TJB Podcast: O-line and D-line previews

Five things we learned from Todd Bowles…

Jets head coach Todd Bowles spoke with the media on Tuesday. Here are five things we learned…

1.) Willie Colon is officially the starting RG, and he earned the position by being “more aggressive” than the other players who were vying for it.

2.) Jeremy Kerley is feeling better but hasn’t gone through any physical contact yet.

3.) At the moment, WR Quincy Enunwa is not expected to be called on to help fill the void left by injured TE Jace Amaro.

4.) Bowles is not concerned about Ryan Fitzpatrick‘s arm strength, and he would be “very comfortable” if he needs to play Fitzpatrick all season.

5.) It’s not yet clear whether or not Stevan Ridley will begin the season on the PUP list.


Jace Amaro

Jace Amaro placed on season-ending IR

The Jets have placed TE Jace Amaro on the season-ending injured reserve list after suffering a torn labrum that will require surgery (Jets, Sept. 1).

Amaro, 23, suffered the injury during the Jets preseason opener against Detroit. He had 38 receptions for 345 yards and two touchdowns in his rookie season.

DE Kevin Vickerson was also placed on IR while CB Deshaun Phillips was placed on waivers.

Brian Bassett,

Injuries are always going to play into the composition of any seasonal roster, but the shelving of Jace Amaro has a huge impact on the offense and what the unit could look like this year.  With the expectation that Dee Milliner will be the team’s one player who can be eligible for Injured Reserve Designated For Return (IR-DFR), the team feels the prudent course of action is to shut Amaro down for the season; keeping him active would be seemingly counterproductive to the team’s goals and clog a roster spot.

While the tight end has played a large role in Chan Gailey’s offense in the past, this will place more of an emphasis on using the team’s third receiver in a “Riley Cooper” role which also aligns with the reduction of Jeremy Kerley’s role.  Using a third receiver as a Cooper-type means that Owusu/Enunwa will be asked to run-block primarily from wherever they line up and can be a big-bodied mismatch (red zone, third downs) when required.  This also means that Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker’s target volume in this offense should be boosted in terms of market share by another 3-5% rather easily — assuming the team makes no acquisitions at the TE spot beyond what they already have on the roster.

Kellen Davis is not a threat to take any target market share away from anyone and he will likely make the team as a pure-blocker.  Jeff Cumberland will likely see a much higher number of targets than was expected of him just days or weeks ago as the team’s best two-way tight end.

This of course creates an opportunity for the Jets to snag a waived player off another team if they see someone they like, or press Wes Saxton into earlier than expected work on the team’s active roster.  Assuming the Jets don’t trade for a player or pluck someone off waivers, Saxton now has an inside track as a candidate for the 53 man roster.  Maybe the Jets like Saxton more than they have let on so far … the fourth preseason game should help us determine that.  This news might also bode well for (brace yourself) Tommy Bohanon’s shot at making the final 53.

What follows this is all retro-active “Bassett-narrative” so feel free to treat it as such.

Knowing almost nothing about the true severity of Amaro’s injury, the team’s decision to shelve Amaro for the year could spell trouble for him moving forward.  While I have liked Amaro and wished for his success, watching his 2014 season’s tape again this spring, and seeing him fight the football more than play smoothly, he didn’t make a strong enough case for the team to allocate that roster spot on him in 2015.  In other words, assuming he could have gotten healthy at some point, the team didn’t foresee him producing the results they wanted.  Additionally, with some serious questions about which receivers, offensive linemen and linebackers the team will bring with them into the regular season, the team couldn’t justify tying up Amaro’s roster spot seemingly indefinitely.

Amaro’s drafting in 2014 during John Idzik’s last year as GM smelled overly reactionary for missing out on a talented 2013 tight end (Tyler Eifert, Zach Ertz, Gavin Escobar, Vance McDonald, Travis Kelce) draft class.  Word on the street entering Idzik’s first (2013) draft was that the Jets were hoping to grab one of those luminaries in the the middle rounds.  Once Ertz went off the board in the second, the Jets pulled the trigger on Geno Smith four picks later and then were seemingly always too-little-too-late to aligned value at the tight end spot with their picks.

It could be argued that with the top tier of prospects teetering on the brink (Ebron and ASJ gone), the Jets might have reached to take Amaro when they did.  That could align with the current regime’s thinking on the player in question and how they treat the nature of how hard they fight to make him available.  While we are sure that Amaro’s injury is severe, the new regime isn’t exactly bending over backwards to find ways to make him available for the Jets this year and that must be a concern, but now it is just one for the 2016 season.  Contrary my own point, if the regime didn’t regard Amaro highly, then what is most surprising is that the front office didn’t find ways to make Amaro redundant prior to this news as certainly there were chances to do so since March.


Fitzpatrick won’t play in final preseason game

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick will not play in the Jets’ final preseason game, according to head coach Todd Bowles.

Bowles said “some” of the team’s starters will play in the preseason finale against Philadelphia on Thursday night, but not Fitzpatrick. Bowles hadn’t decided whether rookie Bryce Petty would start, saying he needs to see veterans Matt Flynn and Josh Johnson.

“We’re going to see who’s the healthiest and try to at least have them available if something happens to some of the guys out on the field,” Bowles said of his starters.

Bowles said that Flynn and Johnson should both be able to play, despite the former missing time with a hamstring injury and the latter just joining the team last week.


