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Jets' Tyler Conklin: 'There's a Lot More Meat on the Bone'

Tight End Tied Career High in Receptions, Established Yardage High in Second Season in Green & White


Jets tight end Tyler Conklin was along for the "rollercoaster" of a season, as he experienced the highs and the lows during his sixth season in the NFL.

The highs were of a personal nature – tying a career high in receptions (61), setting personal bests in yards (621) and first downs (27) -- playing with four different quarterbacks.

"There's a lot of things I did on film in the season that I'm really proud of," Conklin said. "I think I played well in the run game, I got better in the run game. It definitely was difficult at times, four different quarterbacks, seven over the last two years. It was difficult for everybody, but I'm proud of what I was able to accomplish. I think I have a lot to be proud of, but I don't think anywhere near to what I can accomplish. There are a lot of things I can get better at. To get career highs in yards, I'm happy about it. I do think there's a lot more meat on the bone."

The Michigan native was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the fifth round (No. 157 overall) in the 2018 NFL Draft and spent his first four NFL seasons in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. He signed with the Jets in free agency in March 2022, as did another TE, C.J. Uzomah who joined the team from Cincinnati. In two seasons with the Jets, Conklin has totaled 119 receptions for 1,173 yards.

Conklin acknowledged that a season that began with great promise failed to live up to anyone's expectations.

"It's been a rollercoaster," he said. "Disappointing, not what we wanted it to be when we started the season. Nothing went as planned. I do think some valuable things came out of it. We learned about ourselves as a team, as a locker room and as a team we built a lot of chemistry and came together through adversity. A lot of positives came out of it, but the season didn't go the way we wanted it to."

Though Conklin did not make a touchdown reception in the Jets' 7-10 campaign, he caught at least one pass in all but one game (the Week 8 OT win over the Giants on Oct. 29). After QB Aaron Rodgers sustained a season-ending torn Achilles tendon four snaps into the Week 1 game against Buffalo (on Sept. 11), Conklin and the team's other receivers had to adjust to playing with Zach Wilson, Tim Boyle and Trevor Siemian, and with an offensive line that experienced constant change.

"It's nuts," he said. "I think back to the whole offseason, the speculation about Aaron Rodgers coming, everyone asking me about it. Then he decides to come, "Hard Knocks," "1JD," then the Hall of Fame Game, we have to come to camp 10 days early, two joint practices. Honestly, it feels like two years ago.

"Then it all bleeds into the Monday night game [to open the season], the atmosphere was special. When it [Rodgers' injury] happened, we didn't know what's going on, but we found a way to overcome and win that game, which was a rollercoaster itself. In the season, it was hard to roll with the punches. Obviously, all this sucks. We had to move on, deal with it. It was a whirlwind, hard to put into words and I think it all happened for a reason, I firmly believe that. When I look back, it all happened for a reason."

Conklin acknowledged that the Jets, particularly the offense, have a big hill to climb.

"I think it was a little bit of everything," he said. "Obviously, we had a lot of movement on the O-line, Aaron going down was tough, it changed a lot of things. There were games where we weren't good enough as players. We have to go back and figure out how to fix some of the things that hurt us throughout the season."

He added: "I think in life, in football there's always going to be adversity, ups and downs. The big thing we took from the season is that you have to live in the moment, know where your feet are. Never too high or low, handle things as they come. As a team, a unit, an individual we've had to learn this season about all things thrown at us, random things that happened through the season. It gave all of us an opportunity to be the best version of ourselves every day."

Take a look through some of the best photos throughout the Jets 2023 season.

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