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Sunday, August 12, 2018

Jet Times They Are A Changin

The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'
                  -Bob Dylan

Maybe but not guaranteed that all Jet fans will look back and have some our quarterback episodes wiped clean from our memory banks. Vinny Tesavarde rupturing his Achilles tendon in a potential Super Bowl season won’t even be a blip on the screen. And how about if the "what if Chad Pennington never got injured" statement never comes up again. Or how about the Bubby Brister shuffle pass and Mark Sanchez butt fumble? And my worst recurring nightmare I have once a month since '83 when the Jets chose Ken O’Brien over Dan Marino and hearing Jet director of scouting Mike Hickey trying to convince everyone, “O’Brien had better down field vision.” There are more but Friday night Jet fans saw something they haven’t seen in a while. The strength of the team might be the quarterback position. And despite one of the three being 39 years old, three NFL starters maybe on the Jet roster. All day Saturday I kept fielding e-mails and phone calls, “Marty, what do you think we can get for Teddy Bridgewater? A 3rd rounder? a 2nd rounder?” And then there were the Sam calls, “Marty, the Jets have got to start Darnold.” Of course human nature for sports fans always seems to get ahead of itself. The enthusiasm on sports talk radio in the metropolitan area was at a fever pitch the most I heard since Bill Parcells became the Jets head coach in 1997. The 17-0 score over the Atalanta Falcons meant very little in the first exhibition game but listening to Jet fans over the weekend you would have thought they won the first game of their playoff run. Jet fan and radio staple “Ira from Staten Island” made his rounds on the different stations being as positive as usual but somewhat cautious. And going to my local mall on Sunday, the Sam Darnold tee shirts were everywhere.  As I was in line at Modells paying for my sneakers, people were wearing their #14’s right out the door. 
  Yes things seem good but we can’t judge on one exhibition game. The offensive line looked okay at times and when I focused on center Spencer Long, you can see there will be improvement from last year at this position. One of the most impressive things from the Jets was the way their linebackers played. They were filling the gaps quickly and the crisp tackling made by the whole defense was good to see. The Trenton Cannon punt return experiment should end immediately. His ability as a running back is where the Jets should focus on. He looked good there with 40 yards on 11 attempts. Tight end Neal Sterling continues to produce and should be in the mix even when Chris Herndon gets back on the field. Moving forward the next few weeks, I’d like to see more of a pass rush from the the defense as well as more push from the offensive line with some between the tackle runs despite the west coast offense dictating a lot of outside runs. Exhibition games are for individual performances and this is what the coaches focus on hoping the team comes out injury free.
  With all the positives, the quarterback play dominated everything. Teddy Bridgewater was 7-8 for 85 yards with one TD pass. Sam Darnold was 13-18 for 96 yards and one TD pass. Both players looked smooth and one can only be happy for Teddy Bridgewater who almost lost a leg and now he is back in an NFL. More on Sam below. The exhibition games have actually picked up steam with the competition at quarterback. It is too early to make trades or decide who the starter will be. Jet fans should enjoy the summer and watch every play by every QB. The times may be changing.

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More About Sam
From Marty Schupak
Sam Darnold showed well with the two biggest traits I like in a QB: down field vision and pocket awareness to pressure. He looked comfortable rolling out but he has got to be aware that some of the NFL defensive ends and edge pass rushers are incredibly quick. And until I see him thread the needle on a long TD bomb (Robby Anderson wanted) will I be completely satisfied. Jet fans have to be happy with what they have seen so far. If in fact it is true that the Jet hierarchy is giving him a chance to start the season, he must start the next two games to recognize the speed he will be playing against. 

From Ray Clifford
Sam Darnold had an excellent first outing in his first NFL game. Very good pocket awareness, did not stare down receivers, good mobility and seemed to have good command of the offense. That being said, it was game one of the preseason and you won't see schemes this vanilla or talent level this low again the rest of the season. Wasn't thrilled they kept him in the whole second half. Don't want our prized draft pick protected by guys who may never be in the NFL again by next week. I don't get overly excited when someone plays well in these games, but I DO get concerned if they play poorly. He definitely passed his first test, no pun intended.

From Ralph Sharaga
Darnold showed all the traits he displayed at USC. Confidence, command, poise, mobility inside and outside the pocket, good feel for the rush and accuracy on the run.  Definitely a quick study. That being said, passes were mainly underneath. Sure we’ll see more downfield stuff as the weeks go by. Tried to squeeze in a couple of sideline passes where the receiver was not open. Had a tendency to do this at USC. Will need to become more selective. My biggest criticism is in regards to a comment he made after the game. He said it might be easier to read defenses in the pros because the hash marks are closer. Now, I’m a big Sam fan and I think he’s going to be a star. BUT this is pre season and he was a throwing against back ups. He ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
Final thought:  Bowles is in an awkward position. For the rest of the pre season which QB does he throw out with the 3rd stringers (Remember when Sanchez got hurt in the 4th quarter)? He doesn’t have a Hack, Petty or McElroy, to use as a sacrificial lamb. Might actually have to be McCown!


