COURTESY OF NEW YORK JETS COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT
Opening Statement… I’ll start with just the injuries: (Denzel) Mims was out today with a hamstring, (Cameron) Clark with the shoulder, Vyncint Smith with the core, (Bronson) Kaufusi with the hamstring, Travis Ross with the groin, (Pierre) Desir with the hamstring, (Brian) Poole still is out with dehydration from the other day, Jabari (Zuniga) with the quad and then (James) Burgess, he went down in practice with his low back, that was in individuals, a non-contact deal. First day out and in pads, it was, you know, we got a lot of things to clean up obviously keep guys off the ground, just making sure we, we practice the right way, protecting each other and at the same time playing physical. Obviously, it’s been the first time since we’ve been in pads since December, but I did think that effort was there, the speed was there, a lot of good things as far as improvement with what we’re doing. It was a short practice obviously mandated, through the NFL, NFLPA, how they kind of got this thing set up, 90 minutes, I mean it goes quick. But I do think we got some good work in, we have a lot of treatment to do.
Brian Costello, New York Post: Adam, how long is it that you are mandated for the 90 minute practices? When do you get to ramp up? Tomorrow. Each day you have a certain amount of time you can increase. So, they got it mapped out pretty good for what we should do, what we can do.
Rich Cimini, ESPN: Adam with this being the first padded practice, do you have to take any further precautions COVID related, you know, because now they’re colliding into each other and doing things like that? Any special precautions? We’re doing the same thing as far as encouraging our guys, especially you know after practice, the procedures we go through when they come off the field with, the equipment, there’s a lot of things we have to do with on-the-field equipment, when we come off the field, the equipment staff, our entire staff in the building, and they’re working nonstop from the time they get in to the time they leave, as far as making sure things are cleaned, disinfected and it’s just a lot of work. I mean, our staff almost feels like it is smaller than when it’s been in the past because we have less people in the building. But these guys were working extremely hard to try to make sure they do everything they can.
Brian Costello, New York Post: Adam, how close is Avery (Williamson) to coming back off the PUP list? Yeah, I mean, it’s hard for me to predict. I mean I wish I could say tomorrow. But, you know, especially, all it takes is one or two guys to go down in one group and now, numbers wise, you’re struggling because, like we talked about yesterday, it’s happened in the wide receiver group, that it can affect the entire group really quickly. Reps go up for certain guys and the next thing you know you have another injury, the workload becomes problematic. I know this, he looks good when I’ve watched him, you know just running and his rehab, and he’s doing those type of things, but it’s all about continuous work day in and day out. When you get kind of a past that’s two days straight of working and then get to the third one, how’s he feeling the fourth day? It’s just that increased workload that he’s been doing. I know he wants to be back out there, and we want him back out there, you just, we got to do right by him and make sure that he’s in the right frame both mentally and physically before we put him out there.
Connor Hughes, The Athletic: Adam, there was a play today where Mekhi (Becton) got to it looked like the second level of defense and had a pretty big hit on Neville Hewitt to knock him down. Can you just talk a little bit about what his athleticism and the ability that he has to get to the second level and continue blocking at the tackle position allows you to do on offense? You rarely see a 370-pound guy move the way he does. It’s hard to explain what it feels like when you’re standing next to him. When you get next to him, that’s when you realize how big this guy is. When other players are talking about his size, his length, his strength, that’s when you know it’s real. You know it’s not something that a coach or scout is just talking about just because a height, weight, speed, measurable-type thing. He applies it to the field. It’s difficult for guys to figure out how to rush him in the pass game and then in the run game it’s hard to hard to move them back, you don’t see much penetration, that line flattens out pretty fast. And, you know, the longer that he goes through this training camp, the better he is going to get. It’s a great thing about playing Gregg’s (Williams) defense, you get to see different looks, that he’s getting the full gamut, which he needs. When you start playing different teams, you’re seeing different techniques, like sometimes can hurt a rookie’s growth and the fact that he has seen this much, this early, is really good.
Rich Cimini, ESPN: In your experience with left tackles, I mean you had (Laremy) Tunsil, as a rookie in Miami. What’s the hardest thing for them coming out of college, what’s the hardest adjustment? The volume. The volume and the amount of defensive looks you get where you got to make little adjustments here and there. You can call the same plays and there might be two or three calls per play for alignment as far as who he’s working with, whether it’s a tight end, the guard, by himself. And it happens fast and in real time. And you know defenses nowadays it’s, there multiple, the late stems guys make, the disguises. There’s a lot of things that he’s probably never seen before, that when we get on the practice field it’s the first time that he’s ever seen it, and I feel like he’s handled everything really well. To me, everything that he’s done so far has shown me that he must have studied over the summer extremely hard to be able to come in here and execute the way that he’s been executing.
Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: Adam given kind of what you just talked about there, you know, there are a few people that are as multiple as Gregg is on defense. How much can that really help a guy like Becton, when he’s seeing that so much stuff because I’m sure that Gregg is reveling and throwing as much (stuff) at him as he can basically, right? That is just in general, doesn’t matter. He’s not just picking on the rookie (Becton), he’s picking on everybody. But I think for us as a team, it’s great, especially offensively because you don’t go into a season, being like we’ve never seen this before, because we’re seeing more variations of all kinds of defenses right now. Gregg, it’s one of the things I absolutely love about how, one, our defense plays, with how physical they play, and how aggressive they play but just the multiplicity is phenomenal for us. And I think that’s going to make us better on the offensive side.
Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: Specifically, for Mekhi, for somebody who is seeing all of the stuff for the first time, as overwhelming as it may be, does it help you measure him of how much he’s actually taking in and understanding? He has to use concepts. We can’t walk out there and be like, ‘Hey, just do this.’ For going against our defense, it’s not that easy, everything has to be concept based, because you have to give them answers for so many multiple fronts and techniques and things like that. So, everything is concept based to where he has to use that knowledge he’s gaining in meetings and then apply it on the field, and he’s done a great job of that.
Connor Hughes, The Athletic: Have you ever coached somebody that has (Becton’s) athleticism at that position before? Do you have anyone you could compare him with? (Laremy) Tunsil, I mean Tunsil could probably play tight end in the NFL. He is a freak athlete.
Charles McDonald, New York Daily News: Do you think that Gregg Williams’s ability as a coach to just scheme up a defense will help you guys as you go through this linebacker transition? Because it looks like Neville (Hewitt) and Blake (Cashman) have been taking a lot of reps with the presumed ones. How does Gregg’s ability as a coach help you guys kind of go through a new phase at linebacker? This is one thing that we talk about as a staff all the time where injuries occur, we have the “next man up” philosophy. We try to put our players in the best position possible. So, when guys do go down, when we do have some kind of change, we can’t flinch as coaches, we just adjust what we’re doing. We do everything we can to put those guys in the best position possible. Sometimes it’s through trial and error, sometimes it’s, ‘Hey prove to us that you either can do something or you can’t.’ That comes through the entire time of training camp. When we hit the season, we should have a pretty good feel who can do what and who we should use.
Dennis Waszak, Jr., The Associated Press: What have you seen from Cashman coming back? He had some opportunity last year as a rookie and then got hurt and he’s come in in really good shape. Just what have you seen from him coming in? It almost feels like he did practice all year. It feels like that to me sometimes where he doesn’t look out of sync, he’s not shying away. I see the guy that we saw at the beginning of last year, but obviously a year under his belt, you can tell he looks more comfortable, he’s quicker on the draw on things, he’s seen more football. The good thing was he stayed engaged all through last year, he didn’t just fall off and (say), “Oh I’m on IR so this year is over.” He did a good job of sticking with it, and it’s helping him right now because one of the things you’re seeing is if he didn’t pay attention, then he’d play a little slower.
Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: You guys obviously lost some blue-chip guys with Jamal (Adams) and with C.J. (Mosley) opting out, those are probably two of your higher level blue-chip guys on defense. What is it about Gregg that can take guys like Neville and like Cashman – some of these unheralded, maybe not high draft pick guys – and kind of just make it work? What is it about him that’s able to do that? It’s just the ability to adjust your scheme. It’s getting max, not only effort, but potential out of guys on the roster. Not being afraid to adjust or eliminate or add something that may be a strength or a weakness for a guy. I think that’s a lot of times what comes into play when you lose guys and you refuse to change what you’re doing, and it might not be best for them, that’s when you get in trouble. When you’re willing to adapt what you’re doing to the players you have, that’s the key to getting the most out of guys that technically might not have been the starter originally, but now they are and you have to do everything you can to put them in the best position.
Brian Costello, New York Post: Are you still doing all of your meetings virtually, and what are the challenges of that? Do you feel like you’re losing anything not having that in-person time? We are doing everything virtually still. I think the only time is occasionally you’ll get some choppiness on the film on the on the other end with the players. I haven’t heard anybody really complaining about it as of late. I think guys are – they’re used to it or they’re getting what they need out of it. I do think guys are doing a good job. and we’ve talked about this, making sure they’re trying to watch things before we even meet and if not, watching afterwards just to make sure that they’ve got a clear picture of what we’re talking about. If we feel like at some point that we have a setup to where we feel comfortable, maybe when we get to lower numbers, then maybe we start doing things in the building. I think right now, we’ve finally gotten a good rhythm as far as the consistency of day-in, and day-out operation that throwing another curveball, another change at these guys as far as time and things like that. We’ve got some good flow going right now.
Charles McDonald, New York Daily News: Going back to Blake Cashman, if you just look at his combine stats, he’s probably one of the most athletic linebackers in the league. How does that increase the amount of ways that you can deploy him in your defense? Yeah, he has a lot of strengths. Obviously he has the ability to play man-to-man as a linebacker. He’s a guy that can find the ball, he can run and hit. He’s a very good special teams player. Anytime you see him kind of walking to that starting linebacker (position in practice) you see (Brant) Boyer’s shoulders go down a little bit more (joking), because that’s one of his dudes that he loves having on four phases. But when you’re a starting linebacker, you kind of lose him in a couple phases. But that’s what makes Blake valuable. That’s why our coaching staff has liked him from the jump, where he gives you so much variety. He’s a young player that’s still learning, but he gives us a lot of athleticism. It’s just all about, at this point, just keeping him healthy, getting him to a 16-plus game season.