What came out of Jets’ players-only meeting


In the end, it could just be a meeting. A fleeting window to recalibrate the Jets.

Their players-only gathering for the offense Tuesday marked a step toward fixing the issues — specifically with that unit — that have derailed a promising 2023 season without Aaron Rodgers at quarterback.

But until the Jets start winning, the problems remain unsolved.

They could lose to the Bills on Sunday, could lose some more and miss the playoffs altogether, and the meeting amounts to nothing more than an attempt.

Wideout Garrett Wilson acknowledged that scenario Tuesday during a radio segment during which he revealed what transpired.

But offensive lineman Max Mitchell told The Post he sensed players were “receptive.”

That, if carried over to the weekend and beyond, could mark a promising development.

Jets quarterback Zach Wilson said he is glad to still have Robert Saleh’s support.
Bill Kostroun/New York Post

“I think it really called us to kind of buckle up, take ownership as a team and really just look in the mirror and take it upon ourselves,” Mitchell said.

It felt like the right time for the meeting after an “atrocious” game against the Chargers and another loss Sunday to the Raiders, Mitchell said.

The offense gathered in a meeting room while the defense also met separately, and a blend of people spoke in the players-only setting, including the offense’s veterans and wideout Randall Cobb — who “had some good things to say,” Mitchell said.

Quarterback Zach Wilson said they spoke in groups while in the room.

The joint message, according to Mitchell, was to step back. Take a breath. Reset with eight games remaining.

Everyone keeps piling pressure on themselves with the offense spiraling and “sometimes you pop,” Mitchell said. Wilson added that they also wanted to work on properly resetting their short-term memory after each snap.

But the tone of the offense’s meeting, at times, also matched the unit’s dire reality.

Jets offensive tackle Max Mitchell said the players-only meeting was important to get things back on track.
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The Jets, who haven’t scored a touchdown in 11 quarters plus an overtime, are running out of time, even with Rodgers eyeing a December return.

Their penalties — including seven Sunday while on offense — have crushed drives as much as costly interceptions and fumbles. The playoffs, let alone wins in the postseason, aren’t a guarantee.

“It was more sort of just everybody’s gotta look in the mirror and take accountability instead of finger-pointing,” offensive lineman Mekhi Becton said, while adding the Jets “definitely needed” a meeting like that. “Gotta figure out what we gotta do to get this thing going.”

Jets coach Robert Saleh says he was fine with the players-only meeting, while adding that “the best-coached teams are the teams that coach themselves.”
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When asked about the gathering, head coach Robert Saleh said players should always be in communication.

The Jets will meet once a week — without coaches around — to watch film, which Saleh labeled a common procedure around the NFL.

Mitchell added that the offensive line will always meet as a positional group and with Wilson, too, in addition to Wilson’s meeting with the offense.

“You guys know my feelings on the best-coached teams are the teams that coach themselves,” Saleh said, “and so they should always be communicating and always holding themselves up to a standard. Obviously, coaches are always sending a message and all that stuff, but when you’re able to look at one another and hold each other accountable, it becomes even more powerful.”

But this instance was different. The Jets’ players-only meeting for the offense coincided with Saleh’s promise to make schematic changes.

They cut running back Michael Carter to free up snaps for Israel Abanikanda. Saleh hinted at an increased role for tight end Jeremy Ruckert, in addition to other changes he said would occur but wouldn’t reveal.

But despite the shifting elsewhere, Saleh’s loyalty to Wilson as his quarterback hasn’t wavered.

Wilson guided the Jets to field goals on their first three possessions Sunday, but one game after fumbling three times and losing two of them, he threw an interception late in the fourth quarter with Gang Green needing a touchdown.

“I think it speaks a lot,” Wilson said of Saleh’s support. “It tells me that I’m doing some of the right things and I just gotta keep going … I appreciate that he sees some growth in the things that I’ve really been working on.”

They’re still waiting for a spark. It likely, at this point, won’t stem from a quarterback change.

The release of Carter was a first step. There will be others.

The Jets hope their Tuesday meeting could provide a jolt, too.

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