The long wait for late July is finally over. After an eventful, celebrated offseason, returning players, new free agents, and draft picks all take the field to play football together for the first time. As a disclaimer, nothing from these first few days is a sure sign of things to come for the season… But here are some early takeaways for the defense from Jets training camp week one.
See Also: New York Jets Projected 53 Man Roster
Injury Prognosis: More Good News
The various players activated off of the PUP list earlier this week is of course exciting news. However, fans also must be glad their team is among those who have not yet suffered a major injury. The recent bad news regarding Buccaneers’ C Ryan Jensen is just an unnerving reminder of the Jets’ recent history with Carl Lawson. Sighs of relief are breathed around the tristate area at the end of every practice. Fortunately, the Jets’ lone moment of apprehension turned out alright. DT Quinnen Williams was helped off the field in Saturday’s practice, but Head Coach Robert Saleh stated he was simply hit in the throat, and is fine.
When it comes to trench battles, early reports have favored the defensive line. This is hardly surprising considering the lack of pads, which has always been more difficult for offensive linemen. The edge rushers have consistently been getting pressure, particularly Bryce Huff. Training camp practices dictate that any would-be sack does not stop play, in order to maximize reps. That being said, Zach Wilson has been getting tapped on the shoulder very consistently throughout these early days. The question now is once the pads come on, are the rushers as ferocious? If they are, the eternal conundrum arrises: Is the defensive line playing very well, or is the offensive line just struggling?
Couple players who have stood out throughout the first week of #JetsCamp
– Breece Hall
– Jacob Martin
– Bryce Huff
– Quinnen Williams
– DJ Reed
– Sauce Gardner
— Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) July 30, 2022
There has been very little coverage of the linebackers up to this point. With diluted physicality in unpadded practice, the best you can see is whether the linebackers are flowing naturally towards the ball carrier. They really can’t close full speed for safety reasons. The most notable moment this week for the linebacker room was the signing of Kwon Alexander. While Saleh stated he can play sam and will, he likely won’t play will unless injuries occur. The general commentary regarding the other linebackers up until now has been focused on praising CJ Mosley as a leader. Monday’s first padded practice will start to put more of a spotlight on the group.
Kwon Alexander didn’t practice today, but will be conditioning the next two days to get in camp shape, per Saleh. Remember, he hasn’t been with a team. Slated to play SLB and WLB. #Jets
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) July 29, 2022
So far, the defensive backs have been the subject of positive reports. Jordan Whitehead and DJ Reed have each had recent redzone interceptions, while Reed ran another back for a touchdown on Saturday’s practice. Sauce Gardner and Bryce Hall are battling for the starting cornerback spot across from Reed, after Hall started the entire season in 2021. Hall has played well, but all signs point to Gardner taking over the starting role comfortably by week one. The defensive backs have been consistently breaking up passes as well, and the battle between receivers and coverage has been more than a little enticing so far.
Zach Wilson picked by DJ Reed in red zone drills. Reed went down to get a low throw.
— Andy Vasquez (@andy_vasquez) July 27, 2022
See Also: Early Takeaways from Jets Training Camp: Offense
For More Great Football Content
Follow us on Twitter at @GridironHeroics for more great content. We appreciate you taking time to read our articles. To interact more with our community and keep up to date on the latest in Football news, JOIN OUR FREE FACEBOOK GROUP by CLICKING HERE