FLORHAM PARK — Robert Saleh has been with the New York Jets now for three seasons and has seen plenty over the last few years. Whether it was benching a starting quarterback, receivers being disgruntled, or moving through injuries, the message has remained the same for Gang Green’s head coach.
So a harmless tweet from one of his young tackles surely won’t begin to change his mind about running his team.
Former 11th-overall pick Mekhi Becton took to twitter Saturday morning in a recently deleted tweet saying “I. AM. A. LEFT. TACKLE!!!” in response to speculation growing that the former first round pick would be moved to the right side of the offensive line.
As with anything in the past few years, Saleh’s answer Saturday afternoon was blunt, and to the point.
“Go earn the left tackle,” Saleh stated while maintaining the focus of competition.
It hasn’t been the easiest of starts to a career for Becton. Due to multiple season-ending injuries, the former Louisville standout has played in just 15 games over his first three years. The Jets declined using the fifth-year option on him – making their tackle a free agent after the 2023-24 season. After a strong rookie season, there’s a chance that the former first-round pick may be playing for his future playing career this season.
With Duane Brown making a return to the team, Max Mitchell returning from injury, and Carter Warren selected in the 2023 NFL Draft, Becton will need to compete for a starting job over the next few weeks. He has already taken improved steps to getting into football shape and getting the attention of his coaching staff.
“He looks good. He looks fantastic, really…He’s attacking this offseason the right way and I’m excited for him,” Saleh has said of his young prospect.
But just because the Jets have seen an improvement of Becton off-the-field, doesn’t mean he’s going to be given anything entering his fourth season in the NFL. Robert Saleh has focused on making sure there would be competition at every level of his roster going into this season and has maintained that stance for players that seem to have something to prove.
It’ll be up to Becton to show he’s capable of starting the season at left tackle now.