Bent, TheJetsBlog.comEvery year, teams have to let some players go. Even though the Jets did bring back some of their free agents (Jeff Cumberland, Ellis Lankster, Darrin Walls, Nick Folk, Leger Douzable, Calvin Pace), they chose not to bring everyone back. Although it’s only preseason, we’ll be keeping track of the progress on the guys they let go so we can at least start to form some views on whether letting any of these guys loose was a mistake or a smart move.
We’ll be aiming to cover all of the players and key coaches who were with the Jets during 2013 or 2014 and are now with another team. After the jump, a comprehensive list of those who played during the first full slate of preseason games and how they fared.
Some stats from PFF are used in this article and throughout the series.
Antonio Cromartie, CB, Arizona
Cromartie was in the game for 17 snaps this week. He still hasn’t been targeted, so we still can’t really read too much into how he’ll play this year.
Jojo Dickson, LB, Arizona
Dickson played 14 snaps this week and had a run stuff in the hole and a pressure where he rocked a blocking back off his spot. He gave up six and 11 yard completions in coverage, missing a tackle in the flat on the 11-yarder. He was also blocked out of one running play.
Jacquies Smith, OLB, Buffalo
After an impressive game last week Smith did not show up in the stat sheet this week, but actually should have had a half-sack. He beat Guy Whimper around the outside to get to the quarterback and then his teammate arrived at the same time to jar the ball loose. It was returned 59 yards to set up a touchdown. This was the only pressure generated by Smith in 17 pass rush attempts and he had no tackles.
Dan Carpenter, K, Buffalo
Carpenter made three fields goals, but also missed a 49-yarder in a three point loss. This week, Carpenter did all the kicking off, so maybe the Bills aren’t planning to carry a kickoff specialist after all. Four of his five kickoffs were touchbacks and the other was returned from deep in the end zone to the 21 yard line.
Billy Cundiff, K, Cleveland
This wasn’t a great game for Cundiff who made a chip shot field goal and two extra points but put a 54-yarder wide left. His kickoffs weren’t great either, as he only had one touchback, put one out of bounds and allowed a 42-yard return on another. He has no competition for the role at the moment though.
Royce Adams, CB, Cleveland
Last night was a rough game for Adams, who was trending on twitter at one point in the second half, which is rarely a good sign for a cornerback. Adams, who got plenty of playing time due to injuries in the Browns secondary, gave up five catches for over 100 yards and two touchdowns in the second half and while he did show some positive flashes, breaking up two passes on the outside, he will be disappointed with his overall performance.
Austin Howard, G/T, Oakland
Howard’s conversion to guard continues to be fascinating. I think he’s going to be okay, but a $30m-level guard? Uhhh…I’ll get back to you on that one.
He couldn’t have had a better start, blocking down on Ndamukong Suh and driving him inside, out of the play and to the ground. It shouldn’t be any surprise that Howard is pretty decent at the point of attack, but where he lacks refinement is in terms of finding a man to block at the second level. He did have one outstanding downfield block to spring a big gain on a screen pass and the Raiders did drive for one touchdown, on which he got a good surge at the goal line. On one play, he pulled left and met a linebacker at the second level, which should be relatively new to him and something that suits his skill-set. With the Jets he used to fold behind the guard and trap up the middle, but rarely moved laterally to the left.
In terms of pass protection, he’s mostly okay when blocking his man straight up. However, he did allow Suh to get upfield on him and flush the quarterback from the the pocket. There were also a few occasions where he could have done a better job in picking up a blitzer. On one, he was doubling with the center and realized late that the right tackle was going to have to come off his man to block a guy coming around the edge. He also let Suh work upfield on him to pressure Schaub as he threw.
Practically all these negatives seem to be issues with getting used to working on the interior and with his new teammates. The Jets will be hoping these issues persist into the opening weekend.
Robert Malone, P, Washington
Malone is battling for a job with Blake Clingan and each punted just once, with Malone’s effort being slightly better. Clingan did handle most of the holding duties though.
Jake McDonough, DL, Washington
According to TJB’s Jake Steinberg, the Jets had scouts in attendance at last night’s game. I suspect this was to watch McDonough who was with the team last offseason before getting hurt and has been in for a visit a couple of times since then. Unfortunately, with the Browns mostly trailing, the Redskins were in the nickel for most of the second half which meant McDonough didn’t get a great deal of playing time. However, when he did, he was impressive for the second straight week, getting a good push on a couple of pass plays and penetrating well to force a run outside for no gain.
Danny Lansanah, LB, Tampa Bay
Lansanah was credited with two tackles against the Dolphins, both after short passes. However, he was also in on a stop near the line and got good penetration on the edge to force a runner out wide on one play. He did have a missed tackle after a screen pass, but remains pretty high up the depth chart.
