FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — A take a look at what’s occurring across the New York Jets:
1. Fountain of youth: The Jets are three months away from the beginning of an unprecedented 2021 NFL season. For the primary time in franchise historical past, they’ve a first-year coach, a rookie beginning quarterback and a younger roster. The roster characterization is subjective, however a fast evaluation of seasons previous confirms there has by no means been a season fairly just like the one on the horizon.
The Jets had two out of three in 2009, with coach Rex Ryan and quarterback Mark Sanchez as newbies, however that was a veteran group that made the playoffs after narrowly lacking out in 2008. They got here near the trifecta in 1977, with coach Walt Michaels answerable for a youth motion, however quarterback Richard Todd had began six video games the earlier season as a rookie.
So buckle up, of us. That is going to be a wild journey — and Robert Saleh is all for it.
“Pete Carroll as soon as stated, ‘You’ll be able to’t be afraid to play younger guys,'” the Jets’ coach stated, quoting one among his mentors. “They’re hell on wheels they usually’re enjoyable to look at.”
The Jets ought to have not less than a half dozen rookies in distinguished roles, led by quarterback Zach Wilson. At present, they’ve 4 gamers within the 30-and-up membership, which makes them one of many youngest groups within the league. They’ve a handful of gamers who had been in diapers when Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady broke into the league in 2000, which ought to make for some enjoyable “age” jokes for the Week 17 matchup.
Saleh is aware of what’s forward: There can be rising pains, even for the coach, however he relishes the chance. The problem for the teaching workers is to get the younger gamers considering and taking part in like veterans. When that occurs, “You change into an explosive group in a rush,” he stated.
“However to get to that time takes some trials and tribulations, some bumps within the street and a few complications. You’ll be able to’t, as a soccer coach, be afraid to undergo these bumps as a result of there’s mild on the finish of the tunnel. It is perhaps a freight prepare or precise mild, but it surely does not matter. We’re going via that tunnel and also you simply acquired to go.”
For his or her sake, you hope it is not the Lincoln Tunnel at rush hour.
2. Scouting the Jets: Some personnel-related notes/observations from final week’s minicamp:
Linebacker C.J. Mosley, who opted out final season, slimmed down and appears faster. … Outsiders may think about Ty Johnson the forgotten man at operating again, however he is nonetheless very a lot within the group’s plans. He made a powerful impression. … One other forgotten participant, defensive deal with Nathan Shepherd, turned heads. … Lamarcus Joyner may find yourself being a sneaky good free-agent signing. He performed largely free security in minicamp, however his capacity to cowl slot receivers opens up totally different prospects. … Talking of sneaky good signings, Keelan Cole can ball. He can be within the large receiver rotation. … Denzel Mims, who began eight video games final season, is not even among the many finest 5 receivers on this 12 months’s roster.
The Jets knew Elijah Moore was good — they’d a first-round grade on him — however they had been blown away by the rookie large receiver. … The early returns on first-round decide Alijah Vera-Tucker are extraordinarily constructive. I do know, I do know; it is early, they usually weren’t in pads, however he is perhaps the most effective offensive lineman on the group. … This teaching workers likes to make use of a fullback, which permits them to regulate angles within the operating recreation out of a two-back package deal. The main candidate (truly, the one candidate) is Trevon Wesco.
Bear in mind when deal with Chuma Edoga was thought-about a possible full-time starter? His roster spot is tenuous. He might be toast if the Jets signal free agent Morgan Moses. …4 of the 12 cornerbacks are rookies, and Isaiah Dunn (undrafted) is perhaps the most effective of the bunch. The Jets virtually drafted him within the sixth spherical. … Tight finish Chris Herndon, who sat out the ultimate day with leg tightness, failed to differentiate himself this spring. Let’s simply say he wants a powerful coaching camp.
Cool catch, Keelan. pic.twitter.com/bVtio5Ph1B
— Woody Johnson (@woodyjohnson4) June 9, 2021
3. Silent security: Marcus Maye blew off the media in minicamp, actually out of character for him (to not point out a violation of the NFL media coverage). Clearly, he did not need to reply questions on his ongoing contract negotiations. Gamers reply contract questions on a regular basis, particularly this time of 12 months. His silence spoke volumes.
Maye, who attended the obligatory camp after skipping the voluntary portion of the offseason, will play for the franchise-tag tender ($10.6 million) if he does not comply with a long-term deal by the July 15 deadline. This can be a robust one to foretell. Like most negotiations, it in all probability will go right down to the deadline.
“We did miss him, to be utterly sincere,” Jets defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich stated. “However he is a man that, in my quick time attending to know him, is tremendous wanting to get caught up and to stand up to hurry with what we’re doing. I am enthusiastic about shifting ahead in coaching camp with him as a result of he undoubtedly will elevate this group in each means.”
4. Backup plan: It does not sound just like the Jets are planning so as to add a veteran quarterback, not less than not primarily based on Saleh’s feedback.
“I do not know if there’s a lot worth, other than being comfy that, if the crap hits the fan, you could have a veteran who’s performed soccer,” he stated.
However that is exactly the explanation so as to add a veteran. If Wilson will get damage within the preseason, would the Jets actually open with James Morgan or Mike White, neither of whom has taken a regular-season snap? What sort of message does that ship?
Saleh ought to know this higher than most due to what occurred along with his earlier group. When the San Francisco 49ers needed to go to the bench in 2017 and 2018, they turned to C.J. Beathard and Nick Mullens, neither of whom had performed earlier than. The 49ers had been 6-10 and 4-12 in these seasons. Jimmy Garoppolo acquired damage once more in 2020, they usually went 6-10 with Beathard and Mullens.
Some coaches wish to have an older quarterback within the mentor function, however the worth in that’s debatable. What’s not debatable is having the advantage of an skilled backup in case … you recognize, the starter will get damage or slumps. It is admirable Saleh needs to offer White and Morgan an opportunity to develop, however the backside line is profitable video games.
As I’ve said before, the Chicago Bears‘ Nick Foles must be a commerce goal. There’s not a lot left within the free-agent cabinet. Robert Griffin III is the most important title, and he hasn’t carried out something in just a few years. Brian Hoyer, who piqued the Jets’ curiosity final month, may shake free from the New England Patriots, however he has misplaced 17 straight begins.
Until they modify course and make a run at Foles, it seems like White and Morgan. That might be good QB insurance coverage in 2022, however not now.
5. Gang’s all right here: You could recall the NFLPA, citing well being issues, inspired gamers to skip voluntary exercises — and but the Jets averaged about 80 gamers per day. Why? Guard Greg Van Roten, the group’s union rep, instructed teammates it was of their finest curiosity to attend. He cited final season’s disappointment, the brand new teaching workers and the roster turnover as the explanation why they wanted to be there. It labored.
“I did not assume [staying away] was a great recipe for the gamers to observe,” Van Roten stated.
6. Q issue: Quinnen Williams, who sat out the offseason as he recovered from foot surgical procedure, is anticipated to be prepared for coaching camp. This can be a massive season for Williams, who’s eligible for a brand new contract in 2022. If he delivers an encore efficiency, it is going to be fascinating to see if the Jets pony up.
“I am taking the steps to change into finally that dominant defensive deal with within the NFL,” Williams stated.
7. The final phrase: “It is like that is the world’s best honeymoon. Each time a brand new group is available in, there’s the advantage of the doubt, however adversity would be the cement that solidifies every thing that is been constructed, going via these robust instances.” — Saleh.