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Taylor Bertolet says he's ready for Jets' starting kicker job

Taylor Bertolet #1, newly signed New York Jets

Taylor Bertolet #1, newly signed New York Jets kicker, speaks with the media after a day of Training Camp at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center in Florham Park, NJ on Monday, August 12, 2019. Credit: James Escher

FLORHAM PARK, N.J.—Taylor Bertolet impressed the Jets last preseason before ultimately losing the kicker job to Chandler Catanzaro, but he’s not letting that get into his head. In fact, mental preparation is kind of his specialty.

Bertolet, 26, who spent his time “off” getting his graduate degree in sports psychology at Cal State-Fullerton, said he was excited to be back at training camp after Catanzaro’s surprising retirement last week, and thinks he could be ready for NFL action. Bertolet has played in preseason games and spent time playing for now-defunct Alliance of American Football, but has never been in an NFL regular-season game.

“I think last year prepped me to be ready to be a starting kicker in the NFL,” Bertolet said. “I think when you’re a young guy trying to learn the ropes, there’s definitely learning experiences and I think last year definitely prepared me to be in this position.”

Gase said the Jets have no plans to bring in another kicker to compete with Bertolet, but that the Jets were going to see how the next preseason game goes and evaluate further.

In the meantime, Bertolet, who made nine of 14 field goals with the AAF (four for over 50 yards), said he’ll keep his mind ready.

Studying psychology has taught him “to see pressure as a privilege,” he said. “To trust your skills and not overthink your technique or your mechanics and let your body do what it’s naturally meant to do.”

Walking wounded.

CB Trumaine Johnson had an MRI on his hamstring Sunday, and Adam Gase said he could be out for weeks. “I don’t think it will be months, but I mean, we’ll see,” he said. He remains hopeful that Johnson could be ready for Week 1, but it depends on how his body responds to rehab. The Jets added a slew of other injuries after an intense, chippy practice. DE Henry Anderson suffered an apparent concussion, CB Kyron Brown has a hamstring injury and LG Kelechi Osemele has a strained pectoral.

Jet streams

Alex Lewis and Nathan Shepherd exchanged blows in a training camp fight that later spread to other members of the offense and defense, who squared off against each other— ending in a dogpile of 10 or so players. “That’s football. It’s a violent sport,” Gase said. “It is what it is. I mean, I don’t want anybody to get hurt. I think you waste a lot of energy when you start scuffling and everybody is going after [everybody else]. It’s a waste of time but sometimes that happens.”… Jamal Adams said the defense has put together a “Feelings Report” to call out members who get overly-emotional or sentimental about criticism. “[It’s a] big board in our defensive room,” he said. “Holding each other accountable, not making excuses and not getting in your feelings.”

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