This morning on October 22, the Jets HC gave an update on the middle linebacker. “C.J.’s going to go down to the wire,” Saleh stated towards the start of the press conference.
When asked if there was any fear that Mosley might aggravate the injury by playing, Saleh replied: “He’s such a seasoned veteran and he’s been through these situations so really it’s relying on the player to make the sound decision for not only himself but the organization and the team.”
Despite encouraging comments from Mosley about Week 7, it’s starting to feel like the defensive star could be missing on Sunday.
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Next Man Up
With Jarrad Davis out for at least one more week, a Mosley absence would mean rookie Jamien Sherwood starts alongside Quincy Williams. Based on Saleh’s remarks earlier this week, we also know the 2021 fifth-round pick would take on the “green dot” duties.
That means Sherwood would relay the plays to the defense and get everyone lined up, a major role for a first-year player. Saleh talked up the Auburn product during his most recent presser.
“We’re really excited about Jamien,” Saleh began, “what he [lacks] in experience he makes up for with smarts, mental quickness, just an understanding of football and he’s gonna have rookie moments but the more he plays, the better he’s going to get obviously, and he’s one of the guys that I think is going to be a staple here for a while. He’s very talented, he studies his butt off, and he is one of the — for his size right now and he’ll get bigger once he gets an NFL offseason and meal plan — but his ability to uncoil and tackle people is one of the best in the draft, so he doesn’t give up many leaky yards. He belongs, let’s just say that.”
We’ve heard this coaching staff rave about Sherwood in the past. Saleh even compared his transition from defensive back to linebacker to San Francisco 49ers All-Pro Fred Warner. Even so, this is high praise for a rookie, and it’s also a massive responsibility.
The Jets HC continued when asked about the linebacker’s traits: “He’s such a big body, he’s got so much more to fill in, but just talking to him his mental quickness, his speed, his length, he just looks like a modern-day linebacker in the vision of what we look for with ours… we just love his mindset and the way he’s built.”
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Week 7 Matchup Provides Tough Test for Sherwood
Even if Mosley does end up starting, Sherwood would most likely be the third linebacker in the rotation. As we know, Jeff Ulbrich’s defense generally plays nickelback Michael Carter II instead of a third LB on a majority of the snaps, but the rookie would still get some burn on run-heavy downs.
Just like Zach Wilson going up against Bill Belichick, this is no easy feat for Sherwood — especially if he’s the one calling out plays. New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is one of the most intelligent minds in the business and you can bet that he’d target the rookie if given the chance.
The young linebacker has the belief from his coaches though and apparently, self-confidence isn’t an issue either. “With Jamien it’s almost like, hey man you don’t have to communicate for everybody,” Saleh joked, “he’s very very confident [and] he knows everybody’s job.”
Ulbrich also chimed in on the rookie’s progress: “he carries himself like a vet, he communicates like a vet… he’s a guy that we have a lot of trust in.”
The way they talk about him, it certainly sounds like Saleh and Ulbrich could be grooming Sherwood to take over Mosley’s role in this defense a year or two down the line and his first major audition could come as early as Sunday.