8/11/11, Florham Park: New York Jets kicker Nick Novak #9...

8/11/11, Florham Park: New York Jets kicker Nick Novak #9 kicks the ball during special teams drills at practice at the Atlantic Health Training facility. Florham Park,NJ 8/11/11 2:36:39 PM photo by Joe Epstein Credit: Newsday/Joe Epstein

The Jets' punting and kicking competitions appear to be over -- for now anyway.

Needing to trim their roster to a maximum of 80 players by 4 p.m. today, the Jets bid goodbye to punter Chris Bryan and placekicker Nick Novak. That means T.J. Conley, who's never appeared in a regular-season game, has won the job over Bryan, and incumbent Nick Folk will serve as the team's kicker for a second straight season.

Folk has made 4-of-5 attempts during the preseason while Novak went 2-for-2.

"I think the competition was good," Rex Ryan said, "but clearly I feel Folk's our guy."

"In Novak's case," Ryan added, "I think he has a great chance to kick in this league. If there is a situation where somebody need a kicker, obviously we kicked him all through the preseason and there's going to be a lot of good tape on him. He made a 63-yarder in practice, the same thing that Nick Folk made the same day.

"So I think the young man will be able to kick in this league, I don't think there's any question about that. But this will maybe give him an opportunity to maybe hook on for a [preseason] game and who knows what'll go from there."

Bryan started camp looking good, booming left-footed punts that had great hangtime in camp. But he never showed consistency, and Conley, who's in his third camp with the Jets, kept the pressure on, seemingly improving by the day.

The Jets also released wideout Courtney Smith, who may be a candidate for the practice squad.


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