The Jets will face off against the Giants on Sunday night in their final pre-season game before the season starts against Baltimore on the 11th of September, which is just 16 days away.
There are also only 54 days until the Knicks get started (don’t forget to head over and subscribe to the Knicks School Newsletter, it’s the best content around) and 46 days until the start of the Rangers season. The Mets are also still leading the NL East (If you’re not a subscriber of Mets Fix, you need to sort that out ASAP). Sport is good!
Today we’re going to recap the practice with the Giants, and then we’re going to have a quick preview of the game on Sunday, and of course just look at the Denzel Mims situation.
A little bit of housekeeping, I’m heading up to Scotland next week so the newsletters may be a little shorter than usual as I’m spending quality time with the family before all the sports kick into gear this Autumn/Winter.
Zach Wilson has been around the practice field over the last day or so, with him riding around in a cart on Wednesday before doing some minor leg exercises on Thursday during the Jets/Giants practice.
It’s hard to read too much into offensive line individual drills, but from the little I saw, AVT really held his own against the Giants rushers (couldn’t pick out the numbers, unfortunately). The Jet’s backups didn’t fare too well, but that’s somewhat to be expected.
Jermaine Johnson limped off the field with an apparent left foot/ankle injury. According to reports he was walking gingerly and didn’t look comfortable. He did rejoin his teammates later which is always a good sign and Saleh later confirmed it was nothing serious.
DJ Reed soon followed Johnson off the field, Reed has missed some time this pre-season with an injury (hamstring), so seeing him walk off with trainers isn’t ideal. Although he was back with the defense shortly after, so that’s a real positive sign and Saleh again confirmed it was nothing serious.
Bryce Hall came in and made the most of his opportunity picking off Daniel Jones in the end-zone on a fade route.
On the injury front, Sheldon Rankins was not practicing today. I’ve said it all off-season he is a cut candidate waiting to happen. Chuma Edoga was also sitting out. Nick Bawden also left practice with an apparent leg injury.
Corey Davis made the first splash play of the day with a toe tap touchdown in the back of the end-zone from a Joe Flacco throw. Flacco then followed that up with a touchdown pass to Garett Wilson before being picked off.
Mike White threw a touchdown to Denzel Mims, something you don’t see all that often. However Athletic beat reporter Zack Rosenblatt posted that Mims was struggling to gain much separation.
The Texans announced the signing of former Jets kicker Matt Ammendola.
Shockingly there were no fights during the joint practice…in fact, it sounds as though there wasn’t even a sniff of a fight, very strange but I don’t mind that at all.
Daniel Jones did well against the Jets defense going 14-15 in 11-on-11 drills. I'll reserve judgement, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little concerned about the Jets defense.
In the end, the practice was pretty uneventful which led Brian Costello to tweet:
I think we’d all pay to see that fight.
There’s really only one place to start today and that’s with the news that Denzel Mims has officially requested a trade from the Jets, citing a lack of first-team opportunities as the reason. The full statement from his agent Ron Slavin can be found below.
There are two statements that can coexist in this situation. The first is that Mims has really put in the work this off-season and came back in phenomenal shape with a great attitude and a good mentality. The second is that he probably doesn’t deserve to start with the Jets.
He certainly won’t start over either Moore or Wilson and Corey Davis is getting paid $13.6 million this year, and while Davis had a disappointing first year, he has the history of production that Mims doesn’t have and Davis has had a strong camp so far.
Mims has had some positive moments in camp and a couple of positive moments in games, but he hasn’t managed to force his way into gaining first-team reps with his own performance. So far through pre-season, he’s caught 55.6% of his targets, had one drop, and come down with 0-2 contested catches. His performances have been fine, but they haven’t been good enough to force his way into the first team.
It’s a shame that it’s come down to this as Mims has the combination that most NFL teams absolutely drool over, he’s big and he’s fast. Yet through his first two years, he’s battled injuries, caught just over 50% of his targets, struggled to gain separation and caught just 26.7% of his contested balls (4-15). It’s not all his fault, the Jets had poor coaching and players in 2020, and then he never seemed 100% healthy in 2021 and struggled to get the playbook down. 2022 was his opportunity to earn the right to start in 2023 when the Jets can cut Corey Davis without cap punishment.
I would have loved to see Mims make it work in New York, and personally, I think the reality is he has to work to earn those reps and 2022 was the perfect opportunity. He is one Corey Davis injury away from starting, but sometimes it’s easier to pack up, blame the organization and move on.
I’m sure Joe Douglas will try and find a new home for him in a deal that’s beneficial for both parties. Sending him to Chicago for Teven Jenkins is one option, sending him to Dallas for something like a 4th pick is another. It’s a shame it’s ended like this but it was on the cards this off-season.
Robert Saleh has confirmed that the starters will play against the Giants on Sunday, and while he still has 48 hours to change his mind I’m going to assume that everyone who’s healthy will be a go. So with that in mind, here are a few things I’m looking at as we enter the business end of camp…and I won’t state the obvious that the most important thing is everyone stays healthy.
