With the sun rising from the clouds and the temperature approaching 90 degrees on Friday, Gates coach Robert Saleh allowed himself a minute to think his team was playing meaningful games in the cold.
Those ideas turned to using runners Bryce Hall, Michael Carter and Stephen Coleman – and possibly some others – to move the chains and tire the defense.
“Especially when it’s cold in this area, you have to be able to manage football,” said Saleh. “When you’re trying to play a football playoff and take the next steps, you have to be able to hit it. You have to be able to run it into the red, you have to be able to run it in short-term situations, you have to be able to have success managing a soccer ball. The foot though has turned into a passing league.”
The Jets, who averaged 5.2 yards per transfer over their last eight games last season, signed free agent Laken Tomlinson and drafted Hall “All-around back” in the second round to further boost their background production. They look for good receivers to block the trigger as this is essential in their tight offensive formations.
“I thought we were very good last year at the running game, especially so late, and I feel like she has a chance to come back again,” Saleh said.
With fast driver Ty Johnson on the shelf, even the allegedly unpolished rookie Zonovan Knight finished off practice Friday with a long touchdown run to attack the third team. Saleh looks to the backroom running – including picks in three consecutive drafts with Hall, 2021 Carter’s fourth round and 2020 La’Mical Perine – fourth round one – as complements.
“Michael has great dexterity, Bryce is a triple player, Tiffin has an explosive running style,” Saleh said. “Ty has a triple ability, and then you add Zonovan…and Perine’s big body and the ability to hack maneuvers and push piles. They’re a really great group of players, and I’m excited to see the development over the next few weeks.”
Salih rejected the idea that Beren is a forgotten man.
“He understands the rules of the game much more than that and does a better job at it [pass] Protection, which was a big part of [a diminished role] Saleh said. “This group is in a very competitive place in terms of each bringing something to the table.”
Watching defensive linemen Carl Lawson and John Franklin Myers wreak havoc on the attacking line on Friday, it was easy to imagine a situation where the Jets would not need a blitzkrieg to put pressure on the midfielder. Aqel Saleh returned to the Giants’ victory in Super Bowl XLII in February 2008, when as a young NFL assistant for Texas, he was still trying to figure out how to tie his shoes.
“The best way to play defense is through a four-player pass,” Saleh said. “Giants vs. [Tom] Brady proved it. If you can drop seven guys in coverage and feel like there’s a constant pressure on four guys, this is the most consistent way to play defense.
“Each game is independent of itself and depending on how we play the D-line and how much pressure we get, we’ll dictate accordingly.”
The NFL Network stopped by to train the Jets and interviewed rookie racer Jermaine Johnson about facing RT Mekhi Becton.
“It’s big – like two refrigerators – so you have to figure out a good way to do it,” Johnson said. “That’s his superpower and he does a lot of great things with that.”