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Memo to Jets: More not always merrier when it comes to quarterbacks

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Herm believes 'Fitzpatrick is rusty' (0:51)

Herm Edwards says that Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is looking rusty and needs to get back to practice. (0:51)

A look at what's happening around the New York Jets:

1. Four! It might seem crazy to some, but the Jets are trending toward keeping four quarterbacks on the 53-man roster. Some perspective: In 2015, nearly half the teams (15) opened the season with only two quarterbacks, while 17 (including the Jets) began with three on the roster, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The most recent team to carry four was the 2013 Washington Redskins.

Recent history shows that a four-man depth chart doesn't equate to team success or help the development of young passers. According to Elias, six teams in the past 10 years opened with four quarterbacks, and only two of them made the playoffs: the 2007 Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the 2009 Jets.

Those six teams probably thought they were outsmarting everybody by keeping four, figuring it was a way to address short- and long-term needs, but guess what? Of the 18 backups on those six depth charts, only one developed into a legitimate starter: the Redskins' Kirk Cousins.

The most famous example occurred in 2000, when the New England Patriots carried Drew Bledsoe, John Friesz, Michael Bishop and a sixth-round pick named Tom Brady. The team went 5-11, but the decision paid off in the long run, obviously. Don't put too much stock in that situation, though. Brady was a million-to-1 shot, and he went from afterthought to icon.

That's fantasy football. History tells us that the reality is closer to the old John Madden axiom. Paraphrasing Madden: If you have too many quarterbacks, you don't have any.

2. Masking other problems: The Jets must be a pretty good team if the hottest preseason issue is the backup quarterback.

3. Geno speaks: Geno Smith ended his weeklong media silence on Friday, when he spoke to reporters after the loss to the Redskins. He apparently was upset by stories that observed the one-year anniversary of the IK Enemkpali incident (Aug. 11). A couple days later, he tweeted, "If they don't have a story these days, they'll make one."

Smith's response was surprising because the stories actually portrayed him in a positive light; they provided him a forum to tell the world how the jaw-breaking punch changed his perspective on football and life. Pouting about media coverage certainly doesn't support his case.

"Geno’s success will be determined by how much he grows off the field. That’s it," Brandon Marshall told me. "It has nothing to do with his talent or if he’s smart enough. It’s just him continuing to grow at the rate he is, and that’s all it is for Geno."

Like him or not, Smith is here to stay -- for one more season, anyway.

4. Hand it to the scouts: Remember the days (circa 2012) when the Jets were so bad at wide receiver that Antonio Cromartie volunteered to play two ways? My, how times have changed. The Jets have a lot of intriguing, young talent at the position, including Robby Anderson, Jalin Marshall and Charone Peake. They're all rookies and all hungry after being humbled by the draft experience. Peake was a seventh-round pick, while Anderson and Marshall weren't drafted at all.

Kudos to Mike Maccagnan's scouts. Whenever low draft picks and undrafted free agents emerge, it's usually the handiwork of the scouts, the grinders who find the sleepers. They're particularly high on Anderson, who had a huge game against the Redskins. Maybe he can be the vertical threat Devin Smith was supposed to be.

5. Money matters: The Jets have only $1.2 million in salary-cap room, per NFLPA records -- the lowest in the league. They’ll have to create more space in the coming weeks because they need money for a practice squad (about $1 million), an additional two players on the cap (currently, only 51 count) and potential injury replacements. Ideally, you’d like to go into the season a few million under the cap -- fudge money, as Bill Parcells used to call it.

There’s not much fat on the roster, in terms of possible cap casualties. I'm curious to see what happens with Breno Giacomini, who hasn't practiced because of a back injury. The team can save $4.4 million by cutting him, but he's the only experienced right tackle.

6. Up for a fight: It raised some eyebrows in the offseason when Jarvis Jenkins, a solid starter for the Chicago Bears, decided to sign a free-agent contract to play for the Jets, with one of the most talented defensive lines in the league. Jenkins said he had opportunities to start elsewhere, but he chose to play with Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson and Leonard Williams because he wanted to challenge himself. “Even though I’m older than these guys, I look up to them because these guys can show me how to take my game to another level,” Jenkins said. A nice contract helped too. He will make starter’s money ($3 million), even though he’s projected as the fourth or fifth lineman.

Jenkins looks like a terrific depth signing. Defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers can take one of the Big Three off the field knowing there won’t be a significant drop-off. The Jets did not have that luxury last year.

7. Chris Ivory 2.0: Yes, Khiry Robinson has heard the Chris Ivory comparisons. They’re unavoidable. After all, both are small-school players, both went undrafted, both began their careers with the New Orleans Saints, and both have a punishing style of running. Robinson has never met Ivory, but he admires him.

“We’ve walked in the same shoes,” Robinson said. “I respect him. I heard we’re kind of alike. I appreciate guys like that, paving the way. I’ve been told we run similarly. I appreciate it. That’s a good compliment.”

Robinson, who spent the past eight months rehabbing a broken leg, is close to making his Jets debut.

8. Timeless Cinderella story: Retired wide receiver Wayne Chrebet, who visited practice last Sunday, noticed the difference between the 2016 training camp and that of, say, 1995, the year he broke into the league as the ultimate Cinderella story. Nowadays, they practice only once a day, not twice, and the amount of contact has been reduced significantly.

“If I was in a training camp like this, I don’t know if I could’ve made it because they’re not hitting, they’re not jamming each other and stuff like that,” said Chrebet, a member of the Jets’ Ring of Honor.

At 5-foot-10 and 188 pounds, Chrebet was undersized, but he was strong and relied on his strength to gain separation. But you know what? A football player is a football player, and he could have played in any era. He has 7,300 receiving yards to prove it.