New Jets tight ends learning on the fly in training camp
The New York Jets have a flurry of fresh faces at tight end, and they’re all getting a swift education during the team’s early training camp practices.
After second-year tight end Chris Herndon was slapped with a four-game suspension, the New York Jets found themselves on the eve of training camp in search of depth at the position.
They found some new talent in many different directions, including veteran Ryan Griffin.
An experienced veteran, Griffin spent the last six seasons with the Houston Texans. He appeared in 77 games for the Texans over that stretch, making 36 starts. He tallied 136 receptions for 1,491 yards and seven touchdowns over that time, starting a career-high 11 games last season.
Now with the Gang Green, Griffin is doing his best to learn on the fly during training camp (via team reporter Ethan Greenberg):
I’m still learning. There’s no doubt I’m going to make mistakes out there, but I try to just make mistakes at full speed. Football is football, so I just try to come out here, make some plays, learn every day and try to get better every day.
Despite all the new faces, including Bucky Hodges and rookie fourth-round pick Trevon Wesco, head coach Adam Gase has been impressed with how tight ends coach John Dunn has been getting his group up to speed:
We’re not really having a lot of errors from that group. John (Dunn) has done a good job of making sure that the guys that have been brought in have been caught up to speed really fast. I think both those guys have done an outstanding job at learning what we’re doing.
Herndon showed plenty of promise during his rookie season in 2018, and will no doubt resume his role within the offense once he returns and shakes off the rust. But in the meantime, the Jets will keep putting his replacements through a crash-course as they prepare for the early going of the 2019 season.
Thankfully, the Jets have enough weapons elsewhere (Le’Veon Bell, Robby Anderson, Jamison Crowder, Quincy Enunwa and Ty Montgomery, just to name a few) to mitigate the loss of Herndon, which should take pressure off this new group of tight ends.
As second-year quarterback Sam Darnold looks to continue his upward development, Herndon’s absence shouldn’t present a huge problem over the first four weeks of the season.