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Fake New York Jets Taylor Bertolet Jerseys Authentic

Shortly after Chandler Catanzaro stated his intentions to retire from the league, the Jets immediately turned to someone they had in camp last year in Taylor Bertolet.

“I thought I had a great camp last year, a great preseason and I’m glad to be back here,” said Bertolet, who was successful on all four of his field goal attempts he attempted in the 2018 preseason. “It feels welcoming to be back here and I’m looking forward to continuing to build on that.”

After spending the summer with the Jets, Bertolet headed off to play for the Salt Lake Stallions of the Alliance of American Football. He connected on 9-of-14 FG attempts, with his longest make going for 54 yards in Week 3. He then joined the Broncos in April but was later waived in July.

In between his football stints, Bertolet remained committed to the sports world, but in a much different way.

“In between playing I’ve been going back to grad school. I actually just finished my graduate degree in sports psychology from Cal State Fullerton,” Bertolet said. “It’s kind of my passion outside of kicking, working with athletes on the mental side of the game. I think it’s a big thing that’s helped me prepare to be a kicker.”
When asked how his time in sports psychology has helped contribute to his overall kicking game, the 5’9”, 188-pounder didn’t hesitate.

“To see pressure as a privilege, to trust your skills and not go out and overthink about your technique or your mechanics, and to just let your body do what it’s meant to naturally do,” Bertolet said. “Pressure situations is what I do as a kicker — your job is to handle pressure. So, I think it’s helped me to be prepared to be in those moments and have a routine and have a process that you can go into and buy into. That’s going to help you be more successful and be more consistent in your performance.”
Although Bertolet has never kicked in a regular-season NFL game, Jets head coach Adam Gase had a favorable early impression of the Texas A&M product.

“This is where we’re at right now,” Gase said. “We’ll kind of see how everything goes. What I saw today, I was pretty impressed. It sounded good coming off his foot.”

As Bertolet gets thrown into the mid-camp mix, his attention has shifted to showing consistency.

“To me it’s the same thing, it’s the same yellow poles that I’m going to go kick through. It’s the same pressure as a preseason game or if we’re out here in practice, so I’m not going to treat it any differently,” he said. “It’s a process to deal with, not getting into regular season but looking forward to hopefully getting that opportunity this year.”

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After starting eight games at center for the Jets last season, Jonotthan Harrison is looking to turn pencil into pen.

“For now, my goal is to enter the season as the starter, take it one step at a time from there,” Harrison said. “I have my other personal goals, but that’s my large one right now. I’m going on Year 6. I’ve had my years starting and I’ve had my years where I didn’t start as much. My goal is to definitely enter this season as a starter and earn my credibility as a lineman.”

In order to cement his spot, the 6’4”, 300-pounder is striving for consistency both on the field and in the classroom to make the sure the line is always on the same page. Even though Harrison has never played in a system like head coach Adam Gase’s attack, he believes the up-tempo style suits him well.

“It’s perfect,” he said with a smile. “When I was first looking at this offense, I was intimidated. I was like, ‘Man, this is so different. I have to get used to this.’ Then after going on the field and putting it together, everything clicked. This could be my bread and butter for sure. I’m really excited to see how this pans out.”

Top Images of the Jets Offensive Line
See the Best Photos of the Jets Offensive Line

Gase said the Florida product did a “great” job leading the offensive line in the spring and believes quarterback Sam Darnold trusts Harrison up front. The duo gained playing experience down the stretch in 2018, starting the final four games together.

“He’ll trust me to take care of certain things that he doesn’t need to stress about,” said Harrison about his relationship with the second-year signal-caller. “He’ll tell me, ‘You do this, you do this, you get the line on the right page.’ He trusts me with that and it’s a good sign. It shows the connection that we have and that chemistry can go a long way.”

Not only do Gase and Darnold both like what Harrison brings to the offensive line, but OL coach Frank Pollack also praised Harrison for his work ethic.

“He’s a very smart player, he’s working his butt off,” Pollack said. “This guy is a grinder. I like the way he works. He is a pro in that regard. The biggest compliment I can give anyone in the room is he’s a pro’s pro, the way he prepares himself and carries himself. Talent level really has nothing to do with that. For me, it’s about how they work and how they prepare every day, and he’s right at the top of the list in that.”

 

Cheap Nike New York Jets Quinnen Williams Jersey Authentic 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – If there was one thing Quinnen Williams learned during his three years at Alabama, it was discovering the importance of patience.

He didn’t find the need to exercise that newfound virtue on Thursday night.

Quinnen Williams New York Jets
Jachai Polite New York Jets
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After two seasons of toiling in relative obscurity among the Crimson Tide’s star-laden defensive front, Williams evolved into one of the nation’s top defensive disrupters last season during his breakout redshirt sophomore campaign.

More: NFL Draft position previews: Alabama’s Quinnen Williams could be among top 3 picks

More: Alabama’s Quinnen Williams reflects on rapid rise while sitting out Pro Day

Williams was widely considered to be a top-five pick and the first interior lineman off the board when the 84th National Football League draft unfolded its three-day spectacle.

Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) and guests on the red carpet prior to the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) and guests on the red carpet prior to the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Photo: Kirby Lee, Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

Williams was selected third overall by the New York Jets after Arizona selected Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray with the first pick and San Francisco followed with Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa with the second pick.

Running back Trent Richardson was the last Alabama player taken as high as No. 3 pick in 2012, and Williams’ selection gives the Crimson Tide three straight years with a defensive lineman taken in the first round.
“It feels amazing being a New York Jet, going to a franchise that already has a great defense already in place and I’m adding another tool to their assets,” Williams said. “I’ve got (former Alabama linebacker) C.J. Moseley there, a person I always looked up to, somebody that I always asked for advice and grew up watching. So that’s amazing.”

