Connect with us

NFL

Jets need quick fix or else Le’Veon Bell’s talent will go to waste – New York Jets Blog

Published

on

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – A look at what’s happening around the New York Jets:

1. Bell bottoms: Le’Veon Bell got paid, but money can’t buy daylight.

The star running back is learning a hard lesson about life after Big Ben, AB, JuJu and that big ‘ol Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line. Through no fault of his own, Bell is off to the worst statistical start of his pro career. He’s the victim of a perfect storm: Bad blocking, instability at quarterback and no consistent weapons on the perimeter.

As a result, his talent is not being maximized. You figured there would be growing pains in a new system, especially after a year off, but his numbers are alarming.

Bell has failed to reach 4.0 yards per carry in any of the five games, the longest such slump of his career. He hasn’t made a run longer than 13 yards. There are 96 players in the league with runs longer than 13 yards, including 16 quarterbacks. He’s the Jets’ most accomplished offensive player, and yet they haven’t been able to get him cranked up.

“Hopefully, we can open it up a little bit for him,” Jets coach Adam Gase said. “We’ve seen a lot of loaded boxes. He’s had a lot of tough runs. He’s made the most out of what he’s had and probably gotten us more than we should have.”

Bell has faced a “loaded box” on a league-high 45.9 percent of his runs, according to NFL Next Gen Stats (minimum: 50 rushes). A loaded box is when the blockers are outnumbered by the defenders in the box.

In theory, quarterback Sam Darnold‘s return should loosen up the defense, creating more space for Bell. Statistically, there was no appreciable difference last week against the Dallas Cowboys, but one game doesn’t make a trend.

It won’t get easier on Monday at 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN), though. The New England Patriots (6-0) have the NFL’s best defense and coach Bill Belichick, who called Bell “one of the best players in the league,” will use his giant brain to scheme ways to stop him.

To his credit, Bell has remained upbeat, insisting, “We’re getting better. I can sense it.” The Jets (1-4) made him the centerpiece of their offseason spending spree, expecting his presence to raise the level of those around him, namely Darnold. They gave him $28 million in fully guaranteed money, defying the recent economic trend: You don’t pay big money to running backs.

It’s too soon to call it a bust because he’s had only two games with Darnold, but the clock is ticking. Bell is 27 years old, meaning his window could close in a year or two. It might take that long for the Jets to sort out their offensive line issues.

2. Competition Friday: The Jets have incorporated a new twist into their Friday practices — an 11-on-11 period that features the No. 1 offense versus the No. 1 defense. Most teams dial it back on Friday, but Gase has raised the intensity level.

“It’s competitive stuff,” tight end Ryan Griffin said. “You go all out and try to win. It sets the tone for Sunday.”

The benefits? Players on both sides of the ball say it helps them prepare for the unexpected because the periods aren’t scripted. It’s an old-school approach, but it makes a lot of sense.

3. Money matters: The Jets, who began the offseason with about $100 million in salary-cap space, are down under $5 million, according to overthecap.com. A team can burn through money quickly, especially when it doles out top-of-the-market contracts in free agency (hello, Bell and C.J. Mosley). Injuries also are a factor. Guard Kelechi Osemele, linebacker Avery Williamson, wide receiver Quincy Enunwa and quarterback Trevor Siemian are eating up a combined $23 million in cap space. The latter three are on injured reserve, and Osemele (shoulder) could be there soon.

Source link

NFL

Quincy Enunwa blasts Jets on social media after $27,900 fine

Published

on

New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa, who suffered a season-ending neck injury in Week 1, blasted the organization Thursday after he was fined for missing medical treatments.

In a series of tweets, Enunwa said he missed two treatments (Nov. 8 and 11) and was fined $27,900, the maximum allowed under the collective bargaining agreement. He called it “excessive.”

“Given everything that’s going on around the team I thought this could’ve been handled so many different ways,” he tweeted. “I’ve spent my time with the team trying to build myself up to be dependable and hardworking so this s— hurts.”

Enunwa, who is on injured reserve, became the second player to publicly express frustration with a medical-related issue. Earlier in the season, guard Kelechi Osemele was fined for conduct detrimental to the team because of a dispute over a shoulder injury. He wound up undergoing surgery, unauthorized by the team, and was released.

