New York Jets OTAs, Aaron Rodgers, Will McDonald, Joe Tippmann
New York Jets OTAs, Aaron Rodgers, Will McDonald, Joe Tippmann, Getty Images

New York Jets OTAs featured an involved Aaron Rodgers

Who said a football player cannot contribute when he’s not on the field in a participatory fashion? Whoever made that statement has not yet met the new and improved Aaron Rodgers.

The New York Jets quarterback involved himself in Wednesday morning’s festivities at the Atlantic Health Training Center in Florham Park, NJ—often engaging himself in certain offensive and quarterback scenarios and drills.

Rodgers, 39, worked the stationary bike as the credentialed media was let into practice. Beside him was one of his old reliables, Randall Cobb.

Although dressed in the appropriate OTA attire, Rodgers did not participate on the field due to the calf he injured last week. If the Taylor Swift concert at MetLife Stadium is any indication, he apparently shook it off to at least some degree.

In any event, Rodgers’s contribution on Wednesday saw an engaged veteran when Zach Wilson and company were working on route-concept drills with the wide receivers against air.

In spite of the disappointment that comes with having to wait, keeping Rodgers out of the mix at this early stage of the summer is the right call.

Hungry Jerome Kapp

Garrett Wilson is entering his sophomore season, whereas Allen Lazard and Mecole Hardman represent the newcomers—but it’s another name that’s currently making waves at New York Jets OTAs.

Undrafted rookie Jerome Kapp continues to make plays.

Kapp, standing 6-foot-3 and weighing 210 pounds, is an undrafted rookie out of Division 2 Kutztown (PA)—the same small school that produced former Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame receiver Andre Reed and all-time Jets favorite Bruce Harper.

Invited to rookie minicamp on a tryout, Kapp instantly flashed a bit in early May.

Among his notable traits is an impressive release, especially from the slot, which is especially intriguing thanks to his length. He impressed the Jets brass to such a degree that the franchise inked him to a deal when defensive lineman Bradlee Anae hit injured reserve.

On Wednesday, Kapp flashed yet again.

He first caught a nice one after beating Javelin Guidry out of the slot. Facing a soft press situation, Kapp created incredible separation on the quick-out-breaking route.

Then, a little later in seven-on-seven red-zone drills, Kapp hit paydirt along the end zone’s back line—via an east-west route.

Fan favorite Chris Streveler was the quarterback who found the Kutztown product on both completions.

Although it remains a longshot for Kapp to make the final 53-man roster, it’s already clear that he possesses traits the organization loves. With Jeff Smith gone, there’s a major need for a down-the-depth-chart receiver who can play special teams, and Kapp knows it—which is why he’s also incredibly involved in special teams work up to this point.

Defensive line getting after it

Naturally, team sessions and/or seven-on-sevens are always the stars of the show (practice). It’s obvious as to why that’s the case—the attending fans and/or media can more easily understand what’s going on and gauge performance.

Nevertheless, positionals and other individual scenarios are critical. And it’s worth mentioning just how hard the Jets’ defensive line is getting after it at OTAs.

Considering OTAs usually equate to something resembling a toddler day camp or light skip in the bright and sunny park, the fact that the defensive line is digging into things to such a difficult degree is more than noteworthy.

Not only did they hit the sled on Wednesday, but they also worked on bend in a way that lends applause to both John Franklin-Myers and Jermaine Johnson.

Speedster Bryce Huff could not catch the bigger JFM—although the latter did veer to the outside when he shouldn’t have—and JJ did a tremendous job of eluding the ultra-quick Will McDonald.

Other news and notes

Zach Wilson’s day was not all that tremendous. Although his media-attended practice last week was a bit overblown on the positive side (when Aaron Rodgers exited via a calf injury), that first practice is leaps and bounds better than what the BYU product put forth on Wednesday.

Wilson consistently missed easy completions, and his mind continues to travel a million miles a minute. Oftentimes, Wilson’s hesitation in pulling the trigger not only destroys his opportunity to progress via development, but it does the same for every individual on the field taking part in that particular rep.

The kid is still devastatingly afraid of making a mistake.

Elsewhere, rookie tight end Zack Kuntz caught a 7-on-7 red-zone touchdown from Chris Streveler late in the session.

The next open OTA practice is scheduled for Tuesday, June 6, with the next (and last) session happening three days later on Friday, June 9.

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Robby Sabo is a co-founder, developer and credentialed New York Jets content creator for Jets X-Factor | Jet X, which includes Sabo's Sessions (in-depth film breakdowns) and Sabo with the Jets. Host: Underdog Jets Podcast with Wayne Chrebet and Sabo Radio. Member: Pro Football Writers of America. Coach: Port Jervis (NY) High School. Washed up strong safety and 400M runner. Founder: Elite Sports NY - ESNY (sold in 2020). SEO: XLM Email: robby.sabo[at]jetsxfactor.com
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