Williams said he would miss his time at Alabama, but was ready to take on the next chapter of his career.
“The thing I’ll miss the most is the guys and the locker room conversations,” Williams said. “Playing for Alabama that brotherhood will always be there and I know we’ll always have each other’s back. Coach (Nick) Saban has been amazing and gave me advice every day since I declared, giving me a blueprint on how to be a pro.”

When asked by a New York reporter if he already had plans to sack New England quarterback Tom Brady, Williams’ eyes lit up.

“Tom Brady is the G.O.A.T. Anytime you can get to somebody like Tom Brady it would be amazing,” Williams said. “I want to sack every quarterback, though, not just him. I want them to know my name.”

Williams’ lofty selection proved that last season, when he went from a backup role to claiming the Outland Trophy as college football’s best interior lineman along with consensus All-America honors, wasn’t an anomaly.

“I look back almost every day almost and look where I came from in a year,” Williams said. “A year ago, I was getting ready for spring practice — not even knowing if I was going to start or what position I was going to start at.”

Quinnen WIlliams poses with his new Jets jersey and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell during the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday, April 25, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn.
79 Photos
Quinnen Williams: A look at the New York Jets’ 2019 NFL Draft first-roun…
Quinnen WIlliams poses with his new Jets jersey and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell during the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday, April 25, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn.1 of 79
Quinnen WIlliams holds his new New York Jets jersey after being picked during the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday, April 25, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn.
Quinnen WIlliams mingles with New York Jets fans after being picked during the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday, April 25, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn.
Quinnen Williams waves to the crowd after being selected by the New York Jets during the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday, April 25, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn.
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) stands with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after he was selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) stands with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after he was selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) stands with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after he was selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) stands with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after he was selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Quinnen Williams of Alabama waves to the crowd as he comes on stage for the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday, April 25, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn.
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) and guests on the red carpet prior to the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) on the red carpet prior to the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) on the red carpet prior to the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams during Pro Day on the University of Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Tuesday March 19, 2019.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams and Alabama offensive lineman Ross Pierschbacher chat during Pro Day on the University of Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Tuesday March 19, 2019.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams during Pro Day on the University of Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Tuesday March 19, 2019.
DT Quinnen Williams, Alabama: Williams is one of the consensus three best players in the draft along with Josh Allen and Nick Bosa. It’s unlikely he makes it to eight, but every once in a while an interior lineman slips a few spots. If he does, the Lions will be ready to pounce.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams runs a drill during the NFL football scouting combine, Sunday, March 3, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
3. Jets — Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Sunday, March 3, 2019.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams prepares to run the 40-yard dash at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Sunday, March 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Mar 3, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (DL19) runs the 40 yard dash during the 2019 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Clemson’s Adam Choice is stopped by Alabama’s Quinnen Williams during the first half of the NCAA college football playoff championship game Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Jan 7, 2019; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) celebrates after a play during the first half against the Clemson Tigers during the 2019 College Football Playoff Championship game at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
1. Arizona Cardinals — Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams laughs while answering questions during the Tide’s National Championship media day in Santa Jose, CA Saturday, January 5, 2019.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) during the Alabama Media Day at the SAP Center in San Jose, Ca., on Saturday January 5, 2019.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) during the Alabama Media Day at the SAP Center in San Jose, Ca., on Saturday January 5, 2019.
Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts (2), right, interviews Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) during the Alabama Media Day at the SAP Center in San Jose, Ca., on Saturday January 5, 2019.
ATLANTA, GA – DECEMBER 01: Quinnen Williams #92 of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts after sacking Jake Fromm #11 of the Georgia Bulldogs (not pictured) in the first half during the 2018 SEC Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 1, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray (1) is pressured by Alabama defensive linemen Isaiah Buggs (49) and Quinnen Williams (92)in second half action of the Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Saturday December 29, 2018.

