New York Giants: Two secondary members that may be training camp cuts

rodarius williams, new york giants

The New York Giants have a lot of new additions, and they won’t be able to enter the 2021 season with everyone that they had on the roster last year. There just isn’t enough space, and both old and new players are in danger of becoming cuts during training camp and the preseason.

One of the most competitive spots is the secondary. There’s both new talent here and a lot of names returning, meaning the Giants will have a lot of options when deciding who gets time in the rotation. But which players are in danger of not making the final 90 man roster at all?

Sam Beal

One of the obvious names on the hot seat is Sam Beal. Of course, not all of it is his fault. He hasn’t had the start to his career that any player would ask for. Injury threw Beal off course for his first couple of seasons but the Giants have had enough faith in his potential to keep him around.

However, Beal only has 26 total tackles in the NFL even after getting over his injuries. He opted out of last season entirely, so there’s no body of work from 2020 to use when judging his play.

He also plead guilty in a gun case last week which places him on probation until 2022, and while it seems like he’s out of hot water legally for now, there’s no telling whether or not that will affect the Giants’ judgement when it comes to making a decision on him.

All in all, Beal has been around for a while and hasn’t done much for the Giants. He’ll really have to work to prove himself this offseason if he doesn’t want to end up with the players cut to save space, mainly for the simple reason that he’s showed little on the field progression for various reasons despite being with the Giants for years. Some of it isn’t his fault, but that doesn’t change the situation at hand.

Rodarius Williams

Supposedly, Rodarius Williams is a player with upside.

That may be true, but he’s still a sixth round draft pick at the end of the day. The Giants decided to bet on his potential and select him, but they aren’t tied to the pick like they would be in the case of a higher drafted player.

If Williams doesn’t make the roster, it may not be through fault of his own. Between Isaac Yiadom, new signing Joshua Kalu, Darnay Holmes, the aforementioned Beal, and fellow rookie Aaron Robinson, there’s a lot of names competing for a limited amount of spots at cornerback.

The Giants have enough talent at the position that they probably aren’t going to keep every player at the position right now on the 90 man roster.

All in all, it means that Williams will have to adapt his aggressive playing style to the NFL quickly and perform well in training camp, to prove to the coaching staff that he deserves a spot over a more established player despite his low draft status.

New York Yankees Recap: Urshela and Stanton show their power in sweep of the Blue Jays

New York Yankees, Giancarlo Stanton

Tonight at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, NY., the New York Yankees went for the sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays. The Yankees won the first two games 6-5 and last night 3-2. Michael King was on the mound for the Yankees and T.J. Zeuch for the Blue Jays. The Yankees really needed this win tonight to show that they can right the ship and compete in the AL East. The Yankees completed the sweep 8-4 in a game that saw the year’s Yankees’ second triple play.

In the first inning, Zeuch faced DJ LeMahieu, who he chopped to short for the first out. Aaron Judge singled on a bad throw from third. Gleyber Torres went down on strikes. Giancarlo Stanton walked, bring up Gary Sanchez, who ground out to short to end the half and leave two on base. At the bottom, Marcus Semien led off by walking. Bo Bichette got a base hit moving Semien at second. the runners moved up on a passed ball. Vlad Guerrero hit into the Yankee’s second triple play of the season to end the inning. No score.

At the second, Gio Urshela led off by singling down the left-field line. Brett Gardner singled, moving Urshela to second base. Miguel Andujar singled on a ball thrown into center. Urshela scored. Tyler Wade singled, but Gardner caught running to home for the first out. LeMahieu walked the bases full. Aaron Judge struck out on a hanging slider. Torres ground out to short, leaving the bases loaded, but the Yankees got the lead in the game. At the bottom, Randal Crichuk struck out to lead off the half. Cavan Biggio singled. Tellez ground out Gurriel Jr. hit into a double play to end the inning. New York Yankees 1 Jays 0.

