While new Jets C Connor McGovern is learning his new teammates, particularly the offensive line, throughout the virtual offseason, he's eager to step on the field and help RB Le'Veon Bell rebound after he rushed for 789 yards and averaged 3.2 yards per carry in 2019.
"He's a special player," McGovern said. "He's one of the greats and will go down as one of the greats, and I'm excited to have someone like that [in the backfield]. If you don't make the perfect block, he'll still make you look good and make something special happen. If you block for three yards and the play is supposed to get three yards, he'll get seven or eight yards."
Before McGovern and the Jets' revamped offensive line get on the same page with Bell, they first have to do so with each other. General manager Joe Douglas brought in seven new O-linemen in the offseason and their interactions will likely be confined to shared screens until training camp.
"It's been a little different, but I think as an offensive line, a lot of us are a little younger, so we're better with the technology than some of our predecessors," McGovern said. "We've been trying to text and talk that way and all that kind of stuff. It's not quite the same as being in person and all that kind of stuff, but I think it's going well. The hardest part is really getting a feel for how you play next to each other on that part of the cohesion. You can meet each other and learn who you are on a personal level, but on a football level, the true cohesion will be once you hit the field and it's a little bit harder this offseason."
McGovern is learning his fifth offense in as many seasons, but he's familiar with Adam Gase's zone-blocking scheme because there was some carryover after Gase left the Broncos, McGovern's former team, following the 2014 season.
"Coming in this time of year and learning an offense is nothing new, but this one is very close to what I had my rookie year," McGovern said. "Gase had just left and [Gary] Kubiak was still there. It's very similar in verbiage. … Blocking is blocking. [Frank] Pollack had a great analogy — it's like learning a different language. Everything is very similar, it's just the terms and some of the concepts are a little different.
"I'm not a 350-pound offensive lineman that does really well in the power scheme, the heavy downhill scheme. I'm much better when I have a nose guard who's 380 pounds across from me, I can get around him and seal him off and open that front side A-gap. It fits me personally as a player a lot better, so I'm excited about it."
Even though the unit has yet to meet in person and take the field together, McGovern commended the job Douglas did in the offseason building the offensive line.
"I don't know if I've been around so much depth before," McGovern said. "It's going to be interesting to see how it all plays out. I think it's going to lead to incredible competition throughout camp and part of the season. … There are a lot of guys on the offensive line at all positions who have started a lot of football games. I think as a group, we're going to be one of the best in the league and that's coming from talent and pure competition. All of us are going to grow exponentially over this camp."