With the Jets amidst their training camp acclimation period, head coach Adam Gase checked in with reporters today and touched on a wide range of topics including RB Le'Veon Bell's return, ILB's C.J. Mosley's decision to opt-out of the 2020 season and a large rookie lineman who arrived at camp in excellent shape.
26 Ready for Year 2
Following a season in which he averaged a career-low 3.2 yards per carry, RB Le'Veon Bell is eager to start his second year with the Green & White.
"I'd say he's extremely motivated," Gase said. "He's in phenomenal shape. He looks great, just seeing him run and everything that I've heard from the strength guys as far as the lifting aspect is that he's come in phenomenal shape. In our conversations, he's extremely fired up to get going."
Bell, who trained in Florida throughout the offseason, has been posting workout videos on his Instagram consisting heavily of boxing and jumping rope in addition to field work.
"He didn't come in thinking, 'Hey I was going to get in shape now,' " Gase said of Bell, who had for 789 rushing and 461 receiving yards in 2019. "You can tell he's been working extremely hard and he looks really good."
Mount Becton Arrival
Bell will be running behind five new offensive linemen come Week 1 as none the team's 2019 opening-day starting O-linemen are on the roster. One player who will be fighting for a starting job is Jets' first-round pick Mekhi Becton, who also reported to the facility in good physical condition.
"I want to say he's lean, but the guy is a big man," Gase said of the No. 11 overall pick. "He did a great job of sticking with the program that he was doing in the offseason all through the summer. At the end of the day, you're looking at a 370-pound man. He's one of the biggest players I've ever been around. The way that he's built, he's always just going to look big. He is lean, but he's a big man. We're excited to get him on the field, get him going against our defensive guys."
The Louisville product trained with Duke Manyweather throughout the offseason and while he might be physically prepared, Gase said there will be a learning curve for the 21-year-old dancing bear.
"With him playing tackle, there are less moving parts than there would be at guard or center," he said. "As a rookie, the highest percentage of the time, he will be blocking the guy that's in front of him. I can't wait to see how training camp goes. I know going up against Jordan [Jenkins] is going to be a great thing for him because he'll be going against a veteran guy who's really going to see what he's all about. That'll be very good for us and that's going to be great for him. He's going to get a lot of reps that are going to be valuable for him in the season."
See Sam Darnold, Le'Veon Bell and the Jets Wide Receivers Working Out on the Field During Training Camp
Gase said linebacker C.J. Mosley, who opted out of the 2020 season, had multiple conversations with both Gase and general manager Joe Douglas before making his decision, and the Jets appreciated his transparency. Sans Mosley, the inside linebackers room has four returning players with Jets' starting experience — Avery Williamson, Neville Hewitt, James Burgess and Blake Cashman – and Douglas added former Ravens LB Patrick Onwuasor in free agency, who's started 32 games in four seasons.
"It's a little different when things happen midseason or the middle of training camp and you're trying to make a bunch of adjustments with guys on the roster," Gase said. "When you're starting like this, Gregg [Williams] will adjust things that he was either planning in the spring, adjusted so far or we'll make another adjustment now. This is kind of what we do as coaches.
"We have to do a really good job of using the personnel that's ready to go for each week. This is where Gregg has always done a great job of being able to use his guys to their abilities and get the max out of them."