When a team adds a five-time Pro Bowler to its roster, it tends to create a natural order among a group of receivers -- especially when that receivers group just two years ago was unable to provide any true threat to NFL defenses.  When you add a five-time Pro Bowler to the offense and use him as a slot receiver, it tends to create a natural disorder for the defense.

That's just what the Jets seem to be doing, according to the team's starting quarterback Geno Smith.  "We’re doing a great job of creating matchups," Geno told reporters on Saturday. "We’re moving our receivers around. We’ve got (Brandon) Marshall in the slot, he can be outside. We’ve got sets where we do a bunch of things."

Brandon Marshall?  One of the NFL's top 100 players for 2015? Taking reps in the slot?  

Precisely. Under Marc Trestman, Brandon Marshall spent 49.2 percent of his snaps last year in Chicago in the slot, in 2013 it was 43.8 percent and the year before Trestman arrived in Chicago it was just 22 percent.

On scouting Marshall for the Jets, TJB's Bent wrote that "while [Marshall] plays mostly on the outside, he still plays a lot of the time in the slot. He had 23 of his 61 catches and three of his eight touchdowns from the slot last season."

The Big Slot

The larger concept is sometimes referred to the "Big Slot" as a shorthand and is becoming so prevalent that teams are now drafting players with that role specifically in mind. Former Michigan WR/TE/slot receiver Devin Funchess was just drafted in the second round by Dave Gettleman and the Carolina Panthers to fill such a role. It's the next move in the cat-and-mouse game between NFL offenses and defenses.

The Big Slot concept looks like the offense's reaction to the proliferation of Big Nickel packages that former Jets coach Rex Ryan and other defensive coordinators used to counter the spread and the wrinkles that benefitted tight ends.

The idea of the Big Nickel was a boost to traditional nickel packages that struggled to slow down the basketball-like athletes feasting on defenses. The size difference between tight ends and slot corners gave the offense a significant advantage, and so more defensive schemers began relying on three-safety defenses or hybrid defensive backs to set against long, rangy defenders against in the slot.

Putting a third safety on the field then allowed for another maneuver by offenses -- why not use the best receiver to mismatch against a third safety (worst case for the D), slot corner or a boundary corner out of his element in the slot? Even if a player like Marshall is covered with no separation, he's still open.

Moving accomplished and aging veteran receivers into the slot is a trend that's been rapidly increasing as another way to use the team's best personnel to take advantage of defenses the past two seasons. As spread offenses have proliferated the NFL, veteran receivers have been asked to extend their careers and productivity by taking on more snaps out in the slot.

A topsy-turvy world

Greg Cosell of NFL Films told SI.com back in 2013 that using a team's best receiver in the slot is an excellent way to exacerbate a mismatch against the defense.  Moving the best receiver against a nickel or dime keeps the receiver away from an opponent's "best" corners, many of whom are much less comfortable in the slot.

"It becomes difficult to match up, because a lot of cornerbacks are purely outside corners -- they don't play in the slot. They're not comfortable playing "two-way gos" (option routes in which the receiver can turn inside or outside based on coverage), and you get those in the slot," Cosell said.

"A lot of cornerbacks grow up playing outside. If they're playing man, they're comfortable with the sideline as a defender, basically. They know that they can play that way, and they're comfortable with certain techniques that you can only play on the outside. There are a lot of good corners who just are not comfortable playing inside."

In short, it is easier for a star receiver to play in the slot than a star corner who's played most of his career using the boundary as an extra defender.

This then means that offenses are getting defenses coming and going. Slot corners are generally the team's third, fourth or fifth corner on the depth chart and will have their hands full against another team's top receiver. But if a boundary corner is asked to man the slot, he might be much less effective, and the quarterback can take advantage on those "two-way goes" Cosell mentions.

Blurring lines and the Spread

What's happening seems to be a confluence of two simultaneous trends. The first is the proliferation of the spread offense. Spread offenses have pushed players farther away from the ball to take advantage of recent NFL rule changes which favor passing. This then creates more mismatches and easier reads for more athletic quarterbacks that can get the ball downfield more quickly and effectively than just running the ball.

The second trend is the natural blurring of lines between receivers and tight ends over the last five years.  Think of the Rob Gronkowski-Aaron Hernandez pairing of the Patriots from almost five years ago and the headache mismatches that it caused.  Sometimes Hernandez and Gronk would align right against the offensive linemen (a "12" formation), but then there were many times defenses were caught off-guard when they would huddle up with "12" personnel (Gronk and Hernandez) but then use an "11" formation (three wide receivers and just one running back and one tight end).

