New York Jets fans can finally begin to relax after the craziness endured over the past week and a half. As the Jets OTAs began this week, this Thursday’s practice was opened to the media. From an Adam Gase press conference to Sam Darnold slinging the pigskin, here are the biggest takeaways…
Week One Takeaways: New York Jets OTAs
The Adam Gase Press Conference
Before practice on Thursday, Head Coach and Interim General Manager Adam Gase spoke for fifteen minutes about the state of the GM search.
Gase began by reiterating how the decision of selecting the new GM will be owner Christopher Johnson’s decision. He stated how “We’re doing our part. There’s a group of us working on this… I think there’s a mold of what some teams are looking for in a GM. I think he’s looking for something a little bit different, and we’re trying to do a good job of putting everything on paper and then talking through everything.”
Shortly after, when presented with the idea that he had stabbed Maccagnan in the back, Gase quickly responded, “That would be false. That’s just not true.” He continued to discuss how there were disagreements between the two, but that it’s just part of the job. He specifically emphasizing that there was no personal rift between Maccagnan and him.
From a personnel standpoint, Gase explained more on linebacker Darron Lee‘s trade to the Chiefs. He mentioned how the possibility of trading the former first-round pick was, “Being talked about before I even got here.” Once again, Gase also spoke of how the Chief’s proposal was on the table for a while, and he just pulled the trigger.
Meanwhile, Gase was confronted about the possibility of trading star halfback Le’Veon Bell, stemming from rumors about displeasure with his contract size. He continued to speak of how Bell and himself have been in constant contact, and how Bell has been there since phase one. Additionally, Gase dismissed the same as to linebacker C.J. Mosley. He stated that “We did everything we could to get him here. I think I took a pay cut.”
After cooling down the rumor mill, Gase spoke truthfully about how, “If we win games, nobody is going to remember this.”
When it came time to finally practice, it was noticeable who was apart from the team during team drills. Third-year safety Marcus Maye was limited during Thursday’s practice while he continues to recover from offseason shoulder surgery.
Surprisingly joining him was 2019 third overall pick defensive tackle Quinnen Williams. The former Alabama star and already fan favorite participated in a light workout apart from the team, as he does has a minor calf injury. The Jets seem to simply be playing it safe with their top selection.
Lastly, right tackle Brandon Shell was with the starters despite his surgically-repaired knee from his leg injury late last season. This coming as big news for the Jets to have their starting right tackle back so soon.
Sam Darnold and Company
Sam Darnold was the star of the show, with sharp passes up and down the field. Yes, it is only OTAs with helmets and shorts, but Darnold came out blazing. From 40-yard bombs to Robby Anderson, beautiful passes to a healthy Quincy Enunwa, and building a connection with new receiver Jamison Crowder, Darnold picked up right where he left off.
Everyone knows about the aggressive, no filter coaching style of Gregg Williams. And it showed right away. From sacks to multiple interceptions by the reserves, the defense looks determined. The players clearly have bought into Williams’ approach, which is a sign of big things to come from Jamal Adams and “New Jack City.”
Lastly, the 2019 rookie class (apart from Quinnen Williams) made their presence known. Fifth-round linebacker Blake Cashman stood out right away, including an interception off of backup Trevor Siemian. Third round pick Chuma Edoga slid right in at right tackle with the second unit.
Even some undrafted free agents are already turning heads. Speedster receiver Jeff Smith out of Boston College made some good catches with Davis Webb at quarterback. So did another former LSU safety John Battle, who came away with an interception.
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