FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – Broadway Joe believes in Captain Zach.
Joe Namath has been impressed by rookie quarterback and newly voted Jets captain Zach Wilson. Namath, the legendary quarterback who led the franchise to its only Super Bowl, also feels first-year coach Robert Saleh and his staff has created a different vibe around the team.
"There's a lot of enthusiasm," Namath said on Doug Flutie’s SiriusXM podcast called Flutie Flakescast. "The coaches recognize they have a young group of guys and I got to believe they're going to win more games this year than they did last. They won two games last year, man.
"I really like what I've seen of Zach Wilson, the quarterback, and offensive line's been looking pretty good too. For us QBs, you know, that offensive line is huge."
Namath was high on former Jets quarterback Sam Darnold and thought ex-coach Adam Gase would be able to help him. Namath said this coaching staff is "fired up - not to say that Gase and his staff wasn't fired up. But it’s certainly different."
Very young backers
When the Jets are in their 4-3 base defense, rookie Jamien Sherwood will be the middle linebacker with veteran C.J. Mosley on the strong side and rookie Hamsah Nasirildeen on the weak side, Saleh said. Sherwood replaces Jarrad Davis, who is out until Week 6 with an ankle sprain. Mosley will run the huddle and call the plays.
"It’s a young group, it’s a fast group and it’s a group we’re excited about," Saleh said. "C.J. being in there and being that veteran voice is helpful. He’s always going to be on the field. We’re excited about that young group. It makes it even better with C.J. being there."
Mekhi Becton was officially cleared from concussion protocol Wednesday and was a full participant in practice. The second-year-left tackle, who suffered the concussion two weeks ago in a joint practice with Philadelphia, should be able to play in Sunday’s regular-season opener in Carolina.
The Jets’ first injury report of 2021 also listed that running back La’Mical Perine (foot) was limited and safety Sharrod Neasman (hamstring) did not practice. Jamison Crowder remains in the COVID-19 protocols. His status for Sunday remains unclear.