Skip to main content

Bowles: All 22 Starting Spots Are Open 

Jets HC Values Competition, Praises Cornerback Trumaine Johnson 


Jets head coach Todd Bowles addressed the media following the Jets' eighth OTA. The next time Bowles will address the media will be during next week's minicamp. Below are five takeaways from Tuesday's press conference.

Iron Sharpens Iron
Bowles has always preached competition since taking over in 2015 and status quo will remain with training camp less than two months away. While most fans have their eyes under center, Bowles has a bit of a wider scope.

"I think all 11 spots on each side of the ball are open," he said. "They're people we thought were first-team at the end of the preseason. We'll see who lines up on the first team. It doesn't necessarily mean we have starters right now."

Big Roar
As the longest tenured defensive lineman on the team, Leonard Williams is taking on more of a leadership role in Year 4. In fact, he broke down the start of practice Tuesday.

"Since we've been back, he's been a lot more vocal," Bowles said. "Obviously that comes with a growing of age and confidence as well, but he's becoming more of a leader."

Everything as Advertised
The Jets pegged one of the top cornerbacks in the league when they signed Trumaine Johnson in March. Bowles praised Johnson and said he's "right there at the top" of the list of corners he's coached in the league. Reminder: Bowles coached CB Patrick Peterson during his time with the Cardinals before joining the Jets.

"He's not just bump-and-run. Trumaine's a good football player," he said. "He's a good zone corner, he can tackle, he's very heady, he can see and he understands the game. Since he's got here, from his workouts to what he brings on the field and the way he approaches the game, he's been outstanding, especially for the young guys.

"He's a true pro. We're very happy to have him. He's been everything as advertised when we signed him."

New Rules
The NFL updates its rulebook at the Spring League Meeting each year and modifications were made to the way defenders can tackle in addition to some special teams tweaks in an attempt to improve player safety.

"We don't coach them to lower their heads in the first place, so our coaching is not going to change," Bowles said of the defensive rule changes. "We don't teach them to use the crown of the helmet or to lower their head. We try to teach them 'face up' and the process, so it's not going to change anything we do as a staff."

In regard to the special teams rules, Bowles added, "We practice those things, we meet with them (the players). We watch film, we talk about them. We'll be ready when it comes."

Top Snapshots from Tuesday's OTA

Wide receiver Terrelle Pryor was out at practice with a boot on his right foot. Bowles said Pryor, who hasn't participated in OTAs, had a "clean-up" on his right ankle and "it'll be close" in terms of his availability for training camp. Neither wideout Robby Anderson (sore) nor Morris Claiborne (bruised hand), who was donning a soft cast, participated in practice today. Claiborne should be ready for camp. Lastly, outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins was held out of team drills again and Bowles said "we'll see" if the third-year Georgia product will be healthy in time for camp.

Related Content