CORTLAND, N.Y. -- With Chris Ivory nursing a hamstring injury, and with Joe McKnight suffering from concussion-like symptoms, Bilal Powell stepped into a featured role and responded with a terrific performance Saturday night in the Jets' annual Green & White scrimmage.
Powell rushed for 41 yards on six carries, including a 24-yard run that he nearly broke for a touchdown. He might have been the best player on offense.
"I was okay, still got room for improvement," Powell said. "That comes with the continuation of camp and just coming out and working hard every day."
New York Jets
BIG MAC ATTACK: Greg McElroy, battling Matt Simms for the No. 3 job, stated his case in emphatic fashion. He was perfect, completing five of five for 137 yards and two touchdowns -- a 47-yarder to rookie Ryan Spadola and a 70-yarder to Vidal Hazelton. The latter came on a busted coverage. The offense ran a fake screen out of a trips formation to the right. Hazelton faked a block and broke into the clear.
"I dont know what his QBR [quarterback rating] is, but he stepped up," Rex Ryan said of McElroy. "I thought he was impressive." Ryan added: "He showed last year he can win games coming off the bench, albeit a 7-6 masterpiece" -- a sarcastic reference to the Jets' ugly win over the Cards.
Meanwhile, Simms struggled, throwing an interception.
ROOKIE HURT: Third-round pick Brian Winters started at left guard, replacing the injured Stephen Peterman, but Winters suffered an ankle injury early in the scrimmage and didn't return. Ryan said he doesn't think it's serious. He was replaced by Vladimir Ducasse. If Winters misses any significant amount of time, it will hurt his chances of claiming the starting job. Willie Colon played right guard.
MILLINER'S DEE-BUT: First-round pick Dee Milliner, despite only two practices, started in the first-team nickel package. He started on the outside, with Kyle Wilson sliding into the slot. Ryan said he expects Milliner to start in the sub defense, adding that he's competing with Wilson for the starting job in the base.
ODDS AND ENDS: Ryan singled out S Antonio Allen, Wilson and DL Lege Douzable for exceptional performances. ... Spadola continued his strong camp. ... The Jets ran a couple of Wildcat plays near the goal line. ... LB Cavin Pace recorded a sack. ... TE Konrad Reuland had a drop. ... CB Eric Crocker made an interception, but also got burned on the Spadola touchdown. ... C Caleb Schlauderaff sailed a snap over Mark Sanchez's head in shotgun.