As the questions came in on the subject, the answers got shorter and shorter but to their credit, the Jets’ media professionals stuck to their guns.
For those who haven’t been following, Becton is currently dealing with a plantar fasciitis injury in his foot and head coach Robert Saleh has mentioned that the plan is to keep the big man off that foot as much as possible during OTAs and minicamp.
Saleh has downplayed the issue as a non-factor that shouldn’t affect training camp or the regular season, but given Becton’s past, there is a slight cause for concern.
Before the left tackle addressed the media on June 15, Saleh spoke to them himself. The coach said they’re “very confident” Becton will be ready for camp, referring to the plantar fasciitis as a “nagging foot injury.”
In case you missed it, here’s the full Saleh press conference from June 15.
Becton Badgered on Weight
It didn’t take long for the focus to turn to Becton’s weight. He gave a lengthy response after the initial question came in:
“I feel like I’m at a good weight right now. I’m doing extra things on my own to keep it that way, eating the right things, got a chef. Doing everything right to maintain my weight — I wouldn’t say problem — but weight concerns that people have with me. I would say I’m doing everything in my power to keep it down.”
Unfortunately for the former first-round pick, that was only the beginning of the discussion.
On the follow-up about his foot and his specific weight number, Becton responded that his foot was “feeling good,” and that he wasn’t sure how much he weighed at the moment. The left tackle wasn’t even comfortable giving a “ballpark range.”
It didn’t end there.
Later, ESPN’s Rich Cimini asked Becton what his weight was at the end of last season. This is where the subject seemed to strike a nerve. The tackle responded, “I don’t remember,” which prompted Cimini to echo his answer. Here was the full exchange:
Cimini: “You don’t remember?”
Cimini: “Was it comfortable for you? Do you think you were playing at a comfortable weight?”
Cimini: “When you look at your rookie year as a whole, what were your impressions?”
Becton: “Um, got to stay healthy.”
Another reporter finally jumped in and asked if injuries were something Becton felt were in his control or not, to which the tackle answered, “little bit of both.”
The next follow-up then asked what he thinks he can do to stay healthy. This came after Becton went through an extensive list of changes he’s made to his diet and his conditioning earlier in the Q&A. “I honestly don’t know,” an exasperated Becton said with a smile.
He added that he “doesn’t try to get hurt” and that the weight criticisms don’t really bother him at all, stating that he “knows what [he] does on Sundays.” This way finally the end of it.
Rewinding to that list of changes I mentioned above, Becton told reporters the following: “Just been doing extra conditioning, biking on my own, running on my own, jogging on my own, walking on my own. Doing the little things that matter like abs and everything.”
Becton also noted that his diet has focused on “fish and veggies” as he attempts to better himself and keep his weight in check. Here’s the full media session.
Thoughts on Scheme, Alijah Vera-Tucker & Zach Wilson
Sprinkled in were some questions that didn’t revolve around injury and size. Becton actually brought up the new coaching staff and scheme, which led to a follow-up on any adjustments he may have to make in the Mike LaFleur system.
Becton noted that he has run “similar things” at Louisville, including “gap-scheme, outside-zone scheme [and] inside-zone scheme.”
LaFleur’s offense is dependent on lateral mobility and getting out wide for blocks, so Becton’s comfort level on that foot will be important moving forward.
In terms of improving his technique as a blocker this season, the tackle said he’s concentrated on his hand and foot placement. This should be even easier for Becton alongside rookie left guard Alijah Vera-Tucker.
On the Vera-Tucker pick, the fellow first-rounder responded: “I was excited, I was ecstatic. He a dog and I know we ready to do some things on that line.” He confirmed that the plan is to have AVT line up next to him on the left side.
Becton then explained how he felt Vera-Tucker complimented his game: “We both like to finish guys. We both like to see guys on the ground.”
Wow. Offensive linemen rarely intimidate a defense, but these two definitely will in 2021.
The left tackle also spoke about Zach Wilson. His answer was confident, yet simple: “He’s going to be a problem. He’s really good, he’s going to be a problem.”
Lastly, Becton said that Saleh was “full of energy, always.” He added that the coach is “never down” and that he’s “always trying to uplift [his players].”