Many teams have adopted similar strategies to what the Patriots were doing but through different methods based on the talent of their personnel. Teams with more than one solid pass-catching tight end have used "12" packages similar to the Patriots, while others have chosen to use veteran receivers like Marshall or Anquan Boldin (63 percent of snaps from slot in 2014) to create the mismatch.

Final Thoughts

Chan Gailey and Marshall will change the way that Jets fans think about the term "slot receiver." Marshall is still very effective, but Gailey paid attention to how Trestman used Marshall for best effect in Chicago the last two years as a way to extend his productivity. Putting a 6-foot-4 receiver with Marshall's speed, physicality and range for extensive time in the slot this season will boost the productivity of the Jets passing game; using Marshall as a slot receiver in the red zone could work out very well for the offense.

One concern must be that Smith needs to do a better job of hiding his intent when he has Marshall in the slot. Right now in camp, defenses and offenses are playing each other straight up. There are no traps, hidden coverages and Geno is allowing himself to single read the field before throwing the ball ... often to Marshall.

On day two of camp when Marshall and Dex McDougle fought for the ball in the back of the end zone, McDougle knew what was going to happen before the play even started.

"I knew it was coming too," McDougle told SNY after practice. "I knew it was coming.”

Geno will need to work on disguising his intent with the football as more concepts get installed to the defense over the course of the preseason. Using Marshall as a Big Slot could be an excellent way for the Jets to propel their offense significantly forward this season, but it will also be about Geno not tipping his hand to opposing coordinators and getting the ball to his other targets once defenses start keying on Marshall in the slot.

Tags: arbattif, brianbassett, NYJets, Brian Bassett
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CeeDee Lamb/Jerry Jeudy
CeeDee Lamb/Jerry Jeudy

Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Among draft experts, there is a great debate about which wide receiver is the best in this year's NFL Draft. And that debate revolves around Alabama's Jerry Jeudy and Oklahoma's CeeDee Lamb.

Both receivers check off all the boxes evaluators and coaches alike look for. Whether its top-notch speed, route-running, ball-tracking, or sturdy hands, Jeudy and Lamb possess the attributes necessary to translate their stellar college careers into NFL careers as No. 1 receivers. 

And the Jets could definitely use one of those for Sam Darnold

Tags: Jamison Crowder, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Scott Thompson
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Jan 21, 2020; Mobile, Alabama, USA; North outside linebacker Zack Baun of Wisconsin (56) works around North tight end Sean McKeon of Michigan (86) during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports (Vasha Hunt)
Jan 21, 2020; Mobile, Alabama, USA; North outside linebacker Zack Baun of Wisconsin (56) works around North tight end Sean McKeon of Michigan (86) during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports (Vasha Hunt)

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This Saturday afternoon will be one of the highlights of the offseason as the Senior Bowl takes place in Mobile, Alabama.

Jets scouts, coaches and front office personnel have been on hand to pay close attention to practice during the week, which is viewed as one of the most important events in the pre-draft process.

Let's consider some of the top prospects that play positions where the Jets will be specifically looking for reinforcements...

Tags: Brandon Shell, Kelvin Beachum, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold
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Sep 16, 2017; Louisville, KY, USA; Clemson Tigers defensive lineman Christian Wilkins (42) tries to move past Louisville Cardinals offensive lineman Mekhi Becton (73) during the second half at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Clemson defeated Louisville 47-21. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports (Jamie Rhodes)
Sep 16, 2017; Louisville, KY, USA; Clemson Tigers defensive lineman Christian Wilkins (42) tries to move past Louisville Cardinals offensive lineman Mekhi Becton (73) during the second half at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Clemson defeated Louisville 47-21. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports (Jamie Rhodes)

All but two teams -- the Chiefs and 49ers -- are left to worry about their offseasons with Super Bowl LIV set for Feb. 2. While NFL free agency kicks off in March, the efforts of scouting top NFL Draft prospects will ramp up. 

The Jets have the No. 11 overall pick in this year's Draft after picking at No. 3 in 2018 and 2019. Sam Darnold and Quinnen Williams were used with those selections. 

Who will join them with the latest first round selection in GM Joe Douglas' first draft? Here's what experts believe will happen...

Tags: Brandon Shell, Kelvin Beachum, Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold, Scott Thompson
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Dec 31, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) moves past Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Rasul Douglas (32) during the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)
Dec 31, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) moves past Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Rasul Douglas (32) during the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)

Dez Bryant last played an NFL game in 2017 as a member of the Cowboys, before Dallas cut him prior to the 2018 season. The wide receiver signed with Saints in November of 2018, but tore his Achilles tendon in just his second practice with the team.

