FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – As the players reported for training camp Tuesday morning, veteran linebacker C.J. Mosley made it abundantly clear that he and the Jets have undergone some positive changes, and their impact would be noticeable.
Mosley, who opted out last season over COVID-19 concerns, came in weighing 231 pounds, the lowest he’s been since he was a senior at Alabama. Mosley trimmed down because he’s playing in a new defense, and he wants to re-establish himself as one of the NFL’s top linebackers.
He was that when the Jets signed Mosley to a five-year, $85 million deal in 2019, having made four Pro Bowls in his first five NFL seasons. In his first game as a Jet, Mosley intercepted a pass that he returned for a touchdown, recovered a fumble and made six tackles before injuring his groin in the third quarter against Buffalo. Mosley said everyone should expect even bigger games from him this season.
"Honestly, I feel like I’m a better player than what that game was," Mosley said. "Honestly, I’m tired of seeing them same highlights for the past two years so I’m ready to put some new film on tape. Different body type, different body feeling, different defense, different mentality, different mindset. Whatever everyone saw from that game it’s going to be way better this year and the years to come."
Mosley’s return could be a huge plus for the Jets, especially if he’s as good or better than he was. He’s appeared in only two games for them since signing the big deal, and he’s now playing for a defensive-minded head coach who knows how to get the most out of his players.
Robert Saleh, the former defensive coordinator of the 49ers, is running his first training camp as a head coach. To a man, the players have said Saleh has brought a different energy to the Jets and they’re excited to play for him.
"It starts from the top down," said new edge rusher Carl Lawson. "The head coach, the way he carries himself, the standard that he holds us to."
Mosley feels the same way.
He’s been training at the facility to get ready for his return to football. Mosley said the young core of the Jets are "are going to really dominate and really shock a lot of people." He also believes the new coaching staff will "make us a better team and better individually."
"Once you turn into 1 Jets Drive it’s a different mentality," Mosley said. "That’s the mentality I want everyone to have here. When good teams turn to great teams it’s when you have a core foundation of the players on the field and of the people in the front office and the coaches. That’s what we’re building here with our young group and the coaches that we have here. That’s the mindset I want to instill in everyone that chooses to come here and wants to come here."
Left tackle Mekhi Becton, who missed most of the spring workouts with a foot issue, said he will practice on Wednesday. His weight has been an issue, but the 6-7 Becton said he has gotten it to a number with which he’s comfortable. "It’s not a number I’m going to share," Becton said. "But me and the staff we feel really good about where I’m at right now and we’re going to keep building on where I’m at."
Right tackle George Fant was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. … Marcus Maye and Foley Fatukasi passed their physicals and are cleared to practice. They were on the non-football Injury list. … The Jets signed defensive end Jeremiah Valoaga, who spent time with Saleh with the 49ers. …