For Jets left tackle Mekhi Becton there have been two major themes to his spring: the wait and the weight.
Becton is waiting to get back onto the field as he deals with a foot injury that has kept him sidelined for most of the spring. At the same time, he is trying to get his weight down from where it was at the end of last season, when the Jets felt it got out of control.
Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Becton gave positive reports on both fronts. He expects to be ready for training camp and is doing his best to control his weight, including hiring a personal chef.
“I feel like I’m at a good weight right now,” Becton said. “I’m doing extra things on my own to keep it that way, eating the right things. I got a chef, doing everything right to maintain my weight, I wouldn’t say problem, but weight concerns that people have with me. I would say I’m doing everything in my power to keep it down.”
Becton made the dubious claim that he doesn’t know what his weight is. That is hard to believe when the Jets have frequent weigh-ins for their players. Becton was listed at 363 pounds last year but admitted before the season to being 370 and was around 380 late last season, drawing discipline from the team.
Becton said he is trying to stay in the “fish and veggie lane” with his new chef. He also said he has been biking and running on his own.
“I’ve just been doing extra conditioning,” Becton said, “biking on my own, running on my own, jogging on my own, walking on my own, just doing the little things that matter like abs and everything. Just doing the extra stuff that I need to do.”
New Jets coach Robert Saleh spoke about Becton’s weight earlier this spring, saying the Jets need to find the right number for Becton to maintain his strength but also put him in position to stay on the field.
Becton struggled with injuries last year, missing two games and exiting four others early with a variety of ailments.
This spring, the 2020 first-round pick participated in one OTA practice before complaining about pain in his foot, which was diagnosed as plantar fasciitis. That has led him to watching the rest of OTAs and minicamp this week. Saleh said the Jets are just being cautious.
“We’re very confident he’ll be ready to go [for camp],” Saleh said. “He’s just got a little nagging foot injury. It’s not worth it to put him out there and make something so small a lot worse. We’re not worried about his availability for training camp.”
Becton said it has been tough to be a spectator but has done his best to learn the new offense.
“It’s been a little frustrating but, at the end of the day, I’m just trying to get myself right, get myself ready,” Becton said. “So, I know I’m going to be ready by the season. It’s been a little frustrating but I’ve been getting the mental reps, been getting the plays mentally down, so that’s the good part.”
The Jets gave Becton a new partner on the left side of the offensive line when they drafted guard Alijah Vera-Tucker in the first round. Becton said the plan is for the duo to man the left side of the line for years to come.
“He complements my game really well,” Becton said. “We both like to finish guys. We both like to see guys on the ground. I feel like we’re going to be really good together.”