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3 Takeaways from OTAs | Jets Set for Training Camp After Productive Spring

Aaron Rodgers Impressed by Trio of Young WRs; Robert Saleh Preparing for Heightened Expectations


The Jets concluded their offseason program last Friday and will return in mid-July to report for training camp. Below are three takeaways from the team's 10 OTA practices.

Spring Standouts
Putting stock into players who perform well throughout the offseason program is a cautionary tale. The pads don't come on until training camp in mid-July and there's no contact allowed, but that doesn't mean players can't make an impression on their coaches or teammates.

"There's been some young guys that have been really impressive I think in the camp," QB Aaron Rodgers said. "You always got to temper expectations because there's no pads on, there's no contact. I would say 16 (Jason Brownlee) and 82 (Xavier Gipson) really had nice camps as rookies and there were a lot of other guys that flashed, the older guys. I thought Irv (Irvin Charles) had a really nice day [Friday], which was nice to see because he works so hard.

Robert Saleh sang a similar tune of cautiousness, but is excited about second-year TE Jeremy Ruckert, who was battling a foot injury last season.

"He's really attacked the offseason," Saleh said. "He looks fluid, he looks athletic. If anyone watched that last game of the year when he flat-backed a couple of guys in that last game of the season, I think he's very physical. He has a physical mindset to him, so I'm excited for him to get pads on and continue to pick up where he's left off here in OTAs."

See the best photos from all ten OTAs of the 2023 season.

Offense Installation
After being hired in January to be the team's next offensive coordinator, Nathaniel Hackett finally got a chance to work with his new players this spring.

"We've got a lot of work to do," he said. "I think the guys have gotten the nuts and bolts of it during this offseason. There are a lot of guys that haven't been out there that we need to see and be able to evaluate and see how they fit in, but there's a lot of work still to be done."

The good news is that Hackett and Rodgers have experience together in a similar system. The duo worked together in Green Bay for three seasons and Rodgers won two MVP awards. The offense will have flavors of the past and Rodgers has helped teach it to his new teammates, often quizzing players in meeting rooms.

"It's fantastic," Hackett said. "Aaron and I, we come from the origins of a system that is very ancient. So, sometimes it's hard to get that kind of communicated to people. I think anytime you have people that have been in the system, especially a guy like Aaron who has been in it for so long, and then some of the other guys that we have on the team that have been there, it definitely helps. Then just his leadership and how he plays that every day when he walks in the building, keeping it light but very serious. I think that's so important."

Phase Me
The next time the Green & White will be back at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center will be in mid-July when the team reports for training camp. Saleh coined the next 40 days "Phase Me" with the message that the work doesn't stop even though the players are out of the building.

Upon returning, chatter will continue to build, externally, about the expectations for the 2023 Jets with a top-5 defense in 2022, a future Hall of Fame signal-caller in Rodgers and the reigning Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Years at the center of their young nucleus.

"We have no control over this, but we have control over what we put on the field for ourselves every day," Saleh said. "Knock on wood, I've been a part of some really special football teams in Seattle and San Francisco. So the external attention should have no bearing on what you do day in and day out and for a lot of guys on our team, it's probably going be new for them. But they've also got to be reminded that they played big time college football. They've been in big-time moments and while the circus on the outside is going on, they still have to keep the main thing and that's putting your best foot forward."

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