Skip to main content

Which Matchup in Jets-Panthers Joint Practices Are You Looking Forward to?

Spotlight's on Green & White O-Line vs. Panthers' Front, Jets Pass Rush vs. 1st Pick of the Draft Bryce Young


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: Which matchup in the Jets-Panthers joint practices on Wednesday and Thursday are you looking forward to?

EA: On a macro level, I'm very interested to see how the Jets offensive line performs the next two weeks during joint practices with the Panthers and the Buccaneers. This week, I'm going to highlight the Jets tackles vs. Brian Bruns and the Jets guards vs. Derrick Brown. With veteran Duane Brown still a couple of weeks out from returning to practice, the Jets have lined up with Max Mitchell and Billy Turner working with the first unit. Burns, who had 12.5 sacks last season, has racked up 38 sacks in four seasons and he is one of the most talented young edge rushers in football. Mitchell and Turner have faced stiff competition from the Jets' pass rushers in camp, so let's see how they handle this upcoming challenge if Burns flips sides. With Carolina moving to a 3-4 front, Brown is listed as a DE in name only. While Burns brings the heat to QBs from the edge, Brown is a great run defender whom the Panthers want to get on the edge against guards. I don't know how much he'll see of Alijah-Vera Tucker but that's a matchup I'd pay to watch.

EG: I have my eyes on Brian Burns against the Jets tackles. Burns (6-3, 250) is one of the league's best pass rushers. He had career highs with 12.5 sacks, 22 QB hits, 17 tackles for loss and 63 tackles in the 2022 season. The Green & White have been mixing it up with the first team at tackle with Billy Turner and Max Mitchell. It will be a good test for Mitchell, who played in 6 games as a rookie last season. I'd also like to see Mekhi Becton against Burns. Becton strung together a few very good practices last week before taking seven snaps against the Browns. While Becton has taken snaps against a very good Jets defensive line, I'd like to see him go against Burns. As a bonus, I'd like to see how the centers — Connor McGovern, Joe Tippmann and Wes Schweitzer — do against Derrick Brown, the No. 7 overall pick in 2020.

See photos of the Jets back in pads at 1 Jets Drive during an open practice on Sunday.

RL: I would like to see the Jets' front four, one of the excellent pass-rushing units in the NFL, start to get up to speed for the season against the Panthers' protection surrounding first pick of the draft QB Bryce Young, who won the starting nod over red-headed vet Andy Dalton. Quinnen Williams has been re-signed and can get started on his encore for his team-leading, career-high 12 sacks while introducing fellow 'Bama player Young to the pro game. Carl Lawson's now at the start of year two after his Achilles tear in the Packers joint practices of '21 and could get a few friendly shots in against his old Bengals teammate Dalton. We've heard much about second-year man Jermaine Johnson and rookie Will McDonald, not to mention Bryce Huff, who had the Jets' one sack vs. Cleveland in the HOF Game, coming off the edge. And of course the Jets' hybrids, John Franklin-Myers and Micheal Clemons, can do their own brand of damage outside or inside. LT Ickey Ekwonu, the sixth overall pick in 2022, and his O-line will be tested by the Jets rush to protect the new franchise.

CH: I am most excited to watch Jets CBs Sauce Gardner and DJ Reed go up against the Panthers WRs. Two-time Pro Bowler Adam Thielen is in his first season as a Carolina Panther after nine with the Minnesota Vikings. While the Jets CBs held him to 2 receptions for 27 yards last year when the Green & White took on the Vikings in Week 13, I wonder if Theilen and Panthers QB Bryce Young will have a special connection this season. I have the same interest in D.J. Chark. Last year when Chark was on the Lions, the Jets held him to 1 catch for 18 yards. I'm looking forward to seeing how much the corners have grown from last season.

JP: I am excited to see one of the league's best young corners in Jaycee Horn vs. WR Allen Lazard. Horn, drafted No. 8 overall in the 2021 draft, had 53 tackles, 3 interceptions and 7 pass defenses in 13 games last season. Horn sustained a broken wrist in Week 16 and missed the final two games. He is back healthy and motivated to help the Panthers defense "get back to a place of respect." Lazard, who signed with the Jets in free agency, had 60 receptions for 788 yards and 6 touchdowns with the Packers last season and has been one of QB Aaron Rodgers' favorite targets in training camp. Horn's 33-inch-long arms vs Lazard's 6-5, 227-pound frame is an intriguing matchup. Lazard already battles All-Pro CB Sauce Gardner, who has 33.5-inch arms, in practice. Horn allowed 9 yards per completion as a rookie and Lazard has averaged 13-plus yards per catch three times over his first five seasons.

Related Content