The New York Jets didn’t get selected for this year’s version of Hard Knocks. The Detroit Lions earned that special honor.
However over the last few years, Gang Green has decided to take matters into its own hands. They have cultivated an award-winning version of Hard Knocks with their 1 Jets Drive in-house productions.
It has provided a behind-the-scenes look at how the Jets operate from the practice field to the games to even some of the players’ homes. In this week’s episode, we got to learn about the “baddest mother*******” on the squad.
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A Strong Message Issued
One of the stars of the second episode of ‘One Jets Drive’ was defensive line coach Aaron Whitecotton.
He is entering his second season with Gang Green after coming over from the San Francisco 49ers. This is his 10th season coaching at the NFL level and he is an important piece to the puzzle.
Head coach Robert Saleh has been clear from day one that the positional group that serves as the straw that stirs the drink has been, is, and always will be the defensive line.
Coach Whitecotton made that very clear when talking to his players during the dog days of training camp:
“It’s a daily thing and it’s also a mentality. A mentality that we are the baddest motherfuckers on this field at all times. You can’t do that guys if you don’t continuously put it on tape and you don’t have that attitude and mentality.”
This is a very simple defense. If you can get after the opposing quarterback more often than not with a four-man pass rush, then this unit has the chance to be one of the best defenses in football.
However, if you can’t consistently get after the quarterback they will pick this defense apart.
An Interesting Individual
The back half of the second episode gave us some insight into the rehab and recovery of talented pass rusher Carl Lawson.
After signing a three-year deal for over $45 million last year, Lawson ruptured his Achilles during a joint practice workout against the Green Bay Packers.
Suddenly the best player on the field for the Jets was out for the season. Fast forward an arduous year later and now he is ready to reclaim his place on the iron throne.
When Saleh and defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich have been asked if he has returned to the same place he was last year, they simply reply you’ll have to see during the games.
At this point, anything else would be smoke up the skirt. Who knows if Lawson is back to the same player that was dominating at practice? The only way to find out is when the regular season gets here.
However, until we get there One Jets Drive released a mini nine-second montage of Lawson bursting off of the ball and getting after the opposing quarterback.
When I was speaking to a team source prior to training camp, I asked them how real was the Lawson hype. They said without question he was the best player on the field.
If the Jets can get half, just half, of that player in 2022 this could be a special year on that side of the ball.
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