A heaping helping of Jets Whispers

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I can’t remember the last time they did this?

Talking about the Jets hosting a free agent at practice with the media in attendance.

That happened on Thursday with offensive tackle Riley Reiff.

Reiff, a former Lions, Viking and Bengal, was watching practice with Joe Douglas and Rex Hogan, within the sightline of where the media was standing.

Not looking to push any conspiracy theories, but was this by design? Was a message being sent to perhaps Mekhi Becton?

Once again, I can’t remember the last time I saw this.

Also, you wonder if Becton is open to a move to right tackle, with George Fant perhaps being the better option at left tackle, coming off a terrific season manning that spot.

Reiff started 12 games at right tackle last year for the Bengals, before suffering a season-ending ankle injury. Reiff had been a left tackle for most of his career, but got comfortable at RT last year.

Remember when the New York Giants opened their off-season program in April, and second-year WR Kadarius Toney was a no-show, and then all of a sudden, there were rumors he was on the trade block? Message sent. Toney showed up a few days later.

Look, we can’t confirm that the Reiff visit, and having him watch the practice Douglas and Hogan, was a message to Becton.

But here is the deal people – if you don’t think Douglas and Robert Saleh are dismayed at the 23-year-old offensive tackle, in need of a lot of work, skipping the entire voluntary off-season program, you are kidding yourselves. They just can’t say it, because the league will crack down on them since these workouts are voluntary . . .

There were some reports recently that the Jets are interested in free-agent linebacker Kwon Alexander. If they are comfortable with him medically, they should probably make this happen if the price is right. They need another veteran linebacker in the mix with top-shelf instincts.

The linebacker pass coverage the last couple of days in OTA practices was a reminder of that.

Look, if you don’t want to believe me, just look at the Jets’ own social media account on June 8. They showed two nice completions from Zach Wilson to tight end Trevon Wesco, who was wide open on both plays. Nice throws by Wilson, but the coverage was far from ideal. Maybe it wasn’t all on the linebackers, but it did look like they had some culpability.

And then on Thursday, there were several plays where linebackers were beaten by tight ends on pass plays.

They didn’t do a lot to address this position in free agency and in the draft process (they signed journeyman Marcell Harris and added UDFA LB D.Q. Thomas).

Jets LB pass coverage wasn’t ideal last year, and it continues to be inconsistent in the spring practices (at least the practices open to the media).

Alexander has really good instincts and 8 career picks.

If they are comfortable with the medical reports, they should get this guy in the fold, or maybe Atlanta’s Deion Jones, if he becomes available . . .

Watching Max Mitchell in the spring, while it’s hard to discern much from line play with so little contact, you get the sense that down the road he can emerge as a starting right tackle. He’s got the size, the feet and is a very hard worker . . .

Second-year cornerback Brandin Echols (pictured above) continues to sit out spring practices coming off a shoulder injury from last season.

Echols likely isn’t going to start this year, like he did last season, but should provide the Jets quality depth, with all the experience he got last year on the job . . .

The analytics site, Pro Football Focus, ranked the returning head coaches this week, and Saleh was ranked last – 26th (rookie head coaches not included).

Under the ranking, they wrote – “Saleh’s Jets did struggle in his first season as a head coach, but injuries and a roster lacking in talent across the board mean that his impact estimate is likely lower than it should be.”

I’m not into rankings, so I’m not going to chime in on where Saleh should be ranked, but if you offer a caveat below the ranking, what is the point of the ranking?

If they feel Saleh was hurt by “injuries and a roster lacking in talent across the board,” then why the heck are they ranking him last in the league?

June 10, 2022

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Dan Leberfeld
Dan Leberfeldhttps://www.jetsconfidential.com
Publisher of Jets Confidential Magazine. Call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4) to subscribe. Co-host of Press Coverage every Saturday on SiriusXM NFL Radio from 11-2.

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