In his Twitter rant, Enunwa acknowledged that he missed the treatments and should have alerted the team beforehand. He explained that he missed Monday’s treatment because he took his wife, a veteran, out to lunch on Veterans Day. On Nov. 8, he “had to handle an emergency in my house.” The Jets declined to comment.

“The biggest reason is hurts is that I’m on IR for the second time in my career and the doctor told me I have a 50/50 chance of coming back to play,” Enunwa said. “I shouldn’t even have to be in that building being reminded every day of what I can’t do.

“This s— feels like punishment already and then they FINE me the max. And then want me to continue to do my rehab there and IF I get healthy they want me to play for them after.

“I’m not writing this for sympathy and never wanted to even say anything, but when multiple teammates are coming up to me saying it’s f—– up I don’t care to sit on it anymore.”

Enunwa, 27, missed the 2017 season because of neck surgery. He played well enough in 2018 to land a four-year, $33.4 million contract extension. He has received $10 million of the contract. His $6 million salary for 2020 was guaranteed for injury only at signing; it becomes fully guaranteed on the fifth day of the league year.

Enunwa has 119 career receptions for 1,617 yards and five touchdowns.

Source link

Continue Reading

NFL

Browns’ Odell Beckham, Jarvis Landry troll Mike Tomlin with yawns

Published

on

CLEVELAND — Browns receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry let Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin know they didn’t sleep on his offseason gesture about Beckham.

Both receivers pretended to yawn in the end zone after big plays in Thursday night’s game, an apparent nod to Tomlin’s on-camera ESPN interview, during which he made the same yawning gesture when asked about playing the newly acquired Beckham twice a year.

“You know, I see great players, or we see great players, week in and week out,” Tomlin said in July from a fundraising event in his hometown of Virginia Beach, Virginia. “We’ve seen him before. We respect his talent and the talents of everyone they’ve acquired. But it doesn’t change our agenda or our focus.”

The clip of a yawning Tomlin circulated online.

After Beckham broke free for a 42-yard gain to the goal line in the first quarter Thursday night, he turned toward the Steelers bench and yawned several times before celebrating with teammates. Beckham thought he scored a touchdown, but the ball was ruled down at the 1. The Browns scored on the next play with a quarterback sneak by Baker Mayfield.

Early in the second quarter, Landry sprinted across the formation for an easy 1-yard touchdown, then followed the lead of Beckham, his close friend, with a yawn.

Beckham has started slowly for Cleveland, which traded for him in March. Through nine games, Beckham posted 44 catches for 632 yards and one touchdown, below his standard with the New York Giants. But he no doubt was saving a big play for Tomlin and the Steelers, who were down 14-0 at the half.



Source link

Continue Reading

NFL

Steelers’ JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Conner ruled out with injuries

Published

on

CLEVELAND — Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster exited Thursday night’s game against the Cleveland Browns in the second quarter after absorbing two helmet-to-helmet hits. Smith-Schuster was ruled out for the rest of the game with a concussion late in the second quarter.

Running back James Conner, who re-injured his shoulder in the second quarter, has also been ruled out, along with cornerback Artie Burns (knee) and linebacker Ola Adeniyi (concussion).

Smith-Schuster caught a pass from Mason Rudolph over the middle and was immediately hit in the head by Greedy Williams. A split-second later, be took another helmet-to-helmet hit by safety Morgan Burnett.

Smith-Schuster dropped the pass and lay face-down and motionless for at least a minute. Trainers rushed out to evaluate him and a couple Browns players took a knee near him. A trainer carrying a backboard came out, but wasn’t needed. Smith-Schuster was able to walk off on his own, albeit slowly, and went straight to the locker room.

At the time of Smith-Schuster’s injury, the Steelers were already without running back James Conner, who re-injured his shoulder in the second quarter and was listed as questionable to return.

Already struggling offensively, the Steelers sputtered even more without its top playmakers. Smith-Schuster had two catches for 21 yards – including one 18-yard gain – when he went out, and Conner had five carries for 10 yards.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending