Bill Parcells brought a rookie Becht back down to earth after a strong preseason debut
The New York Jets have welcomed yet another quarterback to the fold as Zach Wilson continues to recover.
Rest assured … Vinny Testaverde‘s quarterbacking duties are now relegated to non-Sunday affairs.
The AFC finalist has rejoined Gang Green to appear on a new social media program entitled “In the Pocket”, a short talk show where Testaverde is set to interview Jets of years gone by. The quarterback mentioned that he wants the show to be defined not by a discussion of on-field occasions but rather “the memories we’ve had, the bonds we’ve created.”
Its first episode was released on Wednesday across the team’s channels.
Testaverde’s first guest was former teammate Anthony Becht, with whom he played for seasons together in New York. The tight end and first-round pick got the show off to a strong start by sharing his favorite training camp memory.
Becht was an early victim of the Bill Parcells experience, just over three months after the Jets named him the 27th overall pick of the 2000 NFL Draft. Parcells was no longer the head coach of the team, having passed those duties over to Al Groh after an unmentionable incident involving previous defensive coordinator Bill Belichick.
The Big Tuna still maintained an intimidating prescience as the Jets’ general manager and lingered at training camp as his time on the sidelines (temporarily) ended. The freshman tight end found that out the hard way despite a solid start to his NFL career in July 2000.
In a victorious preseason excursion over New Orleans, Becht earned 21 yards on three receptions, one of which was a touchdown from Ray Lucas.
“The sky was the limit, the newspapers were buzzing, everybody was talking about (how) we got a home run tight end,” Becht recalled of the summer aftermath. “I remember that, the next day, Parcells, who was the general manager at the time, was walking on the field.”
Parcells called over Becht, who was walking on sunshine after the strong debut, over for a pre-practice conversation. Becht expected some rare kudos from the Tuna.
Hopes for praise were instantly dashed upon his arrival.
“He looks around, he gets real quiet, he bends over, puts his hand on my shoulder, and he says, ‘hey, listen, Becht, if you ever block like that again on film against another team, I’m going to send your you-know-whats so far out of here’ … I’m thinking to myself, ‘Dang!'”
Becht continued, “It was kind of a humbling moment because, here I thought I had a good game but in reality, I kind of became a blue-collar guy from that point on. I learned a lot from it, but it was kind of a scary moment.”
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Testaverde is sympathetic to Becht’s cause but acknowledged that Parcells’ methods were often induced in the name of progression towards a bigger goal.
“Coach Parcells had a way of doing things that kept you humble, kept you working hard,” the quarterback recalled. “I remember he would tell me every day ‘Hey, you can be one of those guys that just kind of fall off a cliff and lose your talent, not work hard because you think you’re successful to this point?’. He’s been one of my favorites.”
Becht and Testaverde later discuss their scoring efforts throughout the rest of the video, fondly recalling their scoring hook-up that allowed the Jets to steal a December 2001 win from Indianapolis. Nearly half of Becht’s 21 NFL touchdowns came from the arm of Testaverde, a fact he’s quizzed upon toward the end of the video.
The modern Jets (2-6) return to action on Sunday afternoon against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium (1 p.m. ET, CBS).
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags
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