With the 2021 NFL season quickly approaching, New York Jets training camp continues to move along. It is a time where coaches can identify the talent on the team. For players, it gives them the opportunity to prove themselves as they look to make their NFL dreams come true. And one cannot forget how it is a chance for fans to see a sneak preview of their beloved team.
2021 New York Jets Training Camp Amongst the Fans: Day 4
So, for the second time this off-season, I decided to cover Jets training camp amongst the fans in the stands at 1 Jets Drive. In doing so, getting a true sense of how fans view the team entering 2021. That being said, here are the biggest takeaways from the team’s second public practice…
Intensity, Energy Raised on Monday
With new Head Coach Robert Saleh running the show, the energy around 1 Jets Drive has gotten better. Players are smiling, constantly bobbing their heads to the music, and enjoying the presence of the fans.
However, on Monday, things got serious. It is now the first game week for the Jets, with Saturday night being their first pre-season game against the New York Giants. Coaches and players were jogging between drills with urgency. Even though no pads were worn players were making contact and hitting hand-held pads all morning. In other words, it is a game week for the Jets, and Saleh is not messing around.
Meadowlands Mishaps Following Zach Wilson
Saturday night’s Green & White Scrimmage at MetLife Stadium saw Zach Wilson at his worst. He panicked under pressure, forced some passes, and sailed some others. In essence, it was not the greatest showing from the second overall pick.
So, coming into Monday, one would hope the rookie would bounce back. And in some ways, he did. His velocity was on display, throwing absolute darts early on. It was not his fault some of his receivers dropped a handful of passes yet again. He even closed practice with a very strong red zone 7-on-7 period, throwing four touchdowns.
But during the team drills, after a solid start, the offense faltered. All the quarterbacks felt the pressure of the pass rush, and a streak of incompletions began. Nevertheless, as Saleh said, “For most rookies, it’s going to get worse before it gets better.”
Pass Rush is in a Zone
As previously mentioned, the pressure was turned up a notch today, and it showed. During team drills, specifically the red zone period, they were constantly in the backfield. Defensive end Carl Lawson had one of the best days of his already impressive training camp. John Franklin-Myers continued to wreak havoc opposite of him. It has been a while since the Jets could consistently rush the passer, and 2021 may be the year that changes.
Tevin Coleman Ready to Roll
From the moment team drills began, offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur began rushing the football. From Michael Carter to La’Mical Perine, the backs got involved early. This comes after a solid, but not a flashy game at MetLife on Saturday.
One thing fans took note of was veteran running back Tevin Coleman. The 28-year-old comes to the Jets after injuries led to the worst year of his career in 2020. Some wondered how he would look at full strength, and the short answer is he is ready to roll. Coleman took a screen to the house and continues to produce long runs. It’s exciting to see Coleman back healthy because the Jets will need his experience to lead their young committee backfield.
Chris Herndon Trending Up
One of the bigger surprises from Monday was the involvement of fourth-year tight end Chris Herndon. After back-to-back disappointing seasons, the Jets signed veteran Tyler Kroft and opted to keep Ryan Griffin, who was considered a potential cap casualty. Neither Kroft nor Griffin has had amazing camps, but it seemed as if Herndon was sliding down the depth chart.
Today, Herndon was targeted numerous times and was not only used as a red-zone threat. Moreover, he is now listed as their starting tight end on their first unofficial depth chart of the season. Certainly, this is worth noting, given the upside Herndon has flashed in the past.
2021 New York Jets Training Camp Amongst the Fans: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Green & White Scrimmage
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images