At the top of the third, Stanton singled. Sanchez flew out to short. Urshela hit a two-run homer over the left-field fence. Gardner ground out to first. Andujar flew out to shallow right. But the Yankees when ahead 3 runs when Urshela went yard. The bottom was led off by Rowdy Tellez, who ground out to short. Santiago Espinal walked. Resse McGuire got an RBI double. Semien singled. Bichette, with men on the corners singled but on an errant play by Wade, was not about to run the double play scoring McGuire. Guerrero ground out to Urshela, but the Jays got two runs in the inning. New York Yankees 3 Blue Jays 2.

Tyler Wade led off by flying out to left field. LeMahieu reached on a bad throw. Judge walked. Torres was pinch-hit by Rougie Odor popped out to the infield for two down. Stanton struck out to end the half. At the bottom, Grichuk ground out. (Wade at short and Odor at second) Biggio ground out. Gurriel ground out to Urshela, ending the inning. Yankee 3 Jays 2.

The top of the fifth was led off by Gary Sanchez, who ground out. Urshela struck out swinging. With Gardner coming up, the new pitcher was Tayler Saucedo in his major league debut. Gardner flew out to center as they went down in order. At the bottom, Tellez ground out. Espinal reached on a throw that pulled DJ off the bag. McGuire faced the new Yankee pitcher Lucas Luetage; he doubled to left. Semien, with two on and one out, ground out but scored the tying run. Bichette struck out, ending the tied inning. Yankees 3 Jays 3.

Leading off the sixth was Miguel Andujar, who struck out a very questionable strike call. Wade hit back to the pitcher, and that was it for Saucedo in his debut; Anthony Castro replaced him. LeMahieu got a multihit single to right. Judge struck out swinging to end the half. Vlad Guerrero Jr. led off the bottom by grounding out. Chichuk, against the new Yankee pitcher Chad Green, singled for an RBI single for the Jays to take the lead. Biggio hit a long one caught by Judge at the top of the right-field wall, saving a two-run hit. Gurriel hit into a force for the second out. Tellez went down on strikes to end the inning. Jays 4 Yankees 3.

At the top of the seventh, Odor singled sharply. Giancarlo Stanton got a two-run 424′ homer to left. Sanchez singled. Urshela singled. Gardner, against the new pitcher Tim Mayza, had a sac out, moving the runners up. Andujar was gunned down on an excellent throw. Chris Gittens pinching hitting for Wade got a two-run single for the Yankees. Lemahieu faced yet another Jays pitcher Tyler Chatwood, and he ground out. The Yankees picked up three runs.  At the bottom, Espinal went down on strikes. (Gittens moved to first, LeMahieu to 3rd, and Urshela to shortstop). McGuire singled. Semien faced new pitcher Loaisiga and singled. Bichette struck out looking. New York Yankees 7 Blue Jays 3.

Going on to the eighth, Aaron Judge struck out. Rougie Odor hit to the warning track in center for the second out. Stanton ground out to short. At the bottom,  popped out to Gittens in foul territory. Chrichuk facing ground out. They ended the half scoreless, as did the Yankees. The Yankees tacked on another run in the top of the ninth. Zack Britton came on to close it out for the Yankees in the bottom of the ninth, allowing no hits and a double play for the Yankees 8-4 win.

The winning pitcher was Chad Green, and the Loser was Anthony Castro. The New York Yankees now go on to home-field advantage against the Oakland Athletics at Yankee Stadium tomorrow night.

Hendricks Shuts Down Mets Offense in Cubs 2-0 Win

The final game between the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs featured a pitcher’s duel between two sinkerballers. Marcus Stroman took the mound for the Mets and Kyle Hendricks was on the mound for the Cubs. Hendricks was the better pitcher as he shut out the Mets and led the Cubs to a 2-0 victory.

Hendricks allowed a double in each of the first two innings but settled in for six shutout innings and seven strikeouts. He never hit 90 mph on the radar gun, and he did not need to. Hendricks worked hitters inside with his sinker and cutter combination, then had them flailing at his changeup all night. He combined with the bullpen to retired the last 17 Mets who came up to the plate.