What The Jet Scribes Are Saying
Rich Cimini, ESPN
Ten observations from the press box after the Jets' 17-0 win over the Falcons:
1. Sam Darnold passed his first test. Playing against the Falcons' backups, the rookie QB was composed under the bright lights (and half-empty stadium). The best thing he did was something we've seen all summer: He threw really well on the run, especially on his 14-yard TD pass to Charles Johnson. That's a great quality for a rookie QB. He never panicked when the pocket collapsed. Basically, he was the anti-Hackenberg.
2. As Bill Parcells would say, let's hold off on the anointing oils. I'd say Darnold is trending toward the starting job, but he hasn't earned it yet. Let's see how he does with the starters and against a first-string defense. Todd Bowles should give him that shot next week in Washington.
3. You have to feel good for Teddy Bridgewater, who saw his first extensive action in two years. He played really well in two series, leading the offense to 10 points. His best throw was a 21-yard strike to Neal Sterling on a seam route. He has to be considered a legit candidate for the starting job. if nothing else, he raised his trade value.
4. This, of course, doesn't bode well for incumbent Josh McCown. At this point, I see him as a fallback option for the Jets. If Bridgewater and Darnold continue this way, McCown will begin the season on the bench.
5. Strong effort by the defense. Yes, Matt Ryan barely played (one pass), but a shutout is a shutout. Bet you didn't know it was the first home shutout in Jets preseason history. I certainly didn't know that until late in the game. We saw history!
6. Rookie RB Trent Cannon muffed two punts. They won't pull the plug on him yet, but it's hard to imagine him returning punts for the Jets on opening day in Detroit. He showed some giddy-up as a running back, but one of the reasons he was drafted was to return punts.
7. Second-year WRs Chad Hansen and ArDarius Stewart didn't get in until the second half. They've had quiet camps and it appears that neither will crack the receiver rotation.
8. Sleeper of the night: LB Neville Hewitt is quietly having a solid camp, and he backed it up with a good game -- a team-high eight tackles, one INT and two pass break ups. For a change, the Jets have good depth at inside linebacker.
9. Rookie defensive linemen Nathan Shepherd and Foley Fatukasi (strip sack) made a couple of flash plays. On Atlanta's first series, Shepherd shed a block and moved really well laterally to make the tackle.
10. We saw some staples of the Jeremy Bates offense. Lots of outside zone running (stretch plays), lots of quarterback bootlegs and a heavy dose of play action.
                                        See Sam Pass! See Sam Run! See Sam Win!
                                                                  Is there a better gift this year?               

Manish Mehta, NY Daily News
Darnold was far from perfect, but he exhibited some of the traits that had the Jets privately giddy about the kid’s public unveiling. “I was pumped to be out there,” the rookie said.
Darnold was the sketch of cool in his first NFL game, showing poise and command to state an early case that he should indeed be the starting quarterback for Week 1 of the regular season next month. He went 9 for 11 for 74 yards, 1 TD, a 125.0 passer rating in two drives in the first half before playing with third-stringers on five drives after intermission. Darnold, who wore a glove on his left hand after getting spiked on his five-yard scramble in the first half, finished 13 for 18 for 96 yards, 1 TD and a 103.0 passer rating. He displayed the gifts that have so many folks on One Jets Drive convinced that they have finally found the answer to their most maddening problem. In his first two drives, we saw the skills that could make Darnold a difference maker for a long time. He exhibited tremendous patience in the pocket, elusiveness in the face of pressure, accuracy throwing on the run, scrambling prowess and sage decision making…..

If Darnold needs more seasoning – and Bridgewater lights it up in the preseason – then Gang Green won’t hesitate to start Bridgewater in the season opener against the Lions, according to sources.
“We’ll see how the preseason goes,” Bowles said about his looming quarterback decision. “I’m not going to jump to any conclusions after one game. I’ll take my notes and watch practice and compare with the coaches and we’ll come up with a decision. But it’s a tough decision. We have three good players. And we’re happy to have them.” Bridgewater sure looked like an NFL starter in his Jets debut. So did the rookie.
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Brian Costello, NY Post
The Sam Darnold Hype Train gained plenty of momentum on Friday night. The Jets rookie quarterback impressed in his preseason debut, throwing a touchdown pass in a 17-0 win over the Falcons at MetLife Stadium. You can’t put him in the Hall of Fame just yet, but Darnold showed enough to have Jets fans salivating. He completed 13-of-18 for 96 yards and the one score, but it was more about the qualities he showed than the stats he put up…..
The mobility, arm strength and poise that separated Darnold at USC were on display against the Atlanta backups. There was nothing that indicated the game was too big for Darnold and he made plays that rookies usually do not. He looked like he belonged…..
Clearly, Darnold is making his case to be the starter when the season opens Sept. 10 against the Lions. He has passed every test put in front of him so far. All three quarterbacks — Josh McCown, Teddy Bridgewater and Darnold — are NFL starters. Bowles is going to have to choose one.

