Despite that, he made an interview appearance ahead of camp and had plenty to say.
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Coach Saleh made a surprise appearance on CBS Sports HQ less than a week out from camp. During his conversation with host Tommy Tran he was asked about the current situation with Becton:
“You know Mekhi has been really good over the last 40 days. He has been in the building every day putting in the work. He has no restrictions from my understanding with regards to the knee. His weight is getting down. He looks really good and we’re really excited about the direction he is headed.”
On Thursday, July 21 the Jets placed Becton along with four other players on the PUP (physically unable to perform list). That raised a lot of eyebrows on social media that seemed to suggest maybe he wouldn’t be ready for the start of camp.
However, that noise was quickly quieted down by multiple experts who said this was a precautionary move. This will allow Becton and the others to make sure they can get acclimated slowly and be ready to go once they step on the football field.
During Saleh’s tenure as head coach, he has always played it safe as it pertains to players coming off of long layoffs. That is especially true this offseason with the Jets taking a more measured approach with how they utilize their players during practice.
A Stark Change
Every moment Saleh has had in front of a podium he has chosen to be blunt or critical of Becton and his situation.
At the Senior Bowl, he challenged the former first-rounder and said he would have to “earn” his job back. Throughout this offseason, he said that Becton has to take care of his body if he wants to be great.
Yet days before camp Saleh is overflowing with effusive praise? What does that mean?
While Saleh is a glass-half-full kind of guy, the only rational explanation for his 180 stance on Becton is tangible results.
That the former Louisville big man is actually getting that weight down. He has been showing a renewed dedication to the team. Plus the knee is healthy and that is helping everything move along.
My take is Saleh is simply telling the truth on Becton and fans are certainly hoping that’s the case.
Ultimately regardless of whether the words are positive or negative, they don’t matter. It is about being ready for Week 1 and showing that you can stay healthy in the pros.
At the very least Becton seems to be heading in the right direction and that is a welcomed sight after the commentary over the last few months.