Stroman also had a terrific start as he pitched seven innings, striking out eight, but the one blemish was Javier Baez‘s two-run homer. Baez’s home run gave the Cubs all the runs they needed, and it was the only offense of the game for either team. Since the Cubs rested their best relievers in their three losses, they were ready to go to help avoid the sweep. The Cubs also scored all of their runs of the series on home runs, which is why their offense struggled mightily.

The silver lining from the game is Trevor May providing back-to-back strong outings. There are three doubleheaders in the next ten days, and the Mets will need him for a lot of big innings. The Mets head to Washington to face the Nationals for a four-game series which starts on Friday. Joey Lucchesi will start for the Mets against Erick Fedde for a 7:05 p.m. ET start from Nationals Park.

Knicks: Birthday boy Immanuel Quickley headlines NBA All-Rookie Second Team

New York Knicks, Immanuel Quickley

New York Knicks rookie Immanuel Quickley received a special gift on his 22nd birthday as the NBA announced on Thursday his inclusion in the All-Rookie selection.

Quickley headlined the NBA All-Rookie Second Team after a stellar play off the bench for the Knicks this season. The 25th overall pick came six points shy of making it to the All-Rookie First Team.

As expected, Charlotte’s LaMelo Ball, who was named the NBA Rookie of the Year, and Minnesota’s Anthony Edwards were unanimously selected to the First Team. Joining them are Sacramento’s Tyrese Haliburton, Detroit’s Saddiq Bey, and Houston’s Jae’Sean Tate, who went undrafted in 2018 and played in Australia’s NBL with the Sydney Kings.

In what was a close race for the last spot in the All-Rookie First Team, Tate received 57 first-team votes and 40 second-team votes for a total of 154 points. On the other hand, Quickley totaled 148 points from 51 first-team votes and 46 second-team votes.

Tate posted the better all-around numbers (11.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists in 29.2 minutes with a 51/31/70 shooting split) on the league’s worst team. But Quickley (11.4 points, 2.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists in just 19.4 minutes with 40/39/89 shooting split) impacted winning as a spark plug off the bench for the Knicks who finished as the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.

The media voting panel selected five players for the NBA All-Rookie First Team and five players for the NBA All-Rookie Second Team at any position. Players received two points for each First Team vote and one point for each Second Team vote.

Joining Quickley in the All-Rookie Second Team are Memphis’ Desmond Bane, Detroit’s Isaiah Stewart, Cleveland’s Isaac Okoro, and Chicago’s Patrick Williams.

Meanwhile, the Knicks’ eighth overall pick Obi Toppin, who entered the season as one of the favorites to win Rookie of the Year, did not receive any vote.

Toppin had a rough start to his NBA career playing sparingly behind the league’s Most Improved Player Julius Randle at the four-spot. But the Brooklyn native finished his rookie year strong with a solid play off the bench in the playoffs.

Below are the voting results for both the NBA All-Rookie teams.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

Kyle Rudolph is going to help fix the New York Giants’ problems in the red zone

new york giants, kyle rudolph

The New York Giants offense was majorly disappointing in 2020. Their unit ranked second-to-last in the NFL, averaging a putrid 17.5 points per game. The Giants recognized this weakness and worked hard to fix it this offseason. In free agency, the Giants landed two big playmakers in Kenny Golladay and Kyle Rudolph before doubling down with Kadarius Toney in the NFL Draft.

One area where the Giants’ offense struggled, in particular, was the red zone. Their red zone scoring percentage ranked 31st in the league in 2020 at 46.34%. Time and time again, the Giants got into scoring range and failed to convert. NFL teams will not find great success without a competent red zone offense.

