On Wednesday, ESPN’s Rich Cimini reported that the Jets will not be conducting their mandatory minicamp this month. Cimini also noted that the Jets virtual offseason program will conclude at the end of next week. A common concern among NFL players, coaches, and fans is the readiness of players by season’s beginning. Will players have enough preparation this offseason?.
Like many other fields of work, getting the job done online is not nearly as effective as it is in person. New head coaches implementing brand new systems will be at a clear disadvantage this season. Luckily, this does not apply to the Jets. 2020 will be the second year of the same system for New York. A miniscule positive!Returning players will have familiarity with the plan and environment head coach, Adam Gase, installed in 2019 (for better or for worse). One could argue that the biggest winner of all is Sam Darnold. Prior to 2020, Darnold played in three different systems over three years (between college and the NFL). Not exactly ideal for a soon to be 23-year-old. Now, entering year two of the same system, Darnold’s familiarity with the playbook and personnel should be an advantage come September.
Here’s what Darnold had to say on entering year two in Adam Gase’s system: “Again, it helps having the same system…I love playing in this offense, (I’m) starting to take a little more control, which I’m happy about…Just a lot of positive things heading into next year.” (Via Fourth & Forever Podcast)
It’s undeniable that new additions, rookies and free agents alike, will face more obstacles than ever before. To get the ball rolling, it would be ideal to hit the field as soon as possible. Until then, online participation and player communication is key. In a post draft day Zoom call with the New York media, rookie Mekhi Becton said he’s been texting both Sam Darnold and Le’Veon Bell. Becton, the 11th overall pick in the 2020 draft, is looking to build chemistry with his future QB and RB.
The lack of an early hands-on, offseason shouldn’t affect the Jets more than anyone else. The coaching staff is the same. The game plan is the same. The continuity is there. Here’s to hoping an offseason full of texts, Facetime, and Zoom calls will play in the Jets favor.