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NY Jets: Robert Saleh all but confirms starting left tackle

Robert Saleh, NY Jets, Head Coach, Announcement
Robert Saleh, New York Jets, Getty Images

Robert Saleh has been making it increasingly clear who the New York Jets’ starting left tackle will be

The New York Jets will likely have some more tackle drama going on. What else is new?

In his OTA press conference on Tuesday, Robert Saleh all but confirmed that Duane Brown will be the team’s starting left tackle from the outset.

Previously, when Mekhi Becton declared on Twitter that he is a left tackle, Saleh had responded that Brown would have something to say about it. The Jets have been dropping hints all along that Brown is the starter, and Saleh’s comments seemed to confirm it.

In fact, the full context of the quote was a response to a question about whether Brown could switch over to the right side. Saleh said, “Obviously, he’s very comfortable at that left tackle spot… we’ll get to that as we go, but I have a feeling that Duane will be a hard out anyway.”

It will be interesting to see how Becton responds. He has not been shy about tweeting his thoughts.

Other notes

While the Brown comment was the highlight, there were a few other interesting nuggets that Saleh dropped in his presser.

Saleh also confirmed that the Jets will not hold a mandatory minicamp next week due to an early start to training camp. The Jets play in the Hall of Fame Game and therefore report early.

Saleh stated that he loves Will McDonald‘s personality and called him a “dude.” He lauded McDonald’s bendability and length while stating that he has the typical rookie adjustments to make, including adding size and strength and learning how to run through tackles. About the rotation, Saleh stated, “If they’re dressed on gameday, they’re going to play at least 20 [snaps].”

Regarding Jeremy Ruckert, Saleh said that he had plantar fasciitis that plagued him all of last year. Although he cautioned that the team is not in pads yet, he pointed to Ruckert’s nasty streak as a reason to be excited about him.

Saleh reiterated that he is fully confident that Quinnen Williams‘ contract will be done by training camp. He said that Quinnen will be fine despite missing things in OTAs.

When asked about Jamien Sherwood, Saleh said that he’s in a tough spot because he’s rotating between the Sam and Mike linebacker positions. However, he noted that Sherwood looks comfortable in Year 3 in the system. He commented specifically about wanting to see Sherwood in pads to see the steps he’s taken in defending the run. That makes sense for a converted safety.

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1 year ago

If one of these other OT’s can beat out Becton for a starting spot, and/or backup he could be on the trading block. My feeling is they have seen enough to know they are ready to move on, I’m sure they won’t unless they fell they have someone as good or better.