Oct 20, 2018; Knoxville, TN, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) on the sidelines in a game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium. Alabama defeated the Vols 58-21. Mandatory Credit: Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) during the Alabama Media Day at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Wednesday December 26, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) during Alabama’s practice on the Barry University campus in Miami Shores, Fla., on Wednesday December 26, 2018. Alabama plays Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl on Saturday.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams talks with reporters during an Orange Bowl press conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Wednesday December 26, 2018.
Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa rubs the head of defensive lineman Quinnen Williams as they leave an Orange Bowl press conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Wednesday morning December 26, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) speaks during an Orange Bowl press conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Wednesday December 26, 2018.
Alabama’s Quinnen Williams poses with the trophy after winning the Outland Trophy as the nation’s best interior lineman in college football, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) celebrates a sack against Georgia during first half action of the SEC Championship Game at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., on Saturday December 1, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) pressures Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm (11) during first half action of the SEC Championship Game at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., on Saturday December 1, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) celebrates an Alabama sack during first half action of the SEC Championship Game at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., on Saturday December 1, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) stops Georgia running back Elijah Holyfield (13) in the backfield in the SEC Championship Game at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., on Saturday December 1, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) sacks Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm (11) during first half action of the SEC Championship Game at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., on Saturday December 1, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) celebrates a sack against Mississippi State University in first half action at Bryant Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday November 9, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) celebrates a sack against Louisiana State University in first half action at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La., on Saturday November 3, 2018.
Alabama linebacker Christian Miller (47) and defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) wrap up Auburn running back JaTarvious Whitlow (28) in first half action during the Iron Bowl at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday November 24, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) after sacking Citadel quarterback Brandon Rainey (16) in second half action at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday November 17, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) and defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs (49) stop Citadel quarterback Brandon Rainey (16) in second half action at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday November 17, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) and defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs (49) stop Citadel quarterback Brandon Rainey (16) in second half action at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday November 17, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) tackles Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald (7) in first half action at Bryant Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday November 9, 2018.
Jan 9, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 10, 2018; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) reacts after a play against Mississippi State Bulldogs during first half at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) after sacking Louisiana State University quarterback Joe Burrow (9) in second half action at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La., on Saturday November 3, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) after sacking Louisiana State University quarterback Joe Burrow (9) in second half action at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La., on Saturday November 3, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) celebrates a sack against Tennessee in first half action at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tn., on Saturday October 20, 2018.
Jan 9, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) sacks Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano (2) in first half action at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tn., on Saturday October 20, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) pushes down Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano (2) during a game between Tennessee and Alabama at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee on Saturday, October 20, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) stops Missouri running back Larry Rountree, III, (34) in second half action at Bryant Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday October 13, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) wraps up Missouri running back Tyler Badie (1) in second half action at Bryant Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday October 13, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) wraps up Missouri running back Larry Rountree, III, (34) in second half action at Bryant Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday October 13, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) lifts Alabama defensive back Shyheim Carter (5) after Carters interception return for touchdown against Arkansas during second half action in Fayetteville, Ark., on Saturday October 6, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) wraps up Louisiana running back Trey Ragas (9) in first half action at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday September 29, 2018.
Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond (11) is pressured by the Alabama defense, including defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92), as he passes out of his end zone in first half action in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday September 22, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) stops Ole Miss running back Isaiah Woullard (26) In first half action in Oxford, Ms., on Saturday September 15, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) against Louisville in second half action of the Camping World Kickoff at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla., on Saturday September 1, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) stops Louisville running back Dae Williams (25) In second half action of the Camping World Kickoff at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla., on Saturday September 1, 2018.
Alabama defensive linemen Raekwon Davis (99), Johnny Dwight (95) and Quinnen Williams (92) wait for turn in drills during Monday’s practice.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) during
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams celebrates after sacking LSU quarterback Myles Brennan during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) against
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) stops
Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley (3) and defensive
Mississippi’s Brad Wall (88) gets off a punt as Alabama’s
Quinnen Williams committed to Alabama after previously being an Auburn commit
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But Williams’ ascent wasn’t a complete surprise to those inside the Alabama football program. After initially committing to Auburn, he arrived in Tuscaloosa from Birmingham’s Wenonah High School as a 6-foot-3, 265-pound four-star signee overshadowed by more heralded imports such as five-star talents Ben Davis, Lyndell “Mack” Wilson and Jonah Williams in the 2016 recruiting class.

Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) stands with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after he was selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) stands with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after he was selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Photo: Christopher Hanewinckel, Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

Relegated to the scout team as he redshirted his first year, Williams patiently waited his turn while learning from All-America senior defensive end Jonathan Allen.

Allen was awarded both the Nagurski and Bednarik Awards in leading Alabama to the national title game before being drafted as the 17th overall pick in 2017 by the Washington Redskins.

More: Quinnen Williams: 4 things to know about the Alabama football defensive tackle

More: Alabama DL Quinnen Williams makes rapid ascension up NFL draft boards

Williams quickly earned the reputation as a scout team nemesis to the first-team offensive line, quietly establishing himself as the heir in the line of succession of dominant Alabama defensive linemen while coach Nick Saban wondered why no one could successfully block No. 92.

With Allen gone to the NFL, Williams found himself stuck behind another first-round pick his redshirt freshman season. Fellow Birmingham native Da’Ron Payne, who was also picked by Washington with the 13th selection in last year’s draft as a junior, created a logjam ahead of Williams along with seniors Da’Shawn Hand and Joshua Frazier.

Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams during Pro Day on the University of Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Tuesday March 19, 2019.Buy Photo
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams during Pro Day on the University of Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Tuesday March 19, 2019. (Photo: Mickey Welsh / Advertiser)

Williams appeared in all 14 games as a defensive reserve in 2017 as Alabama won the national championship, playing 151 snaps while finishing with 11 solo tackles and nine assists with 6 1/2 tackles for loss and a pair of sacks.

Solid numbers for a first year, but hardly head-turning stats that would predict the trajectory of his career during his final season at Alabama.

After waiting his turn to climb to the top of the Crimson Tide’s defensive depth chart without complaint, Williams patience gave way to his conviction prior to 2018 spring camp.
USA TODAY Sports’ Michael Middlehurst- Schwartz breaks down the game of the newest New York Jet: Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams. USA TODAY Sports

“I knew there would be a huge position open with Da’Ron Payne leaving and I was like, ‘I just want to play this year. I’m tired of sitting behind guys and watching guys play.’ I wanted to show the world that I was a great player too,” Williams said in an NFL Network interview. “So I went to Coach Saban and talked to him about moving inside.

“I was like 280 (pounds) at the time, and he was like ‘Q, if you want to move inside you’ve got to gain some weight and not just fat because you’ve got to keep your athleticism.’”

Williams was insistent in convincing Saban to give him a chance.

“I said, ‘Coach, I’ll do anything to get on that field,’ ” Williams said. “He knew I was a good player, but knew what it took to be a starter at Alabama and he just put it all on me when he said, ‘It’s up to you. I’m not just going to give you a position because you’re a third-year and you know everything.

Jan 7, 2019; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Clemson Tigers running back Adam Choice (26) is tackled by Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) in the second quarter during the 2019 College Football Playoff Championship game at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 7, 2019; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Clemson Tigers running back Adam Choice (26) is tackled by Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) in the second quarter during the 2019 College Football Playoff Championship game at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports (Photo: Mark Rebilas, Mark Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

“You’re going to have to show me discipline and consistency of playing a high level at that position because playing nose tackle at Alabama runs everything.’ You’ve got to have a stud in the middle to anchor that defense at Alabama, and I worked hard to become that.’

