The New York Jets kicked off their rookie minicamp earlier this afternoon. The unofficial start of the 2017 season for Gang Green.
While we may not have New York Jets games on Sundays quite yet, this rookie minicamp will have to do. This our first in-depth look at the Jets newest incomers including the entirety of the Jets draft class and some.
— Dennis Waszak Jr. (@DWAZ73) May 5, 2017
Above is everyone who will be participating from May 5-7, but here are the key names to keep an eye out for.
Brisly Estime, WR/PR, Syracuse
I watched his entire career at Syracuse. This guy may be small in stature (5-foot-9, 175 pounds), but he has the ability to solve all of the Jets punt returning woes. If you really want to learn more about him, I interviewed him on The Jets Zone back in March.
Khiry Robinson, RB, Texas A&M
The name should sound familiar because the Jets signed him from the New Orleans Saints last season. Robinson has been battling injuries and that has somewhat derailed his career thus far. Bowles said in the press conference following Day 1, that the Jets “wanted to kick the tires and see where he’s at physically.”
Tyler Scalzi, TE, Texas Tech
When Robby and I broke down the Jets draft board and who they’d attack in each round, this is a guy I mentioned. He’s a versatile player. He can play offense (H-back, TE, FB), possesses instincts on defense (LB) and also plays some special teams. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again, the more things you can do, the more likely that you’ll make the team.
Now let’s get to the inaugural Rookie Minicamp for the Jets, a few notes:
- Head coach Todd Bowles said that the team made a concerted effort to have a higher tempo practice and that’s something to expect under new OC John Morton.
- Bowles left open the door for Marcus Gilchrist to return to the team, if and when he becomes healthy; something to keep an eye on.
- If you want to make this team, just because you’re an UDFA doesn’t mean you can’t make it. Bowles reiterated that the team has signed tryout players in the past and if a player proves himself he can earn a spot on the team.
The quote of the day came from Bowles. When he was asked who stood out today on Day 1 he replied, “Nobody stands out in shorts.” Sorry folks: who were looking for a headline, you won’t get it here.
Calvin Pryor (Stock Report):
Bowles was asked about whether he had spoken with Pryor following the conclusion of the NFL Draft. Bowles said he had, but said that there’s competition at every position. “If you’re afraid of competition you don’t need to be here.” Strong words from Bowles following the trade speculation on Pryor.
Speaking of safeties, the question was raised could the Jets feasibly start two rookies on the backend? Bowles said these jobs are going to be earned. Bowles could definitely see Marcus Maye and Jamal Adams as his starting safeties if they win the jobs.
An interesting parallel because Mike Maccagnan was on the Michael Kay show earlier this week on ESPN Radio and said that, “obviously no job is going to be given on this team.” It seems like a company line that was reiterated several times in those pre-production meetings.
Eric Decker Update?
There were reports earlier this week that Eric Decker was going to be ready for training camp. When asked for an update, coach Bowles didn’t necessarily give that report much credit. He hopes that Decker is ready by camp, but he’ll “rely on the medical staff to make that decision.”
I’ve been on the fence whether Decker will remain on the roster. I feel pretty confident now that he’ll remain on the roster. All of their current crop of receivers are young bloods and they could use a veteran presence. While last year was certainly a disappointing injury plagued season. He’s only one year removed from his career year of 80 receptions, 1000-plus yards and 12 scores. His leadership, versatility and savvy will keep him on the roster in 2017.
What’s the difference between strong and free safety?
I love when coaches are asked somewhat outside the box questions, that still clearly have ties to what’s going on. So a few people on Twitter were blowing me up saying that this Jets draft was a waste because Marcus Maye and Jamal Adams are “box safeties” so it won’t work. Well after Bowles’ explanation, I think some of these fans can cool their jets.
“Well because offenses move the tight end, you have to be interchangeable. There’s just not enough time to switch spots etc. Depending on the team and the scheme, there are a few teams that play solely free and strong. While ideally, you’d like to maintain the genesis of the safety position, in our scheme those labels don’t mean as much.”
One last nugget to get too, Marcus Maye said the Jets got the two best safeties in the NFL Draft. Bowles said, “The young guys talk, I’d rather them play than talk, but that’s fine. I’m excited that he’s excited about the pairing. Now his job is to put in the work.”
Make sure you tune into The Jets Zone every week. We’ll talk roster moves, analysis, and debate with everything Gang Green. On Thursday’s episode, I went solo talking Christian Hackenberg conundrum, the Jets recent roster moves and helped preview the Jets’ Rookie Minicamp.