But he's still holding out hope that he can latch on to an NFL team in 2020, and he's got at least one big fan in Jets safety Jamal Adams.

Bryant tweeted on Monday that he'd love to return to return to the Cowboys and serve in a role similar to the one Jason Witten did with Dallas this season.

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Darrelle Revis was watching the NFC Championship game on Sunday, and though the 49ers are headed to the Super Bowl, the former Jet DB was unimpressed with what he saw from their star cornerback, Richard Sherman

The sole inhabitant of "Revis Island" criticized Sherman for sitting in zone coverage, rather than travel with Packers wide receiver Davante Adams.

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Dec 23, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive tackle Mike Pennel (98) reacts to a replay of a Green Bay Packers touchdown during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Dec 23, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive tackle Mike Pennel (98) reacts to a replay of a Green Bay Packers touchdown during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

While the Jets hope their opportunity at playing in a Super Bowl is just around the corner, it won't be Super Bowl LIV. 

That game will be played between the 49ers and Chiefs after those two teams won the NFC and AFC Championship Games, respectively, on Sunday. 

When those two teams get after it in just about two weeks time, four players with connections to the Jets will feature on the two rosters. 

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Sep 22, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; New York Jets kicker Sam Ficken (9) kicks an extra point during the second half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports (Greg M. Cooper)
Sep 22, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; New York Jets kicker Sam Ficken (9) kicks an extra point during the second half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports (Greg M. Cooper)

Rick Gosselin, a 47-year veteran of analyzing special teams releases a yearly review and ranks the 32 units across the NFL. Last year, the Jets landed as the best unit in the league, but they're still highly-touted this season.

Gosselin's system has long been a highly-respected system to grade out the league's specialists. Teams are ranked in 22 kicking-game categories and assigned points according to their standing - one for best, 32 for worst.

The Jets landed at the No. 8 overall spot in Gosselin's latest ranking for 2019 with 324 overall points. 

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Jan 18, 2020; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Team East running back Benny LeMay (32) runs the ball in for a touchdown as Team West safety Austin Lee (23) defends during the first quarter at Tropicana Field. (Douglas DeFelice/USA Today SPORTS)
Jan 18, 2020; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Team East running back Benny LeMay (32) runs the ball in for a touchdown as Team West safety Austin Lee (23) defends during the first quarter at Tropicana Field. (Douglas DeFelice/USA Today SPORTS)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Two college all-star games took place over the weekend with plenty of Jets personnel reportedly on hand for a closer look at some potential 2020 draft picks -- the East-West Shrine game on Saturday afternoon with the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl kicking off later that evening.  

Of the two, the Shrine game is the higher profile event, with Folorunso Fatukasi being a recent example of someone who impressed the Jets there and went on to be drafted by them. However, the team also picked up a handful of undrafted free agents from last year's Collegiate Bowl rosters.

Let's identify some players who may draw interest from the Jets based on their performance over the weekend.

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Dec 29, 2019; Orchard Park, New York, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase looks on prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Dec 29, 2019; Orchard Park, New York, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase looks on prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

The Jets appear to have an opening on their coaching staff, where they see a defensive position coach depart for a job elsewhere in the league.

Assistant defensive backs coach Steve Jackson is leaving New York to become the Cincinnati Bengals' cornerbacks coach, according to a Sunday evening report from Brian Costello of the New York Post.

The 50-year-old Jackson spent the past two years with the Jets, coming over to New York after serving as the Tennessee Titans' safeties coach from 2016-17.

Tags: Jamal Adams
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January 18, 2020; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in attendance during UFC 246 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
January 18, 2020; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in attendance during UFC 246 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Even as the NFL playoffs wind down with Championship Sunday setting the scene for Super Bowl LIV on Feb. 2, Tom Brady's highly anticipated offseason decision is already making headlines.

Since the Patriots' 2019 season ended with Jan. 4's 20-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Wild Card Round, New England and the 42-year-old quarterback have a major choice on the horizon.

Set to hit free agency after he completed his 20th year in the league -- all with the Patriots -- Brady's potential departure from New England could land him outside the AFC East for the 2020 campaign.