Did he ever. Williams started all 15 games while recording 44 solo tackles and 26 assists. His dominance resulted in 18 1/2 tackles behind the line generating 84 yards lost, including seven sacks for minus-53 yards, 12 quarterback hurries and a safety in 623 snaps played.

In a dominating performance in a 29-0 win against LSU, Williams tallied 10 total hits — seven solo — with 2 1/2 sacks.

Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) during the Alabama Media Day at the SAP Center in San Jose, Ca., on Saturday January 5, 2019. Buy Photo
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) during the Alabama Media Day at the SAP Center in San Jose, Ca., on Saturday January 5, 2019. (Photo: Mickey Welsh / Advertiser)

While Williams’ arrival on the national stage has left some wondering if he has cultivated an adequate body of work deserving of his lofty draft status, Saban feels the plaudits are well-deserved although only starting for one season.

“Did I ever think he’d be one of the guys that people view as, you know, one of the top picks in the draft?” Saban said prior to the Orange Bowl semifinal last December. “He probably exceeded our expectations from that standpoint.

“But I think Q is a great example of a guy that has really good work ethic and wants to be a good player, probably plays with as much intelligence as anyone in terms of understanding how people are trying to block him and creating every advantage for himself.”

Williams’ selection gives Alabama a third straight year with a defensive lineman chosen on the opening night, and it is the 10th year in a row the Crimson Tide has had at least one player picked in the first round.

Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray (1) is pressured by Alabama defensive linemen Isaiah Buggs (49) and Quinnen Williams (92)in second half action of the Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Saturday December 29, 2018.
Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray (1) is pressured by Alabama defensive linemen Isaiah Buggs (49) and Quinnen Williams (92)in second half action of the Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Saturday December 29, 2018. (Photo: Mickey Welsh)

“It’s not a one-hit wonder thing,” Williams said. “It’s just a one-hit, one-opportunity thing. I really think about the days I had to work hard, the days I had to sit behind Da’Ron Payne and Jonathan Allen and things like that.”

Williams tilted the scales at 303 pounds for the NFL combine, and his 4.83-second time in the 40-yard dash was the fourth fastest time by a defensive lineman north of 300 pounds in the past 16 years of the event. His combination of power and speed represents the new prototype of defensive tackles in the NFL to counter modern offensive schemes.

Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams and Alabama offensive lineman Ross Pierschbacher chat during Pro Day on the University of Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Tuesday March 19, 2019.Buy Photo
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams and Alabama offensive lineman Ross Pierschbacher chat during Pro Day on the University of Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Tuesday March 19, 2019. (Photo: Mickey Welsh / Advertiser)

“Quinnen Williams is the new-school next generation of pass-rush D-linemen,” former Atlanta Falcons All-Pro defensive end and highly-respected pass rush training specialist Chuck Smith told ESPN. “He’s big enough to do everything that every tackle has done in history. But the difference is, he’s highly skilled. He is the new breed of hybrid that can do it all.”

Alabama’s Quinnen Williams poses with the trophy after winning the Outland Trophy as the nation’s best interior lineman in college football, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Alabama’s Quinnen Williams poses with the trophy after winning the Outland Trophy as the nation’s best interior lineman in college football, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) (Photo: John Bazemore, AP)

Williams’ demeanor away from the field is contradictory to his fierceness on the gridiron. His cherubic face and warm smile which reveals braces on his teeth displays a certain innocence that belies his bad mood toward opposing offensive linemen. It also helps deflect some of the pain he experienced earlier in his life.

Nearly nine years ago, Williams and his three siblings were blindsided when their mother, Marquischa, died five weeks after a recurrence of breast cancer she had battled five years earlier. She was 38 years old at the time, and her death left a gaping hole in Williams’ life.

“My mom was my best friend. Everything was gone,” Williams said in story published by NFL.com. “I had always been a smiling, outgoing kid, but when she passed, I shut down. I went into a dark mode.”

Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) pressures Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm (11) during first half action of the SEC Championship Game at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., on Saturday December 1, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) pressures Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm (11) during first half action of the SEC Championship Game at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., on Saturday December 1, 2018. (Photo: Mickey Welsh)

While reluctant to discuss the impact his mother’s death had on him as a 12-year old, Williams has chosen to honor her memory in his own way.

He has two breast cancer ribbons tattooed on his arm and another body art of an angel with wings wearing a No. 92 jersey.

“She never got the chance to wear my jersey or come to my games,” Williams said. “I was the mama’s boy. Nobody knew what I went through. My brothers and sister didn’t know, my dad didn’t know, my grandmother didn’t know. Only I knew what I was going through, and this is a way to honor her memory.”

The trials of his last few years have helped Williams come to recognize how patience is a virtue. Now, with his late mother’s memory permanently etched onto his flesh, he can carry her legacy forward in a manner that would have made her proud.

But he first had to decide as he headed out in the Music City drizzle how he would celebrate the occasion.

“I probably won’t go to IHOP tonight,” Williams said. “I don’t do that too much anymore. I’ll probably go back to the hotel and get some rest.”

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The New York Jets want to upgrade their offensive line, and they got an early start Sunday by agreeing in principle to acquire left guard Kelechi Osemele in a trade with the Oakland Raiders, sources told ESPN’s Josina Anderson and Adam Schefter.

Osemele, who made the Pro Bowl for the Raiders in 2016 and 2017, is expected to replace James Carpenter, a four-year starter for the Jets and pending free agent.

By rule, trades aren’t official until Wednesday, the start of the new league year.

EDITOR’S PICKS

Source: Raiders keep Hankins with 2-year deal
Defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins is re-signing with the Raiders on a two-year contract, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

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The Steelers have agreed to trade Antonio Brown to the Raiders for a third- and fifth-round pick, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

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The former Steelers wide receiver is headed to the Raiders, and the ramifications are massive. Bill Barnwell sorts the details.

