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Jets HC Robert Saleh in 'the Meat and Potatoes' Preparing for Ravens

DT Sheldon Rankins Preparing Young Jets to Face Lamar Jackson, a Former Teammate


The Jets open their season against the Ravens at MetLife Stadium in one week.

After letting 27 players go on Tuesday afternoon and filling out the practice squad, HC Robert Saleh and the coaches have zeroed in on their game plan for Baltimore and will finalize it on Monday, Labor Day.

"We've been working on them since the schedule came out and sprinkling in some concepts here and there that we know we're going to be using for the game," Saleh said. "Now we are obviously in the meat and potatoes of it and actually revealing the game plan to guys who are here and really focusing on that."

From a player's perspective, their mindset shifts from focusing on themselves trying to make the 53-man roster to focusing on what will give the team the best chance to win. That's nothing new for DT Sheldon Rankins, who's entering Year 2 with the Green & White and Year 7 in the NFL.

"Some weeks it's certain guys going out and shooting up the field and making all these plays," Rankins said. "Or it may be having a squeeze blocks or certain things that just benefit the overall goal of helping the team win games.

"I think that's kind of the beauty of it -- using training camp to kind of work on everything, fine tune your own details and your own fundamentals and technique. Now you're able to kind of home that in on a certain game plan and allow that to be able to shine through and to help his team win games."

See the top images from 2022 Jets Training Camp.

The Jets rookies could receive significant playing time early in their career. Saleh named CB Sauce Gardner a starter while WR Garrett Wilson, DE Jermaine Johnson and RB Breece Hall have all received first-team reps throughout camp. DL Micheal Clemons could be a part of the D-line rotation, too, after an impressive preseason.

While they've had a rather smooth transition so far, shifting from training camp and the preseason to the regular season is different. Rankins has two pieces of advice for young players: Revert to your fundamentals when all else fails and if you don't understand how to watch tape, find a veteran who can help.

"As a young guy in this league, you can watch tape and you may be watching the game of a guy you've admired for years," he said. "Now you're getting caught up in watching him make plays and you're not focusing on the overall game plan of what we're trying to accomplish."

One player that fits Rankins' criteria of a player guys have admired is his former teammate at Louisville -- Ravens QB Lamar Jackson, the 2019 NFL MVP.

"Obviously with Baltimore everything revolves around Lamar, their run game and his ability to throw," Saleh said. "I mean the guy is pretty dynamic. But I think [offensive coordinator] Greg Roman does a really nice job from an offensive perspective creating a lot of issue, but it's always going to create a problem because you never know what the opposing team has kind of brought in from a new wrinkle standpoint. But the same thing can be said for us, too."

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