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Nov 9, 2019; Madison, WI, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes offensive lineman Tristan Wirfs (74) during the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Hanisch)
Nov 9, 2019; Madison, WI, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes offensive lineman Tristan Wirfs (74) during the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Hanisch)

Skimming through myriad mock drafts that have surfaced ahead of the 2020 NFL Draft, many believe Jets GM Joe Douglas will be targeting a No. 1 receiver for Sam Darnold. There are a few playmakers for New York to choose from, including Alabama's Jerry Jeudy, Oklahoma's CeeDee Lamb, and Clemson's Tee Higgins

Having a top receiver is definitely a need for the Jets, but is that what they should be focused on with the No. 11 overall pick? What about protecting Darnold? 

While there's multiple playmakers to salivate over in the first round, there's just as many offensive linemen to bulk up that unit for the Jets. 

Tags: Brandon Shell, Jamison Crowder, Kelvin Beachum, Le'Veon Bell, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Scott Thompson
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Dec 29, 2019; Orchard Park, New York, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Dec 29, 2019; Orchard Park, New York, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

Legendary Jets offensive tackle Winston Hill is taking his rightful place in Canton, Ohio.

Hill, who starred with the Jets from 1963-1976, was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Wednesday. 

Hill passed away in 2016 at the age of 74.

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Jets GM Joe Douglas
Jets GM Joe Douglas

Joe Douglas is heading into his first offseason as the Jets GM, and he knows there is a lot on his plate. Multiple holes need to be filled, especially on the offensive line front and the secondary. 

Knowing how crucial his first offseason calling the shots is, Douglas is already on the ground getting to work. 

Douglas is at the East-West Shrine Bowl at Tropicana Field assessing some of the best college seniors the NCAA had to offer this season ahead of the 2020 NFL Draft. And, according to the Pro Football Network, he has brought reinforcements with him. 

Tags: Jamison Crowder
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Adam Gase
Adam Gase

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Ryan Tannehill, of all quarterbacks, secured a place in the AFC championship game on Saturday, and that has spawned a cottage industry bashing of his former coach, Adam Gase. After all, the theory goes, Tannehill finally became the quarterback everyone thought he could be as soon as Gase was no longer his coach.

It's a nice theory. And for anyone who hates Gase or thinks the Jets made a mistake by hiring him, it fits the narrative.

It just doesn't fit the facts.

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New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) reacts during the second half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers) (Gary Landers/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) reacts during the second half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers) (Gary Landers/AP)

Jets quarterback Sam Darnold reportedly had surgery to repair a ligament in his left thumb on Tuesday, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post.

Darnold is not expected to miss any time as the surgery was performed by the Jets team doctors.

He originally suffered a thumb injury on Oct. 27 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, though, he never missed any time due to the injury. He wore a brace on his left hand under a glove for the rest of the season.

Tags: Sam Darnold
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On Thursday, former Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum talked to SNY's Jonas Schwartz about the Giants new head coach Joe Judge, going over the challenges that Judge could face.

"Well I think that's really a big part of the interview process," Tannenbaum said. "I want to know what's your first 90 days like or what is it going to be like if Saquon Barkley doesn't show up on the first day of the voluntary offseason program? What's your message to him? Whats's your message to the team? What's your message to the media?"

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Oct 27, 2019; Jacksonville, FL, USA; New York Jets defensive end Kyle Phillips (98) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports (Douglas DeFelice)
Oct 27, 2019; Jacksonville, FL, USA; New York Jets defensive end Kyle Phillips (98) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports (Douglas DeFelice)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the last week or so, we've been taking an in-depth look at the rookie season for each of the Jets' 2019 rookie class. We conclude today with a look at defensive lineman Kyle Phillips, who was an undrafted free agent signed in May.

Phillips was one of three undrafted rookies to see action with the Jets this season, but he was the only one to make the opening day roster. In fact, the other two - cornerback Kyron Brown and wide receiver Jeff Smith - each played just one game before suffering a season-ending injury.

After being inactive on opening day, Phillips was active for every other game and finished the season with 39 tackles and 1.5 sacks. He was also credited with one pass defensed.

Tags: Jachai Polite
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Dec 16, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Washington Redskins wide receiver Jehu Chesson (16) works out prior to the game at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Dec 16, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Washington Redskins wide receiver Jehu Chesson (16) works out prior to the game at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Jets have signed wide receiver Jehu Chesson to a reserve/future contract.

Chesson, 26, was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs with the No. 139 pick in the fourth round in the 2017 NFL Draft out of the University of Michigan.

He finished his rookie season with two receptions for 18 yards in 12 games, but was waived prior to the 2018 season. The Washington Redskins signed him soon after and he bounced between their active roster and practice squad. He had one reception for seven yards in 12 games with the Redskins in 2018.

