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Jets fall to Bucs - Lessons
It seems as though the Jets/Bucs game happened a long time ago as we sit here on Monday morning. After watching this game, there were some real positives, and I’ve already changed my mind about the Jet’s 53-man roster.
We already know that Aaron Rodgers will be making his preseason debut against the Giants, so I’m sure we’ll all be nice and relaxed about that. It’ll be his first start in the pre-season since 2018, but it will also be his first real live snaps with a new team, so I get it. I’m sure he’ll only spend one drive on the field.
We have some injuries to worry about to start the week with both RB Israel Abanikanda and Joe Tippmann going down against the Bucs, with Saleh confirming more tests will need to be done. We should hear more either today or tomorrow.
Here are some thoughts from the game:
Mekhi Becton was outstanding for me. Didn’t allow a single pressure on 19 pass-blocking snaps and was dominant in the run game. He played 28 snaps in total, and I think it’s time we started to see him get first-team reps at right tackle. He’s been working and building up in accordance with strict medical protocols, but I think he must be getting to the point where he can be considered for those first-team reps.
18 pressures and 3 sacks for the Jet’s defence on Saturday. Jalyn Holmes had 3 pressures and 2 sacks on the night and Bryce Huff continues to show his value with 3 more pressures and 1 sack. Clemons was the only other player to record multiple pressures (2). In total, 13 players recorded at least 1 pressure, which speaks to the depth of the defence.
If you needed any clearer indications about Tony Adams, you got it in Saturday. Jordan Whitehead and Adams sat the game out, and Ashtyn Davis and Adrian Amos started. So you’ve got your two starting safeties and your two backup safeties.
It’s becoming very clear that Ashtyn Davis is making this team. Robert Saleh loves him, loves his athleticism and loves his special team’s ability. He actually had a good game against Tampa making a couple of tackles for a loss and genuinely being pretty reliable. He didn’t miss a tackle, which is a big improvement.
The Quarterbacking showed why we need AR so much. Zach wasn’t bad and I understand being conservative, but at some point, you need to push the ball just a little. He was safe and made a great play with his legs, it’s still baby steps and baby steps are key, but I couldn’t watch that all year. I’ve already changed my mind about carrying Tim Boyle, he’s just not very good.
Jason Brownlee needed a good game and he led the Jets in receptions (4) and yards (50) including a long of 26 and 27 YAC. Is there a universe where both Brownlee and Gipson make the roster? Only if the Jets wanted to move on from Corey Davis, and Rich Cimini mentioned that situation is worth watching considering the cap of $10.5 million.
In terms of the running backs, I think it’s clear that Michael Carter has made the team considering he was sitting with the starters. Bam had a drop and a fumble and allowed pressure as well, usually a good way to get yourself cut. It all depends on Abanikanda’s injury.
Ball security and penalties. Those were two big issues for the Jets. Multiple fumbles and 8 penalties that cost the Jets 75 yards. Rookie Zack Kuntz got called for two of those penalties. Derrick Langford also got called for two penalties and was charged with the TD as well.
One concern is that Saleh would not commit to AVT, Laken or Duane returning this week.
Going to start this section with a couple of Mekhi Becton plays
The first play is all about attitude. It’s not a great rush by any means, but the extension and pop are enough to alter the defender’s balance…but it’s that finish that you love to see. I want my linemen to be nasty and we maybe haven’t had enough of that recently.
Then on the second one, this is a combo block and climb play. This one told me everything I needed to know about Becton and his health. That’s lightning quick off the snap, and if Becton squares up a linebacker or a safety, that player is getting put on skates.
The NFL is all about the passing game. You can make a lot of money if you can throw or catch the ball, or if you can stop the opposing team from throwing or catching the ball. Bryce Huff is a wrecker on 3rd down, he consistently showed that last year and he’s continuing his form in the pre-season. The thought of a fresh Huff, in the 4th quarter, bursting off the edge on 3rd-down is an exciting proposition.
I’ve now come to accept that Davis is making this team. He’s shown very little on defense but Brant Boyer loves him on special teams. I actually thought he had a very good game last night, and when we drafted him out of Cal, this is the kind of play I was expecting. These plays look great when they come off, and awful if you whiff on the tackle.
Earlier this pre-season we highlighted Jefferson as a potential steal, and the longer the pre-season has gone on, the more I believe that to be true. This is what happens when you use your blocker to make a tackle for a loss.
“I thought he came in and played with a lot of energy, a lot of juice. We didn’t have a lot of plays on offence, but I thought he did a really nice job. I’m looking forward to looking at that tape, but watching it live, it felt really good.” - Saleh on Mekhi Becton.
“Yeah. He’s such a competitor. You’d love for him to slide out of bounds right there and just call it a day on that run, but he’s a competitor. It’s hard to jump in his headset while he’s running and tell him to go out.” - Saleh on Wilson’s run
“You can count on Ashtyn to bring it every single day. He has a great attitude. It’s important to him. He works at it. He has great speed and athleticism. His special teams ability is through the roof. I have a genuine appreciation for Ashtyn” - Saleh on Ashtyn Davis.
“Great. I didn’t get touched. It’s hard to point to just him because I’m not, obviously, focused on just him during the game, but I think all of those guys did an awesome job and I’m excited for him to be healthy and back out there and he’s in great shape, so I’m excited for all those guys that got to run tonight. Every time we step out on the field, it’s a great opportunity for us.” - Zach Wilson on having Becton at RT
“I would say just being comfortable, having a clear understanding of what the goal of each play is and understanding what looks each thing is for and why I want to get to certain plays, why we’re doing things a certain way. I think when you really have an understanding of why we’re doing something it’s easier to be able to be successful on that play. These games are fun because, after every single rep, every single play, there’s always going to be something you can learn and go back to. It’s going to be a fun film to watch.” - Zach Wilson on where he’s improved this pre-season
“It started in OTA’s. I think it was just, I make mistakes and can be tough on myself or whatever and Hack (Hackett) would do a really good job, we’re not negative here. It’s not about making mistakes, everyone makes mistakes, it’s how we respond and you show me you can do it on the next play because there are quarterbacks that throw interceptions and make a bad decision. How can you show that you rebound and go to the next play? So, he does a really good job with helping us kind of keep that mentality. Not everything has to be so stressful.” Zach Wilson on having more fun
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