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2022 New York Jets

2022 New York Jets: The Youth Movement

The 2022 New York Jets are about to blast-off and as with most new seasons hope springs eternal. Fresh new faces, fresh from a 3-0 pre-season a feeling of anything can happen. We have stated many times how much more talented this team is and the first shred of proof we have lies in how many players the team cut that landed on other NFL teams. Of course all this good news is only one side of the coin, the other stands in how some of the more important positions on this team are manned by young players that have little to no experience in the pro game. Coach Saleh in his Labor Day press conference said “You play young guys in the hopes that they gain a veterans mentality while they still have their peak athleticism and explosiveness”. In other words hoping they grow up fast enough to hold up their end as teammates.

Players like Ahmad Gardner and Jermaine Johnson will be faced with seasoned veterans who earned their positions every year and have been molded by the NFL landscape enough to understand the nuances of the professional side of this game. Their youth gives them certain advantages but those are only short lived if you can’t take that next step into becoming a proven talent. Gardner seems to have the makings of a sure thing. He showed poise and awareness far beyond his years which will grow the more NFL receivers and defenses he faces. The passion he displays for the game will stoke the fire that seem to burn in him to be great. Jermaine Johnson had a quiet pre-season and flashed a little but his talent is undeniable. Playing on the defensive front has proven over the years to be a challenge for young players and it might take some time before he truly grows his game but I the meantime he is an important cog in this defensive line. His game has always been setting the edge, stopping the run on the way to the QB, this team just happens to need that in spades.

Garrett Wilson dropped the ball a bit in camp and in pre-season practices but flashed explosive and clever route running and an incredible ability to high point the ball even in traffic. His contributions will help a roster of pass catchers so that even when teams take away the more known commodities he makes them pay. Recent success by rookie wideouts show that its not undoable to be a top target in this league early in your career. Breece Hall showed that same downhill one cut explosive tendencies we saw in college and though it may take time because of the limited amount of snaps the offensive line has played he will help this run first offense thrive.

The sophomores in Elijah Moore who seems to be on the path to breaking out as a star, Michael Carter and AVT also hold the key to this years success. Robert Saleh also said that playing young players also makes you want to pull your hair out, referring to the extreme highs and lows that come with it. Joe Douglas seem to try mitigating that roller coaster with strategically placed experienced players who’s maturity will point the way play in and play out. This formula is interesting and exciting and ultimately needs the growth of Zack Wilson to gain any credibility. Zack is a sophomore and the offensive captain, his growth will be the last dash of seasoning needed for this team to to tase success in 2022.

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