Scott Solomon, DE/OLB, Tampa Bay
Solomon didn’t get any reps last week, but this week he got plenty of playing time (37 snaps) including in the first quarter and recorded four pressures. The pick of these saw him blow by Nate Garner with a spin move, but he also displayed good strength on a couple of pass rushes and came up the middle on a stunt for his first pressure. Against the run, he was blocked out of a couple of plays but did get in on a couple of stops.
Lowell Rose, DB, San Diego
According to the official gamebook, Rose did not play. However, he was on the field for three snaps right at the end. Seattle just took a knee, so he didn’t get a chance to contribute, but at least he was still rewarded by getting on the field.
Derek Dimke, K, New Orleans
Dimke just kicked three extra points as he is still in a battle with Shayne Graham for the placekicker role. However, it seems like he might be in the lead because he did all the placekicking until the fourth quarter. Dimke did all the kicking off, even in the fourth quarter, apart from one where punter Thomas Morstead kicked off instead. His kickoffs weren’t great, with no touchbacks and 165 return yards on six kicks, although he and Morstead each had to kick off from the 20 once because Jimmy Graham twice dunked the ball over the goalpost, despite the fact that is now illegal. Dimke added a tackle for good measure.
Ryan Spadola, WR, Miami
Spadola is still struggling to make any impact in Miami. He was targeted just once on a low throw slightly behind him that he couldn’t come up with and had two holding penalties on consecutive plays (one a special teams play and one on offense). Spadola played just nine snaps.
Miguel Maysonet, RB, Pittsburgh
Maysonet didn’t get any touches on offense this week (only played one snap), but did show up with two special teams tackles against the Bills. However, he was called for a facemask penalty on one of those two.
Vladimir Ducasse, G/T, Minnesota
For the second straight week, Ducasse flashed with an outstanding block. You can see the play here. Witness how he shoves one guy out of the play to the left and then turns around and shoves the other guy to the right like he’s shifting furniture. He had one other good block where he pulled to the outside and rocked a defensive played on the edge. Ducasse also showed consistency as a pass blocker, with no pressures allowed in 24 pass block snaps. Ducasse still looks a bit rough round the edges at times, but he continues to be a heck of a specimen.
(Off topic: This game had a wild finish with a controversial go-ahead touchdown giving the Cards the lead, but the impressive Teddy Bridgewater led a thrilling last minute drive and threw his second touchdown pass to win it).
Mark Sanchez, QB, Philadelphia
For the second straight week, Mark Sanchez put up excellent numbers (11-for-12, 117 yards, two touchdowns and an interception). He’s arguably never looked this good in preseason. However, he usually faced starters when in preseason with the Jets (and often padded his numbers against backups after the starting defense stopped playing), so this was perhaps to be expected on some level.
He entered late in the second and opened with a two minute drive that went 69 yards in five plays. A checkdown underneath, two straight first down throws down the seam and a designed receiver screen got them down inside the 10 in short order. The touchdown itself had an air of good fortune about it as the receiver tried to make a diving catch and ended up flipping the ball up to his teammate.
His first pass of the second half was classic Sanchez – and I don’t mean that in a good way. His pass was out in front of his tight end downfield as he had a step on his man, but Sanchez hadn’t seen the deep safety lurking and he was able to jump the route and return it deep into Eagles territory.
He made up for it on his final drive, though, going 7-for-7 to take the Eagles 80 yards for another score. These were all short passes, against the Pats embarrassingly overmatched linebackers, although one did go for 25 yards on a short crosser to the impressive rookie Jordan Matthews (9-104). Sanchez finished off the drive with an easy pass to his running back in the flat as the linebacker was far too slow getting over.
Some impressive numbers by Sanchez here and good consistency on his short passes, along with two nice downfield throws. However, that interception was a stark reminder of the kind of mistakes that made him such a polarizing figure with the Jets.
Non-contributors this week
TE Terrence Miller, who was with the Jets at mini-camp, signed with the Patriots and went straight onto injured reserve. WR Santonio Holmes signed with the Bears on Saturday. Their game was Thursday so he hasn’t played yet.
WR Rashaan Vaughn only saw action on special teams and RB/KR Joe McKnight is still on the PUP list. Browns CBs Isaiah Trufant and Aaron Berry both missed last night’s game with an injury. OT JB Shugarts did not play either and LB Josh Mauga (groin) did not see action for the Chiefs on Sunday night.
This list is supposed to be exhaustive, but if you’re aware of anyone I missed, please let me know in the comments!