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Jets' starting spots up for grabs

New York Jets free safety Jaiquawn Jarrett (Hans

New York Jets free safety Jaiquawn Jarrett (Hans Pennink) Credit: New York Jets free safety Jaiquawn Jarrett (Hans Pennink)

As media scrutiny continues to bombard the Mark Sanchez vs. Geno Smith quarterback controversy, several of Gang Green’s other position battles have been left out of the spotlight. Here are the Jets’ most highly contested training camp competitions beyond the quarterback position:

Right Guard
Stephen Peterman vs. Brian Winters

With Brandon Moore’s retirement and Matt Slauson’s departure via free agency, the Jets are in the process of rebuilding the interior offensive line. Free agent acquisition Willie Colon will start on the left, but the right side is up for grabs. Peterman is an experienced veteran who has not missed a game in three seasons, while Winters is a promising rookie third-round pick who has seen time with the first-team in training camp.

Nose Tackle
Kenrick Ellis vs. Antonio Garay

If Ellis can stay healthy, he has a chance to establish himself as Gang Green’s long-term starter at nose tackle this season. Ellis, a Jets third-round selection in 2011, missed four games last season with a knee injury and briefly left Friday’s preseason game with another knee issue. Garay, 33, is a solid veteran alternative, but a healthy Ellis gives the Jets defense the best chance to succeed this season and beyond.

Free Safety
Antonio Allen vs. Jaiquawn Jarrett

Last year’s starters, LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell, have moved on to greener pastures. Landry’s brother, Dawan, is primed to start at strong safety in Week 1. But question marks still remain at free safety. Allen recorded six tackles in seven games last year for the Jets, while Jarrett played just one game before being cut by the Eagles. However, Jarrett has outplayed Allen thus far in the preseason and will start in the team’s next preseason game Saturday against the Jaguars.

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