   At just about publishing time this came through from today's Jets-Redskins scrimmage           

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Around The AFC East
New England Patriots
…..Quarterback Tom Brady was held out of Thursday’s preseason game, but the back injury that bothered him does not sound significant. According to Ian Rapoport of, Brady’s sore back is “pretty minor” and there is little concern about him going forward…..From Kelsie Foreman: For the last few seasons, the defense has always been listed as an area to improve for the Patriots. Judging by the performance they put on Thursday, it’s still an area needing improvement. Though Thursday’s starting lineup was as close to what it will be during the regular season (they were missing two regular-season starters, Trey Flowers and Devin McCourty); they didn’t play like starters. The first defensive series went off without a hitch, but during the second, things started to fall apart. After Kyle Van Noy gave up a really rough touchdown to Byron Marshall, one thing became clear: pass coverage is still a problem…..If there’s one player that came out hot and running, it’s new running back, Jeremy Hill. While Mike Gillislee was the player who earned the starting spot on Thursday’s game at running back, it appears that Hill did more for the Patriots during his time on the field. Hill ended the game with 11 carries for 51 yards and a touchdown in the third quarter. Hill, who was signed as a veteran free agent over the offseason, will likely be competing with Gillislee for a starting spot, or at least one as a second stringer. Gillislee ended the game with 43 yards and 14 carries, an unimpressive night for him…..In two halves of football, the Patriot’s offensive line played surprisingly well, only allowing one sack during the entire game. The offensive line had an impressive showing, and it’s only expected to get better as the season progresses. For the first time in a long time, the offensive line has experience: and that makes the Patriots even more of an offensive threat. Fans can expect the first-round pick, Isaiah Wynn, to make an appearance soon, which will undoubtedly help the Pats reach offensive-line dominance.

Buffalo Bills
…..At the start of the second half, Josh Allen made his long-awaited debut in a Bills uniform. Working with the third team offense, he performed as expected, treating the crowd to every facet of the “Josh Allen Experience.” Most notably, fans were in awe of his effortless flick-of-the-wrist deep balls, one of which sailed beautifully through the hands of Robert Foster for what would have been a sure touchdown. Of course there were moments of spotty accuracy as the Wyoming product went 9/19 on the evening. Allen’s late touchdown pass was a 14-yard laser that had the touch and accuracy of an NFL veteran. There is still quite a bit of work to do and given Peterman and McCarron’s respective performances, Allen is still probably the third-string quarterback for now, but if he can clean up some of his mistakes, he could see first-team reps before the preseason is over. Despite an underwhelming stat line, he fared admirably behind a shaky assortment of backup offensive linemen (sound familiar?). There is no question about his elite physical gifts including an absolute rocket of an arm. If he can improve on his ability to read the field and hit the short-to-medium range routes in stride, he could prove a lot of doubters (myself included) wrong.….The Bills traded for former first-round wideout Corey Coleman and Joe Buscaglia of believes the receiver could have an immediate impact on his new team. The writer points out that Kelvin Benjamin and Jeremy Kerley are the only two players locked in at the top of the Bills depth chart, and this was emphasized when the coaching staff add recently-recovered Andre Holmes to the first team during camp (Zay Jones has since recovered from his injury, as well). At the very least, Coleman will provide the Bills with unmatched speed, a skill set that the team’s fellow receivers are lacking…..Bills receiver Zay Jones has been activated off the active/non-football injury list, but was wearing a red contact jersey during his first day back at practice, tweets Joe Buscaglia of WKBW. Jones underwent knee surgery in May and missed Buffalo’s offseason program, but the club has expressed hope that Jones — who was selected in the second round of the 2017 draft — will be ready for the regular season. After an offseason which included not only an operation but a bizarre arrest, the Bills have been adamant that Jones won’t be handed a starting spot…..The Bills‘ new look offensive line is long on experience but may be short on talent, Sal Maiorana of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle writes. The Bills are coming into 2018 without Cordy Glenn, Eric Wood, and Richie Incognito, three players who have started a combined 347 games and made five Pro Bowls. Of the Bills’ current 15 linemen, they have zero Pro Bowlers or even players that have been considered for a Pro Bowl.

