Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

Jeremy Kerley.

The Jets close out the preseason tonight when they host the Eagles in what could have been the most intriguing match-up of the preseason. Unfortunately, all of the big names will be on the sidelines, which means we won’t see Nnamdi Asomugha go against a Jets team he seemed destined to sign with and Plaxico Burress won’t be playing the Eagles after months of speculation that he was Philadelphia-bound.

Instead, the depth players will be on the field for this final preseason game, meaning that everything is on the line for those hoping to squeeze onto the 53-man roster.

1. Wilkerson Feeling the Love

For Jets first-round pick Muhammad Wilkerson, Thursday night will be the chance for him to build on his early successes. Wilkerson was an under-the-radar player — despite his stellar numbers at Temple — before impressing at the NFL Combine and becoming the No. 30 selection in the 2011 NFL Draft.

“I think I had a good preseason. I just wanted to come in and just try to work week in and week out and improve from the first game,” Wilkerson said. “I just want to keep doing that this season, move forward and progressing every week.”

Wilkerson, who was penciled in as a starter by head coach Rex Ryan after the first week of camp, had a quiet game against the Giants on Monday night. He registered just two tackles and generated little pass rush before a third-quarter ejection for an altercation with Brandon Jacobs.

“Was it a smart move? No. Do I regret it? No,” Wilkerson said. “It’s football and I am not going to let somebody try to take advantage of me. It’s over with now.”

Thursday night is the chance for Wilkerson to show what stuff he’s made of.

2. More Kerley  

The Jets drafted Jeremy Kerley in the fifth round this past April because the rookie is a pure athlete. In Monday night’s 17-3 win over the Giants, Kerley had a catch for six yards as a wide receiver, had two rushes for 13 yards out of the Wildcat formation and had a 17-yard punt return. In other words, he’s looking like a younger version of Brad Smith, who signed with Buffalo this offseason.

“He has a little bit of that Brad Smith in him. He can throw the football. He’s just a football player,” Ryan said. “He’s not obviously as big as Brad, but the young man did the same thing at TCU and we’re seeing it here as well.”

Kerley should get some more looks at receiver against the Eagles and perhaps in the Wildcat as his ability to be a playmaker continues to grow.

“Every time I step out on the field, there is something new to learn from, as far as learning from my mistakes,” Kerley said. “It’s been fun nonetheless.”

3. McElroy’s Smarts

It hasn’t been a bad start for Greg McElroy, the seventh-round pick who should get the start against the Eagles. The rookie quarterback out of Alabama who scored a 43-out-of-50 on the Wonderlic has had a solid preseason so far. He showed well against the Texans in the first game of the preseason, nearly orchestrating a game-winning touchdown drive. Then, he was more than adequate against the Bengals the next week. On Monday night McElroy looked more comfortable than Mark Sanchez did in the pocket as he went 4-for-5 for 39 yards.

McElroy may never supplant Sanchez as the starter, but he’s showing the goods that make for a starter in this league. And considering that his Wonderlic score is probably equal to the rest of his Crimson Tide classmates who got drafted this spring combined, his intangibles are the stuff of starting NFL quarterbacks as well.

Follow Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer for Jets news and features all season long.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Police seek man accidentally released a year early…

Cops are keeping an eye out for a Bronx man who was reportedly let out of Rikers Island a year before his released date.

National

Pioneers for domestic violence push on

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article. Two decades have passed since the O.J. Simpson trial captivated the country. But in the 20 years…

Local

Newest java joint in bastion of hipness is…

Little may represent the change the neighborhood is undergoing right now like the arrival of the first Starbucks. The chain which is ubiquitous in Manhattan, opened a Williamsburg store at…

National

Black and white are the new orange at…

By Brendan O'Brien(Reuters) - Black and white are the new orange in a Michigan county where the sheriff has made a wardrobe change for jail…

Music

Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks more accessible than Animal…

Believe it or not, Avey Tare — the man in the mustachioed mask pictured here in the pool of blood — may have made the poppiest music of his career.

Entertainment

‘The Leftovers’ recap: Season 1, Episode 4, ‘B.J.…

Last week’s episode of “The Leftovers” was apparently a fluke, because this week’s episode returns to focusing on the Garveys and it is so boring.…

Movies

Interview: Luc Besson says 'Lucy' is very different…

Filmmaker Luc Besson talks about his new film "Lucy," how it's different than "Limitless" and his crazy first conversation with Egyptian actor Amr Waked.

Music

Weezer releases first new song since 2010

Weezer releases "Back to the Shack," their first new song in almost six years.

NFL

'Vicktory dogs' travel road to rehabilitation seven years…

Of the dozens of dogs groomed by Bad Newz Kennels, 48 were rescued and 22 of the pit bull terriers have emerged at Best Friends Animal Society.

MLB

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according…

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according to report

NFL

Giants lineman Chris Snee to retire: Reports

The Giants report to training camp on Tuesday, but Chris Snee may not be there when they do.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony talks about his charity work in…

As he is used to doing every year, NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony is going to visit Puerto Rico to do work for his foundation.

Tech

RocketSkates let users roll with a motor

Los Angeles company Acton has raised funds on Kickstarter to roll out a nifty alternative – motor-powered "RocketSkates."

Tech

Knicks star Carmelo Anthony becomes a tech entrepreneur

He's been an All-Star, an Olympian, and a celebrity spokesperson. Now NBA player Carmelo Anthony is adding the position "tech entrepreneur" to his resume. Along…

Tech

Ulises 1 is the world's first singing satellite

A group of artists and engineers in Mexico have unveiled Ulises 1, the world's first opera-singing satellite.

Home

Wallscape on a budget

Skip the wallpaper and ombre an accent wall instead.