Jets Youngster Has Fallen Flat in Camp: ‘Hasn’t Responded Well’

Robert Saleh, Jets

Getty New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh patrolling the sideline during an NFL game.

We have reached another key milestone of the 2022 offseason if you even want to call it that anymore, padded practices! Several teams across the league including the New York Jets will be putting on the pads for the very first time this cycle.

This is an important evaluation point and where things start to get a lot more real with our first preseason game this week (the Hall of Fame game). Before you enjoy all those bone-crushing hits, it’s time for our two experts Paul ‘Boy Green’ Esden Jr and Michael Obermuller to speak some gospel on all things Gang Green.

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Not Great Bob


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1. Who is a player that has surprisingly popped for you in Jets training camp so far?

MO:

There have been a few but none have been more surprising than Rashard Davis, the returner extraordinaire that was signed last week.

Generally, independent league standouts have very little chance of making an impact but don’t tell that to Davis. The USFL star has kept his hot streak going at the NFL level, at least so far, with a few huge plays already. He’s a burner at heart but it’s been his ability with the football that intrigues me.

The Jets had Davis taking end-around runs in camp, and we know what he can do on kick returns. Along with the big-play threat through the air, that sort of versatility could supply him with a real look in August. The person that has to watch out most is Jeff Smith, the resident WR/special teamer from 2021.

Boy Green:

I’ll go a bit off the wall and say in general the backup quarterback tandem of Joe Flacco and Mike White. So it helps out in two key areas.

First off you know that if Wilson goes down for any length of time at least you’ll get competent quarterback play versus whatever Luke Falk brought to the table a few years ago.

Secondly and this is a super underrated nugget, it presents real NFL opportunities for all the other skill players to showcase their talents.

Think about it. If you have terrible backup quarterbacks, that likely means the only time you can truly evaluate the bottom end of your roster is when the rare chance that they’re on the same field as your starter.

With quality backups, your defense will get a proper test and those backups can shine and show what they’re made of.

2. Who is a player that has been a disappointment so far in camp?

MO:

It’s so early that it’s almost unfair to peg anyone as a disappointment, but I’ll throw a name out there. I was hoping Bryce Hall would step up to the challenge of the coaching staff adding D.J. Reed Jr. and Sauce Gardner at cornerback this spring. Honestly, it feels like he hasn’t responded well on the field.

I’m not there watching in person but based on the media coverage from the beat, Hall has been the first-team defender giving up the big plays more often than not. Reed looks like the clear number one CB and everyone’s been saying that it’s only a matter of time before Gardner takes the other starting job for good.

I’m a massive Hall fan and defended him when the Jets practically replaced him over the offseason, but the difference in talent from Reed and Gardner to Hall and Brandin Echols has been evident at the start of camp. I would love to see some pass break-ups or solid coverage from Hall in the coming weeks.

Boy Green:

I’ll reiterate my partner’s stance that it is incredibly early and there is still time to change opinions with padded practices and preseason games looming. However, after an initial hot start, wide receiver Denzel Mims has cooled off significantly.

It may seem unfair, but it is the reality of the situation, Mims needs to fire on all cylinders the entire training camp to either earn a roster spot or fend off the trade rumors.

After showing some chutzpah in the first practice, he either hasn’t made a catch or has dropped passes. Not what you’re looking for especially when other talented receivers are making plays on the roster.

3. With pads coming on today, what is the No. 1 thing you’re looking forward to?

MO:

All the big-time football fans KNOW that the first few days of padded practice are all about trench warfare. I want to see Mekhi Becton and George Fant up against Carl Lawson and Jermaine Johnson II, or Laken Tomlinson blocking Quinnen Williams.

In the same light, the edge rusher and defensive tackle battles really intrigue me. There are so many players that are similar talent levels and I can’t wait to see which guys begin to step up and win roles.

Boy Green:

My partner has the pulse here, the top billing is trench play. We haven’t been able to properly or fairly evaluate the play of the offensive line versus the defensive line. Iron sharpens iron and this will be a fun battle throughout camp.

However, I’ll go in a different direction for my answer and say running back Breece Hall is who I’m looking forward to. He has looked like a gazelle on steroids so far, but when pads come on can he still show the same level of booyah?

Head coach Robert Saleh said they won’t be taking anyone to the ground during camp in an effort to minimize injuries, but there is still going to be some hitting going on out there. Time to see if Hall is the real deal.


Another One Bites the Dust


Jets Camp Chatter: Mekhi Becton fantastic shape + Carl Lawson is BACKBoy Green recaps an eventful New York Jets training camp reporting day! – Mekhi Becton, Carl Lawson, & CJ Uzomah are off the PUP list! – Reactions to players reporting! – Some new players signed & some others were dumped! Make sure you like the video on YouTube, hit subscribe, & check out the official…2022-07-27T16:42:43Z

4. If you could cut one notable player right now, who would it be and why?

MO:

On the spot? That’s a tricky one. I would probably pick someone that you can still upgrade on and the main player that would make sense in that regard is projected DT starter, Sheldon Rankins.

The caveat here is that the Jets have to replace him with a trade acquisition or signing. You can still save nearly five and a half million in cap space by releasing Rankins, so that might make sense if you’re bringing over a pricey contract in a deal.

There aren’t many notable players I’d cut before the first preseason game though.

Boy Green:

Notable is the keyword here.

I’d cut bait on the loveable backup offensive lineman and one-time tight end ‘superstar’ for the Jets: Conor McDermott. During game opportunities last year he played very poorly and even in camp so far he has been beaten like a drum.

It would make sense to wait until preseason action or even padded practices to make such decisions, but if I was forced to make a move right now he is the one I’d dump despite some fan-fare about him.

5. Several people have praised Zach Wilson this offseason (RG3, Kurt Warner, Ochocinco among others) which one has meant the most and why?

MO:

I’ll throw a curveball with this answer, no one. Preseason praise doesn’t do all that much for me and I think most Jets fans might agree.

Nothing matters until Week 1 and that’s when Wilson will have to prove that he’s learned from his rookie campaign, and that’s coming from a big fan of his. I’m not saying the Baltimore Ravens game will make or break his career, to be clear, I’m just saying that regular season games will determine whether or not he’s the franchise quarterback of the future.

It’s all in Wilson’s hands now, not RG3, Warner, or anybody else. The best quarterbacks relish moments like these.

Boy Green:

That was a Goosebumps plot twist I didn’t see coming, good work Michael.

I love praise. You get talked about in a good light on television and your team is relevant which is fun. I’ll also say when people outside your organization praise you, that’s genuine.

Is it nice to hear good things anywhere? Yes, but when it comes from the inside that sort of stuff is expected. What else are they going to say?

I think the one that has got me the giddiest is Chad Johnson. He recently said that Wilson has the it factor and he has seemingly had an obsession with the young passer which is great for the brand.


Follow @BoyGreen25 @obermuller_nyj on Twitter for all the latest New York Jets breaking news, rumors, fresh takes, and more!

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