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What Did You Learn from the First Week of Jets OTAs?

Green & White Conducted the First 3 OTA Practices, Including 1 Open Session


Throughout the offseason, reporters Eric Allen, Ethan Greenberg, Randy Lange, Caroline Hendershot and John Pullano will give their responses to a series of questions regarding this year's Jets.

Today's question: What did you learn from the first week of Jets OTAs?

EA: Ah spring, the reminder of hope renewed. This Jets group exudes confidence, but there also is a practical approach of focusing on the process and operating with the intentionality Aaron Rodgers speaks of. Players like Sauce Gardner, Garrett Wilson, Breece Hall and Jermaine Johnson aren't kids anymore. Gardner talked this week about how he and Wilson see things differently and how they've matured as players. That resonates when Sauce said:, "We've grown up. I'm going on Year 3. It just feels kind of different." Rodgers, whom DC Jeff Ulbrich said must have found some Fountain of Youth, remains a special talent at 40 and makes passes on a practice field that are just special. He loves this group and he thinks he can return to an MVP level. On defense, I like how Saleh called Gardner a "weapon" and it feels like a natural evolution that he might travel with receivers more in Year 3. Saleh also called the safety room "open" so that competition will be one to watch and it's interesting the Green & White moved Isaiah Oliver full-time to safety. I wouldn't make too much of shorts sessions, but it's nice to see the rookies acclimating as Malachi Corley showcased his YAC ability and RB Braelon Allen is a big dude who can catch it out of the backfield.

RL: What I took away was that HC Robert Saleh was serious when he talked in past weeks about spending more time with the Jets' offense. With Aaron Rodgers' return to full health and the roster additions in free agency and in the draft, the offense's rankings will improve this season. But Saleh, whose defensive scheme he developed in San Francisco and has implemented with the Jets is a proven winner, has ideas for getting the offense hitting on all cylinders also. As Aaron Rodgers said after the second practice of OTAs this week:, "As a defensive coach, Robert's been in that room a lot, but he's been sitting over to the left of me a good amount of the offseason so far, so we appreciate his influence. He's brought some really good ideas to the table. ... He's added a lot of interesting stuff that you'll see throughout the OTAs and training camp, which I think would be pretty cool for us." We'll be watching closely.

CH: Aaron Rodgers hasn't lost a step. Out at practice he looked as sharp as ever, his arm strength was still there, his mobility was there, even his no-look-passes made an appearance. According to Rodgers, the only thing left to work on is the mental side of things. He said: "I feel really good. It's just about the mental part. Just I think these practices have been nice, last couple days to feel what it is like to be out there to be moving around and not be thinking about it and see how I respond the next day. So, it's just this last part, the strength is good, the movement's good, just the confidence to do everything." I think having this time during OTAs to continue to build his confidence and his mindset will set up the entire Jets offense for a productive training camp that they can build on.

JP: When it comes to the offensive line play, it is nearly impossible to take anything away from watching 11-on-11 periods without pads and individual drills at OTAs. One thing is for sure, however, the presence of All-Pro LT Tyron Smith and veteran Morgan Moses will pay dividends off the field as much as on. With 23 years of starting O-line experience between them, Moses and Smith have been holding court for the younger players, offering advice and guidance during and after practice. QB Aaron Rodgers said: "The coolest thing I have seen the last two days, I've watched Morgan Moses pull Carter Warren aside and watched them talk about right tackle play. Then today I got back to my locker and there was Olu [Fashanu] picking Tyron's brain, so it's pretty cool." Moses worked off to the side at practice Tuesday as a he continues to rehab from a torn pectoral he sustained last season, but I think having him and Smith present will help instill confidence and provide many learning opportunities for the younger linemen.

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