Training Camp Begins
🌟 Good morning!
Let the madness begin. Players checked into the facility yesterday ready for camp, and some of the players had media availability.
💰 Free agent offensive tackle Riley Reiff reached an agreement yesterday on a one-year deal worth up to $12.5 million, with $10 million likely to be earned, with the Chicago Bears according to Adam Schefter. The Jets were interested and hosted Reiff for a visit during OTA’s, but they were never going to pay that kind of money for Reiff. A reminder that George Fant’s cap hit for 2022 is just $11.1 million, either the Bears really believe in him or this is an example of a big overpayment.
💪 Mekhi Becton checked into the facility (below) and he looked great. He’s obviously been working hard over the last two months and all that work showed. Hopefully, we can now just get on with analyzing his play on the field. Fant also showed up, although he did so with a big knee brace. Fant is recovering from a knee injury sustained at the back end of the 2021 season and is currently looking for a new contract.
🙌 Just a reminder that practice sessions start today. There were no sessions yesterday, it was more about getting the players through the door, welcoming everyone to the facility and taking measurements etc. Robert Saleh will meet with the media later this week as well, so we’ll start getting some sound bites from the coach.
A number of players met with the media, and here are a few snippets from those interviews:
‘This defense can be spectacular man, the sky is the limit for this defense. We all just gotta continue to work hard each and every day. Today is training camp day one, so we got a long way to go but, just attack each and every day, just doing the things we know we can do and being each other 100%. I always tell the d-line, if each and every one of us is at 100%, can’t nobody stop us. So just trying to make sure that each and every one of us gets to 100% in our craft, work ethic and playbook, 100% in conditioning, it’s a big thing” - Quinnen Williams
‘It speeds things up a lot, there’s not a lot of learning. As far as coaches and building that chemistry with each other, you kind of know what to expect from everybody. You know how certain people are going to coach you, little things that when you first meet someone or when you first get on the field, little techniques and things like that you might not be used to, but we’ve been going at this for a year and been in the system for a year, it builds that comfortability and confidence, when you step on the field that you got somebody who’s been around for a while and going to be in the right spot where they’re supposed to me’ CJ Mosley on team chemistry and being in year two of the system.
‘He’s phenomenal, I got to train with him all off-season, and just the guy he is, he’s a very vocal guy, a very explosive guy, a very talented guy, loves to have fun, loves to compete, loves to talk trash, he’s a typical SEC football player…He’s an animal, I’m just glad to have him on this team and glad to have an elite edge rusher like he is out here’ - Quinnen on Jermaine Johnson.
‘A lot of different things, one is Zach. A young talented quarterback was big for me. Just talking to Joe Douglas and coach about the culture that they’re trying to create here and it’s an offense that I’m somewhat familiar with, the west coach system coming from Minnesota, those were all big things and reasons why I wanted to come here’ - Tyler Conklin on why he signed with the Jets.
‘Yeah, I seen him, put a smile on my face…I know he was working this off-season. He looked good too coming in, I can tell he has that mindset and he’s ready to prove himself. That would make us look more scary Week 1, having a guy like that (on what a healthy Mekhi would do). A guy who’s good in pass-protection, a guy who’s good in run-blocking as well…whenever you can add a guy like that to an offensive line it’s gonna help. At the end of the day we’re all one unit, so if we’re all working we should be good’ - AVT on Becton
‘I was able to work with Laken a little bit during the summer, that was good work. I was just able to pick his brain…he had good years in San Francisco, in my head I was like why don’t I go and train with him and see what I can get from him’ - AVT on training with Laken
As things stand the Jets have 7 players on the reserve list, how concerned should we be about each in terms of the injury itself and the potential impact on the team? Let’s take a quick look at 5 of the key players.
UPDATE: Becton, Lawson and Uzomah were all removed from the PUP list after this article was written. I've chosen to post this rather than update the below snippets.
Mekhi Becton - Offensive Lineman
On the Injury - Becton had his right leg rolled upon in week one of the 2021 season, he then had arthroscopic knee surgery to clean out the cartilage. He also suffered a knee cap dislocation and MCL sprain. Becton was limited at OTA’s but was able to do some work with the trainers, he’s checked into camp in great shape and although he’s currently on the PUP list, the expectation is he’ll be removed sooner rather than later, he could be removed today.
On the potential impact - Becton has missed time in both years one and two, and unlike 2021, the Jets don’t have great depth behind him, there’s no Morgan Moses waiting in the wings and there’s unlikely to be a Morgan Moses released this year. Regardless of whether he’s playing left or right tackle, Becton missing time in 2021 could spell disaster for the Jets.
George Fant - Offensive Lineman
On the Injury - Fant injured his knee in week 15 of the 2021 season with Robert Saleh saying "His ACL is intact, so knock on wood, this is just stuff from a previous knee injury that he’s dealing with.". Fant had previously torn his ACL while with Seattle in 2017 and no real details were provided this time around. In April Fant said he was recovering well from injury and should be ready for training camp, today he turned up with a heavy brace on his knee. It’ll be interesting to see how long he sticks on the PUP.
On the potential impact - You can largely copy and paste this passage from Becton, Fant is the best pass-protector the Jets have, and keeping Wilson upright this season is a priority.
Carl Lawson - Edge
On the Injury - Lawson was stolen from us last year with him tearing his Achilles in a scrimmage with the Packers. In OTA’s he said he was ready to go and Jeff Ulbrich has recently said the Jets need to pull the reigns on him to protect him from himself. He is on the PUP list but the expectation is he’ll be removed soon and will be full go by the time camp really kicks into gear.
On the potential impact - The Jets' defense runs on edge pressure and Lawson is an absolute beast off the edge. On paper, the Jets have talent at the defensive end position and they ensured they bulked up the position this off-season with the additions of Jacob Martin, Jermaine Johnson, and Micheal Clemons but there is no backup Carl Lawson, if he’s missing it impacts your ability to get to the QB. A healthy Lawson makes this defense hum.
CJ Uzomah - Tight End
On the Injury - Uzomah was practicing in OTA’s for most of the off-season but in late June he was spotted on the sideline with an injury that was deemed “not serious”. It’s worth noting that Uzomah did suffer an MCL sprain in the AFC Championship Game in 2021 and had a torn Achilles the year before, so there are some injury concerns there. Saying that the Jets have been cautious all off-season and the expectation is that he’ll be ready to go when the real work starts and right now there are no fears of missed time.
On the potential impact - The Jets tight end group was drastically improved this off-season and Joe Douglas ensured there was plenty of depth by signing Tyler Conklin and drafting Jeremy Ruckert. Obviously, the Jets who will run from 12 personnel more frequently this year are more dangerous when both Conklin and Uzomah are on the field. Uzomah is also a natural leader, and with a team that boasts so many young weapons, that’s important.
Jeremy Ruckert - Tight End
On the injury - Ruckert suffered a foot injury before the draft while working at the Senior Bowl and he said that he was experiencing plantar fasciitis. It kept him out of the combine and he was spotted in a boot at OSU’s pro-day. Saleh had said he hoped he’d be able to do some work in OTA’s, but he was restricted to working with trainers. This is something to watch, if he is able to practice within a week then there is no concern, but if this continues to linger then we may have an issue on our hands.
On the potential impact - You can copy and paste this section from the Uzomah section. Ruckert is a good run-blocker and I hypothesized that he may be used as a full-back, but the expectations for Ruckert were pretty low considering the depth at the position.
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