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Jets may need another kicker after Taylor Bertolet struggles in preseason finale

New York Jets kicker Taylor Bertolet #1 hits

New York Jets kicker Taylor Bertolet #1 hits a field goal held by New York Jets punter Lachlan Edwards #4 during the first half at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford NJ on Aug 29, 2018. Credit: Daniel De Mato

The Jets still have a kicking issue.

It was Taylor Bertolet’s job to lose, and he didn’t help himself in the Jets’ fourth and final preseason game, especially not with cuts looming on Saturday.

Bertolet missed three of five field-goal attempts in the Jets’ 6-0 win over the Eagles on Thursday night at MetLife Stadium, leaving his future with the team in doubt. He hit from 23 and 39 yards but missed attempts of 53, 56 and 49 yards.

“It was definitely frustrating,” Bertolet said. “I had some tough kicks. It was long field goals, but that’s kind have been my MO. I’ve kind of been the guy that goes out and makes long kicks.”

Teams have to trim their rosters from 90 to 53 by 4 p.m. on Saturday. The Jets probably will comb the waiver wire for a kicker. They’re third in the waiver claim order, and general manager Joe Douglas said they’ll use that to their advantage.

Adam Gase said he will talk to the personnel department and “see what they’re thinking,” but he said his confidence in Bertolet is “good” and that he would be fine if Bertolet is the Jets’ kicker when they open the season Sept. 8 against Buffalo.

Gase defended Bertolet because the Jets’ special teams unit wasn’t ready to kick twice. They were called for a delay of game, pushing back a 44-yard attempt to 49 yards that Bertolet missed wide left.

“I saw guys running out late,” Gase said. “You just can’t do that to the kicker. You can’t bust his rhythm like that.”

Bertolet, proving to be a stand-up guy, said there was “absolutely no excuse” for missing the field goals.

Special teams coordinator Brant Boyer likes Bertolet. He’s been the only kicker in camp since Chandler Catanzaro retired after the first preseason game, but Bertolet has been shaky at best.

After missing two extra points in his first preseason game, he redeemed himself the following week by kicking field goals of 48 and 56 yards and his only PAT.

Bertolet was in camp with the Jets last year but Jason Myers beat him out. Myers made the Pro Bowl as a Jet but signed with Seattle as a free agent for $5.5 million guaranteed. Myers went into Thursday 7-for-8 on field goals, including 3-for-4 on 50-plus.

“I feel good,” Bertolet said about his chances of making the team. “I’m not going to put my head down on a night like tonight. I made the pretty much gimme automatic field goals that I have to make. I have to do a better job on long field goals.

“We’re talking about a foot or two away from having a very different night. It’s a mis-hit here and there. It’s a close kick.”

Tangled Webb

Davis Webb is expected to be one of the Jets cut. It was a rough camp and preseason for the former third-round pick of the Giants. Webb was 18-for-23 for 176 yards Thursday night but threw two interceptions. He had four in the preseason.

Luke Falk, who was with Gase in Miami last year, completed 13 of 18 passes for 91 yards. Overall, Falk was 29-for-36 for 230 yards and two touchdowns. If Gase doesn’t keep Falk as the third quarterback, he could be added to the practice squad.  

On the edge

The Houston Chronicle reported that the Jets are one of five teams to have spoken to the Texans about Jadeveon Clowney, who hasn’t signed his $15.9 million franchise tag.

Douglas has said he would be willing to give up draft picks for the right player. The Jets’ interest level in Clowney is unclear. Clowney reportedly has met with the Dolphins, and his two preferred destinations are Seattle and Philadelphia.

Two-minute drill

Tight end Chris Herndon was among the many Jets who did not play. The second-year tight end now will begin serving his four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy … The Jets waived safety Brandon Bryant. They needed to clear a roster spot for new cornerback Nate Hairston . . . The Jets announced a partnership with Bethpage Federal Credit Union as their sponsor for the anti-bullying initiative, which aims to create awareness by reaching educators and students in the tri-state area through school visits, educator symposiums and weekly programs that celebrate students who are working to resolve bullying in their schools.

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