Offensive Coordinator Mike LaFleur, 8.1

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Connor Hughes, SNY: We talked to Robert (Saleh) about Zach (Wilson) and a lot of what you guys have talked about with how you see differences off the field. When do you expect to see changes on the field?

I can see it right now. I can just see how much faster he’s going through his progressions, how much faster he’s taking off when something’s not there, how much more comfortable he is in this system. It really shows in the meeting room, which obviously you guys don’t see every single day. Not just cause he’s answering all the right questions, just his demeanor and calmness when we are talking about the offense and a specific play. I see it, but I don’t we’ll really know until we get out there for that first Sunday. We had our first move the ball situations today. Didn’t do so hot as an offense, not particularly all his problems, I called a keeper right into a blitz one time. So, it put him in a bad situation, he dirted the ball. Who knows what he would’ve done last year in his first call out period as a rookie. I see improvements every single day and I know he can feel that too.


Al Iannazzone, Newsday: The last two periods with the first team and you’re in move the ball and they’re not moving the ball?

No matter what situation, ones, twos, threes, whatever move the ball we’re in, even if it’s a scripted period, you want to see execution and ultimately, we didn’t execute in those with the ones. I was pleased with what the twos and threes did, particularly running the ball. Hit some big plays in the pass game, but ultimately when the ones were out there, we didn’t get it done.


Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: How critical do you think the continuity is of being here for yourself, a second year here with this group, with this program, for the guys that were here last year? Obviously starting with Zach, and how much will that manifest itself do you think?

It’s huge, anytime you can get into a year two, because nothing’s guaranteed in this league obviously, and you have predominately a lot of the same guys. You’re not teaching from ground zero, these guys came in OTA’s and had a good idea of what this offense was supposed to be about. I thought we had a great OTA’s, both in the classroom and on the field. And then when they came back, just how comfortable they are with this offense. Actually, I was thinking about this yesterday, I’m very pleased, even the young guys with just how far along they are with the scheme and all that. We have a long way to go from an execution standpoint, but the knowledge of it is huge.


Brian Costello, New York Post: What have you seen from Mekhi (Becton) from the way he came back for camp and the way he handled being on the right side? 

I’ve been super pleased with Mekhi and on top of it, it’s one, just good to get him back out there. Just to have him on the football field. I mean he is, as I’ve said so many times, he’s just a massive, massive human being and if he can just be out there every single day like he has been and just battling and battling like all of the other guys to get himself prepared to play in the preseason. But obviously, ultimately, to get him prepared to play Baltimore. It’s been good and it helps the Jets for sure that he’s out there.


Connor Hughes, SNY: The offensive line when you were with San Francisco, it was pretty good. Do you see the chance to replicate that here with the grouping you guys have now?

I sure hope so. We’re going to lean on those guys. Not saying, we’re young around them, in some aspects, but up front, those guys have played a lot of football, and I know Mekhi is still semi-young, especially because he didn’t play last year, AVT, but the other three have played a lot of ball and we’re going to lean on them heavily and I expect them to do really, really good things.


Zack Rosenblatt, The Athletic: What do you like about (Mekhi) at right tackle as opposed to playing left tackle?

It’s not whether I like right or left, it’s just more about what’s going to best for up front and the five.


Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: Elijah (Moore) flashed quite a bit last year, obviously he had a couple of injuries, things going on, how much better is he going to be this year?

I think, similar to what I was saying earlier, his comfort level with the system, just hearing the play calls, knowing what we need to get done. He knows the speed of the game now; every rookie is going to be a little bit different. Towards that middle part of the year, as we all saw, he was really hitting his stride and unfortunately missed those last five games. But, really pleased with where he’s at, I know there’s still a long way to go for him. I know what his expectation and standard is for himself, and I know I hold the same one for him.


Brian Costello, New York Post: The progression of Garrett (Wilson), from the spring to this early part of training camp?

Kind of similar to Elijah in terms of that comfort level. When you’re a rookie in a first year system, it’s hard to lean on any of the other players because they are still learning the system too. You can obviously get some nuggets and stuff like that, and how it’s going to be out on the field, but Elijah really didn’t have anyone to ask the nuances of questions last year. Now Garrett gets to pick off of Elijah and Corey, not just from a ‘how do I get stuff done on the field’ but also from the schematic standpoint. So, I’m pleased with where he’s at, again like what I was saying with Elijah, there’s more out there for him.


Rich Cimini, Elijah Moore had a really good stretch last year, where do you see him being better this year?

I think it’s probably the consistency level, I thought he was really consistent through that stretch of games, but not really one specific area, just him going on out, him understanding the expectations for him to dominate every single time he’s running the route. I know he has that mindset when he goes out there and he knows what he’s doing like he does, I think good things are going to happen for him.


