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Jon Gruden's advice to Jets: Don't try to be what you're not

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- A look at what's happening around the New York Jets, who conducted their first practice of training camp Saturday:

1. Chuckie's take: Jon Gruden has opinions on a lot of topics, but his insight on the Jets -- particularly their offense -- is especially relevant because two of his former proteges have key positions. We're talking about offensive coordinator John Morton and quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates. In fact, they will employ a version of Gruden's offense, which is West Coast-based.

We all know the Jets don't have an abundance of skill-position talent, but Gruden sees a way in which they can make it work.

"You have to find ways to get first downs," ESPN's Monday Night Football analyst said by phone the other day. "You’re not worried about being in the top five in total yardage or being 'The Greatest Show on Turf.' Let’s play good defense and let’s not screw this game up. Let’s do some good things on offense without feeling like we have to be on ESPN's fantasy-football show.

"Blue-collar, hard-nosed football. Hand the ball off. You've got those good backs. Develop some receivers, get some balance. Use some shifts, use some deception. That's what these guys will do."

In other words, it'll take some smoke and mirrors to compensate for the personnel issues. Taking the glass-half-full view, this is a great opportunity for Morton -- a relative unknown until this year -- to raise his profile around the league.

2. Mr. Popularity: Josh McCown has been on the team for only four months, but he's already one of the most well-liked Jets. Demario Davis, who played with him last season in Cleveland, called McCown "one of the best teammates I've ever had." Others have expressed the same sentiment, noting his upbeat personality and team-first attitude. The 38-year-old is always mentioned when players list the team leaders.

McCown won't win the quarterback competition because he's a nice guy, but this should provide some insight into what Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty are up against in terms of winning the locker room.

3. Three's company: Last year, the Jets made news with their crowded quarterback room. They went to camp with four and kept them on the regular-season roster, a rarity. This year, they're in camp with only three. How does that stack up league-wide?

According to Ourlads, which tracks depth charts, the Jets are among 11 teams carrying three quarterbacks. The other 21 teams have four on their current rosters.

Three is a good number for the Jets. Four would've been pointless.

4. Big Cat on the prowl: Leonard Williams spent the offseason trying to make himself better. Not only did he take a leadership course in San Diego, but he did MMA training in San Francisco. He believes the MMA techniques will help his body movement and body control.

"It definitely got me in shape," Williams said. "My coach told me there's a difference between being in shape and being in fight shape. I definitely noticed it."

5. Unlikely 13: This question has come up a few times over the past few weeks: Have the Jets ever gone into a season with expectations this low?

In my years of covering the team, I'd say 1995, 2006 and 2013 were comparable. They overachieved in the latter two seasons, making the playoffs in '06 and squeezing eight wins out of a dreadful roster in '13.

Does that inspire hope for the coming season? No? Well, I tried.

6. Best Buy: Is there a better bargain on the Jets than Quincy Enunwa? He's due to make $615,000 in total pay, which is tied for 155th among wide receivers, according to ESPN salary data. Mind you, he's their No. 1 receiver.

Enunwa will be a restricted free agent after the season, which means he'll get at least $2.7 million if he receives a second-round tender. If the Jets believe in him and want to be proactive, they should try to extend him now, buying his first couple of years of free agency. But that doesn't appear likely. He's on an audition, as is just about everybody on the team.

7. Updates on 74 and 24: Two of the Jets' biggest off-season cuts -- Nick Mangold and Darrelle Revis -- are still looking for work. ESPN colleague Tim McManus reported that Revis, 32, is on the Philadelphia Eagles' radar, which makes sense because they're in dire need of help at cornerback.

The Jets are rooting for Revis to get a job because it would save them money. They owe him $6 million whether he plays or not, but that amount will be reduced by the amount he receives this season from his next team.

Revis is said to be seeking more than $6 million, but that's wishful thinking at this stage. He'll have to play for $6 million, meaning he'd be essentially playing for free, or not play at all.

I'd love to see him with the Eagles because that would mean two matchups against ex-Jets receiver Brandon Marshall (New York Giants). There's no love lost between those two.

I wouldn't be surprised if Mangold lands with the Baltimore Ravens, which lost center John Urschel to sudden retirement.

8. Woody on the Hill: In his recent appearance before the U.S. Senate foreign-relations committee, owner Woody Johnson made a reference to the Jets in his opening statement.

"Owning the New York Jets has taught me the importance of commitment and perseverance," Johnson told the committee. "One example is the 10-year effort we undertook to build a new, privately funded, $1.6 billion stadium in the Meadowlands in the great state of New Jersey."

First, he tried to build it in the great state of New York. He spent his first five years as owner (2000 to 2005) trying to get a stadium on the West Side of Manhattan. That bid failed, prompting him to join forces with the New York Giants to build MetLife Stadium, which opened in 2010.

Johnson will be far away from MetLife this fall, as he's close to being confirmed as the U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom.

9. Just for kicks: The kicking competition isn't generating any buzz, but I can tell you this: Some people around the team wouldn't be surprised if Ross Martin beats out Chandler Catanzaro.

10. The last word: Todd Bowles, a former player, on whether he's concerned by the recent study of chronic traumatic encephalopathy by Boston University: "I don't want it to be. I hope it isn't. Right now, I can say no, but I don't think so. I can't answer that question. I'm healthy in my head, I think. Maybe I'm not healthy, because I'm coaching football. I hope it doesn't become a problem."