The Jets traded a fifth-round pick for Osemele, receiving a sixth-round choice in return from the Raiders, according to a source.

The terms of the deal were first reported by Bay Area News Group.

It was the second trade in less than 24 hours for the Raiders, who late Saturday agreed to acquire wide receiver Antonio Brown from the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan made an aggressive bid for Osemele in 2016, when the emerging lineman was an unrestricted free agent after four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. He wound up signing a five-year, $58.5 million deal with the Raiders, who received a nice return on their investment in the first two years.

But Osemele’s play slipped last season as he battled knee and toe injuries, missing a total of five games. There were rumors that he’d be shipped out before the trading deadline, but he made it through the season on a poor offensive line. Quarterback Derek Carr was sacked 51 times.

Osemele has two years remaining on his contract, with cap charges of $10.2 million and $11.7 million. None of his remaining salary is guaranteed. The Jets have more than $90 million in cap space.

In recent days, there was speculation that Osemele, who turns 30 on June 24, would be cut. In February, he released video on Twitter that suggested he’s determined to have a bounce-back year. He tweeted that 2019 would be devoted to “health and wellness” and he showed himself tipping the scale at 296 pounds.

He was listed by the Raiders at 330 pounds.

Maccagnan, speaking at the scouting combine, said the offensive line is a “position we’re going to look at very strongly in free agency. … It’s definitely an area we want to improve upon.”

The Jets were expected to show interest in Los Angeles Rams left guard Rodger Saffold, who will be one of the most coveted interior linemen on the free-agent market, but he’ll be more costly than Osemele in terms of guaranteed money.

Osemele was a second-round pick of the Ravens in 2012. For his career, he has played 93 games, all starts.

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Reaching into the New York Jets mailbag to examine hot-button topics surrounding the team:
Vest Guy
@vest_guy
Replying to @RichCimini
Can we flip the 3rd we got for Bridgewater to Pittsburgh if Bell’s holdout continues? #jetsmail

9:14 PM – Sep 7, 2018
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@RichCimini: As ESPN colleague Jeremy Fowler notes in his thorough breakdown of the Le’Veon Bell situation, the chances of him being traded are remote. Here’s why:

By rule, a franchise-tagged player isn’t allowed to sign a multiyear contract until the regular season ends. The deadline was July 15. In other words, any team that wants to trade for the talented running back would be taking a risk because he could be a one-year rental. Would it be worth it for the Jets to trade a third-round pick for a possible one-and-done player?

The New Orleans Saints just did it with Teddy Bridgewater, but they’re a win-now team with a closing window. In my opinion, it wouldn’t be a smart move for the Jets. If they were one or two players away from being a serious playoff contender, I’d say to try to make a deal. But, as you know, that is not the case, especially with a rookie quarterback. Plus, I doubt the Steelers would trade Bell for only a third-rounder.

One caveat: If the Jets are 5-3 or better at the trading deadline, then, yeah, go for it.

There’s another side to the question: If Bell is refusing to play for the Steelers for $14.5 million (the amount of the franchise tag), why on earth would he do it for the Jets? They could try to entice him by sweetening his one-year salary — the Steelers are allowed to do that, too — but then it begs the question: Is it worth paying a running back more than $15 million for one year? Right now, the Jets have $15.5 million in cap room, so it would be a tight squeeze.

From the Jets’ perspective, it makes more sense to wait until Bell becomes a free agent after the season, assuming he’s not tagged a third time. His asking price will be outrageous, and you could argue it wouldn’t be prudent to pay more than $40 million in guarantees for a 27-year-old running back. Then again, general manager Mike Maccagnan was willing to pay top-of-the-market contracts to Khalil Mack and Kirk Cousins, so it couldn’t be ruled out.
Jeff
@jknc09
#jetsmail @RichCimini Jets Starting OL did not play together in preseason, how porous of a group should we expect this season? Is that a reason they kept (TE) Eric Tomlinson for 6th blocker packages?

9:48 PM – Sep 7, 2018
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@RichCimini: You’re absolutely correct; the starting five didn’t play a single snap together in an actual game, which is troublesome. Three reasons: They’re learning a new scheme, they have a new center (Spencer Long) making the protection calls, and a rookie quarterback. They’ve had several practices together, but there’s a big difference between practices and games. There will be a transition period.

The biggest concern is left tackle Kelvin Beachum, who missed the preseason because of a foot issue. When he wasn’t able to practice, he worked with the training staff, which put him through various drills that simulated game-like movements and strength patterns. Pretty scientific stuff, but again, there’s nothing like a game. Opening night could be a rough one for Beachum, who will have to block the Detroit Lions’ Ziggy Ansah.

After a week or two, I think the line will settle down. We’re talking about five veteran players, so it’s not like they’re breaking in a newbie. That said, they’ll need some help from the playcaller and Sam Darnold, who has to throw on time.

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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — New York Jets coach Todd Bowles won’t divulge his quarterback decision until next week but said he has a “good idea” who will start the regular season.

So do his players.

Rookie Sam Darnold, who started the past two preseason games, is the heavy favorite. Two players told ESPN the expectation in the locker room is that Darnold will get the nod over incumbent Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater.

“You kind of know where the flow is going,” one player said.

Bowles said Sunday that he will solicit input from his coaches before making the call. He won’t base it on one or two games, but rather a full evaluation from the spring and summer.

“It’s not a state of the union meeting type of thing,” said Bowles, who has final say on lineup decisions. “They have a feel for where I am, from the coaching standpoint.

“As coaches, we’ll meet on it and keep meeting on it. I have my ideas in my head, which I’ll keep to myself at this time, but I have a good idea.”