Miami Dolphins
…..…..From Finatics:The Dolphins opened pre season in Miami this past Thursday night.   The second, third and forth teams grinded it out to the end, but could not close the deal, and ended losing; Buccaneers 26, Dolphins 24.  But..  There were some shining lights despite the lost. One of the shining light - Tannehill looked great on the first drive.  It was his first time starting for the Dolphins since December 2016.  But, it looked like he hadn't missed a beat.  The first team offense for the Dolphins is what I have to hope for Miami for the rest of the 2018 season.  Tannehill looked GREAT.  He was on target for virtually every throw going 4 for 6.   He threw the ball like he is throwing a rocket propelled football. The other shining light in the game on offense was RB Kallen Ballage.  Ballage played second team offense, but really 3rd since Frank Gore did not start.  Ballage had a great night going 37 yards on 10 attempts with a long run of 14 yards.  He also had a decent night receiving going 3 for 23 yards.  Only low point with Ballage is the one hurdling fumble.  But...  what a great attempt. On defense, the night in my opinion went to our number one draft choice - Minkah Fitzpatrick.  Minkah had shown some great coverage and proved his worthiness of a number one draft choice…General Manager Chris Grier, went back to Columbus, Ohio, to try and bring in more talent to the linebacking corp, and he might have hit the jackpot with Jerome Baker.
The second level is so key to a defense because it’s the last level before getting to your defensive backs, which in today’s football pretty much aren’t paid to tackle, especially with the new helmet rules that are in effect. From covering running backs out of the backfield, to covering the middle of the field from short to intermediate routes, and of course defending tight-ends from going down the seam. Most importantly being the heart and soul of a defense by making those crucial tackles that energize a team, as well as getting an offense off the field on 3rd down. Jerome Baker is the prototypical new-age linebacker (6’1 225 lbs) who is not the biggest but plays with so much athleticism and speed (4.5 40) that keeps him in position to make plays all over the field especially the types I mentioned before. In his first preseason game he got action with the first team defense in the Nickel Package, tallied 5 total tackles, one of which was a tackle for loss. Scary part is he should have had two TFL’s but was unable to wrap up the ball carrier that eventually got tackled at the line of scrimmage…..South Florida police unions are urging their members to not buy Miami Dolphins tickets or seek a refund because several players had protested during the national anthem before the preseason opener.

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Sunday, August 5, 2018

Jets Green And White Scrimmage

  The Jets had their Green and White scrimmage last night. Sam Darnold is looking more and more comfortable in his first week in the NFL. Out of the three quarterbacks, Darnold got the most repetitions. Something tells me the Jet coaching staff loves this guy and is pushing to giving him the starting job. He showed very good mobility and as I said in the past and what I loved about him in college is his ability to extend plays like Ben Roethlisberger. He seems to have an excellent 6th sense knowing when to either step up in the pocket or move out of the pocket. He had a couple of nice runs and made a very nice pass to tight end Neal Sterling (keep an eye on this guy). The offensive line and the receivers will play a big role in determining whether Darnold, Josh Mccown or Teddy Bridgewater is named the starter for the season.
  Speaking of the offensive line there are concerns that Jet fans should be aware of especially if Darnold is that franchise quarterback. Free agent center Spencer Long had a couple of bad snaps. This is on top of some questionable snaps during practice. Last year center Wesley Johnson was awful and Long is suppose to be an upgrade. If he fails, this is a huge problem as I was expecting him to be a major improvement that would translate into better play by the whole offensive line. In addition LT Kelvin Beachum did not play because of what has been described as a foot injury. Beachum was seen walking in a boot before the scrimmage. Todd Bowles is calling it a week-to-week injury. In a nutshell the offensive line did nothing to distinguish itself. In fact the defense showed a good pass rush. In particular Brandon Copeland, Xavier Cooper and Leonard Williams were active and would have had sacks in a regular season game except for the quick whistle. Honestly the pass rush was more because of bad offensive line play than great defensive line play though out of the three, Williams seemed to be living in the backfield most of night.
  As far as the other quarterbacks, Josh McCown looked real good in limited action leading a 60-yard TD drive. Teddy Bridgewater will probably not get a fair look in the pre-season. This is tough considering how hard he has worked to get back to where he is. He was under pressure all night and it looks like he may never get a chance to play behind the first unit. He did go 5-for-5 for 53 yards
and looked smooth when he wasn’t under pressure. It would really serve the Jets well if Bridgewater was given a fair look with the first team in one or more of the exhibition games. As trade bait, the Jets may be able to get a 3rd or 4th round (conditional) draft pick if he plays well.
  Penalties are the killers for this team and were an issue again Saturday.  I counted a total of eight, split evenly with four on offense and four on defense. The Jets have got to get the penalty situation under control. There are going to be a lot of push ups leading up to the first regular season game.
  Rookie TE Chris Herndon looked real good as he has through training camp thus far. He caught four passes in the scrimmage but what impresses me about Herndon is his athleticism. At times he looks like he is a seasoned veteran. Maybe the Jets tight end dilemma is over.
  Rookie RB Trenton Cannon may have been the best player on the field last night. He really showed his speed hitting the edge on a few runs incredibly quick. He had one catch when he was lined up wide. I really hope this works out well. He is oozing with talent. My concerns drafting him out of Virginia State was the competition he played against and his size. He is listed at 5’11”, 185 pounds and that is being very liberal. I’m not sure he will be able to take the pounding over the course of a sixteen game schedule.
  The Jets had a number of players missing with injuries from Saturday night’s Green & White scrimmage besides Kelvin Beachum. They are: Parry Nickerson (hamstring), Terrelle Pryor, Quincy Enunwa, Jordan Leggett, Marcus Maye, Steve McLendon, Charone Peake,  David Bass, Deon Simon, Kacy Rodgers II, Austin Golson, Jeremy Clark and Kevin Pierre-Louis. Bowles said Pryor (ankle) and Maye (ankle) would return to practice Monday. Kicker Cairo Santos did not kick at all, but Bowles said he is not hurt. 
  The bottom line is Sam Darnold looked real good. The Jets are going to have to devise a plan to bring him along in a way that he will be the QB for 10+ years. The offensive line is the key to his development. God forbid he is put into an Archie Manning situation with incredible talent but nothing around him. I would look at this as a kind of two year plan considering how much money the Jets have in cap space and who will be available as free agents for the offensive line. The Jets are headed in the right direction but besides the OL, they are still missing a skilled pass rusher as well as All Pro talent at the skill positions on offense. 