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Dec 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker (11) makes a catch against New York Jets defensive back Blessuan Austin (31) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Dec 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker (11) makes a catch against New York Jets defensive back Blessuan Austin (31) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the last week or so, we've been taking an in-depth look at the rookie season for each member of the Jets' 2019 rookie class. We continue today with a look at cornerback Bless Austin, who was selected in the sixth round.

For much of the season, Austin was a forgotten man, as he was on the non-football injury list rehabbing a serious knee injury. However, he was activated in November and soon found himself in a starting role after Darryl Roberts got injured and Nate Hairston was benched. Over the next five weeks, Austin and Arthur Maulet provided the Jets with the most consistent cornerback play the team enjoyed all season and it looked like Austin was establishing himself as a potential starter for 2020 and beyond.

Tags: Trumaine Johnson
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Apr 13, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; Celebrity comedians Trevor Noah (left) and Jerry Seinfeld (center) and Larry David (right) watch an opening day game between the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. The Mets defeated the Phillies 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 13, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; Celebrity comedians Trevor Noah (left) and Jerry Seinfeld (center) and Larry David (right) watch an opening day game between the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. The Mets defeated the Phillies 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

If Mike Maccagnan listened to Larry David before the 2018 NFL Draft, things would have turned out pretty, pretty, pretty good.

During an appearance Tuesday on The Michael Kay Show, the Curb Your Enthusiasm star and Seinfeld co-creator explained how he tried to make Jackson to the Jets happen.

"I did call Mike Maccagnan before the 2018 draft and I recommended that he draft Lamar Jackson," David said. "I have a witness -- yes, I have a witness."

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Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets linebacker Blake Cashman (53) tackles New York Giants running back Paul Perkins (28) during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports  (Dennis Schneidler)
Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets linebacker Blake Cashman (53) tackles New York Giants running back Paul Perkins (28) during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the last week or so, we've been taking an in-depth look at the rookie season for each of the Jets' 2019 rookie class. We continue with a look at linebacker Blake Cashman, who was selected in the fifth round out of Minnesota.

Cashman took advantage of the Jets' injury issues at inside linebacker as he got the opportunity to start five games and he was productive in those games, racking up 33 tackles, three quarterback hits, a pass defended and a fumble recovery. He ended the season with 40 tackles in seven games. However, he suffered a season-ending injury in the Jacksonville game and missed the second half of the year.

When Cashman was drafted, it seemed most likely that he'd primarily be a core special-teamer and perhaps work toward getting some reps as a situational coverage linebacker. However, when Avery Williamson was lost for the year in the preseason, Cashman suddenly became the primary backup at inside linebacker and was thrust into a full-time role due to CJ Mosley's opening day injury.

Tags: Blake Cashman
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Jets general manager Joe Douglas previously said he wouldn't hang up if and when trade calls come in on either running back Le'Veon Bell or safety Jamal Adams.

Speculation has surrounded both players since early in the 2019 season. 

Listening to trade calls still be true, but the GM changed his tune a bit on Monday. Douglas praised both Adams and Bell instead of discussing those potential calls. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Le'Veon Bell
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New York Jets center Jonotthan Harrison (78) lines up in the first half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)  (Seth Wenig/AP)
New York Jets center Jonotthan Harrison (78) lines up in the first half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)

The Dolphins, Rams, Bengals and Chargers. What do those four teams have in common?

They were the only teams to have their offensive lines ranked worse than the Jets in Pro Football Focus' final offensive rankings following the 2019 NFL season. 

The oft-struggling Jets line landed at No. 28 in the analytics outlet's final numbers. 

Tags: Kelvin Beachum
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New York Jets tight end Trevon Wesco (47) catches a pass against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)
New York Jets tight end Trevon Wesco (47) catches a pass against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)

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Over the next week or so, we're taking an in-depth look at the rookie season for each of the Jets' 2019 rookie class. We continue today with a look at tight end Trevon Wesco, who was selected in the fourth round out of West Virginia.

On the face of it, Wesco had a disappointing season, as he only caught two passes, struggled in pass protection and did little to elevate the Jets' underwhelming running game. However, there were signs of usefulness throughout the season and some evidence of progression.

He typically had mixed results as a run blocker from the tight end position early in the season but seemed to improve his consistency as the season went along. He seemed to hold up well at the point attack and was able to handle assignments that required him to set the edge against defensive linemen while at times flashing dominance against smaller players in space.