The Giants might have found a couple of ways to fix their red zone scoring efficiency in 2021. Of course, their big splash signing in Kenny Golladay will help the team score more points. Golladay led the NFL in receiving touchdowns in 2019. He possesses a huge frame and makes his presence known down near the goal line. Kenny Golladay is a premiere red zone threat. But another Giants signing this offseason will also help fix their struggles in the scoring zone. Kyle Rudolph will play a huge part in fixing the Giants’ red zone offense in 2021.

Kyle Rudolph: a red-zone scoring machine

Kyle Rudolph is arguably the most dependable tight end in the NFL. ‘Ole Reliable Rudolph dropped 1 pass on 167 targets from 2018 to 2020. He’s as sure-handed as NFL players get. Rudolph is durable, too, playing in 92 of 96 games since 2015 for the Vikings. Of Kyle Rudolph’s 48 career touchdown receptions, 40 of them — 83.3 percent — have come in the red zone (Paul Schwartz of the NY Post).

Additionally, Kyle Rudolph’s strength and run-blocking capabilities will factor in on the goal line. The Giants will utilize their typical jumbo-set goal-line packages featuring two or three tight ends this year. Kyle Rudolph will contribute as arguably the Giants’ best run-blocker at the position. So, not only will Rudolph be scoring touchdowns in the red zone, but he will also be helping to create scoring opportunities.

Considering how badly the Giants’ offense struggled in the red zone last season, Kyle Rudolph could have a major impact on the team in 2021. Giving Daniel Jones a reliable receiving threat in the scoring range was crucial for the Giants this offseason and they delivered. The team’s struggles to score should dissipate this season with an influx of weapons on offense, including the red zone scoring machine that is Kyle Rudolph.

Did The Chicago Bears Create The NFL’s Newest Dynamic Duo?

New York Giants, Sam Beal

It appeared that the Chicago Bears’ offense was destined to fail heading into the 2021 offseason. After abysmal showings in 2019 and 2020, there seemed to be no light at the end of the tunnel. In April, there were questions on who would be Chicago’s QB1 entering 2021. Would Allen Robinson return for the 2021 season? Are the Bears adding depth at the wide receiver and tight end positions? What is going on doing with the offensive line?

Fortunately, we got answers to these questions. First, the Chicago Bears found a way to keep Allen Robinson around for the 2021 season by getting the talented wideout to sign his franchise tender, show up to training camp, and play an active role in the organization. Then in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Bears added potential franchise quarterback Justin Fields, stud tackle Teven Jenkins, and a mountain of a guard in Larry Borom.

Considering Allen Robinson’s elite talents and a solid quarterback option in Chicago for the first time in well over 80 years, is the NFL about to be put on notice?

The NFL has a long history of dynamic duos between QBs and WRs. A quick history lesson will bring up parings such as Steve Young/Jerry Rice, Troy Aikman/Michael Irving, and Peyton Manning/Marvin Harrison. These duos broken defenses and electrified fanbases, picking up win after win on their ways to the Hall of Fame.

Allen Robinson and Justin Fields could be that next great QB-WR duo. Here’s why:

Allen Robinson is a top 10 wide receiver in the NFL, I’ve been saying it, and I’ll continue to say it. PFF is even willing to call him the 4th best WR in the NFL in their 2021 rankings. His stats speak for themself. He literally sits in the top 10 categories for every recorded metric, outside of touchdowns, by PFF in the 2020 NFL season. Unfortunately, Robinson isn’t as high profile as Julio Jones, Deandre Hopkins, or Davante Adams. His lack of profile stems from poor quarterback play throughout his entire NFL career.

Now, imagine with me what will happen when we pair Allen Robinson with the most accurate college quarterback ever recorded. I think we get a sweet symphony of offensive production that the Chicago Bears haven’t heard since the 1980s.

Don’t expect Justin Fields to run out in Week 1 and connect with Allen Robinson for astronomical numbers. I’m excited, but I understand the current QB situation in Chicago. It might be a while until we see Justin Fields and Allen Robinson connect for big plays. Furthermore, Robinson might not return to the Bears in 2022 if negotiations don’t produce a contract by July 17th.