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Rich Cimini, ESPN
On Day 5 of the Jets' quarterback competition, Sam Darnold was spotty — which is what you'd expect from a rookie in his second practice. He threw an interception on quick pass to a wide receiver; his arm hit a teammate's helmet and the ball floated in the air. Darnold shook it off and rallied with a 10-play drive that stalled in the red zone. He showed accuracy on designed rollouts, which will be a staple in this offense. If you're into stats, he completed eight of 16 with one INT, including a handful of reps with the first team. Josh McCown (9-for-11, 1 TD) won the day, leading a nine-play TD drive in scrimmage-like period. Teddy Bridgewater (8-for-14) ended with five straight completions.


Danish Mehta, NY Daily News
QB Sam Darnold said that he watched the first three practices on his iPad while staying at a hotel about one minute away from the team facility. Threw with guys from CAA at local high school. 

"It sucked watching... but at the same time, I knew it was necessary.

Sam Darnold is absolutely terrific on designed rollouts. He's making some solid decisions. Good elusiveness. Taking risks, so it's far from perfect. But he looks pretty good overall......

                          See Sam Pass! See Sam Run! See Sam Win!
                                                                  Is there a better gift this year?               

Mehta on Derrick Jones
He’s jumping off the tape, this skinny player with an apropos nickname, making plays left and right like some dude who used to wear the same jersey number for the Jets the last time they were relevant. He’s a project, an athlete, a hell of a dancer (more on that later) and a tantalizing piece that has crashed the party in the first week of training camp. It’s been impossible to ignore Derrick Jones.For all the focus on the Jets quarterbacks, free-agent additions and rookies, this second-year, sixth-round cornerback has stolen the show through the first six practices by popping up time and time again. No matter who you focus on before the snap, Jones invariably comes into your field of vision. He’s been everywhere. It looks the Jets made a wise investment in this project.
“He keeps showing up in practice every day,” general manager Mike Maccagnan said. “Now, of course, time will tell how he continues to progress or not. But you see those little things. Those guys are kind of wild cards. It was like when we had Robby (Anderson) the first year. We (thought), ‘Oh. We may have something in him as an (undrafted) free agent. And suddenly, he sort of blossomed.”
The 6-2, 188-pound Jones, or “Bones” to his buddies, has made a remarkable leap in his development after the Jets plucked the converted wide receiver from Ole Miss with the 204th overall pick of the 2017 draft. While most late-round projects fizzle quickly, Jones has been the biggest surprise of camp after logging only 18 special-teams snaps in three games as a rookie.

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Brian Costello, NY Post
The early breakout star of training camp is second-year cornerback Derrick Jones. He has constantly been around the ball. He has intercepted McCown and Bridgewater and tipped a Darnold pass Monday that was intercepted by Doug Middleton. Jones basically had a redshirt year in 2017 after the Jets drafted him in the sixth round out of Mississippi. Now, he is emerging and could be a fourth cornerback this season.

Last season, Antonio Garcia got to go to Super Bowl LII with the Patriots. Except, he was attending as a member of the non-football injury reserve list after blood clots in his lungs sidelined him for what was supposed to be his rookie campaign.The experience made one thing clear to Garcia — he’d have to make it back, but this time as a contributing player.When Garcia was released in May by the Patriots, who drafted him 85th overall in 2017, his first thoughts reflect his competitive and matter-of-fact nature: “On to the next. The next step in Garcia’s football career started May 14, when the Jets claimed the 6-foot-7 tackle off waivers.
“Training camp is training camp. We all know that,” Garcia said at camp this week as he battles for a spot on the roster. “I’m just trying to take everything I learned [in New England] and bring it here as far as just being disciplined and some of the culture there in a certain sense. I try to bring here.”

The 24-year-old said he’s feeling good, though New England never medically cleared him. Medications, including blood thinners, resulted in a 40-pound weight loss.Though his health and weight has, for the most part, been restored, Garcia, listed at 300 pounds, said the Jets coaching staff and medical staff have been accommodating.

