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FLORHAM PARK, NJ – A look at what’s happening around the New York Jets:
Four is a crowd: Same quarterbacks, different quarterback room.
After last season’s unusual dynamics, best described as too many chefs in the kitchen, the Jets are back to a traditional coaching setup, which should benefit quarterback Zach Wilson. The only voices in his ear are his position coach (Rob Calabrese) and his coordinator (Mike LaFleur). Gone are senior assistant Matt Cavanaugh and John Beck, Wilson’s personal trainer, who was hired mid-season.
No one wants to say anything negative about the four-man structure because they do not want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but it’s pretty clear that teamovers prefer the current way.
“I really like the way the communication has been because it has been more direct,” coach Robert Saleh said, adding that “there is a lot more conviction in what is being coached.”
LaFleur said: “It has been good to have only the two voices.”
Calabrese said, “Go ahead, [there will be] a clear, concise message. Everything goes through Mike LaFleur, and we make sure we’re all on the same page. “
It got crowded last season, a situation born out of tragedy (assistant Greg Knapp’s death), unusual circumstances (rookie coordinator and rookie QB coach) and sheer desperation. The Jets hired Cavanaugh to replace Knapp, who died of injuries when he was hit by a car while cycling last July. Cavanaugh had no background with LaFleur or Saleh, but his vast experience was appealing. The Jets added Beck because they were so worried about Wilson’s poor start and felt the young quarterback needed a familiar shoulder to lean on.
“It was good to have someone in the building who was constantly there for him, someone he could talk to,” Beck told ESPN. “He could share his opinion, he could give an unfiltered sense of how he felt about going into certain experiences. He did not have to feel that it was someone who would pass judgment or someone would be critical because they compare him to other quarterbacks in that situation. “
An outside observer, former Jets quarterback Boomer Esiason, was not a fan of the four-headed coach.
“I do not know Zach Wilson at all, so it’s hard for me to say what would have made him comfortable last year, but I know: when you have too many people talking to you, it tends to be a bit a lot, “Esiason told ESPN.” I’m glad they called it all back. Let his coach handle him and let his offensive coordinator call the plays. “
Wilson showed modest improvement late in the season, so “LaCalcaveck” did some good things. But this is a better setup for all parties, namely Wilson, whose success depends in part on his ability to click with LaFleur and Calabrese.
2. Makes its mark: By streamlining, Saleh relies heavily on Calabrese, who believes he has coordinator potential. Saleh nearly lost the 32-year-old coach in February. Calabrese was a finalist for the coordinating job at the University of Kentucky, which hired one of Calabrese’s mentors, Rich Scangarello.
Calabrese said he is happy with the way it worked because he wants to “leave my footprint” on the Jets, his favorite team as a kid on Long Island. He grew up in East Islip, where Esiason grew up.
“When I was from Boomer’s hometown, I had no choice,” Calabrese said with a laugh, explaining his fandom.
Calabrese, a former Central Florida quarterback, also did not want to give up Wilson in Year 2 because “I see the potential he has.”
Esiason, who has followed Calabrese’s career closely, believes the fast-growing coach will be good for Wilson, saying: “When Rob was a footballer, he was a tough SOB. I just hope Zach Wilson gets that part of him, and that he himself will be, for that was Rob. He was an all-in guy. “
Here comes Mekhi: Minicamp runs Tuesday and Wednesday. Unlike OTA practice, minicamp is mandatory. Saleh expects all players to participate, including tackle Mekhi Becton, who did not participate in the nine weeks of volunteer work. The physical pre-camp Monday will be the organization’s first personal look at him since the end of the season. He is not expected to practice.
4. Bebuder? With the NHL Eastern Conference finals in town, the Jets were treated to a special guest Thursday for training – the Stanley Cup. It triggered a thought:
When the New York Rangers last won the Cup in 1994, it ended a 53-season drought. The Jets’ current Super Bowl drought is … 53 seasons.
5. Farewell, Fitz: Recently retired quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has called his final season with the Jets (2016) the lowest point of his career, but his time with them was not entirely bad. He can walk away knowing he has presided over the team’s only top-10 offense (ranked 10th with 5,925 total yards in 2015) for the past 23 years. It was their last winning season (10-6).
6. Blows in the square: Jamison Crowder’s departure in free agency did not create any buzz because everyone assumed he was a guest anyway, but let’s not forget that he was the leading recipient in each of the last three seasons. He was especially good out of place. Who takes over that job?
“We’re working through it,” Saleh said.
The 2021 leaders in the field, based on the number of pass routes driven, were Crowder (285), Braxton Berrios (176), Elijah Moore (85) and Corey Davis (68), according to ESPN Stats & Information. The leaders, based on receptions: Crowder (41), Berrios (24), Moore (11) and Davis (six).
Berrios, who signed a $ 12 million two-year deal this offseason, appears to be the heir – but it sounds like it will be a committee approach. Saleh said he likes the idea of rotating players because it makes the attack less predictable, which is what you would expect a coach to say after losing his leading receiver. In fairness, they have legitimate options with Berrios, Moore and rookie Garrett Wilson, who played the position in Ohio State.
My prediction: Do not sleep on Berrios, whose reliability as a route runner makes him a strong candidate for a bump in playing time.
“I was called on a lot in the last five or six games of the year,” he said. “My job was to execute, and I think I did it at a high level – and a consistently high level. That’s what I’m proud to do, to be consistent.”
7. Loyal to jets: It’s hard to believe, but defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd (Class of ’18) is the longest-serving draft pick on the team. He is certainly not a star, but he is well respected because of his work ethic and loyalty.
Shepherd had a chance to leave as a free agent, but he turned down a better offer to return to the Jets on a $ 1.1 million one-year contract. He could have earned another $ 150,000 elsewhere. We’re not talking about Aaron Donald money, but it’s all relative. His decision surprised and delighted people in the organization.
With Folorunso Fatukasi gone, Shepherd is now the Jets’ greatest defensive lineman (315 pounds) and could play a prominent role as a defender in the first and second downturns. He gets some first team representatives.
8. Good work, kid: Garrett Wilson has made a big impression on Davis, who said of the election in the first round: “Dude is special. Dude is very special. He has crazy routes, crazy hands and always focused. … His separation is incredible. In ‘I “I’m glad we got that guy.”
9. Money means something: The Jets still have $ 10 million in cap space, according to Over the Cap, which means they are still open for business as training camp approaches. They still need help with offensive tackle, linebacker and defensive tackle.
10. The last word: “I really believe this team is capable of changing the culture for the next 10 years. Many guys on this team and many coaches who are training for this team now, they have not heard since they have been alive. A lot “Good things about the Jets. Now we have the story, we have the chance, the ability, etc., etc. to really change that mindset.” – linebacker CJ Mosley