The New York Jets had one of the most eventful offseasons in the NFL. They started by hiring a new head coach in Robert Saleh. They followed that with an exciting draft and free agency period. Most recently, the New York Jets minicamp should have fans and pundits excited.
From a general standpoint, the Jets minicamp has a few overarching themes. For one, the defense looks much improved. Players who were hurt last year or opted out are returning and making their impact felt. Also, players genuinely seem excited about the prospects of the upcoming season. Newcomers, namely Carl Lawson, look to bring a new, positive vibe to the locker room that should mesh well with the message coach Saleh is selling. The New York Jets minicamp is coming to a close and here are some of the major takeaways from the summer’s practices.
New York Jets Minicamp Takeaways: Offense
Elijah Moore is THAT GUY.
Ok, ok. I know. If you’ve read much of my other work here at OTH, you’ll know that I am both a huge Ole Miss fan and Elijah Moore fan. Truth be told, I was jumping for joy when the Jets drafted him in the second round, and he’s showing why he’s worth it thus far in minicamp.
Moore has garnered heaps of praise from his teammates and coaching staff for a few things. Firstly, his willingness to do anything for the catch. Moore routinely gives up his body to snare the ball through the middle of the field, on the sideline, and, as shown in minicamp, in the endzone. The other huge point of praise has been Moore’s work ethic. Something that can’t be taught, his work ethic will show from week to week in Moore’s rookie season as he improves.
Following minicamp, Moore only got stellar reviews from both his new quarterback and offensive coordinator. Zach Wilson called Moore a “motivating person”, and Mike LaFleur complimented Moore’s work ethic, saying, “The cool part about Elijah is that this guy just works…” Not if, but when, Moore gets his opportunity to perform, he’ll do it, or at the very least, learn from his mistakes. The expectations from fans are high, but his personal expectations are even higher.
New York Jets Minicamp Takeaways: Defense
This Defense is much improved for a handful of reasons.
Overall, the Jets’ defense should be much better next season for a few reasons. The main one is definitely the addition/return of a pair of talented players. The big-ticket free agent this offseason was Carl Lawson. The speedy defensive end should bring an exterior pass rush the Jets haven’t had in years. The other defensive addition is actually a returning veteran. C.J. Mosely sat out the last two seasons due to injury and the COVID pandemic. Mosely’s presence in the middle of the field cannot be understated.
The Jets’ secondary was a weakness last year, but it should also be improved. The group of young corners have another year under their belt and got an injection of talent from free agency and the draft. Bryce Hall, a returning player, and undrafted free agent Isaiah Dunn have both impressed new defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich. Are either going to be starters? Probably not, but it is promising to hear young players are developing.
Last, but certainly not least, come the safeties. The Jets have a great group of safeties. Marcus Maye is one of the better safeties in the entire league; Lamarcus Joyner is extremely versatile and can play man well; and, Ashtyn Davis is a pure athlete, able to keep up with just about anyone. This group is one of the more talented position groups on the Jets’ roster and should bolster the secondary.
New York Jets Minicamp Takeaways: Coaching
Robert Saleh is NOTHING like the previous head coach.
I feel like this something that doesn’t need to be said, but I just want to. Former head coach Adam Gase was enigmatic… to say the least. He routinely appeared to not care about what he was doing or where he was. That is the opposite of what the Jets are getting out of new head coach Robert Saleh.
Since day one, Saleh has been electrifying. He has been energetic and a truly positive influence on the locker room. One clip from minicamp sticks out to me that I didn’t see at all during the last regime.
During warmups at a morning practice, Saleh went to every player and said good morning, asked how players were doing, and just talked to them about the coming practice. It was refreshing to see a head coach genuinely try to make a connection with his players and uplift the team around him.
If there’s one most promising takeaway from minicamp, it has to be the coaching change. A positive and winning attitude makes such a difference to a team, especially when it comes from above and can trickle down through the locker room. Robert Saleh looks like the perfect man for the job, and his presence alone gets me fired up for the 2021-2022 season.