“Anything I need, they get me. I follow their orders and we do what we got to do,” Garcia said. “I feel good, I did what the doctors told me. I worked hard, I stayed on a strict diet and went through with the medication — full regimen. I’m back, healthy and ready to go.”

Through the first four days of training camp, Garcia said he’s already developed chemistry with his new teammates as he looks to fulfill the potential he showed that made him a third-round pick.The Houston native would have been a four-year starter at left tackle for Troy University had he not suffered a knee injury that saw him miss half his redshirt freshman season in 2013. Garcia went on to make a team-high 24 starts through his sophomore and junior campaigns.
In his senior season, Garcia did not allow a single sack in over 900 offensive snaps to lead the Trojans’ offensive line that led the country in fewest sacks allowed (nine). He was credited with over 70 knockdown blocks on the season.Although Garcia is already on to his second team just one year after getting drafted into the NFL, it’s clear his injuries and medical history so far have prevented him from establishing himself within an organization.
If the Jets can ignite Garcia’s untapped potential, his first official season in the NFL could be a solid basis for the rest of his football career. Garcia said he’ll do anything to get there.

Five observations on Day 6 of Jets camp: 1.) Injuries are starting to mount. Rookie CB Parry Nickerson, having an impressive camp, tweaked a hamstring while covering Terrelle Pryor on a "go" route. WR Quincy Enunwa (hand) sat out for the second straight day. 2.) There are no stars at tight end, but there's good competition. Todd Bowles called it the best group he's had. At this point, I have no idea who will emerge the starter. It's so wide open. 3.) WR Chad Hansen, one of the spring standouts, has disappeared. 4.) RB Isaiah Crowell is faster than I expected. He's a better receiver than Bowles expected. He'll be a big factor. 5.) The secondary wants to create more turnovers. Through six practices, the defense has picked off only two passes in 11-on-11 drills.

Around The AFC East
Rookie running back Sony Michel underwent a minor procedure to drain fluid from his knee, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Saturday, via a source informed of the situation. The former Georgia star is expected to be back in time for the Week 1 clash with the Texans, Rapoport added……WR Jordan Matthews was released by the Patriots who signed Eric Decker to a one year contract…… Running back Jeremy Hill still has a better chance of making the Patriots‘ final cut than fellow RB Mike Gillislee, Doug Kyed of writes…..When it comes to the biggest surprise from Patriots camp so far, it has to be offensive tackle Trent Brown. He came over from the 49ers with a few concerns, but he’s been outstanding thus far. He’s dominated the 1-on-1 linemen drills and has showed his athleticism in 11-on-11s getting out in front to block. For as much as the left tackle spot was a question mark going into training camp, Brown has done everything he can to put those concerns to bed.
Defensive tackle Adolphus Washington may be in roster trouble…..WR Kelvin Benjamin was traded from the Panthers to the Bills last season, and he’s glad to be gone from Carolina. Benjamin told The Athletic that he never felt that he was a fit with the Panthers, and specifically never felt he was a fit with Cam Newton…..Free-agent defensive end Ryan Russell is finally a free agent no more. Per a league source, Russell has agreed to terms with the Buffalo Bills. It’s a one-year deal. Russell previously played for the Buccaneers. In 2017, he appeared in 14 games with seven starts. He also generated a pair of sacks….. How nice of a weight room can you buy with $18 million? The Bills are about to find out. "Team owners Terry and Kim Pegula are funding a massive $18 million renovation of the weight room inside the ADPRO Sports Training Center, which Bills officials say will give the team the best such facility in the NFL," Jay Skurski reported Friday…..
The Miami Dolphins scrimmage could have gone better as the offense appeared sloppy and there were a ton of penalties. The biggest offensive highlight was Brock Osweiler throwing a touchdown to wide receiver Drew Morgan during the live scrimmage. But during 7-on-7’s, Ryan Tannehill hit Mike Gesicki for a long touchdown. Penalties have plagued the Dolphins for the past two seasons under Adam Gase and it’s something that needs to get fixed somehow.…..Rookie tight end Mike Gesicki was compared to Jimmy Graham both prior to and after the 2018 NFL Draft. That is just what we have seen out of him. He’s been an incredible threat in the red zone and capable of making big plays downfield. He’s already climbed from fourth string to first string in less than two weeks. He’s bodying defenders, getting to the ball at its highest point and tearing it down with excellent body control according to Mark Morales-Smith….Wide receiver Rashawn Scott and defensive end Charles Harris have looked great in camp so far…..Ryan Tannehill seemed to have a connection with Danny Amendola, who might end up leading the team in receptions. Their chemistry has been excellent thus far.
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Sunday, July 29, 2018

Latest from Rich Cimini, Sunday 7/29/18 3:27PM
This may provide some clarity on the Sam Darnold standoff: While the offset clause remains an issue, the major sticking point, as I understand it, is default language pertaining to guaranteed money. Under the Jets' proposal, Darnold's entire guarantee will void if he's fined by the league for discipline or conduct on/off the field. This is different from the Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen contracts. In their cases, their guarantee voids with a suspension, not a fine. Big difference. The Jets' approach is unusual based on recent history. It's believed that, in the last 10 drafts, no top-3 pick had voidables tied to league fines. This may sound petty, but Darnold has a $30 million guarantee over the life of the proposed contract.