Allen Robinson’s return to Halas Hall this offseason may indicate his belief that Justin Fields can spark this offense’s needs. The winds seem to be changing in Chicago. For the first time in my lifetime, I can look at the offense this team has built and be proud.

Do you think Allen Robinson and Justin Fields can be the next great QB/WR duo? Let me know in the comments section below.

Yankees’ Giancarlo Stanton getting ready to play the outfield again

New York Yankees, Giancarlo Stanton

At one point, the New York Yankees needed healthy bodies that could play the outfield given that Aaron Hicks was already injured, Clint Frazier was banged up, and Brett Gardner wasn’t hitting. Even though he is primarily a designated hitter at this point, Giancarlo Stanton has the ability to play the outfield and could potentially be an option for manager Aaron Boone.

The Yankees have been wary about him playing the field. Perhaps they are being overprotective of their slugger given his ample history of leg injuries, or perhaps they are right. Either way, Stanton could potentially play the outfield soon.

Last weekend, the Yankees played a couple of games in Philadelphia, and Stanton didn’t start any of them. He doesn’t want that to happen again.

The Yankees slugger hasn’t played the outfield in a regular season game since Sept. 28, 2019. It’s been a while.

The Yankees want to take things slow, but he should be ready soon

However, according to Brendan Kuty of NJ Advance Media, Stanton said he hopes he can play the outfield by early July.

The next time the Yankees will play on a National League park will be on July 30, when they face Stanton’s former team: the Miami Marlins.

“I’m getting conditioned back to being ready to be in the outfield from not being able to run or do too much defense the past two or three weeks,” Stanton said on Wednesday night. “I’m just getting back into it.”

The hard-hitting Stanton was on the injured list from May 14-28 with a left quad strain, one of many strains he has suffered in his calves, hamstrings, quads, and other muscles.

“I don’t want to see another National League situation where I’m not out there,” Stanton said.

Having Stanton available as an outfielder would be a huge boost for the Yankees lineup, one that needs all the help he can handle.

Do you think the Yankees should play Stanton in the outfield? Or is it too much risk?

UFC rebooks matchup between Ion Cutelaba and Devin Clark

Ion Cutelaba

The UFC has finalized a fun matchup in their light heavyweight division. MMA DNA was the first to report yesterday that the promotion had finalized a light heavyweight matchup between Ion Cutelaba (15-6-1, 1 NC) and Devin Clark (12-5).

The matchup will take place at a UFC Fight Night on September 18th. Originally, these two were supposed to fight in May. However, Clark was unable to compete and as a result, Cutelaba ended up taking on Dustin Jacoby.

Cutelaba started extremely strong against Jacoby when they fought and was able to secure a 10-8 first round on one of the scorecards. However, Jacoby came on strong and won the final two rounds according to two of the judges.

In the end, one judge gave the fight to Cutelaba, one gave it to Jacoby, and the other had it a draw. So far, it’s been very up and down for Cutelaba in the UFC. Back in 2016, he made his debut with the promotion. At the time, he had a record of 11-1, 1 NC.

Since making his UFC debut, Cutelaba has gone 4-4-1. He’s had some wins against guys outside the top fifteen, but whenever the UFC gives him a ranked opponent, he’s stumbled. Currently, he’s just 1-3-1 in his last five fights.

UFC bounce back for Brown Bear

Devin Clark made his UFC debut back in 2016 and he’s been in there with some of the very best in the world. Clark lost his UFC debut before winning back-to-back fights. His reward for those two wins was a fight with current light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz.

Clark lost that fight and then bounced back against Mike Rodriguez. From there, the UFC paired him with Aleksandar Rakic and he lost. Since the Rakic loss, Clark has gone 3-2 with his two losses coming against Ryan Spann and Anthony Smith.