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Another solid inside-out runner, Stevan Ridley (22) has similar style to Chris Ivory but is just eight months removed from an ACL tear.  Do consider that Ridley benefitted from playing in New England and might not be healthy enough to start the season on the active roster as he works back from his 2014 injury.

Ridley could start season on PUP list

Head coach Todd Bowles acknowledged it’s “possible” RB Stevan Ridley could start the season on the physically unable to perform list.

He is still recovering from torn ligaments in his right knee last October while with New England.

“You want to be better safe than sorry. There’s no need to rush him back,” Bowles said. “When he gets better in the process, then we’ll make that decision as we go. We have some quality running backs right now and they’re all playing good, so Ridley can take his time and get healthy.”

But even if Ridley doesn’t start the season on the PUP list, he’s going to need time.

“Whether we take him off PUP or whether he starts on PUP, he’s still going to need some time in pads,” Bowles said. “He’s just not going to come in and you say ‘Bam, put him out there.’ He’s still going to need some time.”

Quincy Enunwa has a mix of Z and X receiver skills for a West Coast Offense along with the size and speed coaches love. With the addition of Brandon Marshall, Enunwa's way to the roster might be blocked.  See if the Jets don't try out Enunwa as a developmental H-back/B-Back prospect on the practice squad.

Daily Links: In like Flynn

– Flynn not concerned despite limited workload [NJAM]

– Wilkerson expecting to play a few snaps in Thursday night’s game [Metro]

– Leonard Williams vows to be ready for opener [ESPN New York]

– Fitzpatrick satisfied with preseason as offense continues to come together [Jets Official Site]

– Jets happy to turn page, but still have work to do on offense [NY Post]

– Enunwa doing everything he can for Jets [Jets Insider]

BentBent, All offseason, I had been expecting Bryce Petty to get the majority of the reps in the annual “Bollinger Bowl”. However, the way things have worked out, it’s become more of a priority for Matt Flynn and Josh Johnson to get some reps in Chan Gailey’s offense. At stake, a place on the opening day roster to presumably serve as Ryan Fitzpatrick’s number two with the added bonus that any vested veteran on an opening day roster gets their entire salary for the year guaranteed.

For Petty, this would have been an excellent opportunity for an extended workload in a game where it doesn’t matter who wins and a situation where if he was to suffer an injury and miss some time, it wouldn’t be the end of the world because he likely wouldn’t be playing anyway. In addition, he’ll mostly be facing guys on the roster bubble, so it gives him a good chance of having some success in order to gain more confidence and a better understanding of how the offense operates without such a big jump from the level he was accustomed to in college.

Unfortunately, the Jets will have to sacrifice that opportunity because they need to make a decision on Flynn or Johnson. However, if neither of them play well, but Petty does, that might make the situation even more complicated than it already is. Either way, it should be interesting to watch it play out.


Projecting the New York Jets 53-man roster

Brian Bassett,

Now that the Jets have played their third preseason game, the 53 man roster is starting to come into focus.  While there are a number of roster spots that will need to be rectified when players come back from suspension or the short term injured reserve, this is my best guess at the team’s cutdown roster based on what we’ve seen in practice, in the preseason and knowing the team’s projected playing style this season.

Here we go!


The Rostered:  Ryan Fitzpatrick, Matt Flynn, Bryce Petty, Geno Smith

The Cut: Josh Johnson

The Turk: The Jets are going to protect their investment in Bryce Petty the best way they can — by burning a roster spot on Matt Flynn to start the season.  Petty has looked good in his recent mop-up work, but he’s still a long-term play for the Jets.  Geno Smith isn’t heading to the short-term injured reserve and the team wants to put a buffer between Bryce Petty and the fans’ expectations by preventing Petty from seeing any early action should a Fitzpatrick injury strike.

To read more of this story, click here

NFL: Preseason-New York Jets at Detroit Lions

Richardson pleads not guilty to cop-chase charges

Jets DE Sheldon Richardson entered a plea of not guilty to cop-chase charges (Aug. 31).

A trial date has been set for October 5.

Richardson was arrested in Missouri on July 14 when police officers caught him racing at speeds between 122 and 143 mph, his car smelling of marijuana, and found a loaded handgun beneath his seat — all with a 12-year-old child in the back seat (July 30).

“Obviously the Missouri police and the NFL have to handle their process,” Jets head coach Todd Bowles said earlier this month. “When all the legal stuff comes out, I’m sure there will be some consequences at that point.”

“When you mess up two times in a row — and Sheldon knows this — you have to pay some type of penalty, and we’re ready to accept that penalty, “Bowles added. “We’re just trying to get Sheldon better as a man. We understand what he is as a player.  But if you can’t become a better man, you’ll never be that kind of player.”

Prior to his arrest, Richardson had already been suspended for four games due to testing positive for marijuana.

Brian Bassett,

This isn’t much of a surprise.  Already on a four-game suspension there’s really nothing to gain from pleading the charges down because it guarantees more lost paychecks for Richardson.  Generally players use continuances to delay these sorts of things into the offseason to prevent the impact to their team in-season.  It will be interesting to see how the Jets and Richardson play this.  Bowles and Maccagnan seem the sort that might want to swallow this bitter pill as soon as possible to prevent the matter from spilling over into next season and might nudge Richardson in such a direction.  Of course it is up to Richardson, his agent and his counsel to determine his best course of action.