Playtime is over. Tuesday, June 15 is the official start of a three-day mandatory minicamp for the New York Jets.
This is the last leg of the offseason before the team breaks up and takes a month off to spend time with friends and family ahead of training camp.
After getting over 90 percent attendance during the voluntary portion of the offseason, the Jets are expecting perfect attendance during the mandatory portion.
That includes the arrivals of two very important pieces to the puzzle on offense and defense respectively.
Marcus Maye and Jamison Crowder Have Returned
On Monday players reported to 1 Jets Drive for media day. This is where all the players get suited up in full gear to take photos and videos for the website, social media, and for a lot of the video content, you see during the regular season live at MetLife Stadium.
Maye is the veteran captain of this incredibly young Jets defense. While he may not have the long-term deal he’s been hoping for yet, he needs to shake off the rust quickly to live up to his franchise tag tender that was slapped on him back in March.
Especially considering the level of inexperience in the secondary, having a steadying presence on the backend of the defense can’t be overstated.
The other player that arrived for the first time this offseason is veteran wideout, Jamison Crowder. On Monday the former Duke stud reportedly agreed to a contract restructure that’ll pay him significantly less money than he was scheduled to make in 2021.
General manager Joe Douglas and head coach Robert Saleh have continued to reiterate that Crowder has a legitimate role on this offense. During this minicamp, it’s time to put their money where their mouth is.
A lot of the other receivers in the rotation have stepped up to the plate in Crowder’s absence. In other words, he has a lot of room to make up over the next couple of days.
Although the most important factor is developing a bond with rookie quarterback Zach Wilson. These reps are absolutely crucial to connecting on and off the football field. All of the other talented wideouts already have a pretty big lead on Crowder in that department (Elijah Moore, Keelan Cole, and Braxton Berrios to name a few).
Ralph Vacchiano of SNY had a great storyline for this minicamp: can Moore and Crowder really co-exist?
Great phrasing and a very interesting question.
Crowder has been the lead slot man for the Jets since arriving a few years ago. While Moore (5-foot-10, 178 pounds) is slated to steal his job. That’s one of the most common misconceptions about the former Ole Miss stud’s game.
Everyone looks at height/weight and labels a receiver either an outside guy or a slot guy. Don’t just throw Moore in the slot label because of his size. That’s disrespectful and doesn’t speak to his versatility.
Moore can play any of the receiver positions (X, Y, or Z). In addition, the No. 34 overall pick in this past April’s NFL draft is a dynamic playmaker. The question of whether or not they can survive on the same roster is overblown. Of course, they can, it’s up to Mike LaFleur, new offensive coordinator for Gang Green, to best utilize all of the chess pieces on the table.
Zach Wilson’s Progress Is Arguably the Top Storyline
So far so good for the rookie passer out of the state of Utah. Wilson has seemingly picked things up very quickly and has looked good throwing around the pigskin in a t-shirt and shorts. Although his real mettle will be tested when the live bullets are flying around and everyone is in pads.
We’ve seen him in rookie minicamp, OTAs, and now we’ll get our chance during mandatory minicamp. Wilson doesn’t have to be Patrick Mahomes, but if he continues to progress nicely and complete some balls, that’ll excite Jets fans.
Everyone from his teammates to the coaching staff seems enamored with Wilson’s potential. It’s all about baby steps. This is another golden opportunity to strut his stuff for media, fans, and for the first time his full complement of teammates.