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My Nemesis, I'm A Jet Fan
I knew things were rolling too well. Baker Mayfield signed his contract! Josh Allen (represented by the same agency-different agents as Sam Darnold) signed his contract! The dominos were falling in the right direction. The Jets were getting ready for two practices without pads before Sunday’s first real practice with pads. Then the momentum came to a screeching halt! Sam Darnold still had yet to sign his contract. I had thought I read a Manish Mehta ( NY Daily News) tweet saying the contract is being signed. But no such luck. I waited and waited. Thursday night was a horrid night for me. As most normal people worry about everyday issues, car and mortgage payments, food on the table, I was waking up every hour checking and Cimini, Mehta and Costello’s twitter posts waiting to see “Darnold Signs” but nothing. Friday night was just as bad. No sleep! I was driving my wife crazy. Why is this happening? Still checking, reading, trying to get the word. Filling in the cracks I learned what “offset” language is. I learned a lot of about Jimmy Sexton, Sam Darnold’s agent who coincidently is Bill Parcells agent. I remember how after the draft Sexton did a good thing setting up a meeting with Parcells, Sam Darnold and Josh Allen (Darnold’s new best friend) in Jupiter Florida for an afternoon just to talk football. The last good deed Sexton ever did in my book. Then RB Elijah McGuire breaks his foot in a conditioning drill. Bad luck for McGuire. Jet luck! Saturday I had conversations with Green Rewind contributor’s Ralph Sharaga and Ray Clifford who both tried to talk me off the ledge. They took my threats seriously from the new Tappan Zee bridge (sorry Andrew) and both had the same logic that the silver lining is when he signs he’ll sit, which is what we all want in his first year. Still not signed. I remember when Blair Thomas (who was a bust) held out his rookie year. I was disappointed but nothing like this. What in the world of Matt Robinson is going on here? Why can’t things go smoothly for the Jets ever? Now I know this isn’t like Don Shula leaving the tarp off the field the night before a playoff game or Joe Namath going 14-40 against the KC Chiefs in the playoff game the year after the Super Bowl, but every minute that passes with Darnold unsigned is bad. It is bad for Darnold, bad for the Jets, bad for Jet fans and bad for my sleep. Hopefully by the time you read this something will be done. But this is bad luck. Jet luck. All Jet fans can do is hope right now that Josh McCown can get some kind of Fountain of Youth extension and that Teddy Bridgewater is really 100% healed. Football season is here! Just as Kermit The Frog says, “It’s Not Easy Being Green.”  


What The Jet Scribes Are Saying
Rich Cimini, ESPN
Friday’s Practice
A few non-quarterback takeaways from the Jets' first practice: RB Eli McGuire left with a foot injury. No word on the severity ... WR Terrelle Pryor and S Marcus Maye sat out as they recover from old ankle injuries. Doug Middleton replaced Maye with the first team. The coaches really like Middleton ... Overall, a sloppy practice. Too many penalties. Sound familiar? ... Good day for the tight ends. Maybe there's more there than we think. Rookie Chris Herndon can stretch the seam ... CB Rashard Robinson, facing a suspension, sloppy with technique ... WR Quincy Enunwa looked good. Josh McCown said Enunwa reminds him of Anquan Boldin. Lofty praise.
Saturday’s Practice
 A few takeaways from yesterday: Nice day for DE Leonard Williams, who was unblockable at times ... CB Derrick Jones was around the ball a couple of times, intercepting Josh McCown once in a 7-on-7 period ... Rookie DE Nathan Shepherd had another strong practice. He blew by G James Carpenter in a pass-rush drill. Curious to see how he does in pads ... WR Jermaine Kearse had a Jackie Smith moment, butchering a wide-open pass in the end zone. At least it was practice, not a Super Bowl ... Penalties continue to be an issue on both sides of the ball. Well, at least they're getting stronger, thanks to the penalty pushups.

Manish Mehta, NY Daily News
Tweet #1
Agent is holding out Sam Darnold on the pretext he's protecting his client. The truth: Agent is leveraging player to strengthen his own recruiting position. Now he's attempting to shift "real reason" for impasse in attempt to score points w/public. Meanwhile, player & team suffer
Tweet #2
Jets aren't always right, but they're absolutely right in this case. Sam Darnold probably should have taken similar tack as Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen & Josh Rosen, who all made it clear missing any practice simply wasn't an option. But this is mostly about one agent's ego.

