New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh expressed faith in the collection of cornerbacks already assembled on the team’s roster at this point in training camp.
One of those cornerbacks set to take on a featured role with the team is Bless Austin.
Austin, entering his third season out of Rutgers, is projected to start for the Jets opposite Bryce Hall this season. After playing in just 18 games over his first two years with the Jets, Austin is confident in what can bring to the table.
“I come to camp looking forward to get my next contract,” Austin said, via Dennis Waszak Jr. of the Associated Press. “I don’t worry about who’s starting. I don’t worry about none of that. I mean, I think I’m the real deal. There ain’t no secret in that. Click the tape and press play, you know?
“Of course, I make mistakes, but there’s also a lot of plays I’ve made on that field that other corners in this league aren’t making.”
Austin and Hall are both late-round draft picks. Austin was a sixth-round selection in 2019 while Hall was a fifth-round pick last year.
“A lot of people forget me and Bryce were highly rated dudes coming out of college,” Austin said. “You know, we just fell short (due) to injury. So I feel like that’s something that a lot of people forget, you know, and there’s a reason why they didn’t bring a veteran in here, not to knock any veteran corners that may be out there. But there’s a reason why — they see something in us.”
Even entering just his third season, Austin is one of the most experienced cornerbacks on the Jets roster. Only Justin Hardee, entering his fifth season, has more NFL experience. Of the 11 cornerbacks on the Jets roster, 10 have played two years or less in the NFL. The Jets have not felt compelled to add some more experience to the group as of yet.
Austin is hoping he and the rest of the corners already on the roster make sure they don’t have any reason to.
“I don’t want to be the weak link on the team,” Austin said. “I want them to look at it like, ‘All we’ve got to do is get there. We know Bless got this. We know Bryce got this. We know (Marcus) Maye got this.’
“I want them to look at us as somebody to lean on, rather than the other way around.”