10 Takeaways from Week 1 of Jets Camp

Stephen Zantz offers ten takeaways from the first week of Jets training camp.

The first of week of training camp is in the books for the Jets. They are off today from practice before they head to MetLife Stadium tomorrow night for the Green and White scrimmage in front of fans. It’s been a pretty eventful first week that’s brought excitement to the fanbase for the first time since Sam Darnold was drafted. I compiled 10 takeaways about Jets camp so far.

  1. Elijah Moore is a budding star – Every day you read about Jets camp, no matter where you look, Elijah Moore makes headlines. The guy has been by far the most impressive player at camp to date. Every day he’s making a crazy catch or just running great routes to blow by the Jets secondary. Seeing it first-hand last Saturday, the hype is 100% warranted. I can’t wait to see Moore in the first preseason game.
  2. Robert Saleh has looked the part – Obviously no games have been played yet, but Coach Saleh has do everything he can to this point to instill confidence that he is the man for the job. His demeanor and press conferences have been a breath of fresh air when thinking about Gase and Bowles the last 5 years. Saleh will be judged by Ws and Ls but I feel very encouraged already. Watching him constantly move around the practice field last weekend was really refreshing vs just working with the defense.
  3. The cornerback competition is wide open – Bryce Hall and Bless Austin have been put in pencil as the starters for both outside corner spots. Hall has been the best corner in camp based on all reports but Saleh isn’t handing him or Austin anything. This week, Saleh has played Echols and Pinnock with the 1st team defense. Saleh said it was more of reward for their hard work than a demotion for Austin and Hall. Competition is great for a roster and I’m excited to see how this shakes out.
  4. The backfield will be a 50/50 partnership – The Jets don’t have a defacto bell-cow back on their roster but instead will utilize a running back by committee approach. Michael Carter and Tevin Coleman have split even reps with the 1s to date. I think this is the right approach given Coleman is injury prone and Carter is unproven. My guess is that Carter emerges as the top back later on in the season.
  5. The Kicking game may be a problem – Sam Ficken was cut during the first week of game. The Jets are now relying on UDFAs from this year and last year to become their kicker. The Jets need for one of these guys to perform in the preseason or hope a solid veteran is let loose on cut day.
  6. Carl Lawson is a force to be reckoned with – The Jets have been plagued by bad free agent signings for as long as I remember. If camp is any indication, the Jets may have gotten a steal with Carl Lawson. He’s been the best defensive player thus far in camp. Obviously it needs to translate to game action but he’s really make Mekhi Becton work in practice. I’m optimistic Lawson becomes the best edge rusher since Johnny Abraham.
  7. The offensive line is much improved – All Jets fans feel good about the offensive line with the exception of Greg Van Roten playing RG. The hope was that Cam Clark could maybe steal the job from him. Unfortunately, Clark had a scary spinal injury and is likely out for a while. Despite this, the early returns have been very positive on the offensive line. Becton is in great shape and battling with Lawson. AVT is holding his own but is dealing with a pec injury. Moses has also been very solid. The run game is going to benefit greatly from this reworked line.
  8. CJ Mosley is in great shape – A lot of questions surrounded the Jets’ prized 2019 FA acquisition. Two years removed from his last game action after an injury and COVID opt out kept him off the field made it tough to know what we will get from him in 2021. Thus far, Mosley is the leanest he’s been since his Alabama days and has looked very explosive. If Mosley can be 85% of the player we saw against Buffalo in 2019, that would be a huge win.
  9. Mims and Herndon are both generating attention – It would be great if both of these guys were gaining a positive buzz. Unfortunately, only one of them is. Herndon has looked really solid and has mentioned how 2020 humbled him. A new coach and scheme seems like the perfect thing for Herndon to blossom in year 4. Mims has been extremely disappointing thus far. He can’t even crack the 1st team in practice. For a 2nd rounder with his potential, this is a bit alarming. Hopefully the preseason can change the narrative surrounding Denzel.
  10. Zach Wilson is here and making progress – After generating headlines for missing 2 days of practice due to a contract hold up, Zach Wilson is here and is showing progression. He started his 1st camp a little shaky but has made substantial progress since. The early returns have been positive as the arm talent and off-script improvisational skills have flashed throughout camp. It’s going to be a roller coaster but so far Zach has looked better than Sam this early.