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Jets safety Jordan Whitehead won a Super Bowl two seasons ago with the Buccaneers. He knows what a winning team looks like. He believes the 2022 Jets can be one.
“Honestly, we have the pieces,” Whitehead said Monday. “Every position group has got them dogs on the team and we have a lot of depth. When I say this team could be great, we can really be great. It’s just about being consistent every day.”
Whitehead signed a two-year deal with the Jets in March. He will be one of the team’s starting safeties and a key on defense. The first test comes Sunday when the Jets have to slow down Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson.
Whitehead will enter the season with a different uniform number than the one he wore in Tampa or in training camp with the Jets. It was announced Monday that he changed from No. 6 to 3.
“Just going back to when I started playing football, I started with No. 3,” Whitehead said. “It’s been so hard to get it ever since I’ve been playing.”
He used multiples of three in college (9), in Tampa Bay (33) and when he first arrived with the Jets (6). The jersey he desired became open after the Jets made their final cuts last week.
The Jets voted on three team captains: QB Zach Wilson, LB C.J. Mosley and CB/special teams ace Justin Hardee. The Jets coaches will select a fourth captain each week for the games.
CB D.J. Reed (knee) is still working his way back after missing the end of training camp. Coach Robert Saleh said Reed worked out with the trainers Monday and they wanted to see how the knee responded before figuring out whether he can play Sunday.
The Jets will rely on several rookies this season, and Saleh said that can be an adventure no matter how talented they are.
“You’re going to have your hair-pulling moments,” Saleh said. “If I had hair, I’d pull them out, but you’re also going to have some wow moments because they are explosive. They’re full of energy and they’ve got a lot of talent, but at the same time, the mental aspect, I’ve always said before, you play young guys with the hopes that they become veterans mentally while they still possess all their athleticism that they showed when they ran at the combine and their pro days.”
The Jets re-signed OL Conor McDermott, who had been released last week. They cut rookie RB Zonovan Knight, who could return on the practice squad.