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It won’t hurt, but perhaps that wasn’t the issue . . .
Denzel Mims’ trainer, Chad Marr, told the New York Post, that his client has been training very hard since the end of the season in Frisco, Texas.
“We did put more size on him, but we leaned him out at the same time,” Marr said. “He is a bigger, leaner version of himself. The leaner and the stronger guys are, the more efficient movers that they are.”
Marr added: “Put your money on this guy because he’s going to have an amazing year. You’re going to be really happy with what you see.”
Perhaps, but Marr might not be objective since Mims is his client.
It sounds like Mims is in great shape, which is important, but you could make the argument the player’s issues last year weren’t related to his body type.
It was probably more related to two other issues.
His biggest issue was getting comfortable in the Jets’ new offensive system.
He played in a very simplistic offense at Baylor with a limited route tree.
So he comes into the NFL in 2020, and it took him a while to get comfortable in Adam Gase’s system, and then in Year Two, he had another thick playbook thrown at him, with the Jets installing the Kyle Shanahan offense, under coordinator Mike LaFleur.
It took him a while to absorb LaFleur’s playbook. Robert Saleh was pretty honest about why Mims didn’t play much for the first 3/4 of last season.
“It’s the same thing that we’ve talked about,” Saleh said. “When you’re looking at your fourth or fifth receivers, you’ve got to be reliable in regards to multiple positions, you’ve got to be able to play special teams.”
While people didn’t want to hear it, Saleh was very transparent about why Mims wasn’t playing. He wasn’t circumspect. Mims wasn’t comfortable at multiple receivers positions and didn’t play special teams.
LaFleur uses a lot of motion, and receivers move from position to position before the snap. If you are a receiver in this offense, and you don’t know, let’s say, the X, Y and Z receiver positions, you limit the play calling.
It certainly didn’t help Mims maturation in the new playbook missing time in the spring due to food poisoning and then during the season due to COVID-19.
Another issue for Mims last year, and also as a rookie, was playing with quarterbacks who weren’t full field-readers, first with Sam Darnold in 2020 and then Zach Wilson in 2021.
Darnold isn’t great going through his progressions, and that hurts the production of his receiver room because he’s often not doing the “1, 2, 3, check down” routine.
Wilson was a rookie last year, so perhaps his field vision will improve moving forward.
So the field vision of his two quarterbacks probably hurt Mims to a degree. Think about it – one of Mims’ best games as an NFL player was a rookie with Joe Flacco at QB in a game against the Los Angeles Chargers. Flacco was filling in for Darnold, and seemed to bring out the best in Mims.
Mims should be better this year now being more comfortable in LaFleur’s system.
But he’s going to be under a lot of pressure with a lot of reporters and fans already painting him as a “bust.”
It would be best for the Jets to keep him away from the media this off-season and summer, and let him focus on the job at hand.
Last year when he was forced to talk to the media, those press conferences were tough to watch – a kid from a small town in Texas. with his head spinning, forced to answer why it wasn’t working. He was kind of low-hanging fruit. Let him focus on purely football this spring and summer and keep the poison out of his mind.
April 19, 2022
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