The window for signing undrafted free agents opened July 25 at 6 p.m. At 6 p.m., former Central Michigan LB Nick Bellore received a call from Rex Ryan.
Ryan pretty much had him at hello.
"Coach Ryan called me right when they could call and I was able to talk to everybody -- the front office and the coaching staff," Bellore said. "That meant a lot. That made my decision pretty easy for me."
Ryan said he spoke directly to only a couple of UDFAs, so the Jets obviously saw something in Bellore that made them recruit him so hard. Bellore said "quite a few" head coaches and GMs reached out to him over the span of a few hours ("It was pretty nutty"), including reps from the Packers, Cowboys, Jaguars and Chargers.
So far, Bellore (6-1, 250) hasn't disappointed. Working as the second-team 'Mike' linebacker, he has caught the coaches' attention with his instincts and tenacity. He was a tackling machine in college, finishing his career with a total of 472. He started 51 consecutive games.
Ryan called Bellore the biggest surprise on defense. The Jets are set at inside linebacker, with David Harris and Bart Scott, but the backup spots are up for grabs. Bellore's main competition is Josh Mauga and Brashton Satele. In other words, he has a very good chance to make the team.
"(Coach Ryan) told me he'd give me the best opportunity to play," Bellore said. "He painted a good picture for me."
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WR Cardarol Scales, a UDFA from Fort Hays State, signed Wednesday.