Jets Confirm Position Change for Veteran Defender

New York Jets

Getty Several members of the New York Jets working through some drills during training camp.

The New York Jets are continuing to explore creative ways to maximize the talent on their roster.

One way to do that is by making players change positions and experiment with what works and what doesn’t.

Gang Green did exactly that this offseason with a very intriguing prospect.

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A+ for Creativity


VideoVideo related to jets confirm position change for veteran defender2022-08-02T15:09:47-04:00

After practice on Tuesday, August, 2 Jets head coach Robert Saleh revealed that they have converted Kai Nacua from safety to linebacker:

“Yeah (in response to whether he is a linebacker now), this is new for him. They are an athletic group and safeties have to play in the box anyway. They are transitioning well and they have done a good job in pads.”

Nacua is a 27-year-old free safety that is now making the transition to linebacker. This is something Saleh has been experimenting with since becoming head coach. Last year he drafted two defensive backs on the third day of the draft and immediately converted them into linebackers.

The former undrafted free agent has a much better shot at making the roster as a linebacker than he would have as a safety. So this is good news for the former BYU product who has been constantly on the move since entering the NFL.

The Jets are his sixth different NFL team since 2017. Nacua has a chance to stick around, if not on the 53-man roster, definitely on the expanded practice squad.


A Brand New Nickname


VideoVideo related to jets confirm position change for veteran defender2022-08-02T15:09:47-04:00

In that same breath that he revealed the Nacua news, Saleh started talking about the other converted linebackers on his roster.

When former fourth-round pick Jamien Sherwood came up, he revealed that his nickname among the coaching staff is actually the “Florham Park Strangler”:

“We have a little nickname for Sherwood he is the Florham Park Strangler. He has these long arms and when he gets his paws on you, it’s over.”

The 22-year-old is competing for that third starting linebacker gig and reps in the rotation.

Last season he played in five games and started in four of those contests due to a myriad of injuries at linebacker.

Unfortunately, he missed out on the second half of his season due to a torn Achilles in October. Despite that horrific injury the talented former Jets draft pick has made a remarkable recovery and has been a full participant in training camp.

Coming out of college Sherwood was described as “one of the best tackles that has come out of college football in a long time” according to NFL draft guru Mel Kiper of ESPN.

The former Auburn product was thrown into the fire last year before he was truly ready and made a slew of mistakes. Now after a full offseason he is ready to contribute and learn from his mistakes.


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