Asked if he is struggling with the decision, Bowles said, “Not really, no.”
Sam Darnold is likely the Jets’ Week 1 starter at quarterback, according to some of his teammates. Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports
Darnold, drafted third overall, has gained the trust of the coaching staff with his heady play. His preseason passer rating is a pedestrian 83.9, but he has impressed the organization with his poise, accuracy (64 percent completion rate) and mobility.

All three quarterbacks adhered to the company line, declining to speculate on the outcome.

“I mean, I wouldn’t be disappointed and I wouldn’t be surprised,” said Darnold, who has played nine of the 12 possessions for the starting offense. “Throughout my short career playing football, I’ve seen a lot of things. Teddy and Josh are great players, so I wouldn’t be surprised. At the same time, every quarterback wants to play, but that’s not my job [to decide].”

Bridgewater is intriguing because he could be trade bait. He dodged a question about trade speculation on Sunday, saying, “Right now, I’m living in the now.”

Playing mostly with the backups, Bridgewater has completed 74 percent of his passes, compiling a 104.7 passer rating. He has proved that his surgically repaired knee is sound.

Meanwhile, McCown has been the forgotten man, as he saw no action in the past two games. He said he was not bothered that Darnold has received the vast majority of the reps.
“When you pick somebody No. 3 overall and he’s a rookie, obviously he’s going to get a ton of work because he needs that,” McCown said. “It’s been great work for Sam. He has improved every day. It’s been awesome to watch.”

A year ago, McCown wound up being the Week 1 starter after sitting out the second and third preseason games. The hope was that Christian Hackenberg would seize the job, but he played poorly.

This time, the Jets won’t need McCown as the fallback option.

On Sunday, the Jets added a fourth quarterback, rookie John Wolford, who was in their rookie minicamp as a non-roster player. Bowles said Wolford, formerly of Wake Forest, is a practice squad candidate and could get mop-up duty Thursday night against the Philadelphia Eagles.

To make room for Wolford, the Jets waived wide receiver Lucky Whitehead with an injury designation.

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This week’s New York Jets mailbag focuses on the No. 1 question surrounding the team. Hint: It involves Sam Darnold.

Rich how much of a chance do you give Darnold to start week 1? #jetsmail

— Joseph Cusumano (@JosephCusumano3) May 11, 2018
@RichCimini: I can make it real simple, Joe: When Darnold is deemed ready by coach Todd Bowles, he will be the starting quarterback. It really doesn’t matter how Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater perform in the preseason. They’re the supporting actors in this new production; Darnold is the star of the show and it makes no sense to hold him back if he can function in the position.

Based on recent NFL history, I’d say there’s a 65 percent chance he will start Week 1. Where did I come up with that number? Of the 17 quarterbacks picked in the top 10 in the 2008 to 2017 drafts, 11 started on opening day. Mitchell Trubisky (fifth game), Blake Bortles (fourth) and Blaine Gabbert (third) were close behind.

Moral of the story: If you’re investing that much in a quarterback, don’t be afraid to play him as a rookie. It might not be pretty — only four of the 17 made the playoffs — but tackling the growing pains is a necessary evil.

I can see the Jets following a Trubisky-like path, and here’s why: Bowles is old-school when it comes to playing unproven players, especially at quarterback, and I think he’ll lean toward McCown to start the season. The schedule also could be a factor.

Three of the first four games are on the road, including the opener (Detroit), a Thursday night/short week in Week 3 (Cleveland) and a showdown against the best defense in the league in Week 4 (Jacksonville). That’s a formidable stretch for any quarterback, let alone a rookie.

After Week 4, the schedule is tailor-made for breaking in a neophyte quarterback: three consecutive home games. That, I believe, is the Darnold window.

Darnold probably will get the majority of the reps in the preseason, just as Christian Hackenberg did last summer, so he will have every opportunity to claim the job that has his name on it. Once he proves he can execute Jeremy Bates’ offense, he should be given the keys to the car. Based on the current personnel, it is more like a used pickup truck.

One online sportsbook puts the over/under on the number of Darnold starts at 5.5. I’m surprised it’s that low. If Darnold starts fewer than six games, that would be disappointing for the Jets.

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Happy Super Bowl Sunday. A look at what’s happening around the New York Jets, plus a quick take on Super Bowl LII:

1. Jets want Cousins: Here’s a little secret: When owner Woody Johnson interviewed head-coaching candidates in 2015, he promised he’d deliver a franchise quarterback. At the time, all they had was Geno Smith, which didn’t make them terribly appealing.

Three years later, the Geno Coaster would be an upgrade over the current depth chart. Coach Todd Bowles went from Smith to Ryan Fitzpatrick to Josh McCown, with some Bryce Petty sprinkled in. And don’t get me started about the Christian Hackenberg fiasco.

General manager Mike Maccagnan has one last chance to make it right in what looms as a make-or-break quarterback decision. This is a uniquely loaded quarterback market — pro and college — and Maccagnan should be run out of town if he can’t find a permanent solution this offseason.

Enough Band-Aids. No more journeymen and one-year wonders. It’s time to break the perpetual cycle of mediocrity.

How Maccagnan attacks this is a compelling football debate: Does he splurge for prospective free agent Kirk Cousins or does he draft a quarterback? To draft a quarterback he covets, he probably will have to trade up, which means giving up premium draft picks.

Tough call: Big money for Cousins or picks for a hot-shot rookie? It’s a decision that will create ripples for years to come.

The Jets would be thrilled to land Cousins, who would provide an upgrade and stability at the most important position — never a bad thing for a team that plays musical quarterbacks. But the richest contract in NFL history (north of $27 million per) would hamper the Jets’ roster-building efforts down the road.
The Jets should target Kirk Cousins but not allow themselves to be coerced into a costly deal. Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Quality quarterbacks rarely hit the market in their prime, but the Jets need a lot more than a quarterback to be a championship-caliber team. This particular quarterback isn’t a savior. He’s a complementary piece — a key piece, but not the final one. Despite impressive stats (more on that in a bit), he’s 26-30-1 as a starter, with no playoff victories.