This is directly tied to that last comment. Lawson is chomping at the bit to get into a game for the Jets and Saleh has held him out of both pre-season games so far. It’ll be his first game action since tearing his Achilles against the Green Bay Packers in a joint practice. I don’t want to see him emptying the tank and trying to do too much, and him coming through the game healthy is key…but I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t enjoy a Carl Lawson sack of Daniel Jones.
The expectation is that Carl Lawson and John Franklin-Myers will be the two starting defensive ends in the base defense this year, but I’d also like to see a few snaps of Lawson and Jermaine Johnson rushing the passer, that’s going to be an exciting combination this year for the Jets. The Saleh/Ulbrich defensive system is based on the defensive line getting pressure and we’ll finally get to see the starting unit do that.
I have a great deal of confidence in this starting offense, but they’ve been pedestrian so far this pre-season. A lot of that is based on Zach Wilson suffering an injury and Joe Flacco being rested as a precaution. Mike White has been unable to move the starting unit and that stalls the momentum of the off-season.
On Sunday we’ll get to see the starting unit with a seasoned quarterback at the helm and I’m excited to see what they can do in their quarter+ of action. I think an opening drive touchdown would do wonders for the confidence of the unit as a whole and if it happened to be one of the rookies taking it into the end-zone, even better.
When training camp opened, the optimistic fan saw this offensive line as having top 5 potential. A sensible fan saw the offensive line having top 10 potential and even a pessimistic fan saw the offensive line having top 20 potential. Unfortunately, the injury to Becton and Fant working his way back from injury stalled the progress.
The signing of Duane Brown was a key addition for the Jets, but he only started practicing in team drills on Wednesday, which gives the offensive line just over two weeks to gel as a unit. How they perform on Sunday in their first outing as a complete unit will show how far they have to travel to be ready for opening day.
Brian Daboll Offense
The Giants made an outstanding hire by bringing in former Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll as head coach. Daboll spent some time with the Jets as the QB coach in 2007-08 and the hope is that he can uncover something in Daniel Jones after being credited with helping Josh Allen become one of the better QBs in football.
The Jet’s defense is going to be tested on Sunday night. The Bills spent 71% of their time in 11 personnel last season (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WR) and they also used 10 personnel the third most of any team last season (1 RB, 0 TE, 4 WR), so expect the likes of Bryce Hall, Micheal Carter II, and others to get tested.
Daboll likes to go with an empty backfield, he likes to use a lot of play-action and he likes to use a lot of mesh. The Jets starting defense has been as unimpressive as the starting offense and Sunday is a good time to get some confidence ahead of the new season.
Tight End Performance
Austin Allen. Daniel Bellinger. Chris Myarick. That’s the tight-end depth chart for the Giants, and while I appreciate that Daboll’s system can operate without a start tight-end, I’d be shocked if General Manager Joe Schoen didn’t see this as a perfect opportunity to get a close-up look at a packed room.
The simple truth is that the Jets will be forced to release a tight end who would walk into that Giants depth chart competing as TE1 along with 4th round 2022 pick Daniel Bellinger, and that includes Trevon Wesco with his 6 career catches.
The Jets have 6 tight ends on the roster at the minute and at most they can only keep four, which means Kenny Yeboah is likely the main guy getting cut. Don’t forget that Yeboah had 524 yards and 6 touchdowns in his final year at Ole Miss so I can imagine the Giants having interest there.
I know I keep coming back to this, but I believe it’s one of the more interesting battles in camp. I project that the Jets will carry four safeties in total, Joyner and Whitehead are projected to start and then the two remaining spots are wide open. The Jets have already made some cuts to the position this week, which means the pool to pick from has dwindled.
Tony Adams, Ashtyn Davis, Jason Pinnock, and Will Parks will be fighting for those final two spots. Adams is the outside shot and Ashtyn Davis continues to flatter to deceive, so my backing goes to Jason Pinnock who I know the Jets love, and Will Parks who has arguably been the most consistent safety in camp.
The expectation is that Joyner and Whitehead will start on Sunday, but with the likes of Riley being cut that should mean more snaps for the backups to prove they belong. It’s going to be an interesting game at the safety position, especially because they’ll be tested in this Daboll system.
Yesterday it was believed that Cowboys tackle Tyron Smith suffered a torn hamstring, but further testing revealed a more significant injury. He actually suffered an avulsion fracture, which basically means the hamstring tendon pulled off the bone. That will obviously need surgery and the expectation is if he does make it back at all this season, it’ll be at the back-end (December/January).
The Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles had to cancel a joint practice on Thursday due to a stomach bug doing the rounds in camp Miami, sounds as though they avoided a messy situation.
JC Tretter who is the NFLPA president, and former Cleveland Brown center, announced his retirement yesterday after nine seasons.
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