Overall since losing his debut, Clark is 6-4 in the UFC, but those four losses are all to top level competition. In a way, Clark and Cutelaba are in similar positions. They’ve done well against unranked guys, but the moment they step into elite competition, they stumble. This is a big fight for both men as they try to build more credibility at 205.

Why the Knicks should target Lonzo Ball over Chris Paul at point guard

New York Knicks, Lonzo Ball

The Knicks ultimately want to be getting younger, not older, this off-season, despite rumors that they could target veteran point guard Chris Paul in free agency. Paul, who is currently 36 years old and looking for a three-year contract extension, is coming off two consecutive All-Star appearances and a solid campaign with the Phoenix Suns this past year. Paul averaged 16.4 points, 8.9 assists, and .499 shooting from the field. He also connected on .395% of the shots from downtown, attempting 3.7 per contest.

Ultimately, Paul still offers quality play at the point guard position for a team like the Knicks, but by the time he’s 39 years old, there’s no guarantee he will be 100% healthy and playing at the top of his game. The Knicks might want to go younger with more potential over a longer period.

In that scenario, Lonzo Ball might fit the bill better than Paul, considering he would be cheaper, and they can mold him to their style at 23 years old. Ball averaged 14.6 points, 5.7 assists, and shot .414 from the field this past season. From three, he attempted 8.3 shots and connected on .378%, a quality number that saw him post a career-high.

According to “AHN Fire Digital,” there’s mutual interest between the Knicks and restricted free agent Lonzo Ball:

According to a source, the New York Knicks and point guard Lonzo Ball have “mutual interest” in a contract this summer. The source also said that the Knicks are not intimated by the fact that Ball is a restricted free agent.

If there is, in fact, mutual interest between the two sides, the Knicks have plenty of resources to acquire Ball and multiple pieces to complement Julius Randle next season. With $60+ million available in funds, plus multiple first-round draft selections, they could look to trade for a player like Pacers’ Myles Turner, who would add a physical body inside who can score from the center position.

Looking at multiple free agents will be available, including Danny Green, Kelly Oubre, and even a player like Trevor Ariza, veterans who offer production are always positive. In addition, considering some of their own players preparing to hit the market like Alec Burks should be a priority.

Retaining Derrick Rose and signing Ball might provide the youngster with a proper mentor moving forward, and of course, Rose offers plenty of value off the bench considering his performance this past season.

Do you think the Knicks should target Paul or Lonzo in free agency, and why? Comment below!

New York Jets: Zach Wilson reflects on his first professional spring

new york jets, zach wilson

The prologue to Zach Wilson’s New York Jets career ended this week, as the rookie reflected on his first minicamp experience.

The most anticipated and talked-about throws of post-social distancing life in the metropolitan were silenced on Wednesday. In Queens, Jacob deGrom’s outing for the New York Mets ended after three innings due to right shoulder soreness against the Chicago Cubs. An hour away in Florham Park, Zach Wilson tossed his last professionally sanctioned passes of the spring.

Fortunately for those who support the rhyming, star-crossed franchises, the respective pauses are only temporary. deGrom said he’s “pretty optimistic” that he’ll make his next start, while Wilson’s shutdown is only induced by the end of minicamp.

Thus ends Wilson’s first form of a different kind of spring training under a New York banner, as the New York Jets’ minicamp proceedings came to a close this week. Reviews for his performance over minicamp and organized team activities have been generally positive, as NJ.com’s Darryl Slater reported that returned Jets owner Woody Johnson claimed that Wilson “looks as advertised”. Further coaching reports from Brian Costello of the New York Post claim that Wilson has “has done a good job of minimizing mistakes” (passing game specialist Greg Knapp) and that the “last two weeks have been awesome for him” (offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur).

The end of the proceedings gave Wilson time to likewise reflect on his first experiences in green. While social media offers only extremists…every minicamp touchdown or interception is respectively seen as nirvana or armageddon…Wilson’s offered a grounded self-assessment.

