The Plan with Mekhi Becton & the Offensive Line
When the Jets come up in conversation, Aaron Rodgers is usually the first thing mentioned. Right after that, questions about the offensive line come up. Duane Brown still isn’t on the field. He is working his way back from offseason surgery. Mekhi Becton saw time at right tackle, and Joe Tippmann saw time at guard in practice this week. Robert Saleh keeps saying there is plenty of time, but when you see reports like this, people start getting scared.
* Shoddy pass pro, as Rodgers was "sacked" 6x. Perspective: 3 starters out w/ injuries, resulting in makeshift OL. Rodgers not alarmed, saying he actually liked the physicality. But notes they "missed some easy stuff" in pass pro…
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) August 16, 2023
Keeping Rodgers healthy is the key to the season. That starts up front and Saleh was asked about the offensive line on Thursday when he met with the media. Here is what the head coach had to say:
I think individually we have a really good set of guys. All of them can play football. It’s just becoming a unit. I don’t think anyone in here is panicked. Coaches are always in panic mode. That’s just the way we’re wired. We always want things done now, but you also understand when you look at the global view of it all, there are guys coming back from injury, there is a lot of growth happening, there is a lot of really good things happening. When I turned on the tape yesterday, there was a lot of really good stuff on tape and then today was a good practice for those guys, but in the building, no one’s panicking. The message is still the same. We’ve got plenty of time and we’re going to figure it out, best five will play and we’ll get it done.
Mekhi Becton at right tackle today for the first go. How important was that, without looking at the tape, could you tell how he looked out there?
He’s a big, big athlete, right? We had a really nice conversation again yesterday too. He wants to play, he’s going for it. It’s the most confident I’ve felt in a while with him, just selfishly speaking. I look in a guy’s eyes and he is just, he’s going for it. I’m excited for this weekend and hoping for a really productive weekend. Same with him and then we’ll go from there.
Will you play Mekhi Becton at right tackle at all during the preseason?
We’re going to talk about that right now. We’re hoping to plan this weekend, but we’re going to have a talk before we make any rash decisions.
Do you have a number, I think it was 27 last week, you were very happy with the snaps for Mekhi. Do you have a number you want to get to this week?
No, we went in last week. There was a number in mind, but we just wanted to see how far he’d be able to go. Again, it was me because you have to remember there is a program that is set to try to make sure, his program is a little bit different than everyone else’s in terms of the wrap up, so as a coach, you’re just helping me push him more, but have to have the discipline to be able to pull back and make sure you push the envelope, but not to a point where you wear out the knee and all that stuff, so to answer it is there’s really no set number, it’s trying to help him like, “Hey, push as far as you can go,” and then together, all of us, the entire organization, and all the doctors, and his team, we will make the decisions that are best for him moving forward.
He wants to be on the field. He wants to play football. Going for it as in the amount of strain and fight, I just feel a different person.
I know it’s unfortunate that he’s getting these reps at guard, because of the injuries, but he’s got so much athleticism and he’s got elite strain in his game, which is awesome. Obviously, he’s got to learn all this stuff and continue to just work on the nuances of football, but really excited about him. He is going to be a good football player for a very, very long time. He just competes his (expletive) off.