Jets making Sauce Gardner earn his nickname

The Jets are taking a web page out of the playbook that Sauce Gardner’s school workforce used. 

Asked for his impressions of the much-hyped rookie cornerback, reigning Jets defensive captain C.J. Mosley referred in his answer to Gardner by his given first title “Ahmad” somewhat than his most popular nickname. Why? 

“He’s Ahmad until the season starts and he makes a play,” mentioned Mosley, including “pretty much” everybody within the locker room is enjoying alongside. “Ahmad it is.” 

Jets’ Sauce Gardner (1) stretches during practice
Until Sauce Gardner makes a play in a recreation, the Jets are going to name him Ahmad.
Bill Kostroun

The type of rookie initiation ought to be acquainted to Gardner, whose school coaches and upper-class teammates pulled the identical stunt. Despite going by “Sauce” since he was 6 years outdated, Gardner needed to earn the nickname at Cincinnati, which he did with a pick-six in an upset win towards Central Florida as a freshman. 

“Ahmad has some sauce to him, that’s for sure,” Mosley mentioned. “On the field, he’s working all the time. He’s on the sideline asking questions. Off the field, he’s very confident, as well. He’s a very smart player, and you respect that a lot. He doesn’t try to act like he knows everything. He listens and tries to do the right thing.” 

Newly signed left deal with Duane Brown — a free agent from the Seahawks — joined the Jets on the sphere Monday for the primary time however ran by means of conditioning drills whereas his teammates practiced. 

“He played football last year, and he looked fantastic doing it,” coach Robert Saleh mentioned. “It’s just a matter of clearing him of all the medical hurdles, and then just watching him today with the trainers, he’s fine.” 

If Brown, 36, had not signed, the Jets would’ve turned to both Chuma Edoga or Max Mitchell as a beginning deal with rather than the injured Mekhi Becton. Any combined feelings about shedding an opportunity to compete for a beginning job? 

“Absolutely not,” mentioned Mitchell, who didn’t play in a recreation as a fourth-round choose throughout his rookie season. “Fair game. I’m excited to learn from him more than anything. Fifteen years [in the NFL], that’s a testament. I’ve got nothing to lose here.” 

Converted cornerback Jason Pinnock is getting additional reps at security the final two days due to the trickle impact of Lamarcus Joyner’s absence (sickness). He first made the change late final season. 

“I really like where he’s at,” Saleh mentioned. “He is a freak of nature in terms of just length, speed, athleticism. Love his physicality. There are some things that he has to feel not necessarily from an instinctive standpoint, but just from a reactionary standpoint because he’s used to playing a different position. His communication is getting louder, so that tells you that his confidence in what he’s being asked to do is getting better.” 

Watching Joe Flacco, 37, lead the beginning offense towards the beginning protection in coaching camp takes Mosley again to his rookie season with the Ravens in 2014. Flacco led the Ravens to a 10-6 mark that season, however he was 0-4 because the Jets’ fill-in starter final season. 

“Honestly, he looks the exact same,” Mosley mentioned. “He still has that good arm, nice release, tall in the pocket. Still running around, so you don’t see that too many times from a 35-plus(-year-old) guy. He’s looked confident. He knows the offense. If his number is called, we all know he’ll be ready.” 

Flacco is stepping in whereas Zach Wilson is sidelined with a torn meniscus. His availability for the Sept. 11 season opener is unsure.

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