Jets Mailbag: Answering toughest questions ahead of 1st preseason game

Jets mailbag
New York Jets’ Mekhi Becton, left, talks with Connor McGovern during a practice at the NFL football team’s training facility in Florham Park, N.J., Thursday, July 20, 2023. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
AP Photos

CANTON, OH — Happy holidays to all who celebrate the first football game of the 2023 season. When the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns take the field for the Hall-of-Fame game, they’ll kick off what is expected to be another exciting season of NFL action. 

As part of the festivities, we open our first mailbag of the 2023 season for the Jets. Thank you to all who had questions they wanted answered and for doing my job for me a little bit. 

That being said, let’s get to some football talk. 

From Anthony H: “Has Tippman been that bad that a Center drafted in his spot isn’t going to start/see the field this season?”

The answer to that question is a resounding no. Tippmann has not been bad at all when we’ve seen him out in drills. New York wants to get him gradually acclimated to the NFL game instead of thrusting him onto the field during the first week. I think they should be commended for it because it’s better to allow players to watch what game action looks like in the NFL before actually taking snaps. It’s not an indictment on anything Tippmann has or hasn’t done during camp. 

From Showdown Joe: “How do you see the RB workload being split up Thursday night?”

Excellent question and one that isn’t easy to answer. I would be surprised if Michael Carter or Zonovan Knight did not play at some point during the game on Thursday night. I know if either one goes down to injury though, New York would need to increase their offer to Dalvin Cook to make sure they aren’t thin at the position. Israel Abanikanda is definitely expected to get the lion’s share of the touches though in my opinion. 

From Pedagogy & Pain: “Do you genuinely believe that if Becton is one of the best two OTs throughout the pre-season, he will be given one of the starting positions? Or does it seem like they’ve predetermined that no matter what he won’t start to send some kind of message?

Becton has all eyes on him tonight in his first game action in over two years. I know a lot of people on the Jets beat apart from myself believe the team will move Becton before the season but I honestly don’t think that’ll happen. The Jets want to be patient with him and get him up to speed at his pace. Thursday night will go a long way. If Becton plays well and doesn’t make many mistakes, I think the Jets would be more inclined to let him work with the first team (whether that be at right or left tackle). I don’t think they have made a predetermined decision on anyone at this point. 

From Justin Combs: “Brownlee has been getting a lot of hype during camp, but which of the other WRs should we be keeping our eye on tomorrow night?”

Great question. Brownlee has been the clear winner of camp to this point but Malik Taylor has been awesome in his own right. Taylor was a UDFA in 2019 and has bounced around practice squads for the Jets, Bucs, and Packers. He’s been very good during camp though. Taylor has solid hands and has shown the ability to be a good route-runner. I don’t think he’ll make the 53-man roster as opposed to Brownlee, but the team can certainly have a quality practice squad player if Taylor clears. 

From AJ Jets: “Has Tippman been noticeably worse than McGovern or Schweitzer? Do you think they’re just bringing him along slow – or does he need more development than they expected?”

Very similar to a previous question asked but again, Tippmann has not been worse, or better than either of the two veterans. New York not having him take first-team reps is not an indictment of how far he needs to go, or where he is at in his development process. I think it’s also fair to add that Connor McGovern had a borderline excellent grade from Pro Football Focus last season. With an elite player already on the roster, it’s fair to allow Tippmann to wait and develop. It’s what the Philadelphia Eagles are doing with Cam Jurgens as Jason Kelce continues to play. He’s not a player I would worry about.  

Have any questions about the Jets or NFL and want to be featured in a mailbag session? Reach out to me on my Twitter account (@Nick_Faria1720) or by email at [email protected].

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