There isn't much time remaining for players to make their cases.
The Jets have to reach a roster max of 53 by Saturday. As of Tuesday, the Green & White had 75 men on their active roster so a number of players will be released or otherwise moved this weekend. On Thursday night, New York's AFC representative will play its fourth and final preseason game in Philadelphia against the Eagles.
Following six seasons in Oakland, Marques Tuiasosopo hopes his days with the Jets extend beyond this weekend. The Jets have to decide on whether to carry three traditional quarterbacks — Chad Pennington, Kellen Clemens and "Tui" — and the multidimensional Brad Smith or just the top two on the depth chart along with Smith.
"With the reps that I've had in practice and the reps that I've had in the game, I think I have shown I am capable of running this offense," Tui told a group of reporters Tuesday. "I think there are some things that didn't go well that I've learned from. I think I have come back from them and showed they can trust me with this offense. I feel really good in this offense right now, but I'm nowhere near where I will be."
Thus far in preseason play, Tuiasosopo has attempted only 13 passes, including a 23-yard touchdown toss to TE Jason Pociask in late duty against the Vikings. But he could see a lot of action against the Eagles.
"I'd like to see some more of him in the games. That's something we'll look to do," said head coach Eric Mangini last week. "I think Tui has done a lot of good things. It's always difficult when it's a new system and they haven't been exposed to it."
Second-year safety Raymond Ventrone was a practice squad player with the Patriots when Mangini was New England's defensive coordinator. The 5'10", 200-pound Villanova alum doesn't have great size, but he has shown the propensity to mix it up with the big boys.
"Having him in New England and working with him, he's a high-motor guy. He's a really good person," said Mangini. "You respect and appreciate his intensity and his focus and his effort. He did a nice job the other night [against the Vikings] with three tackles on special teams."
Ventrone said you can view this contest as a final audition because it is the last game, but he knows it's just one part of a body of work.
"I feel like it's just as a big an opportunity as every other day has been," he said. "I just try to do the best I can, execute all my assignments and just play hard."
And then there is DE Michael Haynes, a former first-round draft pick, attempting to resurrect his career. The 14th overall selection in the 2003 draft hasn't played a ton in the preseason.
"Obviously, I realize the situation I am in," Haynes said. "It's a veteran defensive line and I haven't got the preseason snaps I would have wanted. But I realize there is not much you can do about it. All you can do is try to create havoc when you are in there. I feel like I've done what is required of me in this defense, and I am doing a decent job trying to make my case to make the team."
In the preseason opener against the Falcons, a Haynes deflection at the line led to an interception for CB Drew Coleman. He also was on the field late last week when LB Andre Wadsworth, another veteran hopeful, stripped Giants QB Tim Hasselbeck of the ball.
"I feel like I am one of those guys who causes turnovers," Haynes said. "How much weight does that carry? I don't really know. It's really not up to me. All you can do is sit back and really keep working and just hope everything swings your way."
Just one more preseason swing remains. A final audition for the Jets and perhaps the other 31 NFL clubs.
"I'm looking forward to it. I love playing," Tui said. "There is still an opportunity for me to do that and hopefully I'll show what I can do Thursday night, and hopefully they will be happy with it."