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Mark Sanchez: Powell is lighting up the camp

Marcus Henry | 8/8/2013, 11:01 a.m. | Updated on 8/8/2013, 11:01 a.m.
Mark Sanchez

The running back position is beginning to become a bottomless pit for the Jets. Every day it seems like one player after another is befallen with some unfortunate turn of events.

Chris Ivory, acquired in a trade with the New Orleans Saints and expected to be the main ball carrier, has been hobbled by a bad hamstring. Mike Goodson, a free agent pickup from the Raiders, has legal issues. And Joe McKnight, expected to contribute on special teams and on third downs, was arrested last week for outstanding traffic warrants.

Shonn Greene, where are you?

With Ivory, McKnight and Goodson all experiencing setbacks, it doesn’t leave the Jets much to work with out of the backfield, but it could open the door for Bilal Powell. Thought of as the type of running back signed to fill out the roster, Powell put forth a great effort at the Jets Green and White scrimmage on Saturday.

With Goodson’s legal problems expected to keep him on ice for a while and Ivory’s injury history continuing to badger him, Powell has a chance to become a regular. But he isn’t expecting to be handed anything.

“I just want to come out and work hard every day. We’ll see how everything rolls out from there,” said Powell. “It’s out of my control. My thing is just to come in and put good things on film and allow the coaches to see what the roster or the depth chart is.” Powell said he didn’t change anything about his offseason workout routine.

“I go back to Louisville and I train with my old strength and conditioning coach,” he said.“My main thing is just to come out real focused this year.”

Even Mark Sanchez has been impressed. “I think Bilal is probably one of the most underrated players in the league,” said Sanchez. “He’s a [heck] of a player and he’s just coming into his own, just trying to get comfortable, and he’s lighting this camp on fire.”

That’s high praise for Powell, but will his solid play carry over into opening day? Check back with us in a few weeks.