A good GM buys low and watches his assets mature, but it hasn’t worked out that way for Maccagnan and his predecessors. The Jets are in this predicament because they whiffed on Hackenberg, Smith and Mark Sanchez, and it’ll be like paying punitive damages if they give Cousins $30 million a year.

Right now, I’d say the wise move would be to pass on Cousins if the price gets out of hand.

For Maccagnan, the decision could be based on what he thinks of the college quarterbacks. Former Arizona Cardinals coach and noted quarterback whisperer Bruce Arians said last week this “may be the best [class] in the last 15 or 20 years.” Drafting a quarterback comes with risk (a 50 percent bust rate), but the potential upside could be greater than inserting a 30-year-old. It also makes more fiscal sense than overpaying a veteran.

If Maccagnan sees the next Carson Wentz or Jared Goff in Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen or Baker Mayfield, he should do what it takes to get him.

Bottom line: Whether it’s Cousins or one of the top draft prospects, Maccagnan can’t afford to blow a golden opportunity to solidify the position for years to come. He needs to give his coach a chance to succeed.

2. Straight cash, homey: No matter where Cousins signs (my prediction is the Denver Broncos), the money will be a major storyline. Let’s look at it from the Jets’ perspective, comparing how much it would cost to sign Cousins compared to drafting a quarterback with the sixth pick. We’ll use the contracts of Matthew Stafford (the current highest-paid player) and Jamal Adams (last year’s sixth pick) as guidelines.

The cap figures for Stafford in the first three years of his contract are a combined $72.5 million. For Adams, it’s $15.3 million. The difference is $57.2 million.

You can fix a lot of positions with that kind of loot.

2018 NFL Free Agency
Kirk Cousins. Jimmy Garoppolo. Le’Veon Bell. This class could get wild. Here’s everything to know heading into free agency, which begins March 12.

• Ranking top 50 potential free agents »
• Looming FA decisions for all 32 teams »
• Destination Cousins: Where QB could play »
3. Kirk vs. Matty Ice: If you’re into number crunching, you’ll love this comparison between Cousins and Matt Ryan, the 2016 NFL MVP. Their stats over the past three years are almost identical.

Cousins: 67.0 completion rate, 81 touchdown passes, 36 interceptions and 13,176 yards.

Ryan: 66.9 completion rate, 79 touchdown passes, 35 interceptions and 13,630 yards.

Interesting, no?

4. Tuna helper needs help: Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells considers Bowles “one of my guys.” Parcells has a lot of his “guys” coaching in the NFL, many of them successful. He believes Bowles, despite a 10-22 record over the past two seasons, still has the ability to turn around the Jets. The issue, Parcells said, is upgrading the roster.

“Listen, it’s the same problem: You just have to get enough guys to get rolling,” Parcells said by phone. “He had a lot of older players there. He’s trying to inject some youth in there. I think a few of the guys he got last year look like they’re going to be pretty good. They still need some more. I think this is a big draft for them, I really do.”

Every Jets fan would agree.

5. Conflicted emotions: Former Jets center Nick Mangold probably would rather shave his beard than root for the New England Patriots, but he’d love to see former longtime teammate David Harris win a championship. Mangold and Harris spent 10 seasons together, never getting beyond the AFC Championship Game.

“I want to see him get a ring,” Mangold told the Michael Kay Show on ESPN 98.7 FM. “Unfortunately, it’s with New England. Not that I’m rooting for New England, but I’m rooting for David Harris.”

Chances are Harris — who doesn’t have a role on defense — will be a healthy scratch against the Philadelphia Eagles. But, hey, a ring is a ring.

2018 NFL DRAFT
When: April 26-28
Where: Arlington, Texas
NFL draft home page » | Draft order »

•Insider Mel Kiper’s Mock Draft 1.0 »
•Insider Todd McShay’s Mock Draft 1.0 »
• Which NFL teams could draft a QB? »
•Insider Kiper’s Big Board »
•Insider McShay’s Top 32 »
• 2018 draft QB class primer »
• Underclassmen who have declared »
6. Waiting on the OC: Some people on Twitter have asked about Jeremy Bates and why the Jets haven’t announced his promotion to offensive coordinator. Something fishy going on? Not really. The coaches were off last week, and Bates hasn’t gotten around to signing his contract, I’m told.

7. Long road to Canton: Unfortunately, Kevin Mawae wasn’t elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, coming up short in his second straight year as a finalist. It won’t get any easier next year. Eligible for the first time in 2019 are safety Ed Reed, tight end Tony Gonzalez and cornerback Champ Bailey, all of whom should be first-ballot Hall of Famers.

8. Future Jets on the big stage? The Super Bowl will feature several players who will be free agents next month, some of whom could be on the Jets’ radar. The most prominent pending free agents are:
Patriots — Cornerback Malcolm Butler, left tackle Nate Solder, wide receiver Danny Amendola, running back Dion Lewis and special-teamer Matthew Slater.

Eagles — Cornerback Patrick Robinson, tight end Trey Burton, defensive end Brandon Graham and running back LeGarrette Blount.

Of this group, I’d say the most realistic options for the Jets are the two corners, Butler and Robinson, along with Burton.

9. Did you know? Three rather amazing stats on the Patriots: Tom Brady has completed passes to 33 different players in seven Super Bowls. … They’ve yet to score a first-quarter point in a Brady/Bill Belichick Super Bowl. … The Patriots are 16-0 in the postseason under Belichick when they win the turnover battle.

