Some thoughts from Week One

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One week in the books . . .

Just a few random thoughts with the Jets’ first week of training camp complete.

To be clear, I know the players were working at the complex the first couple of weeks of August, but it wasn’t really football practice. That stretch was more conditioning-driven.

It was just over the last week they got back to real football practice.

So what can we glean from the last week?

Obviously it’s reckless to be too critical of performances on the practice field the first week of camp, especially since they had no off-season practices per usual. So it’s only fair to let players get the cobwebs off.

But I do have the general thoughts on what I saw, trying not to be too critical, considering the players were trying to get reacclimated to football this past week.

First of all, you have to take early camp praise for certain players in the press. You see this around the league.

“You will hear reporters praising players in camp for doing great who aren’t doing great,” said former NFL GM Mike Lombardi on VISN.

Totally agree.

You might see a player make a great catch in practice, but the same guy might have blown myriad assignments in the same practice, so what did it really mean?

Let’s be honest, we usually don’t know the playbook assignments, or what guys are being asked to do, so who are we to praise people for having a great camp?

There is all this high praise for Mekhi Becton. How is Becton doing? I truly have no idea and neither do the other reporters. We would have to shoot up Jets O-Line coach Frank Pollack with truth serum to find out. There is all this talk about how big and athletic he is. That is all true, but how is he doing picking things up? We have no idea. We will find out when the games start. All the praise for him from Jets coaches and teammates is fine, but if he was struggling, you think any of them would tell us? He’s going to miss the preseason action – no doubt.

I can make an observation about Sam Darnold. He’s still needs work on going through his progression and throwing with more anticipation. There is no doubt about it. He often waits too long to make decisions and then fires last second rockets to players he sees flash open late. Tons of natural ability, but needs to speed up his internal clock.

One other observation on the offense. RB Le’Veon Bell and TE Chris Herndon are going to be huge part of the passing game this year, so don’t make that big a deal about the receiver room.

As for the defense, CB Pierre Desir already getting hurt is the last thing they needed. He’s not Deion Sanders, but he’s the best cornerback they have, and the fact that he already has a hamstring issue, after the same issue ruined his 2019 season in Indianapolis, has to scare the heck out of the Jets’ brass.

They have a lot of issues to sort out on defense, but they seem like a close, hard-working group, all rowing in the same direction. Three defenders who didn’t seem that into being Jets aren’t around, so that has probably helped the chemistry and vibe on defense. One cut, one traded, one out for another reason.

August 21, 2020

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Dan Leberfeld
Dan Leberfeld
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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