA former quarterback, Bernie Kosar said particularly harsh things about Rams QB Kellen Clemens.
Kosar did offer praise to Rams quarterback Sam Bradford, but he didn’t feel the same way about Clemens. In fact, many of Kosar’s comments came off as though he held a personal vendetta of some sort against Clemens. When Donovan told Kosar, who had been asking for the use of a telestrator throughout the evening, that he might get one if he were on his best behavior, Kosar responded with a seemingly out-of-nowhere shot at Clemens.

“I must not be because the next quarterback in, me and him haven’t done too well with each other, too,” Kosar said.

Clemens wasn’t in the game at the time.

Later, when Clemens entered the game, Donovan relayed a story about Clemens giving an autograph to Pope Benedict XVI. Kosar said he didn’t think he’d ever want it, and then took another shot at Clemens.

“Bless me, Father, for I have sinned,” Kosar said. “I have to watch him the whole fourth quarter.”

On Saturday, Fisher said he didn’t believe Kosar had studied the Rams well enough to be making such sweeping generalizations.

“I didn’t think they were justified,” Fisher said.

Some notes from practice:

  • As expected, Joe Barksdale got the bulk of the reps with the first team at right tackle in place of Rodger Saffold. Barksdale held up well against defensive end Chris Long in one-on-one pass-rush drills and again during the team period. Saffold watched practice from the sideline but was out of the sling he was wearing at the end of Thursday’s game.
  • With Sean Hooey not practicing because of an ankle injury, rookie Barrett Jones moved over to right tackle after spending the first couple of weeks working exclusively on the interior. Jones handled reps at right tackle in one-on-ones as well as team drills. Chris Williams, who has spent most of his time at left guard, also took some reps at right tackle during one-on-ones.
  • Running backs Zac Stacy and Terrance Ganaway, defensive end Eugene Sims and safety Matt Giordano did not practice. Receiver Andrew Helmick was back in uniform but didn’t do much of anything.
  • Fisher said defensive tackle Jermelle Cudjo (foot) is out of his boot and closer to a return.
A look at how the St. Louis Rams fared in five areas worth watching in Thursday night’s 27-19 loss at the Cleveland Browns in the preseason opener.

Running back breakdown

As expected, Daryl Richardson got the start and did nothing to jeopardize his chances to get the next one. He carried four times for 24 yards, helping set up the only touchdown scored by the first-team offense before calling it a night.

[+] EnlargeDaryl Richardson
Rick Osentoski/USA Today SportsDaryl Richardson is expected to get the bulk of carries this season for St. Louis.
Isaiah Pead also got work with the first team but got off to a rough start when he coughed up a fumble to kill the offense’s first drive. Ball security was an issue for Pead in limited opportunities in 2012 when he fumbled twice at San Francisco, losing one. He showed some resiliency by posting 16 yards on his next two carries to finish with 18 yards on three chances.

Rookie Zac Stacy, who didn’t practice on Monday or Tuesday, did play and had an up-and-down start before getting it going in the second half. His first three snaps consisted of a catch for 6 yards, a drop and a stout blitz pickup.

Stacy looked more comfortable in the second half though he wasn’t at full speed and finished with 23 yards on seven carries.

Benjamin Cunningham and Chase Reynolds came in for mop-up duty late. Cunningham showed some juice with a late 6-yard run that drew praise from Rams analyst Marshall Faulk and later tacked on a 36-yard kick return to set up the Rams’ final touchdown.

Terrance Ganaway, who appeared to tweak his leg near the end of Tuesday’s practice, was a pregame scratch.

Backing up Bradford

After spending the first couple weeks of camp rotating with Kellen Clemens, Austin Davis got the first opportunity behind starter Sam Bradford.

Davis struggled to gain traction before connecting with receiver Brian Quick for a 16-yard gain to set up a field goal. He was up and down the rest of the way behind spotty protection, finishing 9-of-16 for 96 yards.

Clemens entered with around seven minutes to go and the Rams backed up to their 1-yard line. After he completed his first attempt for a first down, Browns defensive lineman Justin Staples intercepted Clemens to set up the Browns’ final points.

