Mekhi Becton expressed that he is excited about training camp but unhappy with the New York Jets’ staff
Amidst a wave of positivity due to his weight loss, Becton stirred controversy by taking to Twitter to decry his position change. His adamant pronouncement that he is a left tackle caused Robert Saleh to challenge him to win the position.
Now, Becton gave some context to his frustration about his position change dating back to last summer. Coming off his injury in the 2021 season opener that extended well beyond its initial six-to-eight-week timeline to the entire season, the 6-foot-7 tackle was switched from the left side to the right, which he felt put him at added risk of a repeat injury.
“It made no sense to put me at right tackle,” Becton said, per Newsday. “I hurt my right knee. That’s going to be the knee I put the most pressure on [while backpedaling in pass protection]. I explained it [to the coaches], but no one cared.”
There were rumblings about this last offseason, but this is the first time that Becton has openly expressed it. He said that his knee didn’t feel right on the day that he re-injured it last year.
“I got forced to play a position I don’t play, and then I was pretty much telling them I wasn’t feeling good the whole time throughout camp, and I was told I shouldn’t be complaining,” Becton said. “Go out there and do it. I was limping throughout the whole practice, and I just took a step and my knee buckled and I got hurt again and had to get reconstructive surgery.”
Indeed, Becton had been seen limping around that day. Sure enough, he fractured his kneecap and went down for the entire season.
Becton resented the attitude of the coaching staff, who essentially told him to stop complaining and do his job. It’s a fair criticism considering that his limping was apparent that day. On the flip side, his weight at the time was also likely a factor, and that is not attributable to the coaches or trainers—especially considering that Becton had not worked out with the team during OTAs.
It’s not the first time that a Jets player has had some harsh words for the coaching staff about the handling of an injury. Ty Johnson was the most recent complainant, but Quincy Enunwa and Kelechi Osemele previously had their gripes under the Joe Douglas regime, as well.
Still, Becton told Newsday that he’s more excited than ever before for training camp.
“I don’t want to look too far ahead, but I definitely feel way more confident than I’ve felt these past three years,” Becton said. “I feel like we’re going to win a lot of games, have a lot of fun, and just the energy and vibe with the players at the facility is uplifting.”
Becton has shed 50 pounds this offseason. He stated that he’s been eating less and working with a personal trainer. The Jets are relying on a healthy season from Becton for their offensive line to reach its ceiling.