FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Breshad Perriman was running a corner route against single-high safety coverage during practice Sunday, and he knew he could beat his man. The Jets new deep threat did just that and Sam Darnold threw a perfect pass for the touchdown.
It hasn’t taken long for Perriman and Darnold to build some chemistry. They’ve connected a couple of times through the first two days of practice. Perhaps it's a sign of what’s to come this season.
Perriman signed a one-year, $8 million deal hours after the Jets lost Robby Anderson to the Panthers. Perriman hasn’t had the success that was expected after the Ravens took him in the first round in 2016. The Jets are his fourth team. But Perriman had a terrific end to last season with the Bucs. He caught 25 passes for 506 yards and five touchdowns in the last four games. Perriman wants more.
“I’m trying to tap into a whole other level,” Perriman said on a Zoom call Sunday. “I’m trying to go out there and work hard and put this thing all together."
When asked what that would look like, Perriman said, “We might just have to wait and see. I feel like it’s going to come. I feel like just me tapping into my full potential. I feel like even those last five games, they were definitely good. But I’m sure there’s stuff that I could have done way better. Maybe I could have done a little more than what I had. That’s the level I’m trying to get to. I’m trying to be more consistent every play, no matter what the play is, make sure that I win.”
Perriman should get more of an opportunity this year than he ever has in his career. He was the No. 3 receiver last year in Tampa Bay, and didn’t become a main target until injuries to Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. He’s never really been the top or second target. He might be with the Jets.
Jamison Crowder will be a main option for Darnold in the slot but Perriman will line up outside and should be targeted plenty. Coach Adam Gase said Perriman worked hard to study and learn the playbook and that’s sped up his transition. It’s also helped Gase find different ways to use Perriman.
“He doesn’t make mistakes. He knows where to line up. He knows what to do. He knows the adjustments," Gase said. "He’s able to play at that speed that we’ve seen him play before. That’s not always easy when you’re in a brand new offense and you start thinking. It doesn’t look like he’s thinking. He’s just going out there and executing the play that’s called. I’ve been extremely impressed by him, the way he works.
“Then, like today, you see him run and he gets loose down the field, you start going, ‘OK, I see this. Let’s do this, this and this.’ The wheels start turning when you see this guy making plays in practice. It really puts pressure on your secondary.”
Perriman is equally as excited about what he can do in this offense, and to be catching passes from Darnold.
“His throwing ability is crazy,” Perriman said. “I love the way he throws the ball. The touch he has on the ball is unreal, so receiver-friendly. Just his personality and the way he’s able to take control of the room and the offense and the team is crazy. Him being so reserved and laid back and still have that authority, when it’s time to go out there and let it fly, he can take control over the room very easy. I just like the way about him and as quarterback, man, [it's] a receiver’s dream.”