Le’Veon Bell will be on the field with the Jets in their mandatory minicamp this week.
The Jets posted video of Bell walking through their Florham Park, New Jersey, facility in his green No. 26 jersey. Bell is expected to be at the three-day camp that begins Tuesday.
“We here,” Bell said. “I’m in this Green, two-six. We here, and it’s official.”
Bell will be the center of attention during this camp after missing the two weeks of voluntary organized team activities.
He’s expected to meet in person with the reporters covering the team for the first time since the Jets signed the three-time Pro Bowl running back to a four-year, $52.5 million contract in March.
Adam Gase hasn’t expressed frustration publicly about Bell missing time with his new team, coach and quarterback.
Gase has downplayed it, saying he knows Bell is working out and they’ve been in communication. But it will take some time for Sam Darnold to build chemistry with Bell, as well as the offensive line, because of his patient running style.
“I figured he’d do the same routine he’s been doing the last two or three years,” Gase said of Bell. “I knew he was down in that Boca-Fort Lauderdale-Miami area and working with that same guy for a while. I know he feels comfortable with that, which I’m good with because I know once we hit training camp he’ll be ready to go. That’s what we need.
“The biggest thing for us as coaches, when guys are here you can give them so much more information, you can correct things, you can really get ahead of the steps you need to go through at training camp. Thankfully with ipads and with everything between meetings, the film of practice, installs, everything’s on there. At least you can keep up with what’s going on here.”
Bears' Kelly interviews for Jets GM job
The Jets interviewed a fourth candidate for their open general manager’s position, and could be nearing the end of their search for Mike Maccagnan’s successor.
Bears assistant director of player personnel Champ Kelly interviewed with the Jets, the team announced. Kelly has been with Chicago the past four seasons and worked with the Broncos for eight years before that.
At both spots, Kelly worked with Jets coach and acting GM Adam Gase.
The Jets also have interviewed Seahawks co-director of player personnel Scott Fitterer, Eagles director of player personnel Joe Douglas and Saints director of pro scouting Terry Fontenot.
Douglas is considered to be the leading candidate for the job that became available when Jets Chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson fired Maccagnan and vice president of player personnel Brian Heimerdinger nearly three weeks ago.
Johnson and Gase have been involved in the interview process as well as picking the next general manager.
Unless the Jets add another candidate to their list, they could hire their new GM in the coming days. Barring a bad interview by Douglas or another candidate winning over Johnson, it’s believed the Jets will offer Douglas the job.
It would seem that Gase, who had differences with Maccagnan, would want someone he’s comfortable with and has worked with in the past. Gase has worked with Kelly and Douglas.
Gase was a member of the Broncos coaching staff and was either Denver’s wide receivers coach, quarterbacks coach or offensive coordinator in Kelly’s last six years with the Broncos.
In Kelly’s final five years in Denver as the assistant director of pro personnel, the Broncos won four AFC West titles. They also signed eight veteran free agents who went on to make the Pro Bowl.
The two overlapped for one season with Chicago. Kelly was the director of pro scouting while Gase was the Bears offensive coordinator in 2015. Gase left the next season to become the Dolphins head coach.
In Kelly’s current role, he works closely with the Bears pro personnel and college scouting departments.
Gase denied that a past or existing relationship would be a prerequisite for the new general manager. He said that Johnson would decide who will run the Jets’ football department.
Johnson said the reporting structure would remain the same. The coach and GM both report to Johnson. But it stands to reason that it would be ideal if the general manager and coach had similar visions and were on the same page.
That wasn’t the case with Gase and Maccagnan. But Johnson denied that the reported rift between the two was the reason Maccagnan was fired.