Andy Vasquez, NJ Advance Media: Zach, when he’s under pressure, how does his decision making differ this year compared to last year?

I think you know last year, and it’s all young quarterbacks are trying to do so right by going through their progressions, stuff like that. Sometimes you’re thinking about the progression, if you’re thinking about the progression, you can’t go play quarterback. I don’t think he’s having to think about the progression as much now, he’s just playing the position. So, when things break down and he’s making decisions faster, he can decide what’s best, was it the scramble like he did today? I don’t know if that play was real, the touchdown. But he went on two, I didn’t tell him to go on two, he got the jump from an aggressive d-line, they let it play, and he scrambled out and did what Zach does.


Brian Costello, New York Post: I saw one time today where the running back from NC State came out and Michael Carter went over to him and explained something to him, he’s been here for a year, is he that kind of guy?

Yeah, MC was special a year ago in terms of the kind of teammate and man he is, I think we all see that. I’m sure him up here at the podium, but being with him every day, we are lucky to have him here. Like I was saying with the offensive line from physicality standpoint and being on the field, we’re going to lean on them, we’re going to lean on Michael Carter to be a leader for us in all facets. Not just for the running backs, but for every group. He’s earned that right, the way he shows up every single day, the way he works, his attitude, I love that kid.


Al Iannazzone, Newsday: What is Breece (Hall) adding to that group and how do him and Michael complement each other? 

Breece, like I’ve stated before, you’re getting a talented dude who’s got some size to him, and that speed element, I mean he just sneaks up on defenders. It almost looks kind of effortless the way he’s moving. Again, it’s just going to be how fast can he adjust to this game and the grind that is not just running the football, but the daily grind of what it’s going to take every single day. Again, I expect guys like Michael Carter and the rest of the vets to pull him along.


Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: What would your assessment of (Joe) Flacco be?

The biggest kid on our team? I didn’t know Joe until we traded for him, he was in Denver with a coach, Rich Scangarello who was their offensive coordinator there, who was the quarterback coach at San Francisco our first two years there. So, I knew of Joe and the feedback we got was amazing. Obviously, Joe Douglas knew Joe very well. He’s cool Joe, he shows up every day and it matters to him to do right and be as good as you can be every single day and I think that rubs off on a lot of the guys. He’s prepared, he’s a professional.


Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: How valuable is he to Zach?

Yeah totally, I really like our quarterback room in terms of when the door is shut and it’s just us being in there and being able to talk through whatever we’re talking through. Whether it be life or obviously x’s and o’s. Zach leans on him, but at the same time, probably more than anything, I think Zach and Mike (White) watch how Joe goes about his business. I call a bad play, like how fast can the ball just spin out of his hands. That’s just stuff that Joe has, all the years that he’s played. Just get the ball out of your hands, usually good things will happen.


Connor Hughes, SNY: On Saturday he made a throw in the back left corner of the endzone for a touchdown, it was pretty ridiculous. He made a couple of ones today. Does it look like his arm’s lost anything?

I can’t totally speak because I wasn’t with him live ever, I’m going to guess no. I’m sure if you asked him, he’d say no. That throw that you’re talking about was incredible. If you’re going to make that throw, even if it was potentially the wrong read, cause that corner was so deep, you better make the throw. And he made the throw and there we are scoring a touchdown, it was awesome.


Andy Vasquez, NJ Advance Media: Saleh talked the other day about how Garrett has a little bit of wiggliness at the top of his routes, he talked about what his athleticism can do for him in terms of making catches. But as a route runner how much does that help him get to where he needs to be?

Yeah, he’s really loose. He’s really loose in the lower half, it’s a very unique trait that he possesses. He can get really far outside of his frame. I like to equate it to a basketball player, crossing over, Kyrie Irving, how far they can get outside of their frame and play on their insteps and still have body control. Some guys, particularly some of the bigger guys, it’s just a struggle for them because they are bigger, that’s their superpower. His is that lower half that is very unique and then on top of it he has that basketball background. His body control when the ball is in the air is very evident.


Rich Cimini, How would you assess Denzel (Mims) now compared to last training camp?

Same as a lot of the guys, Zach, Elijah, all of them, just his comfort level. That 2020 class never really saw what the NFL was all about just from a training camp, OTA’s, just all of the restrictions that we all went through in life with Covid and the NFL. He got his first, in my opinion, true offseason and he hit it. You can see it with his body, and you can see it with him out there making plays. Is he there yet? No, none of our guys are there yet. But, he’s made such great strides and I love the way he’s attacked it, I love the way he’s attacked the run game. He’s putting himself in a great situation.