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Football Starts This Week
Good morning ☕
It’s been a long old off-season but we can officially say that camp starts this week.
Players will officially report back to camp on Wednesday and some will be made available to the media at that point, I’ve not heard who yet.
The first session will take place on the 20th and the first public session will take place on the 22nd. If you’re heading in to see that, have a great one.
Before we get started on our training camp storyline preview today, I have two pieces of housekeeping.
First, I wanted to share my first piece for the official Jets UK channel. I’ll be writing a weekly column throughout the season and I imagine they’ll only keep a job if the column is popular 😉, so I’ll be sharing it often, and any help to promote it would be greatly appreciated.
Secondly, I wanted to ask if you wouldn’t mind answering a very small survey on TJW. It will take you no more than 1 minute and will help shape the future of the newsletter.
💪 Last word on sports outlined the top 10 NFL players who you’d pick to start your franchise within 2023 and Sauce Gardner made the list: “Number five on PFF’s top players under 25 isn’t too shabby for a second-year player. Sauce is truly a difference-maker on the outside and has been an elite cover corner in a position that normally takes time to grow. He will continue to dominate in 2023 and beyond, and should be towards the top of any franchise players list.”
5️⃣ Yahoo outlined 5 under the radar players who could make an impact at Jets camp and Tony Adams was on there: “The Jets traded for Chuck Clark to start alongside Jordan Whitehead and then signed Adrian Amos when Clark suffered a season-ending injury. But if the Jets really are high on Adams, perhaps he could push Amos for a starting role or at least establish himself as an option to take over as a starter next year with Whitehead, Clark and Amos all out of contract. He could also line up deep in three-safety packages.”
📈 The Jets Press ranked the top -10 running backs in Jet’s history. Emerson Boozer came in at number 3 with Ryan saying: “He was known for his powerful running style, often breaking tackles and gaining tough yards. Boozer played a key role in the Jets' Super Bowl victory in 1969. Like the past few entries on the list, Boozer played all 10 seasons with the Jets, totalling 1,291 carries for 5,135 yards and 52 touchdowns. He also added 139 catches for 1,488 receiving yards and an additional 12 touchdowns.”
🙌 Good Morning Football produced an underrated team and one Jet found his way onto the offensive side of the ball:
👀 There was a really interesting conversation in Sauce Gardner’s Twitter space where the Jet’s corner revealed that they thought former Eagles safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson was ‘close to signing’ with the Jets, and that they were also trying to recruit Darius Slay. This may just be players talking to players, as we never heard a single thing about CGJ being on the Jets radar and he ended up signing a 1 year $6.5 mill deal which was well below the projections.
🧀 Former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings, who has a spotty past with Aaron Rodgers is not buying the New York hype. While on “The Carton Show” on Friday, Jennings predicted that the Jets would start their season 1-5. Ouch. Maybe he’s just trying to suck up to Packer fans after ditching them for Minnesota.
✍️ 3 x All Pro DeAndre Hopkins is signing with the Titans on a 2 year deal worth $26 million. The Patriots were heavily interested but while we have Sauce and DJ I don't fear any receivers.
🙌 I missed this one last week, but Breece Hall gave an interview to NFL.com and he had some good quotable phrases. "I mean with the offense we have right now, I think we have an answer for everything," Hall said. "If you don't want to load the box, Aaron's going to get the ball off all day, if you do we've got the RPOs and we've got him to take shots, and we have the receivers that are going to make plays for us, as well. And if the offense is struggling, we have the backbones of our defense to rely on, so we're excited for that, for sure."
It’s time to go through the training camp matrix.
Here are 16 quick thoughts ahead of the team starting their true preparation for the season ahead.
Please no injuries
Chuck Clark was enough, we’ve had our fill of season-ending injuries and we haven’t hit training camp. Injuries are an unfortunate part of any sport, but one injury to an NFL team can derail a whole season if it happens to a key player. If we make it to week one with only minor scrapes and bruises, I’ll be celebrating.
Will we see Breece?
Obviously, we’ll see him, but will he appear in any games? You don’t mess around with ACLs, but at some point, he’s going to have to get back out there. We’ve seen him running and doing some light cutting. Will he be ready for week one? Who knows, but I hope we don’t rush him.
What will Mekhi do?
I mean just in general. He’s going to be a focal point of Hard Knocks and I’m intrigued to see if he’s still as dominant now he’s significantly lighter. What happens if he struggles? How will he react? What happens if he dominates? Will the Jets move Brown out of his favoured LT position?
