With less than a week until all 32 teams reduce their roster from 90 to 53, many players across the league are making their closing arguments in the hopes of earning a spot on a regular-season roster.
Such is the case for Jets CB Tevaughn Campbell.
"I just want to showcase what I can do," Campbell said. "I know I can play in this league, so I just want to prove that to myself and especially to my coaches and the staff."
The 26-year-old, who spent four seasons in the CFL and played 20 games for the Montreal Alouettes from 2017-18, has been handed a good opportunity to make a statement. Both Trumaine Johnson and Kyron Brown have battled hamstring injuries, which resulted in Campbell taking first-team reps opposite Darryl Roberts and predominantly across from WR Quincy Enunwa in practice.
"I like it. He's big, he's physical, he's fast and that's kind of your ultimate receiver, someone you want to go against, someone you want to try to get better with," Campbell said of Enunwa. "And I think that's what he forces me to do, be more technically sound and compete more with my eyes as opposed to my body."
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Even though Campbell, who signed a reserve/future deal with the Jets in January, believes football is football, he's adjusting to the NFL game. Despite measurable differences up north —110-yard field and 24 players playing at once — the Regina product's steepest learning curve has been conceptually. Specifically, learning how offenses attack defenses.
"I can tell when I walk up to other players that are veterans like Tru and D-Rob (Darryl Roberts) and stuff, they know the game a lot more than me," he said. "They know what to expect when they see certain formations and stuff. I think that was kind of my downfall coming from the CFL. We have a different view of things because of the bigger field, the number of players on the field and we see things differently. It's good to learn that kind of stuff."
After three weeks of preseason action, Campbell's play has been up-and-down. He led the defense with six tackles and three pass defenses against the Falcons but was on wrong end of a Michael Thomas touchdown against the Saints this past Saturday. The Ontario native focuses on his negative plays because "that's what gets you beat in the future." Regardless of his performance, Campbell has developed his game.
"I think it's good just to have some reps with the 1s, learn more and have some reps against the 1s, offensively," he said. "I just try to improve my game, develop my game that much more and get those actual reps in games and in practice."
Despite external question marks surrounding the Jets' cornerbacks, general manager Joe Douglas reinforced what both head coach Adam Gase and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams have said — he's been impressed with the group from top to bottom and feels good about the way the young guys have performed.
"We feel good about where we are with our top guys. I feel like there's been great competition from the bottom of our corner group," Douglas said. "A guy like Tevaughn Campbell, he's really busted his butt and made some plays. He's done some good things in camp."