BGA: The Expendables – Week 2

Bent, TheJetsBlog.com

Every year, teams have to let some players go. Even thought the Jets did bring back some of their free agents (Lex Hilliard, Josh Mauga, Nick Folk, Tanner Purdum and restricted free agents Austin Howard and Jeff Cumberland), 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 that were with the Jets during 2012 or 2013 and are now with another team. After the jump, a comprehensive list – which may of course grow as the preseason continues with guys like Eric Smith and Bart Scott still searching for a job – of how these ex-Jets performed in week two of preseason.

Note that – if you were not aware, PFF is analyzing preseason games for the first time this year and some of their stats (ie snap counts) are used here.

Dustin Keller, TE, Dolphins

By now we’ve all seen Keller’s horrific knee injury which came in a game where he caught one pass for 14 yards. Obviously he’s not going to play again this year, if ever, and our thoughts go out to him. For those that asked, yes, this will mean that the Jets will no longer be in line for draft pick compensation for the loss of Keller in free agency. They might still be in line to receive the maximum four picks, but the compensation for Keller was likely to be a 5th round pick, so if they do still receive four picks, that will likely be replaced with a 7th rounder. However, that’s all secondary to the personal trauma for Keller in connection with his injury and hopefully he can beat the odds and recover from this.

Julian Posey, CB, Dolphins

Posey continues to get a good long look at cornerback and his chances of making the roster improved dramatically when the Dolphins released Richard Marshall after the game. Posey was not targeted in coverage (in 27 snaps) and recorded one tackle. He did get blocked out of a few plays – look out for him getting blocked downfield (#38) on this play.

Bill Callahan, Offensive Coordinator, Cowboys

Getting shut out in the first half is never a good look for a playcaller, but the Cowboys moved the ball pretty well, only to shoot themselves in the foot with a bunch of bad individual errors. They had four turnovers and missed a chance for an easy touchdown when a coverage mix-up meant Tony Romo had two guys open deep but picked the more difficult pass and overthrew it. You could blame Callahan for one of the turnovers because it was a slightly predictable out pattern and the play design allowed for the outside corner to jump the route. Dallas also ran for just 44 yards.

Tim Tebow, QB (?), Patriots

Earlier this week, with the status of Tom Brady’s knee injury unknown and Ryan Mallett nursing a head injury, it looked like we might be treated to 60 minutes of Tebow, but in the end both Brady and Mallett played (and played well) relegating Tebow to second half action as the number three. If you’re reading this, you passed for more yards than Tebow did this week, as he accounted for minus-one yards on seven pass attempts. However, he did contribute a couple of good runs (6 for 30, but 4 for 32 if you exclude kneel-downs). One positive this week was that he wasn’t sacked. In the third quarter he threw one pass into the ground well short of the receiver and had one broken up down the middle. His one completion was a swing pass to the flat. He did run for 11 yards, although this was cheap yardage on a 3rd and 21 quarterback draw. That came one play after he held the ball for too long and his 17-yard scramble was rendered moot by a holding penalty in the pocket. His first throw of the fourth was a horrible overthrow, easily intercepted. He finished up with three bad underthrows, the last of which was on a deep ball down the middle that should have been picked. He did rebound to run for 12 yards on a QB draw that allowed them to run out the clock though.

John Conner, FB, Bengals

Conner continues to not be a big part of the offense, seeing action on just 10 snaps, all but one of which were late in the game. He led the way on one play that went for a 22-yard gain and put Scott Solomon on his back on another, but wasn’t consistent in terms of sustaining his blocks or leveraging his man out of the play when blocking in space. His man got off his block to blow up one run. As noted the fullback position isn’t a big part of the Bengals offense and they seem content to use a blocking tight end in that role.

Aaron Maybin, DE/OLB, Bengals

Maybin doubled his playing time this week and did record a pressure, but that was where the good news ended because he was released after the game. The pressure came as the quarterback held the ball for quite a long time and Maybin, intitially blocked, was able to force the QB to step up leading to a sack. He saw action on just nine snaps in two games with the Bengals.

Tony Sparano, OL Coach, Raiders

A disappointing game on the ground for the Raiders this week, as they adjust to the lost of Jared Veldheer. They gained just 62 yards on 22 carries, falling into a 23-0 hole before the backups made it closer. Things didn’t get much better in pass protection as the Raiders gave up seven sacks, including five on Matt Flynn in the first half alone.

Chaz Schilens, WR, Lions

Schilens continues to have an underwhelming preseason following his big talk last week. He got some playing time in this game but wasn’t targeted. I wonder if he’ll blame that on Sanchez.

