Jets head coach Robert Saleh has already said QB Zach Wilson has the "inside lane" on the starting job and WR Elijah Moore continues to dazzle onlookers with his daily output. OL Alijah Vera-Tucker and LB Hamsah Nasirildeen are running with the first team on offense and defense, respectively, while CB Michael Carter II has received a lot of reps with the first-unit defense at nickel. After the Jets' seventh training camp practice, a session that saw rookie CB Brandin Echols get first shot with the ones, Saleh indicated more of that is on the way.
"You are going to see more of those rookies get thrown in there to give them a shot to go compete," he said Wednesday. "It's the same thing on the D-line, it's the same thing at the linebacker level. With all this youth, there are a lot of guys champing at the bit to get some run and we're going to give them those (opportunities)."
Making clear that Echols' reps with the starters had nothing to do with the play of Bryce Hall, Saleh said the Kentucky product has played well in camp and it was time to give him another test.
"He has good footspeed," Saleh said of the 5-10, 175-pounder who lined up across the way from Bless Austin. "He plays big, he plays strong and he's been able to absorb all the things that have been coming at him. He's been doing a great job vs. the twos and threes and we wanted to give him some run with the ones just to see how he measures up. I thought he held his own out there."
Echols was flagged for a pass interference penalty in the first team period as officials ruled he got his hands on Corey Davis following a play-action pass from Wilson. Under Saleh, the Jets are not going to be trigger-happy.
"With a young group like this, there's the emphasis on process, showing up every day, being deliberate with the way you work and understanding there are ways to get better," he said. "Even if it's mundane and you're doing the same thing that you've been doing since the first day you arrived in OTAs, it doesn't matter. You can find a way to get a little bit better technique, you can find a way to absorb the playbook a little bit better. There are just a lot of different things you can do as an individual to get better, so with a young team, the focus is on the process, finding ways to get better, be relentless in our pursuit to get better and just play with your hair on fire, learn from the mistakes and let's keep rolling. "
See the Top Photos from Wednesday's Public Practice at Jets Training Camp
Fourth QB Joins Jets
Josh Johnson has been everywhere and he is now in his second stint with the Jets after putting pen to paper before practice. The 35-year-old Johnson, who had a 10-day stint with the Green & White in 2015, was on the 49ers practice squad last season and that San Francisco staff included Jets OC Mike LaFleur. The Jets originally worked Johnson out during the spring.
Saleh said of Johnson: "He's a tremendous pro. He's got a tremendous amount of energy to him, he knows our system and as far as understanding the whys in our system, the hows of our system and how to be a pro. Just to bring that into the room and as a presence, he's a fantastic human being and someone that we've been talking to throughout OTAs. Just really glad we were able to get him in here. He's a big addition to that quarterback room, we're excited to have him."
Wide Receiver Reps
OC Mike LaFleur provided some insight on how the Jets script the usage of their wideouts at practice.
"Whether they're with the ones, twos or threes, it really doesn't matter," he said.
While Corey Davis, Jamison Crowder and Elijah Moore have received the bulk of the work with the starters, all the wideouts will see action with different groups. Davis was on the receiving end of a long vertical toss from Zach Wilson again today and the two hooked up during a third-down period as well.
"The way that we script with receivers, it doesn't matter what offensive line they're with," LaFleur said. "And a lot of times, it doesn't even really matter what quarterbacks they're with . Miles Austin is going to go through that list, I'm going to look through the call sheet and we're trying to get some looks at certain guys."
Vera-Tucker (right pec strain) and DL Jabari Zuniga (ankle) missed practice and are day-to-day while T Chuma Edoga is dealing with a knee injury and will likely miss at least a week. Dan Feeney received the majority of reps in AVT's place and Alex Lewis got in for a couple as well… The offense came out hot today in team drills and rookie QB Zach Wilson had a nice round of 7-on-7 to close his morning session. He fired TD passes to wideouts Corey Davis and Jeff Smith in addition to scoring connections with TEs Trevon Wesco, Ryan Griffin, Tyler Kroft and Chris Herndon. LaFleur said of Wilson: "Every day is a learning process for him. He's done some great things and there are a lot of things he's going to continue to learn and that's never going to stop. It's not going to stop this whole year…Despite not being in pads, second-year RB La'Mical Perine picked up a head of steam after an inside handoff and trucked through a defensive back. … Rookie CB Jason Pinnock was in good position for an end-zone INT, but James Morgan's pass into traffic squirted out of his hands into the waiting mitts of Denzel Mims. … Kroft had the catch of the day, extending for a Mike White pass in front of CB Michael Carter II. …. DE John Franklin-Myers was in great position on a Wilson play-action rollout and batted his pass to the ground. … CB Zane Lewis had the sole INT, corralling a Morgan pass that was tipped into the air by Griffin. … Our final word goes to DC Jeff Ulbrich. He not only called DE Carl Lawson "obsessed" as any player he's ever seen in football but added, "I'm excited for him to finally get the national recognition that I think he deserves."