The NY Jets have officially announced their three starting linebackers ahead of their Week 1 matchup with the Carolina Panthers. And there aren't any notable surprises.
Head coach Robert Saleh spoke to reporters on Wednesday and revealed that the Jets would be starting C.J. Mosley, Jamien Sherwood, and Hamsah Nasirildeen at linebacker.
Following the loss of Jarrad Davis for the first portion of the season, Sherwood stepped in as his replacement. The other two, Mosley and Nasirildeen, have been running with the first-team defense for almost the entire summer.
Saleh did indicate that, while Nasirildeen is the starting WILL, he will be "battling" for the job with Blake Cashman. So it doesn't seem as though his role is as set in stone as the other two.
The NY Jets will start C.J. Mosley, Jamien Sherwood, and Hamsah Nasirildeen at linebacker
Perhaps the most notable takeaway is the positions that Saleh insisted Mosley and Sherwood would play. While Mosley will call plays in the huddle, Sherwood will be the team's MIKE linebacker while Mosley will play the SAM position.
Going into the summer, most expected Mosley to play the MIKE linebacker position he's played throughout his career. However, it was actually Davis who was both calling plays and playing MIKE prior to his injury.
Instead of shifting Mosley over to MIKE in the short term, they're trusting the rookie Sherwood to fill those lofty shoes.
It speaks to the trust the Jets have in their rookies that they'll be starting both Sherwood and Nasirildeen in Week 1.
Both players were tasked with learning a completely new position this offseason and neither was selected before the fifth round. That's just a microcosm of the Jets' current roster, however.
The Jets are throwing a bunch of young players, many of whom were not highly-touted coming out of college, onto the field and seeing who sticks and who doesn't.
This season will be about learning which players might have a role in the future and which players the team needs to replace next offseason.
The linebacker position is no different. Time for the rookies to sink or swim.