Head Coach Robert Saleh, 7.20
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Brian Costello, New York Post: How do you feel, Robert, now that it’s official, with Hard Knocks? Obviously, you said what you said in June?
Yeah, we’re fine, I mean we’ve been doing One Jets Drive for the last couple of years, so it’s just talking with Hard Knocks and they’ve got a great group of people that are working with us and we expressed some of our concerns, they’ve answered it, and it’s going to be fine. No different than One Jets Drive.
Antwan Staley, New York Daily News: We didn’t see Duane Brown out there, is there any particular reason?
It’s personal, he’s taking care of some personal things.
Brian Costello, New York Post: (follow-up) Health wise though, when he returns, is he good to go?
Yeah, he’s getting closer.
Zack Rosenblatt, The Athletic: How did you feel Aaron (Rodgers) looked out there today?
It was good, a lot of good competition between the offense and defense, a lot of tight window throws, but yeah, he was fine.
As far as external excitement and pressure, are you guys feeling any of that in the building with the expectations this year?
There’s always expectations. One thing I learned about this city is that you could have an expansion team and the expectation is to go 17-0, but as far as pressure goes, the pressure is to do your best every day, find a way to get better every day, and you trust that the results will come. You don’t have control over results, but you do have control about how you approach every day personally and as a team, so we embrace those expectations, we embrace being a team that may have a target on its back and take all of it, and it is what it is, but you still got to bring yourself back to the moment where your feet are present and attack the day and find a way to get better.
Antwan Staley, New York Daily News: Quinnen (Williams) talked about Jermaine Johnson and his improvement and what he’s done this offseason, just talk about what you’ve seen from him?
Jermaine looks awesome. He’s packed on some really good weight. He looks strong, he looks fast, he looks really powerful, so really excited about him going forward, it’s going to be a good one. Once we get pads on, we’ll see where some of those guys are.
Al Iannazzone, Newsday: Robert, where is Breece Hall in his recovery?
He looks really good. Someone gave me a little whisper that he hit 23 (mph) on his GPS, so he looks really good. He looks strong, he’s in really good shape. Obviously, we’re going to do good by him and make sure that we slow play it, but he’s in really good shape.
Connor Hughes, SNY: With Breece, is it something where you really want him back for Week One, but is that the goal, or is it just whenever he’s ready, he’s ready and you’ll put him in?
When he’s ready, he’s ready. The one thing with these ACLs, you don’t want to go too quick, but at the same time, you don’t want to go too slow, so there’s a balancing act. Trust our trainers, trust our doctors, and as of now, knock on wood, things are going really well.
Andy Vasquez, NJ Advance Media: (follow-up) What do you need to see from him before he’s cleared to practice?
There’s a few things that we’ve got to see, there’s still the running and cutting and changing direction and all that stuff, but he’s trending well in that direction.
Al Iannazzone, Newsday: What’s the interest level in Dalvin Cook?
With Dalvin, obviously you never want say no to a great player, I’ll leave Joe (Douglas) to that one, but I know there’s a lot of contractual stuff that goes with it, but he is a good one.
Ben Volin, Boston Globe: When you see Aaron working with Nathaniel Hackett, is it like riding a bike? Are they back to their old tricks? How’s that going?
It’s going great. Nathaniel has an interesting way of coaching and it’s really good the way those two interact and the freedom at which people have to voice their opinion, which is awesome. You always want, always encourage players challenging coaches, but it’s been really good.
Ben Volin, Boston Globe: What is it about the way Hackett coaches that you find interesting?
It’s just the comfort level, he’s very comfortable in his skin and he’s got a style to him – a lot of juice, a lot of energy, and the guys respond to it.
Brian Costello, New York Post: What was your main message to the team as training camp starts?
Same thing I just said, expectations are what they are. We don’t have control over results, but we do have control over what we do day in and day out and embrace the attention, love the attention. It’s for good reason, because we’ve got a heck of a locker room, but the objective during training camp is to find a way to be a great team and we’ve got a long road to do that.
Mike Garafolo, NFL Network: Energy and enthusiasm levels seemed to be high today, do you want that there?
You always want it there, absolutely. You want them every day to bring juice and energy and want defense in the offense’s face and want the offense fighting back. I want special teams playing well and fighting and competing. If you’re out here just to go through the motions and be emotionally neutral, you’re not going to find a way to get better.
Connor Hughes, SNY: What’s the plan with Mekhi Becton? We saw him out there, obviously he hasn’t played much these past couple of years, is he full steam ahead?
