No one will ever accuse Bart Scott of being a shrinking violet. No, he's more like kudzu -- an aggressive vine known for its unstoppable speed. Ask him a question, put him in front of a camera or a microphone and sit back. Take it all in.
With the Jets about a week away from opening training camp ahead of the 2021 NFL season, Scott took his patented rapid-fire delivery to a session of "Jets Legends Spotlight" in a chat with Eric Allen of nyjets.com.
"I love the competition," Scott said in an echo to words spoken by HC Robert Saleh throughout the offseason. "When there's competition, when you look at that depth chart, a good football player isn't going to make the team. If you want to be on this team you have to earn it because you beat out a good player. You didn't take a day off, you didn't take any days for granted, you paid that rent every day."
On or off the field, as a player or as a commentator/analyst, Scott has never been bashful about speaking his mind. You might not always agree with the former Ravens (2002-08) and Jets (2008-12) linebacker, but you have to respect his pedigree and dedication. Scott likes the energy and accountability he has seen from Jets' first-year coach Robert Saleh.
"He'll have growing pains like every first-time coach in this league," Scott said of Saleh. "He has the humility to accept and take ownership when he makes a mistake. But players are attracted to energy and he has the energy to reflect leadership."
As a member of a fraternity of players who wear or have worn the No. 57 jersey in the NFL, Scott is convinced that the Jets' No. 57 -- C.J. Mosley -- is poised to show that he is ready to flash after suffering through an injury-shortened 2019 season and opting out of the 2020 season during the coronavirus.
"He's one of the top 5 linebackers in the league," Scott said. "All 57s stick together."
He added: "C.J. Mosley is coming back, trying to show everyone who he is, and I think he feels like he owes the Jets' fanbase a lot. He feels like he has to remind guys who they signed. He's an alpha male. I've always been a fan of C.J. Mosley. I had talked to him [when he was in Baltimore] and told him to come to New York. I'm not saying he listened to me, but I planted some seeds."
Some of Scott's quick hits:
- On LB Jarrad Davis, signed in free agency: "He was in a bad system. He didn't get the teaching and sometimes it's about a change of scenery, who is able to develop and mold you. Sometimes guys need to change locations, he gets to come here and pick the brain of a guy like C.J. with a clean slate to write his own narrative, another chapter. Football is the only place a leopard can change his spots because it's not the way you come into the league, it's the way you leave."
- On the running backs room: "Are we sure who is going to be the running back? We think [Michael] Carter is dynamic, [Tevin] Coleman was part of that shake and bake in Atlanta. [Ty] Johnson and [Josh] Adams averaged 6 yards a carry last year, and don't forget [La'Mical] Perine. Who's going to step up?"
- The addition of OL Morgan Moses: "With [Mekhi] Becton on the left and now [Morgan] Moses on the right, [QB] Zach [Wilson] has two of the best tackles in the game protecting him. You have [Alijah] Vera-Tucker at left guard, but who's the right guard? So many people are fighting at right guard, it's seemingly the only spot open. It's the best type of environment where peer pressure, not the coaches, have to make you play hard. You're scared the guy behind you is going to run your spot. Every spot has rabbits. Every spot has a backup that wants that spot."
- The defensive line: "Take [John] Franklin-Myers who was on the ascent. Now we've got [Vinny] Curry, a wily old vet who still has it left. Who's going to step up to be the guy opposite [Carl] Lawson? [Sheldon] Rankins may has a better résumé, but man you're going to have to compete for what you want."
- On Zach Wilson's feet: "He's probably a great square dancer, too! We talk about his ability and big arm, but you don't make accurate and big throws if you don't have your feet under you. He has the arm to throw outside the numbers." Quarterbacks "manipulate defenses with their feet and eyes."
- On wide receivers: "Dealer's choice. We have competition again. I love receivers, they're people, too. They're divas at times. They're Ferraris and Lamborghinis, the check engine light is always on. When that light comes on in the garage for maintenance we have guys to step in."