Jason Smith, OT, Saints

Despite being considered as in the mix for a starting left tackle role as recently as a week ago, Smith didn’t get any offensive reps in this game until the last minute (two kneel downs). The only good news for Smith is that the offensive line was in disarray while the second stringer Terron Armstead was in there ahead of him. UPDATE: Smith was cut yesterday.

Jay Richardson, DE, Saints

Richardson got the start this week, at outside linebacker, where he continued to get regular reps. The next time one of the media makes snide remarks about Quinton Coples being the world’s only 6-6, 280 outside linebacker, Richardson is another example that can be cited. He did only get credited with one tackle – on a four yard run on the game’s second play, but contributed towards the shutting out of the Raiders first team offense. He came out on passing downs though, of which there were a LOT! In the second half, he got some reps on passing downs only, but didn’t generate any pressure.

Darrelle Revis, CB, Bucs

Revis still has not played in preseason. The latest is that he was going to participate in team drills on Monday and it’s possible he could play in game three.

Matt Slauson, G, Bears

After conceding two sacks on their first series, the Bears’ starting offense fared reasonably well this week, scoring a couple of touchdowns. Slauson did his part with some solid run blocking. Check out this play because it’s a good example of how you difficult it is to review film without multiple angles. On the first view, Slauson is driven into the backfield and it seems like Matt Forte was able to turn the corner in spite of that. However, the second angle shows that Slauson makes an excellent reach block with a good first step to get outside leverage on his man, preventing him from getting to the outside. As a pass blocker, I noticed that they gave Slauson more difficult assignments this week and he handled them well, although I’m already seeing evidence that Jay Cutler holding the ball for too long will hurt his pass protection numbers. He sustained his block well on one play only for Cutler to run into his man for a half-sack. Last week, the Bears gave Slauson a series at center, but did not do that this week.

Mike DeVito, DL, Chiefs

After only playing five snaps in their opener, DeVito played the entire first half (apart from third downs and the two-minute drill) and recorded two tackles as he stuffed two runs for short gains. One of these was a spectacular play where he caught the runner from behind coming off the backside and flung him to the ground with one arm. The other saw him shed his block to make the stop on the edge as the runner tried to turn the corner. He didn’t get off to a great start, as Frank Gore went 52 yards with his first carry on a play where DeVito seemed to give up on the play prematurely. There was also one play where he lined up at nose tackle and blew up the play by driving the guard into the backfield. On the whole, DeVito had some tough plays too, struggling with the size and strength of the 49ers offensive line and not getting much penetration or shedding blocks as we’ve been accustomed to.

Bob Sutton, Defensive Coordinator, Chiefs

The Chiefs defense did a good job here, holding the 49ers to just six points in the first half, while recording four sacks and an interception. They did give up 160 yards on the ground (at an average of 4.3 yards per carry) though, and allowed a 90-yard drive for the winning score late in the fourth quarter.

Marcus Dixon, DL, Chiefs

Dixon played well in the first game and was rotating in during the second half against the 49ers. He did flash on one spectacular play where he burst cleanly into the backfield to take down the runner for a loss. There was one other play where he got good penetration, helping to blow up a run, but he was also on the field for most of that game winning drive, albeit not directly at fault for any of the successful plays. As a pass rusher, he almost got to the quarterback a couple of times.

Martin Tevaseu, NT, Colts

Tevaseu flashed here, holding his ground well to stop a run up the middle for four, driving his man back into the quarterback in the pocket on one play and driving his man into the backfield to force the runner to change direction on another. However, he was only in the game for eight snaps in a backup role, so his roster status seems to be up in the air, even though he’s apparently doing well.

LaRon Landry, S, Colts

Colts fans are still waiting for their first look at Landry, who is nursing a sore knee. Coach Chuck Pagano said he didn’t want to rush Landry back.

Mike Pettine, Defensive Coordinator, Bills

The Bills won 20-16, held the Vikings to 256 yards and sacked the quarterback four times. Their defense also accounted for the only touchdown of the first half, although it’s difficult to credit this to Pettine’s defensive system or playcalling, because it came on a bad snap from the 23-yard line that rolled all the way into the end zone (much like Mike Edwards’ touchdown on Saturday). What was impressive was that they held the Vikings to just 74 yards and four first downs in the first half with the starters in the game for most of it. Adrian Peterson’s absence helped their degree of difficulty though.

