7 takeaways from the start of Jets’ OTAs

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The Jets’ organized team activities began this week, ushering in a new year for New York.

Zach Wilson enters a pivotal second season after Joe Douglas spent lots of money and draft picks beefing up the roster. There is a lot riding on this season after a lengthy playoff drought, but the biggest questions surrounding the Jets won’t be answered until the regular season starts in September.

For now, here are the biggest takeaways from the start of OTAs.

Mekhi Becton update

(Stew Milne/AP)

Becton is still away from the team, as his girlfriend just gave birth to their son over the weekend. Saleh didn’t provide much of an update other than to say that Becton is tending to a far more important matter than football.

Beefy vs. thick

(Seth Wenig-AP)

Wilson’s weight continues to be a talking point this offseason. Robert Saleh once again referred to the Jets quarterback as “thick.” Wilson responded by calling his coach “beefy.”

On a more serious note, Wilson explained that he worked with a nutritionist this offseason to focus on his weight, which he said is up to 221 pounds, a 13-pound increase from 2021. Wilson wants to play at 218 pounds. 

Zach Wilson's leadership

(Matt Patterson-AP)

Wilson’s leadership development remains a big part of his 2022 progression. He told reporters he plans to invite all the Jets’ skill position players to work out with him in July before training camp. Saleh added that Wilson is much more vocal and confident in the huddle than he was as a rookie.

Guard Alijah Vera-Tucker noticed Wilson has already “stepped up” with his leadership in practice and in the huddle this offseason.

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AVT excited for RG

(Seth Wenig-AP)

Vera-Tucker isn’t concerned about moving to the right side of the offensive line. After the Jets signed left guard Laken Tomlinson in free agency, Vera-Tucker said Saleh and offensive line coach John Benton asked if he would be okay moving to right guard after playing on the left side during his rookie season. Vera-Tucker immediately said “yes” and referenced his many position changes in college, as well as his experience on the right side.

Getting better

(John Minchillo-AP)

The Jets effused optimism Tuesday – which should come as no surprise considering the offseason the team had, as well as how poorly they played in 2021. Saleh and Wilson unequivocally stated the Jets will be better this upcoming season, and Vera-Tucker added that he’s “excited about the things [the Jets] can do.”

Quinnen Williams' contract

(Seth Wenig-AP)

The Jets picked up Williams’ fully-guaranteed fifth-year option, but there’s still the matter of a possible extension. Saleh and Joe Douglas appear to like Williams, but neither were part of the regime that drafted him third overall in 2019. Williams didn’t sound too worried – yet – about a new contract, though.

“Money is not a big thing on my heart or my mind. I just want to be the best football player I can be,” he said Tuesday. “When it comes down to the contract, it’s going to handle itself on its own.”

Vinny Curry's return

(Seth Wenig-AP)

Veteran defensive end Vinny Curry returned to the Jets this offseason after missing the entire 2021 season with a rare blood disorder. Curry explained that the issue came up when he developed a blood clot after not properly using blood thinners following the removal of an enlarged spleen.

He found out he would likely be able to return for this season. Curry added that this issue won’t have to be monitored this year and that he’s fully healthy for the upcoming season.

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