mekhi becton mike lafleur jets
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Jets left tackle Mekhi Becton hasn’t been all too successful the last few practices, including the joint one with the Packers Thursday.

The Jets should employ a promising left side of the offensive line with rookie guard Alijah Vera-Tucker now in the mix and tackle Mekhi Becton expected to further improve in his second season.

Success needs to be located in practice in order to build confidence though, and as of late, Becton isn’t finding much of that. He’s undergone a few rough practices from a pass-protection standpoint this week, both against Jets defensive end Carl Lawson and the Packers (with whom Gang Green is currently partaking in joint practices).

The growing pains are real and the mistakes have been clear…but in spite of Becton’s latest issues, offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur is keeping the faith.

“Mekhi’s going through some things right now,” LaFleur told the media Thursday. “He’s not playing at his best and he knows that. But at the same time…he didn’t have a training camp last year. He didn’t have OTAs last May and June so, he’s still working through some things. I got all the confidence in the world in Mekhi because one, I know how talented he is and two, he’s a good dude and he’s going to work through all this stuff. We got a long way to go across that whole front, across this whole offense and myself included. He’ll keep on going, we’re only one preseason game in, we still have over three and a half weeks until we go out and play Carolina. Every day, there are still slight improvements that he’s making and we’re just trying to take it one day at a time right now.”

What does LaFleur mean by “some things?”

“Just the NFL game, just the everyday process of, again, a training camp, going against a guy like Carl Lawson every single day in practice, a guy that’s been very successful in this league,” he said. “It’s showing up to work every day as an absolute professional, which he does. Mentality-wise, again, his first true training camp and against some really elite competition. I think it’s only making him better, even if the results aren’t showing, I know he knows how much work he’s getting in with the group that he has to go against every single day, and particularly in Green Bay and, you know, the last two days with what they have on their edges.”

Don’t forget, Becton also just dealt with a foot injury (this is what sidelined him during OTAs this year). Coming back from that and then needing to face Lawson along with a Green Bay unit that includes Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith isn’t a simple task whatsoever.

But regardless, Mekhi is expected to be one of the team’s top offensive linemen within a unit that must protect Zach Wilson. There’s excitement surrounding the organization in regard to the rookie signal-caller and the various new offensive weapons, but poor performances from the offensive line will render the quarterback and additional skill players useless.

Simply speaking, there’s no need to worry about Becton right now, but it would be normal to express concern if these on-field issues did continue into the regular season.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.