Brian Costello, NY Post
The two sides are at odds over language in the contract. The main issue is offsets. The team wants offsets in the deal. Darnold and his agent do not. Offsets protect a team if a player is cut and then signs with another team. It allows them to deduct the salary the player receives from a new team from what they owe him. Players want to collect full salaries from both teams.
Darnold and Bears linebacker Roquan Smith are the only remaining unsigned rookies. Both Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen, the other top quarterbacks taken, signed contracts this week that included offsets.There is no dispute about what Darnold will be paid because rookie contracts are slotted under the current CBA. Darnold is scheduled to make around $30 million guaranteed over four years with a $20 million signing bonus. The team also holds a fifth-year option for all first-round picks.
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Around The AFC East
…..Patriots Troy Niklas was released after just two days of training camp, which is a bit of a surprise. The big tight end was in competition to get one of the backup slots. The team signed WR Paul Turner who spent four games with the Eagles in 2016. In other moves this week, the team signed safety Eddie Pleasant, guard Nate Theaker and WR Devin Lucien while releasing safety David Jones…..The Buffalo Bills have three QBs vying for reps in training camp and into the preseason this summer and it’ll bear watching this summer. Top draft choice Josh Allen signed his contract and is in camp, the team traded for A.J. McCarron with the Bengals and have veteran Nathan Peterman who was thrown into a disastrous first start last year but bounced back nicely after that.McCarron led Alabama to a national title but this is his first opportunity to start. He’ll try to hold off Peterman and the rookie Allen. Allen is their QB of the future, but Bills coach Sean McDermott has made it clear, that the team won’t push their future QB into game action before he’s ready. That’s why they brought in McCarron. When it comes to arm strength, Allen is head and shoulders above the other two, but as we’ve seen, playing QB in the NFL is much more than that or else Jeff George would be in the Hall of Fame…..The Miami Dolphins are trying to work Danny Amendola in the slot where he was so valuable for the Patriots the past few years. And QB Ryan Tannehill, who missed all of last season with a torn ACL is working hard to build his chemistry with the tough but diminutive wide receiver.But not everyone is happy with the work being turned in by the Dolphins QB. Dolphins beat writer, Omar Kelly who is known for his over the top tweets was writing that Tannehill is leading Amendola into a huge collision. “Every single media member has CRINGED watching some of the passes Tannehill throws Amendola. If the action were live Reshad Jones and T.J. McDonald would break his ribs, or give him a concussion. Ball placement is a very important trait a QB needs, ask Dustin Keller.” Kelly added, “And for the record, I predict Reshad Jones and T.J. McDonald will be head hunters (sic) in this defense….if the refs allow it. Both make great jumps on plays and bring the sledge hammer. Problem is, the NFL doesn’t want those hits in the game anymore. We’ll see.”…..Pro Football Weekly’s Bob LeGere and Hub Arkush think that Patriots RB Sony Michel will have the biggest impact in the AFC East…..

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Around the NFL
…..The Browns are in training camp. Receiver Josh Gordon, who missed more than two full seasons due to a substance-abuse policy suspension, currently isn’t, for reasons that still haven’t been made entirely clear. And when owner Jimmy Haslam spoke to reporters on Saturday, he tried to say as little as possible about Gordon…..The Jets are going to be without running back Elijah McGuire for a while due to a foot injury and they took a look at some potential replacements on Saturday.That group included Alfred Morris along with former Giant Orleans Darkwa. Darkwa, who led the Giants in rushing last season, also worked out for the Bills recently as he tries to land a job after spending part of the offseason recovering from surgery to remove a plate from his leg. Jordan Raanan of reports that he’s set to visit the Colts as well. Raanan’s colleague Rich Cimini reports that Tion Green also worked out for the Jets on Saturday…..Da'Ron Payne will miss the next few weeks of his first NFL training camp due to an ankle injury. Washington coach Jay Gruden said that Payne had his left ankle stepped on during practice on Friday. Payne will wear a boot to protect the ankle for the next week and is expected to be off the field for two or three weeks overall, but Gruden said he didn’t see the injury as a big setback for the rookie….. The NFL’s new rule against initiating contact by lowering the helmet has directly contributed to the lengthy contract dispute between the Bears and their first-round draft pick, linebacker Roquan Smith. Pro Football Talk previously explained that Smith could be concerned that if he’s suspended under the new rule, the Bears could void the guarantees in his contract, and Smith and his agents are seeking protections against that…..Panthers offensive tackle Daryl Williams has been diagnosed with a dislocated patella and torn MCL in his right knee after being injured during Saturday's training camp practice, the team announced. “Daryl Williams dislocated his right patella and tore the medial collateral ligament in his right knee in this morning’s practice,” head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion said Saturday in a statement. …..Steelers starting left guard Ramon Foster was carted off from practice after his right leg got caught underneath defensive end Stephon Tuitt, Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports……Duane Brown has a new deal. The Seahawks on Saturday announced they have agreed to terms on a multi-year contract extension with the veteran offensive tackle. According to NFL Insider Ian Rapoport, the deal is for three years and worth $36.5 million…..Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones has agreed to a revised deal that will not only net him an additional $2.9 million in 2018, but also comes with an assurance of negotiating a long-term deal before the 2019 season, reported Friday morning, citing unidentified sources……