Jets tackle Duane Brown: ‘I still have more’

At the age of 37 and shoulder surgery, some players might have decided to hang up their cleats and start a new chapter in their lives.

Jets tackle Duane Brown isn’t one of those players, as he hasn’t considered retiring despite having a 16-year career and being named to multiple All-Pro and Pro Bowl teams.

So what is Brown’s motivation in the twilight of his career?

“I’ve got a lot left,” Brown told reporters last week. “I still feel I can play at a high level. I want to be as healthy as possible.

“Last year, I was playing less than 100%. So I want to be healthy and play at the level I’m used to. Obviously, with the team we have, it’s a great chance to win.

“I’ve done everything you can ask for individually in my career, but I want to win and I want to be the best version of myself to contribute to that.”

A week after Mekhi Becton suffered a season-ending right knee injury in training camp last August, the Jets signed Brown to a two-year, $22 million contract as he was expected to -solidify his position as the Jets’ left tackle. However, he dealt with an injury of his own during the preseason when Brown tore his left rotator cuff and was placed on injured reserve to begin the regular season.

After missing the first four games of the year, Brown finally started at left tackle for the Jets, but played less than 100 percent all year. He started 12 games at left tackle with the bad rotator cuff and opted not to have surgery until the end of the year, even though he missed the Jets’ season finale loss to the Dolphins. Because of this, the Jets created a team award in his honor, the “Selfless Warrior” award, since Brown was the first one left.

“Last year his money was guaranteed, he didn’t have to play a down and his money was guaranteed and he didn’t have to put his body through what he did,” Jets coach Robert Saleh said of Brown who he played through injury. “But he stepped out there, stepped on the field, played as many games as possible with the torn rotator cuffs and did a really good job, so he’s going to fight for it.

“He doesn’t think he’s entitled to anything. He believes that he has to win everything and that there is a reason why he has played so long and been so successful. I mean, look at it, it’s a brick house. He can keep playing for as many years as he wants to play.”

Although Brown was the starting left tackle last year, he will have to compete to continue in that role starting in training camp. During OTAs, Brown did not practice with the team as he worked individually with the trainers.

Brown sidestepped the question when asked if he would be ready to practice by the start of training camp, deferring to his doctors and trainers. If Brown isn’t ready for training camp, Becton could be next in line to start at left tackle.

Becton didn’t practice during OTAs either as he continues to rehab from his knee surgery, but is expected to be ready for training camp. Recently, Becton made it known on social media that he prefers to play left tackle.

This could be problematic for the Jets, as Brown has played his entire career at left tackle.

“We’ll see how it plays out,” Brown said. “I have all the respect for Mekhi [Becton], is a very talented player. My focus now is to get healthy and we’ll figure out when the time is right.

“I haven’t played a game at right tackle since junior year, maybe my sophomore year in college [Virginia Tech]. So it’s not something I’ve practiced over the years.

“Not to say I can’t, but I’ve been solidified in that spot for a while. But again, that’s not my focus right now because I’m just trying to be healthy and worry about that when we get down to it.”

Randall Cobb: ‘I can fill some gaps’

When the Jets signed wide receiver Randall Cobb, many thought it was a move just to appease quarterback Aaron Rodgers. After all, Cobb is far from the Pro Bowl wide receiver he once was.

Realizing that at 32, he’s not the player he once was, Cobb believes he can be a positive piece for the Jets offense.

“I think I can fill some gaps,” Cobb said. “I know this isn’t the pinnacle of my career, but I still think I’ve got a lot left in the tank if you watch my film and see what I’ve done the last two years, I’m pretty efficient. the time i’m in

“I’m not playing 90, 100 percent of the snaps like I did at one point in my career, but the 40, 50 percent that I’m playing, I’m very efficient, especially three downs in the red zone, obviously having that understanding and the ability to help in critical moments.

“I’m excited and it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Over his last three seasons, two in Green Bay and one in Houston in 2020, Cobb has averaged 33.3 receptions per season for 411 yards and three touchdowns. But Cobb could be a good security blanket for the Jets offense in limited service.

Obviously, Cobb and Rodgers have a lot of chemistry from their days as Packers. Cobb will come in and be the Jets fifth receiver in their offense behind Garrett Wilson, Corey Davis, Allen Lazard and Mecole Hardman.

But adding Rodgers wasn’t the only reason Cobb was interested in the Jets.

“For me, the big play was [Nathaniel] Hackett, Cobb said. “I played with him in Green Bay in 2021 when I was traded. My wife is actually from Jersey, she grew up in Long Valley, so it’s like 30 minutes from home for her.

“Having the opportunity to be close to where he grew up was a big piece for us.”

Rodgers expected to practice during his next media availability during OTAs

During the first two OTA media availability Rodgers didn’t do much. But that is expected to change in the coming week.

Last week, Saleh said Rodgers was expected to make a full return to practice last Friday. Judging by photos released by the Jets on their website, Rodgers attended the team’s sixth OTA practice.

Rodgers suffered a calf strain on May 23 while watching his teammates practice from the sidelines. He did the same last week when he threw to the sidelines and spent most of practice last Wednesday giving advice to his teammates.

With Rodgers taking it easy, Zach Wilson got first-team reps during practice.

“I think he’s getting more comfortable on offense,” Saleh said of Wilson. “It’s interesting with the way (Nathaniel) Hackett, he puts a lot of onus on them to know the defense and understand what’s going on, so it’s something new for him in terms of, it’s not just progression, but understanding from a global level. point of view.

“I think he takes it all in and tries his best to learn as much as he can every day, so that’s been good. He attacked him for sure.”


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