“It’s hard to say exactly how you did. Personally, in my eyes, I feel I can improve every single day, I feel like I’m learning something every single day,” Wilson said in notes provided by the Jets. “Even on the good days, it’s still frustrating, and it’s just because it’s like a foreign language, every single day it’s the same plays but you’re getting different reps, different looks at it, different defensive coverages, whatever it is. One of our running backs (later revealed to be Michael Carter) said to me after practice today, ‘it’s hard to know sometimes if it was a good or a bad day.’ It’s really just because there are so many learning experiences, things that are good to learn from.”

In terms of what he feels has improved most over his debut weeks in a green helmet, Wilson said he’s been particularly pleased with the way his “timing” has progressed.

“The NFL game, understanding what holes you can throw things into, how quickly guys can break on things. Just the timing with your footwork,” Wilson said when asked where he thinks he has improved since the Jets made him the second overall pick in Cleveland. “I think that comes with understanding the offense. I look back in college, you’re running the same offense for three years, so you know it like the back of your hand. Out here, you’re always just a step slow at first. It’s just how fast can I get through my progressions to where I don’t even have to think about it, if something’s covered I instantly know how to move on.”

The Jets diligently prepared for the arrival of Wilson, who succeeds the Charlotte-bound Sam Darnold. Extra action has been taken to ensure that Wilson has a loaded arsenal upon his arrival, adding offensive weaponry of both the protective (Alijah Vera-Tucker, potentially Morgan Moses) and box score (Corey Davis, Elijah Moore, Keelan Cole, Michael Carter, Tevin Coleman) variety.

Wilson has already a rapport with some of his new receivers, as he had special words for Moore, his fellow offensive rookie.

“When the guy’s not thinking, he is a great player. He’s got so much potential,” Wilson said of Moore, the Jets’ second-round pick out of Mississippi last April. “You throw a ball at his knees or above his head and he catches it so well and is able to transition up the field. It’s so natural for him, his ability to catch the ball and get up the field. (He’s a) very smooth player and he wants to be great. I spend a lot of time with him, he’s someone I want to be around because he wants to be great.”

Wilson has also appeared to have developed an early relationship with 2020 holdover Braxton Berrios, referring to the former New England Patriots as a “slippery player” and praising his route-running abilities. Berrios is second amongst returning Jets receivers in receptions, yardage, and touchdowns last season.

Wilson’s next throws in a Jet uniform will come in front of a crowd, as Tom Pelissero of NFL Network has reported that fans will be welcome back to view training camp practices later this summer. The pressure will be on to atone for decades of false passing prophets, to finally fill in the franchise quarterback void an aging Joe Namath opened after the 1976 season.

To that end, the preparation and journey toward his NFL debut don’t end simply because the practice fields at One Jets Drive will be closed. While there may be a trip off the green path or two…after all, the New York Islanders return to Nassau Coliseum tonight…Wilson left Florham Park with a promise that the de facto month-plus off that he’s going to abscond himself in film, and he’s not talking summer blockbusters.

Wilson’s reputation as a film hound was already somewhat known to the Jets’ coaching staff. LaFleur told NJ.com’s Joey Chandler that the quarterback’s obsession with tape reminded him of his brother Matt’s fixation at the helm of the Green Bay Packers, calling Wilson’s desire to do visual homework “unique”. But perhaps the most fascinating thing about is Wilson’s approach is that he views film sessions as his “time away from football”. Rather, he views it as a matter of preparation, a skill that can be built during relative downtime.

“I feel like that’s when you can rest your legs a little bit and hang out,” Wilson said. “I’m not saying I work extremely hard, there’s always someone working harder than you. I don’t love feeling unprepared, I don’t love feeling like I’m not ready for something. I love the always having something new feeling every day in practice.”

“You don’t know what defense they’re going to throw at you and there’s always something new to prepare for and get better at. I’m just going to make sure I’m doing everything I can to be ready once training camp comes around.”

What are your expectations for Wilson this season? Continue to the conversation with the writer on Twitter @GeoffJMags