Yeah, he’s full steam, he’s done a great job this offseason in terms of getting his weight down, I’m sure you guys all took notice. He looks awesome and he’s moving around really well, he’s in a good mental space, so he’s full go and part of the competition.
Brian Costello, New York Post: (follow-up) Will he work exclusively at left tackle? Or will you place him on right tackle?
No, we’re flipping guys, left and right. You saw Mek’s (Mekhi) had some right tackle and left tackle snaps, same thing with Carter (Warren) and Billy Turner, so like we said, the good thing about this is we’ve got five tackles that we feel really excited about to compete for two spots and we’ve got three centers that we’re really excited about competing for that one spot, so a lot of really good competition among the offensive line, and I think through that competition, guys are going to get a lot better.
In practice, what are the little things that Aaron does that make you go “this guy just knows, he gets it”?
A lot is the way he messes with the defense, looking at the safety, telling him to come on down, I know you’re coming when we’re trying the disguise and it makes me laugh. He’s a coach that can still play football.
Ian O’Connor, Harper Collins: In your time working with him, is there something you’ve learned about Aaron that surprised you or you just didn’t expect?
I guess the one thing for me is just how thoughtful he is. Thoughtful with his words, very mindful, and he’s very observant, he’s watching everything. He doesn’t just want to be connected to his teammates or his position room or his coach, he really wants to connect to everybody, and that includes the people upstairs in the business department, the chef, the equipment guys, so he’s a world class human.
Santul Nerkar, The New York Times: What have you seen out of Garrett Wilson so far, and what type of leap do you expect him to make with Aaron?
I’ve said it before, he’s a juicy route runner, explosive, he’s got elite competitive edge to him and you just want him to, it’s cliché, but get better, get continuity with Aaron as quickly as possible, but we just want him to get better.
Speaking on continuity, you’ve got Breece and (Randall) Cobb not practicing right now, how important is it to get back, get some time with Aaron before the season?
It’s important, you’ve got a new play caller, you’ve got a new o-line coach, you’ve got a new receiver coach, you’ve got a new quarterback, new o-line, new receivers, so there’s a lot of moving parts on the offensive side of the ball, there’s new verbiage, new language, that kind of stuff, so continuity is going to be the focal point in terms of trying to get these guys to gel as one so we can hit the ground running Week One.
Brian Costello, New York Post: The other three guys other than Breece that went on the PUP, Randall (Cobb), Jarrick (Bernard-Converse), and (C.J.) Uzomah – what are they dealing with?
Uzomah should be good here in the next couple of days. JBC, he’s dealing with his foot. He’ll come around, it’s going to take a couple of weeks. Cobb’s on C.J.’s timeline, he should be cleared here in the next few days.
Eric Allen, New York Jets: What do you think about the competition you’re going to have at center?
I love it. Easiest way to motivate a player is through competition, right? You’ve got three of them that we feel really good and comfortable with, with our guys, it’s just a matter of them going out, competing, straining, and finding a way to get it.
From the first day you signed Aaron until today, what’s been the most important thing he’s done for the Jets?
He’s brought a lot of juice obviously and he’s brought a lot of hype and it’s awesome, because we want all of it. The presence of you guys means we’re about to go do something, right? But you have to go do it, and you have to go do it day in and day out, so all of that stuff is great, he brings a lot of wisdom to the quarterback room, he brings a lot of confidence to the offensive side of the ball, and he brings a lot of excitement to the organization, but none of it matters if we’re not attacking the day.
Steve Serby, the New York Post: How is Zach’s (Wilson) frame of mind?
He looks awesome, he’s in a really good frame of mind, really like where he’s at. He’s embraced where he is, he’s attacking every day to try to find different ways to get better. I’ve got a lot of faith in him. He’s got elite talent, and it’s just a matter of him getting comfortable as an NFL quarterback and letting it rip.
Zack Rosenblatt, The Athletic: You guys are trading Denzel Mims, or at least in the process, how do you feel about that situation and moving on from him?
I wish him luck, I appreciate Denzel (Mims), appreciate what he did, and sometimes a change of scenery is always good, it’s good for everybody, but he’s a big boy, he’s big, long, strong, and fast and he’ll have an opportunity if everything gets done to play for another team and show why everyone was so excited about him.
Brian Costello, the New York Post: In your first year, you talked about (C.J.) Mosely losing weight and getting ready for the season. It looks like he’s lost even more weight. Has he? And what did you think when you saw him when he came back?
I love the way he looks, I love the way he talks, he feels great, he looks fast, he looks lean. He’s tightened it up even more, and he’s very conscientious, he knows his body, but C.J.’s in a really good place. I don’t want to speak for him, but I love where he’s at.