Marcus Dowtin, LB, Bills

Dowtin continues to flash in a reserve role for the Bills. Here he made a couple of impact plays as he played the second half. On his first series, he blew by the right tackle for a would-be sack, only to let the quarterback slip through his grasp in the pocket, but then on his second series he got his sack, easily blowing by a different right tackle on the inside. He also made a good open field tackle after a short pass. On his third series, he almost got to the quarterback two more times, assisted on a tackle in the backfield and made a stop on first and goal from the two. He was rested after that. While he did get blocked out on a couple of running plays, Dowtin is certainly making a positive impact.

Ryan Steed, CB, Steelers

Steed remains on the bubble, having seen 14 snaps in this week’s game against Washington. Only three of those plays were pass plays and he wasn’t targeted. In the running game, he made one mistake, getting caught inside and losing contain on a Pat White bootleg for 13 yards.

Tracy Wilson, S, Titans

Wilson did not see any time on defense this week and looks like a long shot to make the roster. He had one special teams tackle on a punt.

Shonn Greene, RB, Titans

Greene had decent production again, gaining 29 yards on six carries (with a long of nine). He also caught a pass for a one yard loss and gave up a QB hit despite only staying in to block twice. Greene seemed to make the right reads, but didn’t make any yards after contact. On one play, he slipped as he went to make his cut in the hole. It was James Harrison who beat him for a hit as Greene probably got away with a hold.

Josh Brown, PK, Giants

Brown had another decent performance and remains the only kicker in the Giants’ plans. He made all four of his field goal attempts, including two from beyond 40 yards and had two touchbacks on his four kickoffs.

TJ Conley/Spencer Lanning, P, Browns

Conley had the lead after last week’s game, but had to miss this one after a groin injury. Lanning grasped his opportunity well, averaging 46.0 yards gross on six punts and restricting the Lions to five return yards on three returns. However, he wasn’t flawless. While he put three kicks inside the 20, none of those were inside the 10 and he did put a punt from the 40 into the end zone and only managed to land a punt from the 45 at the 19. Clearly he has a decent leg, but his directional punting could be better.

Terrence Ganaway, RB, Rams

As reported earlier today, Ganaway has decided to retire from the NFL and go back to school. Ganaway, who remained on the Rams roster all year last year but only saw action on five snaps (with no touches) did get on the field for 12 plays this week, but again didn’t get any touches after having missed the first game with an injury. If he got frustrated at the lack of reps, it’s hardly surprising. The Jets were obviously high on him, so you have to wonder if things would have gone this way had they been able to give him a shot.

Jonathan Grimes, RB, Jags

Grimes made a couple of contributions during his 15 snaps against the Jets, the best of which was a 19-yard cutback run. His other three touches netted just three yards, although one of them was a screen that went for a four yard loss and he couldn’t really have been expected to do anything about that. He added a tackle on special teams.

Hayworth Hicks, OL, Panthers

Hicks played the second half at left guard for the Panthers and on his very first play, he got inside leverage and drove his man off the line and to the outside, as a run over right tackle went for 17. That was his best moment, but a sure sign of his capabilities. Hicks did allow his man to get off his block and in on a tackle on one play but generally he was better once he had his hands on his man than when blocking in space. In pass protection, he let his man get upfield leverage on him for a pressure and didn’t get across to a stunting linebacker quick enough for another. However, there were a couple of stunts that he handled well and he did a good job of holding his ground when bullrushed.

Daniel Muir, DT, Texans

Muir did well again this week, even getting reps in the second quarter. They only ran the ball six times with him in the game, gaining 23 yards, but he did generate a hit and a pressure as a pass rusher. In the fourth quarter, he twice blew past the left guard on the outside once getting a hit on the quarterback as the pass was thrown and on the other one trying to make the tackle despite losing his helmet. He missed the tackle, but a teammate came over for a strip sack as the quarterback tried to escape him.

Yeremiah Bell, S, Cardinals

Mostly lining up deep, Bell contributed to the aforementioned first half shutout of the Cowboys with three tackles and a forced fumble. He twice came up into the box to cut down a runner for a short gain and also made a touchdown saving tackle on a long pass play that caused the runner to to lose the ball for a turnover. He was credited with a fourth tackle but that was a mistake by the official scorer.

Paul Cornick, T, Broncos

Cornick was a last minute cutdown last year and I omitted him from the list last week, but he’s been working with the Broncos reserves. In his first game, he gave up a sack and had a penalty but did okay as a run blocker. This week, he false started once and allowed a stunting tackle to get past him and flush the quarterback from the pocket, leading to an interception. He also allowed penetration on one running play.