-I would be very worried if I was Erik Ainge. After missing parts of the Organized Team Activities (OTA’s) and training camp while nursing a surgically repaired thumb, the rookie quarterback has not received many opportunities on the field. Ainge spent most of last week working with the scout team, but he has yet to hit the field on game day. For a fifth-round draft pick and someone the Jets had very high hopes for on draft day, you would expect Mangini to give Ainge a chance. I don’t expect Ainge to play much at all Saturday against the Giants either, as the third preseason game is usually when the starters see action into the third quarter. With Favre, Clemens and Ratliff getting most of the reps, I cannot see how Ainge makes the final 53-man roster. He looks like he’s bound for the practice squad or Injured Reserve.
-Dwight Lowery’s strong training camp has carried into the preseason action. Lowery followed up his strong debut (8 tackles, one interception, 62-yard punt return for TD) against Cleveland with another solid performance last night. Lowery recorded five tackles and returned two punts for 15 yards in the 13-10 loss. He has displayed the versatility he was heralded for while at San Jose State. Aside from Darrelle Revis, the battle for the other cornerback spot remains pretty close between Justin Miller and David Barrett. Add Drew Coleman into the mix and the Jets surprisingly have some nice depth at the position.
-WR Brad Smith showed why he can be so valuable to the Jets offense. Although inconsistency surrounds him at times, he still shows the propensity for the big play. In his two-plus years with Gang Green, Smith has been a nice option for Mangini on trick plays. His 12-yard run on the end-around last night was perfectly executed. Favre also deserves alot of credit for his play fake on Smith’s run.
-Mangini and Tannenbaum are really going to have to do some mixing and matching when determining the depth at wide receiver for the 53-man roster. David Clowney, despite his injury, performed well with four receptions for 59 yards. He showed some nice fight and elusiveness on his 29-yard grab as he evaded tacklers and carried the pile for a few extra yards after he was wrapped up. Marcus Henry, who is returning from a leg injury also performed admirably (4 rec. 42 yards). Wallace Wright did not have any impact on the passing game, but he had two key special teams tackles during the first quarter. Laveranues Coles, Jerricho Cotchery, Chansi Stuckey and Brad Smith all should be locks to make the team, leaving three spots likely open. With Wright proving his impact on special teams, Clowney and Henry will likely be battling it out for the final spot, with the other going to the practice squad or Injured Reserve.
-There’s no question that the Jets really have some nice depth at tight end. Jason Pociask had a solid game, catching three balls for 52 yards. His final catch-a 30-yard completion from Ratliff-was a key play in the team’s final drive. Bubba Franks had a drop in the second quarter, but remains a good blocker.
-I’m still waiting to see more production from the running back position. Thomas Jones (2 carries, 7 yards) and Leon Washington (4 carries, 6 yards) were unproductive in the few plays they saw. In the first two preseason games, Jones and Washington have combined for 24 yards on just 11 carries.
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