Thirty minutes was all that stood between the New York Jets and their first Super Bowl appearance since Super Bowl III.
Jets fans know how those 30 minutes turned out. However, with numerous free agent acquisitions, a positive draft, and being tapped to appear on the HBO hit series "Hard Knocks," it was a very prosperous off-season for the New York Jets.
Jets Nation has plenty of hope for the upcoming 2010 season.
Unfortunately for many of the Jets, hope will end before the season ever begins. Whether they are veterans coming off disappointing seasons, undrafted free agents trying to make a name for themselves, or former draft picks trying to live up to unfulfilled expectations, many of the men on the training camp roster will be left fighting for their Jets lives.
It is time to take a look at the players who have the toughest jobs to win and a whole lot to lose—welcome to New York Jets 2010 Training Camp: Top 10 Players on the Roster Bubble.
As the former all-time, all-division NCAA leading rusher, Danny Woodhead certainly has a lot of heart and determination but faces an uphill climb when you consider the Jets’ extremely crowded backfield.
Shonn Greene is projected as the starting RB with LaDainian Tomlinson set to get his fair share of carries. Tony Richardson will once again be the starting fullback, with rookie John Conner serving as Richardson’s apprentice. All-purpose back Joe McKnight will be the 2010 version of Leon Washington.
Those factors leave one roster spot for Woodhead, Chauncey Washington, and Jason Davis to fight for. However, the fact that Woodhead can also be used at wide receiver might actually go a long way in helping his bubble stay afloat.
When the Jets invited former Alabama linebacker Cory Reamer to a rookie mini-camp tryout, the undrafted free agent left with a signed contract and nothing but praise from head coach Rex Ryan.
However, given the Jets’ depth at the linebacker position, will praise be enough to earn a spot on the 53-man active roster?
Rex seems to love this guy so I would look for Reamer to be retained by the Jets for the practice squad—at least to start the season.
Although Ty Steinkuhler is technically entering his second season with the New York Jets, he had to survive another rookie mini-camp just earn a chance to compete at training camp.
Realistically, the former Nebraska defensive tackle will find himself using training camp as an audition with the hope of catching on with another NFL team before the 2010 season begins.
Brashton Satele is another undrafted free agent linebacker who showed great talent at the University of Hawaii, but didn't play his senior season due to a shoulder injury.
Since the Jets are stacked at the linebacker position the only place that Satele seems to be fighting for is a spot on the practice squad.
For all of the success the Jets had in acquiring talent this past off-season, perhaps one of the most disappointing departures was that of place-kicker Jay Feely.
In what was strictly a financial decision, the Jets let the fiery and tough-as-nails Feely go to Arizona while they have left themselves with Nick Folk, the former place-kicker for the Dallas Cowboys who was cut after missing seven of his last 11 field goal attempts.
The Jets are hopeful that Folk will regain the confidence necessary to return to his 2008 form, but that would appear to be a long shot.
Jason Davis signed as an undrafted free agent with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2006. He didn’t play in a single NFL game until 2008, when he was with the Oakland Raiders (who subsequently released him). That same year, the Chicago Bears gave Davis a shot by letting him start three games. In 2009, Davis started two games for the lowly Cleveland Browns.
The Jets signed the former University of Illinois fullback in February, 2010, but with minuscule career totals of 15 rushing yards and 17 receiving yards it would appear that Davis’ NFL bubble is just about to burst.
Chauncey Washington is a former USC running back who was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars but has spent most his short NFL career bouncing back and forth between the practice squad and active roster for the Dallas Cowboys.
With the Jets clearly filled to the brim with running and fullbacks, Washington’s chances of making the team are slim to none.
With respect to the punting game, the Jets are sure of one thing—they only need one punter on the active roster. Will it be seven-year veteran Steve Weatherford or first-year hopeful T.J. Conley?
Conley signed as an undrafted free agent from Idaho in 2009, but didn't make the team out of training camp. Weatherford signed on and punted for most of the 2009 season, but was average at best.
One thing is for certain, only of these punters will be wearing No. 9 when the season kicks off. The other's bubble is about to burst.
It used to be that Kellen Clemens would hold the clipboard behind Chad Pennington and Brett Favre in hopes of getting his shot at being the undisputed starting quarterback of the New York Jets.
With 2009 first-round draft pick Mark Sanchez currently entrenched as the Jets’ starting QB, the former 2006 second-round draft pick from Oregon is now hoping for something far less prestigious—a spot on the 2010 Jets 53-man roster.
Whether it was former head coach Eric Mangini or current coach Rex Ryan, you would always get the sense that neither had complete confidence in Clemens’ ability to lead the franchise.
With younger quarterbacks Erik Ainge and Kevin O’Connell waiting in the wings and with rumors of Mark Brunell possibly signing a free-agent contract, it would appear that Clemens’ days with the Jets are numbered.
When the Jets drafted Ohio State defensive end Vernon Gholston with their first round pick of the 2008 NFL Draft, they did so with the intent of converting him to linebacker and developing him in that role for many years to come.
Unfortunately for the Jets, Gholston never seemed comfortable in his new role and found himself lost in the valleys of the defensive depth chart.
However Gholston's future prospects could be ready to change. Perhaps realizing that Gholston and his true talents were being wasted, Rex Ryan has decided to move Gholston back to his familiar position on the defensive line, where he had 21.5 sacks, 47 solo tackles, and 30.5 stops for a loss while at Ohio State.
Gholston hopes to make it rather than break it in what is likely his last opportunity to prove himself in the NFL.