Clemens got those points right back with a 53-yard touchdown pass to receiver Raymond Radway after escaping the pocket and dropping it off to Radway. He finished 6-of-13 for 116 yards with the touchdown and two interceptions.

All told, Clemens looked sharper than Davis as he nearly engineered a rally from down two scores to give the Rams a chance to tie. This battle is far from over, though.

First look at Austin

Rookie receiver Tavon Austin was probably the player everyone was most excited to see debut in the opener. The wait will have to last longer for those hoping to see him with the ball in his hands.

Bradford targeted Austin once and the rookie wideout couldn’t corral a seemingly catchable ball to convert on third down. It was the only time Austin had the ball thrown his way on the evening.

Austin also dropped back to return a punt but the kick came up well short of him and he didn’t get the chance to catch it.

Left guard looks

Chris Williams got the start at left guard over Shelley Smith, though both got their opportunities. Williams was on the field for the first-team offense’s touchdown drive and helped open holes for Richardson to gain 18 yards on two carries to set up the score.

Smith played the majority of the snaps in the second half.

Rookie defenders

The Rams' first-team defense struggled to get off the field, allowing the Browns to convert three third downs on their opening drive and once more for a touchdown on their second.

At the heart of those struggles were the Rams’ two rookie starters. Linebacker Alec Ogletree scuffled in coverage as Browns tight end Jordan Cameron and running back Dion Lewis beat him for big plays. He finished with two tackles in unofficial statistics.

Safety T.J. McDonald got off to a difficult start when he whiffed on a tackle to allow Cleveland’s first drive to continue. He did bounce back to post five tackles, according to unofficial statistics.
EARTH CITY, Mo. -- It’s been almost a decade since the Rams have had anything even remotely resembling a competition for their starting running back position.

Since the Rams used the 24th overall pick in the 2004 NFL draft on him, Steven Jackson’s name might as well have been etched in stone at the top of the depth chart. From that time, no running back in the NFL even came close to handling Jackson’s workload.

With Jackson now making his NFL home in Atlanta, the Rams find themselves entering their first season post-Jackson in search of a new starter at running back.

[+] EnlargeDaryl Richardson
AP Photo/Seth PerlmanDaryl Richardson enters camp listed first on the depth chart.
On Tuesday afternoon, coach Jeff Fisher pointed to Daryl Richardson over Isaiah Pead as the logical replacement. Well, sort of.

“I think Daryl comes back as our starter because he played significantly more last year than anybody,” Fisher said. “And so Isaiah is working himself up and competing with Daryl. And you’ve got the rest of the guys that are just going to battle it out, and we haven’t ruled anybody out from that matter. But we’re going to try to get as many carries as we can.”

So while Richardson “comes back as the starter,” there seems to be plenty of wiggle room as the Rams head into the preseason opener in Cleveland tomorrow night. Beyond that, calling Richardson the starter now could also be a matter of semantics, because Pead’s one-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy will keep him out of the opener against Arizona.

Nearly two weeks into this year’s training camp, Richardson and Pead have spent most of the time in practice splitting repetitions with the first team. Richardson got many of the looks in the opening days before the Rams put the pads on, but since then he and Pead have been taking turns on a fairly consistent basis.

Neither Pead nor Richardson believes the job is anything but up for grabs as the exhibition schedule kicks off.

“I can’t call it right now, I can’t really tell,” Pead said. “All I can focus on is the next play and trying not to make a mistake on it or fixing it if I’ve currently made a mistake on it. That’s really the mindset that all of us as vets have taken, not really paying attention to how things are going to play out, but letting them play out.”

Ultimately, no matter who wins the starting job, it’s highly unlikely the Rams will lean on one back as they did Jackson.

From 2004 to 2012, Jackson’s 2,396 carries were the most in the league. Thomas Jones’ 2,179 attempts rank second.

In St. Louis, the discrepancy is even greater. Marshall Faulk, who played with Jackson in Jackson’s rookie season, had the next highest total after Jackson’s with 260.

All told, the Rams had 59 players carry the ball during Jackson’s tenure. In that time, the Rams tallied 3,665 carries; meaning Jackson’s total was good for 65.3 percent of the team’s total carries in his nine years with the team.

Richardson actually sits fourth on that list after one season in the league, carrying 98 times for 475 yards as a rookie in 2012. Richardson is the fastest of the group, and showed a penchant for breaking the long run with 11 carries of 10-plus yards.

That speed would seem to make Richardson an ideal complementary back, but he says he made it a point in the offseason to add strength so he could be better between the tackles and be more stout picking up the blitz.

“I want to be the guy at the beginning and at the end,” Richardson said. “I am out here working every day, on my hands especially. Pass protection is a must. You have got to protect [quarterback] Sam [Bradford]. That’s the main focus on what will go on the field.”

Those things should help his cause, but Richardson is well aware that ball security is another issue he has to work on during the rest of the preseason. As a rookie, he coughed up three fumbles, two of which were lost.

“You have got to hold on to that ball,” Richardson said. “Holding on to the ball can be the thing that will make you or break you.”

Pead is the most likely to push Richardson and potentially claim the job before the regular season begins. After the Rams used a second-round pick (No. 50 overall) on him in the 2012 draft, Pead fell behind early in last year’s camp and Richardson claimed the backup job early on.

From there, Pead didn’t get many opportunities as he carried 10 times for 54 yards. Like Richardson, Pead brings a speedy running style, but is probably a bit more elusive in the open field.

By his own admission, Pead would like to be the type of multi-purpose player who touches the ball 30 times a game via the run, the catch and as a returner, but for now, his goal is to improve in all areas so he can win the starting job.

“I think every snap counts,” Pead said. “Every blitz picked up, every dropped ball, every missed cut, every missed assignment. We are all out here looking not to make mistakes. You pray for a perfect practice every day, it just doesn’t happen. But that’s what you have coaches for, and that’s what you come out every day for, and that’s what competition is for. It forces you to be on high alert and perform.”

Pead and Richardson will get plenty of opportunities to create separation through the preseason, but other backs such as rookie Zac Stacy, Terrance Ganaway and maybe even Benjamin Cunningham will get their chances. How soon those other backs get their chance remains to be seen as Stacy hasn’t done much in practice the past two days, and Ganaway appeared to tweak something on a run late in Tuesday’s workout.

“You just have to sit down and give it some thought,” Fisher said. “Out of fairness to them, you want them all to have an opportunity to run behind the first line, because that’s a fair evaluation -- and run against good opponents. So, we’re going to have to work that out the best we can.”
NFC West teams naturally expect more from earlier draft choices such as 2013 first-rounders Jonathan Cooper, Tavon Austin, Eric Reid and Alec Ogletree.

All four of those early choices could wind up starting in 2013. It's an upset if they do not.

Last year, 92 of the 135 players (68.1 percent) drafted in the first four rounds started at least one regular season. Twenty-five of the 118 players (21.2 percent) drafted in the final three rounds found their way into the starting lineup.

With that disparity in mind and with rookie camps having concluded Sunday, I've singled out five late-round picks from 2013 with a shot at making at least one start as a rookie, in my view. Who else comes to mind from your vantage point?
  • Jesse Williams, DT, Seattle Seahawks. Williams, taken with the fourth pick of the fifth round (137th overall), was the first player any NFC West team selected over the final three rounds. He has a relatively clear path to the starting lineup after the Seahawks decided against re-signing veteran Alan Branch. Seattle did select another defensive tackle, Jordan Hill, in the third round. However, Hill projects more as a pass-rusher at this point. Williams projects more as a run defender on early downs. Free-agent addition Tony McDaniel could be the player standing between Williams and the starting lineup. McDaniel has five starts in seven NFL seasons.
  • Zac Stacy, RB, St. Louis Rams. The Rams plan to use a committee of running backs. They traded two sixth-round picks to Houston for the fifth-round choice (160th overall) they used for Stacy. The team lacks an established starter after parting with Steven Jackson. Isaiah Pead, a second-round choice in 2012, projects more as a change-of-pace back. Daryl Richardson, a seventh-rounder last year, will also compete for playing time. There's a chance Stacy will emerge as a primary back on early downs. Terrance Ganaway would be the other power runner on the roster.
  • Luke Willson, TE, Seahawks. Wilson was the third of three fifth-round picks for Seattle and the 158th player taken overall. He is not going to beat out starter Zach Miller. However, Willson has a shot at emerging as the No. 2 tight end. And if that happens, he could find his way into the lineup for games when Seattle opens with two tight ends. Coach Pete Carroll singled out Willson as one of the more impressive players at the rookie camp.
  • Stepfan Taylor, RB, Cardinals. Arizona has Rashard Mendenhall and Ryan Williams at running back. Both would presumably start ahead of Taylor if healthy. However, Mendenhall missed 10 games with Pittsburgh last season. Williams missed 11 games. So, at least on the surface, Taylor could have a shot at starting through injuries. He's the first running back the Cardinals have selected under coach Bruce Arians and general manager Steve Keim.
  • Spencer Ware, FB, Seahawks. Ware still has to earn a roster spot. There are no guarantees that will happen. If he does, however, Ware might be the only fullback on the roster, which would give him a clear path to the starting lineup whenver Seattle opened in a two-back personnel grouping. I wouldn't rule out Seattle finding a way to keep incumbent fullback Michael Robinson as well as Ware if the decision made sense from a special-teams standpoint and if the team felt it could go lighter at another position, such as linebacker. Carroll sounds high on Ware, but the team also values Robinson.
SEATTLE -- We've got sunshine and temperatures in the high 30s as the Seattle Seahawks and St. Louis Rams warm up on the field at CenturyLink Field.

Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is the only non-specialist I see on the field at this time. He's working on his backpedal and breaking on passes thrown by a Seahawks staffer. Sherman has every reason to revel in the opportunity Sunday after dodging a four-game suspension on Thursday.

Sherman will start for Seattle. The team will be without injured linebacker Leroy Hill. The speedy but inexperienced Malcolm Smith will start in Hill's place.

Also inactive for Seattle: safety Winston Guy, cornerback Walter Thurmond, cornerback DeShawn Shead, guard Rishaw Johnson, guard John Moffitt and tackle Mike Person. Moffitt, a former starter, is inactive for a second consecutive week. The team has decided it's better off with rookie seventh-round choice J.R. Sweezy in the lineup at right guard. Sweezy started in Week 1 and again against San Francisco last week.

The Rams' inactive list includes quarterback Austin Davis, receiver Steve Smith, running back Terrance Ganaway, tight end Cory Harkey, linebacker Sammy Brown, tackle Joe Barksdale and defensive tackle Matt Conrath. No surprises there.

New York Jets cut-down analysis

August, 31, 2012
8/31/12
10:43
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Click here for a complete list of New York Jets roster moves.

Most significant move: There were no real significant cuts with the Jets, in my estimation. New York is a team that has a lot of talented starters but not much depth behind them. So, many of the Jets' cuts were predictable. Maybe cutting rookie sixth-round pick Terrance Ganaway was a mild surprise, but even that might be a bit of a stretch. Ganaway scored the Jets' only preseason touchdown. But the consistency wasn’t there for Ganaway all summer. Yet, it shows something that New York is willing to give up on a young draft pick so quickly and risk losing Ganaway to another team via a waiver claim. If Ganaway makes it through waivers, he is a prime candidate for the Jets' practice squad.

Onward and upward: Including Ganaway, the Jets cut three of their draft picks from this year's class. The list includes late picks Ganaway, Robert Griffin and Jordan White. Often, general managers like to hold on to their draft picks for at least a year, because it's difficult to come in and play well in the NFL right away. Maybe someone from this group will turn out to be a late-round surprise and be claimed by another team. Or maybe the Jets got the right read on three of their draft picks right away. Again, all three are practice-squad candidates.

What’s next: The Jets are similar to other AFC East teams. They are looking for depth at several positions. Look for New York to scan the wires and free agency for running backs, receivers and possibly offensive linemen. This is an offense that scored just one touchdown in four preseason games. The Jets need depth on that side of the football, to say the least.

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