10: Prediction: It’s hard to pick against Brady, but the Eagles have the ability to control the line of scrimmage on offense and defense. In the past two postseasons, Brady has completed only 26 percent of his passes when facing interior pressure. Fletcher Cox could be the guy who ruins Brady’s bid for six rings. Eagles 24, Patriots 20.

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Breaking down the New York Jets’ roster, unit by unit, in preparation for training camp, which begins July 29:

Position: Tight end

Projected starter: Austin Seferian-Jenkins (faces two-game suspension).

Projected reserves: Eric Tomlinson, Jordan Leggett.

Notables on the bubble: Brian Parker, Jason Vander Laan.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins was one of the offseason stars, but can he maintain that momentum with the pads on? AP Photo/Gene Puskar
Top storyline: The tight end is back. New coordinator John Morton runs a West Coast-based offense, and the tight end is a big part of that system. The new approach was on display in minicamp, as the tight ends were featured in some team periods. Under Morton’s predecessor, Chan Gailey, the Jets’ tight ends were used primarily as blockers. The new way — the way used by 31 other teams — will add more balance to the passing attack. Welcome to the modern NFL, New York.

Player to watch: Seferian-Jenkins was one of the offseason stars, but can he maintain that momentum with the pads on? If he can, it would be a heck of a story. He dropped 25 pounds, went to rehab and quit drinking, vowing to turn around his life and career. With his skill set — a 6-foot-5 frame and above-average speed — he has the ability to thrive as a receiver. The man has talent (42 catches in his first two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers), but he has always lacked focus and commitment. Maybe he has turned the corner. This is a contract year for Seferian-Jenkins, so there’s no shortage of motivation.

Wild card: Leggett, a fifth-round pick from Clemson, had a rough spring, but the team still loves his upside. In college, his receiving metrics compared favorably with those of O.J. Howard, whom the Jets probably would have chosen at No. 6 overall if Jamal Adams had been off the board. Leggett’s problem is that he’s not a good blocker. To become an every-down player in this offense, he’ll have to improve a lot in that area.

Training camp will be a success if …: A starting-caliber player emerges to replace Seferian-Jenkins for Weeks 1 and 2. Slapped with a suspension stemming from a DUI arrest last September, Seferian-Jenkins can practice and play in the preseason, but he must sit out the first two regular-season games, at Buffalo and at Oakland. Tomlinson is the next man up in the pecking order, but he’s primarily a run-blocker. Parker has some game experience (nine games with the Kansas City Chiefs), but we’re not talking about a grizzled vet.

By the numbers: By now, you’re probably well aware of the Jets’ abysmal receiving stats over the past two seasons, but here’s the most mind-blowing number of them all: The tight ends had zero — zero! — catches in the red zone in 2016, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Three targets, no catches. Wow.

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The New York Jets should have enough resources to significantly improve the team in the offseason. We’re talking about a possible top-10 draft pick and a ton of cap room. Our question of the week focus on the latter.

22 Dec

Rich Cimini

@RichCimini
Accepting questions for the Jets mailbag. Plenty on the table — Bowles, college bowls, QBs, the handling of Wilkerson, etc. Please use #jetsmail

Jeff Weinstein
@JAW4217
#jetsmail Where do the Jets use the most cap space in the off season? The offensive line?
11:10 PM – Dec 22, 2017
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@RichCimini: Right now, they’re projected to have about $81 million in cap space for 2018, but that number will approach $100 million once they get done cutting veterans. Releasing Muhammad Wilkerson — a certainty — will open up $11 million in cap space.

I don’t think the Jets will blow through all the cap room because general manager Mike Maccagnan’s philosophy is to build through the draft. The No. 1 priority will be to re-sign their own free agents. They don’t have any big-ticket guys, but they have a handful of starters who will land medium-sized deals — namely Demario Davis, Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Morris Claiborne. There’s also Josh McCown, who could return on a one-year contract if they want to go the bridge-quarterback route again.

You’re right, Jeff, the Jets need to upgrade the offensive line, especially center. Wesley Johnson isn’t the answer and he will be a free agent. Problem is, there isn’t an heir apparent on the roster and there are no sure-fire solutions on the free-agent market. The top guys will be Weston Richburg, Ryan Jensen and Russell Bodine. Any of those guys tickle your fancy?

2018 NFL DRAFT
When: April 26-April 28
Where: Arlington, Texas
NFL draft home page » | Projected order »

•Insider Todd McShay’s Mock Draft 1.0 »
•Insider Mel Kiper’s Big Board »
•Insider McShay’s Top 32 »
• Kiper, McShay answer 25 questions »
• Underclassmen who have declared »

The Jets’ offensive-line situation reminds me of 1998, when Bill Parcells identified center as his No. 1 need. Fortunately for him, there was a center named Kevin Mawae on the free-agent market. Parcells gave Mawae the biggest contract in history for a center and — voila — the problem was solved for nearly a decade. Unfortunately for the Jets, I don’t see any Mawaes floating around out there.

Maccagnan hasn’t done well with mega-contracts (see: Darrelle Revis and Muhammad Wilkerson), so you have to wonder if he’ll be gun-shy in a high-stakes bidding war. Unless they make a strong push for Kirk Cousins, I can’t see the Jets doling out a top-of-the-market contract. But there is one name to watch: Demarcus Lawrence, who will be only 26 and has 13.5 sacks. You have to think the Dallas Cowboys will find a way to keep him. If not, he could be a target.

Another big need is cornerback, as the Jets have only two proven veteran corners under contract — Buster Skrine and Darryl Roberts. There could be some big names on the market (Trumaine Johnson, Malcolm Butler), but I’d be surprised if they spend big money there. They have some young corners in the pipeline and it’s said to be a good draft for the position.

The Jets have the money to burn. It’ll be fascinating to see what they do with it.