This is one in a series of articles that will also appear in the New York Jets 2020 Yearbook, which will be published later this summer.
The NFL entered uncharted waters with virtual offseason programs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Jets didn't skip a beat. Instead of field work or being in the weightroom or the classroom at One Jets Drive, head coach Adam Gase and his staff held meetings on Microsoft Teams with the players.
"The best thing about this program is that I can jump in and out of a lot of different meetings," said Gase, who was very hands-on throughout the process. "The video stuff that we're able to do, it's pretty cool how we can share our screen and watch the film with players and be able to diagram and talk through some stuff. It's a unique way that we're doing things, but I think it's going to be very beneficial for us."
Perhaps the biggest challenge of the offseason for the players is staying in shape. Typically, head strength and conditioning coach Justus Galac puts the team through a program at the facility, but this offseason each player is responsible for his workout regimen.
"Everybody has been doing a little bit of a different thing," Gase said. "I do think there are some instructional things that these guys had before they even left that they've been using for a long time. Guys who are on their own also have trainers that they've been using for a long time. I feel good with where we're at with guys working out."
One hurdle of the virtual offseason program is intangible: team chemistry. Spring football is the first time free-agent additions and newly drafted players can meet and interact with their new teammates, developing camaraderie on and off the field.
"We're just preparing how we would normally. Obviously not in person, but we're still going through things as normal and we've got a pretty good setup with how we've been meeting," QB Sam Darnold said. "The interaction with my teammates isn't there, but I've been texting, FaceTiming guys as much as I can, and everything's been good. We're just really trying to stay on task and focus on what we can right now."