Bowles Plays Lineup Plans Close to His Vest

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Todd Bowles has become quite good at holding the talk surrounding his quarterback situation to a dull roar. Specifically, he declined today, as he did last week before the preseason opener, to speculate on his QB plans for the Lions in Detroit on Saturday night.

"We'll meet as a staff tonight and discuss playing time, who's playing where and how they're playing," Bowles told reporters after today's practice at the Atlantic Health Training Center.

Asked if he's decided on Josh McCown to get his second start of the summer ahead of Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty, he replied, "Not yet, no. ... We'll come up with our decision when we meet tonight."

The most he allowed about McCown was that even though the 15th-year veteran has seen it all, his practices and one drive vs. the Titans won't be enough to get him ready for the regular season whether he's ultimately named the starter or not.

"I don't think he needs to go every game all four quarters and everything like that," Bowles said, "but he'll play. He needs some work."

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Since there is no media availability at Friday's walkthrough practice, the Jets will go into another game without revealing beforehand the plans for the Lions. As Bill Parcells, one of Bowles' coaching mentors, used to say, "You'll have to come to the game, fellas."

But Bowles did provide some details on his offensive backfield. Bilal Powell (neck) has been practicing this week and the head coach said, "He's going to play, yes." However, Matt Forte (hamstring) hasn't returned to practice yet and will not see action.

Powell's return could be good news for the QBs and OL. The Jets' ground game without Forté and Powell was held to 1.8 yards/carry on 31 carries and was stopped on nine runs for loss or no gain, plus three more Hackenberg passes to his backs for loss/no gain.

Those are high numbers. As LT told Ethan Greenberg this week: "We have to find a way to run the ball more efficiently. ... Three yards is cool, but we want to get 5, 7, 15, 20 yards. We want to hit home runs in the running game and we can do that."

On the injury bubble will be LB Lorenzo Mauldin, who returned from his sore back to practice Wednesday but sat today. "He was sore when he practiced yesterday. We just held him out," said Bowles, adding, "We'll probably hold him out" of the game.

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