Ty Johnson shined in the Jets’ preseason finale and earned the praise of Robert Saleh after the game.
The Jets’ running back rotation remains somewhat of a mystery after three preseason games, but Ty Johnson certainly earned a nice role after a solid finale Friday night.
Johnson rushed 13 times for 53 yards and a touchdown against the Eagles. He had a couple of bruising hits and two third-down conversions.
Johnson’s performance was the culmination of an offseason and training camp spent focusing on the finer details. He said he’s learning to be the type of running back that excels in Mike LaFleur’s offense, and he showed he has that potential against the Eagles.
“That’s all I was really harping on during the summer: Tight turns when I’m catching the ball, violent cuts, find the right crease and everything. Patient but violent when I’m going downhill,” Johnson said after the game. “I think I’ve improved a lot. There’s a lot of things I can still keep improving on.”
Robert Saleh has talked about violence on the football field before – less about inflicting pain and more about overwhelming an opponent with physicality. Johnson did just that on a few runs during his touchdown drive Friday.
Johnson’s performance didn’t go unnoticed by Saleh, either. The Jets coach mentioned Johnson’s touchdown drive as a perfect example of things he’s worked on during the spring and summer.
“He converted a third-and-short, was moving piles, lowering his shoulder and getting tough, aggressive yards. That was a great plus for him,” Saleh said. “The thing about it is he still has so much more in the tank. That was a great step forward for him. He did a really nice job.”
Where Johnson will sit on the Jets’ running back rotation remains to be seen, though. He led the Jets backfield in carries this preseason and looked like the best running back on the roster. But the Jets have a lot of talented rushers and LaFleur likes to cycle them throughout games.
Johnson will have a part to play on the offense. He’s fast, powerful and even added two receptions for 18 yards on Friday. It will be hard to keep him off the field, even with players like Tevin Coleman, Michael Carter and La’Mical Perine on the roster.
“We got a lot of guys that do a lot of different things,” Johnson said. “I’m going to play my role, whatever that role is, and I’m going to play it well.”