Tags: Chris Herndon, Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold, Trevon Wesco
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New York Jets offensive tackle Chuma Edoga (75) blocks Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Josh Allen (41) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton) (Stephen B. Morton/AP)
New York Jets offensive tackle Chuma Edoga (75) blocks Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Josh Allen (41) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton) (Stephen B. Morton/AP)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the next week or so, we're taking an in-depth look at the rookie season for each of the Jets' 2019 rookie class. We continue today with a look at tackle Chuma Edoga, who was selected in the third round of this past year's NFL Draft.

Of course, any discussion of the Edoga pick needs to acknowledge the fact that the Jets had already made a pick earlier in the round. That proved disastrous, as edge rusher Jachai Polite had a disappointing training camp and didn't even make it onto the practice squad, let alone the opening day roster.  

The Edoga pick was more successful, as the 22-year old made it onto the roster and ultimately made eight starts. However, his rawness was exploited during those appearances, leaving many fans concerned that this will also prove to be a wasted pick. Edoga ended up the season on injured reserve.

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Dec 29, 2019; Orchard Park, New York, USA; New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams (33) warms up prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Dec 29, 2019; Orchard Park, New York, USA; New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams (33) warms up prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

Jets safety Jamal Adams has been named an AP first-team All-Pro, it was announced Friday.

Adams, who was named a second-team All-Pro last season, was named to his second straight pro bowl earlier this season.

The star out of LSU has been the anchor of the Jets' defense over the last few seasons and was at the top of nearly every key defensive statistic for Gang Green this year.

Tags: Jamal Adams
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A.J. Epenesa (Kim Klement)
A.J. Epenesa (Kim Klement)

After having the No. 3 pick in the NFL Draft in 2018 and 2019 and nabbing Sam Darnold and Quinnen Williams, the Jets find themselves all the way down at No. 11 for the 2020 draft.

But there will still be plenty of elite players to choose from.

Here's how the latest mocks see things shaking out...

Tags: Brian Winters, Quincy Enunwa, Quinnen Williams, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Danny Abriano
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Sep 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell (26) celebrates with New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) after scoring a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports  (Noah K. Murray)
Sep 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell (26) celebrates with New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) after scoring a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets' 6-2 finish has given the franchise a renewed sense of hope, even though GM Joe Douglas didn't want to use that word. Hope, he said, is "not a strategy." The only way they can really capitalize on their strong finish is with a plan.

And they'll need a good one, too, because while Douglas is right that "Going 6-2, that's not luck," it's also not the sign of a finished product. The Jets were a disappointing 7-9 overall this season and did not look like a franchise on the verge of a long-awaited breakthrough. They have big, gaping holes throughout their roster.

So there is a lot of work still to do.

Tags: Avery Williamson, Brian Poole, Brian Winters, Jordan Jenkins, Kelvin Beachum, Robby Anderson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Nov 3, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams (95) sacks Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 3, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams (95) sacks Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the next week or so, we're going to take an in-depth look at the rookie season for each of the Jets' 2019 rookie class. We begin today with a look at the third overall pick, defensive tackle Quinnen Williams.

When the Jets drafted Williams with the third pick in last April's draft, some questioned the wisdom in selecting yet another interior lineman.

The team was already slated to pay over $14 million to Leonard Williams who was playing out the fifth-year option on his rookie deal. In addition, they had already drafted two interior linemen in 2018 and given a decent-sized contract to Henry Anderson, so depth was not a concern.

Tags: Quinnen Williams
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Dec 29, 2019; Orchard Park, New York, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) looks on against the Buffalo Bills during the fourth quarter at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Dec 29, 2019; Orchard Park, New York, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) looks on against the Buffalo Bills during the fourth quarter at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

From an off-field bout with mononucleosis to on-field struggles with development, Jets quarterback Sam Darnold's second year in New York ultimately impressed general manager Joe Douglas.

"Talk about toughness and talk about adversity," Douglas said. "Not many guys faced more adversity than Sam, as far as dealing with the mono and some rough patches during the year. But I think the respect that Sam has earned from everyone in this building -- and especially in the locker room -- as far as his ability to handle adversity, to come back, to play really good football, to watch him grow throughout the year, to watch him grow from Year 1 to Year 2, just with everything -- the decision-making, the leadership -- it was really impressive to see."

Darnold went 7-6 as a second-year starter, completing 273 of 441 passes (61.9 percent) for 3,024 yards and 19 touchdowns to 13 interceptions in 13 games.

Tags: Sam Darnold
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