Following the Jets’ final open practice before their preseason opener against the Falcons, head coach Todd Bowles didn’t tip his hand in regard to how he plans to divide the playing time among quarterbacks Josh McCown, Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Darnold.
“In my head I have [a plan], but I haven't met with the coaches yet,” Bowles said. “We’re going to meet in the next two days, discuss it and go from there.”
What Bowles did say is “there’s a chance” all three play in the order they’re listed on the depth chart — McCown, Bridgewater and Darnold — and that everyone who dresses needs to be ready to play.
“I'm anxious to see all of them,” he said of the team. “I got my eye on a lot of people, some free agents and some guys we got from different teams, so it's going to be interesting on Friday night seeing everyone in action.”
Friday’s game marks the first time since Christmas Eve that the Jets will take the field against an opponent at MetLife Stadium. One player set to make his debut in green and white is starting inside linebacker Avery Williamson, who’s excited to line up against fresh meat.
“It’s going to be good to finally be able to tackle somebody.” Williamson said. “I feel like once I get that first tackle, my jitters will go away.”
The 6’1”, 246-pounder joked he wants record five sacks and three tackles for loss Friday, but also said stats don’t measure personal success, especially in the preseason.
“I’d say just make sure I’m flying around, the communication is well and when I get an opportunity, make plays. That’s what they brought me in for — to make plays,” he said. “As long as I’m flying around fast and doing my job and getting the calls out well, that’s a success right there.”
Even though four-fifths of the Jets’ starting offensive line is returning, the team has a new anchor in Spencer Long. Earlier this offseason, head coach Todd Bowles said he expects line play to improve with the addition of Long and in fact, right guard Brian Winters had high praise for Long after practice.
“Great,” Winters said of the communication between the two. “He’s a great guy and a smart player. He came from a good offensive line coach and he knows what he’s doing. He reminds me a little bit of Nick [Mangold]. It’s awesome to have a big-bodied guy in there.”
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Sam Darnold had another effective day in the red zone as he hit TE Chris Herndon for a TD, but he threw an interception in team periods to Terrell Sinkfield, who made a diving catch. … Darnold also hit TE Clive Walford and RB George Atkinson for TDs in 7-on-7. … Terrence Brooks made a nice pass deflection off a Teddy Bridgewater pass as he undercut TE Eric Tomlinson. … Bridgewater connected with Herndon, who made a diving catch over the middle. … Bridgewater hit WR Jermaine Kearse on the first play of the situational period as the offense was trailing 20-14 with 22 seconds left at the 19-yard line. … DL Folorunso Fatukasi received some first-team reps as Steve McLendon did not practice again. … Ben Braden and Jonotthan Harrison also received first-team reps. … Bowles said K Cairo Santos “is a little tight” and that’s why he hasn’t been kicking in practice.