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Salas making case for spot on Jets’ roster

August 4, 2014
By DENNIS WASZAK Jr. , The Associated Press

CORTLAND, N.Y. - Greg Salas almost seemed surprised by all the fuss.

Sure, he was perhaps the biggest star of the New York Jets' scrimmage Saturday, but as far as the 25-year-old wide receiver was concerned, there was nothing unusual about his performance.

"This is what I do in practice," said the former University of Hawaii standout, a three-year NFL veteran. "I make catches. I make plays in practice and I was glad I could come out here and do the same in this little scrimmage we had."

Article Photos

Greg Salas had eight catches for 143 yards in eight games with the New York Jets last season.
AP file photo

Salas, part of a crowded competition to win a spot in the Jets' receiving corps, had five catches for 54 yards in a practice that was dominated by the defense. He dropped a pass, too, but that didn't take too much away from a solid day.

"All Salas does is catch the football - except that one drop," coach Rex Ryan said. "It's funny, but that's what he does. He's not a blazer by any means, but he certainly gets the football. He gets open and he competes as a blocker, so those are all encouraging things."

Salas had eight catches for 143 yards in eight games with New York last season after the Jets signed him off the Philadelphia Eagles' practice squad in October.

Fact Box


Sunday's Result

N.Y. Giants 17, Buffalo 13

Thursday's Games (HST)

Indianapolis at N.Y. Jets, 1 p.m.

New England at Washington, 1:30 p.m. (KFVE)

San Francisco at Baltimore, 1:30 p.m. (NFLN)

Cincinnati at Kansas City, 2 p.m.

Seattle at Denver, 3 p.m.

Dallas at San Diego, 4 p.m. (NFLN)

While Eric Decker and Jeremy Kerley have jobs locked up, Salas is among a group that includes Stephen Hill, David Nelson, Jacoby Ford, Clyde Gates and rookies Jalen Saunders, Shaq Evans and Quincy Enunwa competing for three or four spots.

"Nothing's going to be given to anybody here and you've got to earn it," Salas said. "These coaches are going to play the best players, so I'm just here trying to make a case for myself."

At UH, Salas set the single-season record for catches, and season and career marks for receiving yards. He was drafted in the fourth round by the St. Louis Rams in 2011, and had 27 receptions for 264 yards in six games as a rookie, but suffered a broken leg midway through the season. He was traded to the New England Patriots for a draft pick before the following season, and the Eagles claimed him off waivers later that year.

After coming to the Jets last season, Salas had a few opportunities because of injuries to other wide receivers. During the offseason, he flew to Florida to work out with Geno Smith to try to develop a better rapport with the Jets quarterback. Judging from all the plays he has made this summer, it seems to have worked.

"He has had a great camp up until this point and he's a guy that is very consistent," Smith said. "He's a guy that we can rely on. That's something that we've seen from him since the time he got here. He's a true professional."

Salas played with Smith and Michael Vick, a former teammate in Philadelphia, during the scrimmage and appeared comfortable with both. He caught three passes from Vick and nearly had a touchdown grab on another throw, and hooked up with Smith twice.

"Greg Salas had a great night," Vick said. "I threw one ball across the middle and I could not believe he caught it. I probably put everything I had into it. He has great hands and he's one guy that has been a good friend of mine since my days in Philadelphia. It's great to see young guys continue to prosper in this league."

Salas realizes he's still a long way from that. He needs to keep trying to impress Ryan and the coaching staff in practices and preseason games, starting with the opener Thursday against the Indianapolis Colts.

"You should be like that no matter what, you should want to be flashing," Salas said. "You should want to be able to show the coaches how bad you want it, and how hard you're willing to play for it. That's all I've been doing.

"Whether if I was a starter or not, I'd be trying to flash out here."



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