A look at what's happening around the New York Jets:
1. Can Austin power the passing attack? The Jets didn't know the severity of Eric Decker's shoulder injury when they claimed tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins on waivers this past Monday, based on the timeline presented by coach Todd Bowles. Talk about a break; they may have unwittingly landed a player who can help fill the Decker void. With Decker (torn rotator cuff) out indefinitely, Seferian-Jenkins could find a receiving role once he learns the offense -- if the coaches try to maximize his versatility.
Seferian-Jenkins is a wide receiver in a tight end's body, which is good because the Jets have no use for a traditional tight end in their passing attack. Only three of his 22 receptions last season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers came from the tight end position, according to ESPN Stats & Info research. The rest came when he was detached from the line, including nine catches when split out wide. In this season's opener, he caught a 30-yard touchdown pass from the slot -- a deep seam route that culminated with a diving catch in the end zone. No tight end on the Jets' roster could've made that play. Seferian-Jenkins' skill set fits their spread offense.
Curiously, offensive coordinator Chan Gailey has used blocking tight end Kellen Davis more in the red zone than last season -- 31 of the team's 39 snaps, to be exact. Now they can give some of Davis' snaps to Seferian-Jenkins, a legitimate receiving threat. Or they can use him as the No. 3 or No. 4 receiver inside the 20. Or anywhere on the field, for that matter.
"Trust me, this kid has a Gronk skill set," a person close to the Bucs told me. "I just don't know if he gives a damn."
Seferian-Jenkins is a reclamation project with baggage on and off the field, which means he's hardly a sure thing. But, unless Gailey tosses him on the pile of other tight ends, he should get a chance to prove me (and everybody) wrong -- perhaps a bigger chance than anyone could've imagined.
2. Money for nothing: Now that draft bust Dee Milliner is officially a goner, waived from the injured reserve list earlier in the week, let's take a quick look at the dead money on the 2016 salary cap. The total increases to $13.8 million, according to ESPN data. Some of the biggest hits: D'Brickashaw Ferguson ($5 million), Milliner ($4 million), Jeremy Kerley ($1.8 million) and Jace Amaro ($360,000) -- all contracts from previous regimes. In case you're wondering, the Jets rank eighth in most dead money, not even in the same stratosphere as the New Orleans Saints ($42 million).
3. No ring in '16: For those waiting for the Jets to announce their Ring of Honor inductees for 2016, you'll have to chill out for a while. There will be none this year, meaning the 17-member fraternity will remain at 17 until next year. The organization decided to hit the pause button after six straight years of inducting former greats into the Ring of Honor, which was formed in 2010. From what I understand, it's not because they feel as if there's a shortage of worthy candidates. It never was intended as an every-year thing and the Jets have decided to wait. It's not as if there's a sense of urgency. In my opinion, the two players at the top of the list should be Marvin Powell and Kevin Mawae.
By the way, there will be plenty of ex-Jets in the house for the annual alumni day on Oct. 23, when they host the Baltimore Ravens.
4. Eye on Bowles: The coach is catching some flak for supposedly not making proper halftime adjustments. The best way to gauge this is to check the third-quarter scoring. Right now, the Jets have a minus-14 point differential, which ranks 30th in the league. The most egregious error was not changing their coverage on A.J. Green in the opener, but I'm not going to hammer Bowles because three games is a small sample size and they finished ninth in point differential last season.
5. Changing defenses: Even though Bowles keeps saying they're a 3-4 defense, it seems as if they've transitioned to a 4-3 front. By my count, they used a 4-3 for 21 base plays last week and only four plays in a 3-4.
The upside: Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson and Leonard Williams are on the field at the same time. The downside: There's too much size and not enough speed in the front seven, leaving them vulnerable to outside runs and quick passes.
6. A Wally Pipp situation? I'm curious to see how first-round pick Darron Lee and Erin Henderson are used Sunday. Lee started last week for the injured Henderson and played well at inside linebacker. Now Henderson is healthy. Don't be surprised if there's a rotation.
7. Calvin & Kam: When the Jets drafted Calvin Pryor in 2014, they compared him to Kam Chancellor, the Seattle Seahawks' hard-hitting safety. Chancellor apparently liked Pryor's game, too, and now they've become friends.
"We definitely respect each other," said Pryor, looking forward to Sunday's reunion. "I've definitely looked up to him since college because we have the same mentality -- that dog in us. We really don't fear anything."
8. Welcome back, Pete: The Jets will face a former coach for the second time in three games. This time, it's Pete Carroll, who was fired after a 6-10 season in 1994 -- his only year as the Jets' head coach. I think he's starting to like these trips to New Jersey.
Carroll is 3-0 at MetLife Stadium, having outscored his opponents 102-33. That's two wins over the New York Giants and a rout of the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. As the Jets' head coach, he was only 4-4 at Giants Stadium, including the epic loss to the Miami Dolphins and Dan Marino in the Fake Spike Game.
"It was a great play, and I’m glad Dan got that one," Carroll told Seattle reporters this week, rehashing one of the most infamous moments in Jets history. "I never felt like I got him back enough. It was a great moment for him."
Carroll called his one-and-done with the Jets a "good experience. That was my first time as a head coach, and I didn’t know anything. I was winging it."
I'd say he has rebounded quite nicely.
9. Oh, those special teams: I like new coordinator Brant Boyer, who has breathed life into the special teams with his fiery attitude, but here's the bottom line: With missed kicks and a fumbled kickoff return, they've given away 11 points. They have to be better than that.
10. Quote of the week: This came from Bowles, who was asked about keeping four quarterbacks on the roster: "They’re four of our better football players, so we decided to keep four." Say what?