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As Nick Saban always says . . .
“Everyone looks at the world through a different set of eyes.”
In the worldview of some, it’s shocking that Mekhi Becton wasn’t in attendance this week at the beginning of the Jets’ off-season program, which started April 19.
Clearly Becton doesn’t look at it that way.
“It’s ridiculous he isn’t here,” said one long-time New York sportswriter. “He should have been the first one in the building.”
Think it about it. He got hurt last year in Week One against Carolina, and missed the rest of the season. This was after a rough training camp where he struggled blocking Carl Lawson. In the opener, before his injury, he was beaten for a sack by Panthers backup defensive end Marquis Haynes. It’s also well documented he has struggled with his weight, and this might have contributed to how long it’s taken his knee injury to heal.
So considering he’s coming off a knee injury, considering he’s had conditioning issues, and considering he was struggling last year in the new offense before his knee injury, you would think he would show up when the team’s off-season program starts, roll up his sleeves, and get to work with the Jets trainers, coaches and conditioning staff.
But he’s not in Florham Park.
“Mekhi is not here,” said Jets GM Joe Douglas. “Mekhi is back in Dallas.”
Becton works with independent offensive line coach Duke Manyweather in Dallas. Manyweather is a good technique teacher, but hasn’t seemed to have much of an impact on Becton’s weight issues. That isn’t a criticism of Manyweather, just the reality of the situation.
But Douglas isn’t going to call out Becton for not showing up for the team’s off-season program this week, because you can’t force players to do that.
“These are voluntary,” Douglas said. “Just in terms of Mekhi, we’ve had great dialogue and discussions back and forth with his medical team back in Dallas. We’re on top of everything with him right now. Again, these are voluntary sessions with the team.”
Obviously, the Jets need to say these are “voluntary” and he doesn’t need to be here, but why doesn’t he feel the need to be with his team now, and instead with Manyweather? Some might question his buy-in.
Giants wide receiver Kenny Golladay said this week about the Giants’ off-season program – “Everyone should definitely be here.”
Look sometimes, there are situations, with let’s say an 8-year veteran lineman, who has been with the same team for a long time, and has kids in school in a city far away from where the team trains and plays, maybe you understand that kind of guy staying away from the voluntary work. But a 23-year-old player, with weight issues, coming off an injury, and with many things to work on in his game?
Also he might have to move to right tackle, with George Fant coming off a terrific season at left tackle. Honestly this is a decision that needs to be made sooner rather than later, to allow the player to learn the why’s and wherefores of the right side.
There is no way around it – this isn’t ideal for the Jets.
April 21, 2022
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