The Jets have reached the final phase of their voluntary offseason program. Over the next three weeks, the Green & White will conduct a total of 10 days of organized team activities (OTAs). While no live contact is permitted, first-year Head Coach Robert Saleh and his staff will be able to put the players through 11-on-11, 9-on-7 and 7-on-7 periods.
"There's obviously a lot of work to be done," Saleh said after being hired in January. "There are a lot of opportunities to get face to face with the guys, but when you do have those opportunities, there are no wasted moments. And it doesn't matter how much time you may or may not have. When you have those moments to meet and have that face-to-face interaction with those players, you take advantage of it, and it goes both ways."
Before the team's mandatory minicamp sessions scheduled from June 15-17, the first three weeks of Phase III will allow players to be at One Jets Drive for six hours total with in-person meetings, in-person training and practice. After an eventful four months that featured a roster facelift, the Jets will certainly have a new look.
GM Joe Douglas said following the draft: "I think we've had the chance to add 10 players via the draft, 11 players in unrestricted free agency, and we're excited about these guys. We're excited about the competition we're going to create. We're excited about the depth that we added. So, I do feel like we improved ourselves throughout this offseason and the offseason is not over until training camp starts. So, there's more opportunities to improve this team, improve this roster. We're going to take it."
One of the Jets' top young talents, DT Quinnen Williams, recently had successful surgery to repair a broken foot. Saleh said the procedure was inevitable and the timing worked out for a Jets club that added defensive ends Carl Lawson and Vinny Curry, and DT Sheldon Rankins this spring.
"With regards to that young man, his mindset, his athleticism, his power, his love for football," Saleh said of Williams. "Really, really excited to see him in our system, especially up front in the way we designed with that attack style in regard to penetration and all that stuff, so excited."
See the Jets on the Field During Phase 2 of the Offseason Program
Under Saleh, the Jets are transitioning to a 4-3 defensively as Jeff Ulrich will handle the play-calling duties.
"It's our system," Saleh said. "Jeff Ulbrich is familiar with what we do. Obviously when we went to San Francisco, we evolved it a little bit more than what I think he's used to. We're going to make sure that we still have the same fundamentals and all that, but I do want him to add his little wrinkles to see if we can make it even better. I think we should always be thinking, evolution should be at the forefront of our minds on every aspect of football."
On the other side of the ball, the Jets dramatically upgraded their wide receiver corps with the free-agent singings of Corey Davis and Keelan Cole plus the drafting of Elijah Moore. The Jets' draft had an offensive flavor early as they followed the selection of QB Zach Wilson with a trade-up for OL Alijah Vera-Tucker in Round 1, and the drafting of Moore and RB Michael Carter in Rounds 2 and 4. The Jets already have a foundational piece on the line with LT Mekhi Becton and the rookie, Vera-Tucker, could slide in next to him at LG. Mike LaFleur, who worked alongside Saleh in San Francisco from 2017-20, will call the shots after a multi-year apprenticeship under Kyle Shanahan.
Saleh said of LaFleur: "I get Kyle [Shanahan] has done things a certain way, but how can he take Kyle's and make it better without disrupting the flow and the principles behind the scheme? Same thing with Jeff, take what we did on defense and make it better without disrupting the major principles of the scheme that make it work."
Both a strong chess player and golfer, Saleh is a thinking man always searching for ways to get better. He values each stage of the offseason program and has a few more weeks of investment time with his players before he can pick up the clubs this summer.
"Football is the ultimate game of strategy and scheme and obviously connection with players and all that, but there's a slow type of game with regards to chess, and then there's speed chess," Saleh said. "And so being able to do both, I've always enjoyed both of them, but I do think there's a correlation just in how the mind works and how the mind thinks and how the mind makes decisions and the speed at which it can under duress, if you will."
Jets Phase III Workouts
OTA 1 - May 24
OTA 2 - May 26
OTA 3 - May 27
OTA 4 - June 1
OTA 5 - June 3
OTA 6 - June 4
OTA 7 - June 7
OTA 8 - June 8
OTA 9 - June 10
OTA 10 - June 11
Mandatory Minicamp 1 - June 15
Mandatory Minicamp 2 - June 16
Mandatory Minicamp 3 - June 17