Will Brown be able to play?
Back in May Duane Brown said he was unsure if he would be ready for training camp, well we’re about to find out. He worked through a shoulder injury last year and as a veteran, he’ll be given some time to work his way back, but every practice he misses is an opportunity for someone else to take his place.
Has Zach made any progress?
This season isn’t about Zach, but it would be nice to see just a glimpse of hope, especially as he’ll be acting as our #2 QB. Any injury to Rodgers and Zach is straight back in there. Has working with Rodgers made any tangible difference to simple mechanics? Decision-making? Ability to read the game? We’ll see.
Who’s going to be the UDFA star?
I’m hoping to write my next column for Jets UK on this. Every year there seems to be a UDFA who proves that teams made a mistake by not drafting him. If I had to guess, I’d put Trey Dean right at the top of the list. But maybe it’s receiver Jason Brownlee, tight end E. J. Jenkins? I’ve heard that there is some excitement in the building for linebacker Claudin Cherelus, so keep an eye on him.
Who’s starting at safety?
Is it a given that Jordan Whitehead and Adrian Amos will be the two starting safeties? I wouldn’t be so sure. Again, I’m going to say it, the Jets love Tony Adams. If he has a strong training camp followed by some strong pre-season showings, I think he could be the starting free safety in week one.
I can’t believe I’ve got all the way down to number 8 without really talking about Rodgers. Is he really revitalised? How good does he look? How much can he improve the team around him? I’ve got a feeling that we’re in for an MVP-type season, based solely on him being the kind of guy who likes to prove detractors wrong. And there are a lot of detractors in Green Bay.
Who’s the surprise cut?
Nearly every single year you get one. I don’t consider Ashytn Davis getting cut a surprise, I’m actually surprised he’s still on the roster. Is it going to be Corey Davis? I doubt it, the coaching staff love him and when he’s healthy he’s extremely valuable. Could it be Michael Carter? That may be the most likely name, although I’m personally backing him for a bounce-back season.
Will the real Laken please stand up?
Laken Tomlinson wasn’t very good last year, but I think a lot of it was based on communication and confidence in the system. He seemed to be pretty confused at times and that resulted in some embarrassing snaps. Keith Carter is a drill sergeant and I’m pretty confident that if someone doesn’t know their assignment, they won’t be starting for long.
Who starts at centre?
This is a really interesting one for me as I think that based on the evidence available, Joe Tippmann may be the more accomplished pass protector, and that’s based on technique and his college tape vs McGovern’s pro tape. If the number one priority is keeping Aaron Rodgers safe then the best pass protector plays. Joe isn’t your standard rookie either, he called protections as a Badger.
Will McDonald’s role?
I’m really excited about the potential of McDonald. When that man turns the corner, most OTs will struggle to stay with him, his bend is absolutely ridiculous. How much will he play? That’s the question. If he comes out and dominates in camp, can you keep him off the field? Like Coach Boone says in Remember the Titans, the best player will play.
Will Bryce Huff still be here?
Related to the above segment. If McDonald really does show up and Jermaine Johnson continues his ascendency and then you have to work in Carl Lawson, John Franklin-Myers and Micheal Clemons, will the Jets entertain offers for Bryce Huff? If they get a 2nd round pick, I’d be for it. Any less and you don’t subtract from a team with Championship aspirations, that’s how a strength becomes a weakness.
Will Clemons really play inside?
We keep hearing it but will it actually happen? He’s put on good weight and he’s a dominant run stuffer too, but will the Jets move him inside considering they have Quinnen, Quinton, Al Woods, Solomon Thomas and others? I think we’ll see him in third and long situations. Imagine that pass-rush combination.
What happens with Bryce Hall?
I mean it’s now at a point where I just feel bad for him. Went from being a starter to not playing at all, yet we hear absolutely nothing about him being traded. There must come a time when the Jets decide to move him for his own good. I’d still like to see him tried as a free safety, but that ship seems to have sailed. He may even end up getting cut.
Is Zack Kuntz more than an athlete?
We’ve all seen the testing numbers and they’re off the charts. But there is a reason he lasted so long in the draft and that’s down to transferable football skills. I think we all get excited when we see certain athletic profiles, but his route to playing time is complicated. Tyler Conklin tops the depth chart, followed by locker room leader C.J Uzomah, then you have Jets fan Jeremy Ruckert. It’s going to be tough for Kuntz.