After three weeks of training camp and 13 practices, one intrasquad scrimmage and one preseason game, the Jets have had enough of the Jets. At one point, symbolic of some of the early-week proceedings, veteran OL Laken Tomlinson and DE Jermaine Johnson grappled, and teammates rushed to the defense of each other on Monday. At the end of practice, HC Robert Saleh and edge rusher Carl Lawson addressed the team.
"Protect the team," Saleh said of his message. "It's getting very, very competitive and it's not just from the fighting standpoint. We try not torquing one another, we try not slinging each other to the ground. We try to keep everybody up, just too many bodies on the ground today which is not healthy for people standing around the pile. It was just a quick little reminder, and we'll do it again in the team meeting tomorrow and have a good day tomorrow."
On Monday, both Lawson and OL Grant Hermanns exchanged punches in a brief skirmish. Toward the end of that workout, DT Nathan Shepherd and WR Garrett Wilson got in each other's faces, but cooler heads prevailed.
"I want a team full of agitators, so you're either being agitated or you're agitating on a football field," Saleh said. "And I want them being competitive, I want them talking smack, I want them to get in each other's faces, I want them to push the envelope with what they can get away with. I just want them to have composure when they get the person across from them agitated enough to do something."
The Jets will practice three more times with/against each other before the Falcons come to Florham Park for Friday and Saturday sessions that will lead up to Monday night's game, the second preseason game between the two clubs.
"Obviously, it gets competitive here, like I told you guys it's like a bunch of siblings fighting," Saleh said. "There's no love lost, it's not like we don't like each other, it's not a discipline issue, it's none of that. Shoot, you just get annoyed with your brother once in a while. I thought we did a really good job in the game and we'll continue building that mindset."
See the Green & White on the practice field in full pads during week four at training camp.
Valuable Reps for a Freakish Safety
With Lamarcus Joyner missing the last couple of sessions due to illness, Jason Pinnock has worked alongside Jordan Whitehead at safety. At the start of practice, during a 7-on-7 drill, Pinnock neatly broke up a Joe Flacco ball intended for TE Tyler Conklin.
"Really like where he's at, too," Saleh said of Pinnock. "He is a freak of nature in terms of length, speed and athleticism. He's new to the position, coming from corner. Love his physicality, so there are some things he has to feel not necessarily from an instinctive standpoint, just from a reactionary standpoint because again he's used to playing a different position."
Pinnock, a cornerback at Pittsburgh who was drafted in the fifth round in April 2021, was moved to safety late last season. In 12 games played, he took 193 defensive snaps and finished with 16 tackles and 2 forced fumbles.
"His communication is getting louder, so that tells you his confidence in what he's being asked to do. He's becoming more confident," Saleh said. "And for him, it's just a matter of getting as many reps as possible."
Learning Curve for Garrett Wilson
Against the Eagles last Friday night, rookie WR Garrett Wilson was targeted three times and hauled in two passes for 25 yards.In a move-the-ball situation at practice on Monday, Flacco kept a drive alive with a third-down connection to Wilson over the middle.
"Really love him in 1-on-1 situations," Saleh said of Wilson. "He had a third-down conversion in a 1-on-1 situation, in that move-the-ball period to keep the drive going. There are still a lot of things that we're learning about him. I think there are a lot of things that he's still learning with regards to the playbook and as he continues to build trust with the coordinator and his teammates and the quarterback, I think it will warrant obviously more involvement."
Rookie CB Sauce Gardner nearly produced his first interception of camp. He got both his hands on a Joe Flacco pass along the sideline but was unable to come down with the takeaway. "Ahmad has some sauce to him, that's for sure," said LB C.J. Mosley. "On the field, he's working, all the time, he's talking, he's working, he's on the sideline asking questions. Even today we were talking, we had a little collision on the sideline where Rank [Sheldon Rankins] was running from the defensive line, they ran into him. So, he was just giving us little stories about him in college. It was just really cool to just listen to him talk. Off the field, he's very confident as well, he's a very smart player and you respect that a lot. He doesn't try to act like he knows everything, he listens, and he tries to do the right things. … Veteran T Duane Brown worked off to the side Monday, wearing No. 68. The first tackles up were Chuma Edoga at LT and George Fant at RT although Grant Hermanns and Max Mitchell again got some work with the first team. Mitchell said of Brown: 'I'm excited to learn from him more than anything. You know, 15 years, that's a testament right there, so I have nothing to lose here." … DT Quinnen Williams (ankle) and K Eddy Piñeiro (back tightness) were held out of practice. … When asked about whether he considered sitting LB Quincy Williams after his unnecessary roughness penalty on QB Jalen Hurts, head coach Robert Saleh said: "Quincy is not a guy who is deliberate or a cheap-shot guy. He made a mistake, get him on the field and let's talk about it in-between series and we'll talk about it in the film room afterward. But he knows better."