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At first glance, Robert Saleh’s scouting report on Zach Wilson’s upgraded physique — his shoulders are back and he’s not caved in — was not one to get excited about. Generally speaking, for a player drafted by the Jets to end a Super Bowl drought that has covered more than a half century, you would hope for something more than, you know, “not caved in.”
But if nothing else, once the Jets’ organized team activity started Tuesday, Saleh’s report proved accurate. Wilson had gained 13 pounds with a nutritionist’s help to weigh in at 221. His shoulders were pinned back as he jogged about the team’s emerald, Augusta National-esque practice fields in his red No. 2 jersey. Yes, it is important that his body matched up with his coach’s description, thick, in the year after his body of work matched up with this description: thin.
The Jets are supposed to be muscled up after a 4-13 season of excruciating growing pains with a rookie head coach and a quarterback who spent much of the time gasping for air. They aced the draft (we think) and, factoring in free-agent signings, they have given Wilson a much better chance to score points in Year 2.
Of course, the Jets still want to keep expectations on the low side. If you told them today they would finish 7-10 with a schedule that might hand them eight losses in their first 10 games, they would probably book a ticker-tape parade.
In the name of keeping springtime goals realistic, here’s one that shouldn’t be too much to ask of the second overall pick in the 2021 draft:
Zach Wilson should outplay the other AFC East quarterback whose new and improved physique has made news. He should be a better football player than Mac Jones.
Though outplaying Buffalo’s Josh Allen, a legit league MVP candidate, is unrealistic, it’s not too early for Wilson to be the second-best quarterback in the division, assuming he is what the Jets tell us he is.
Up in New England, Jones has reportedly shed the same kind of dad bod that Tom Brady arrived with more than two decades ago.
“His stomach is gone, and he looks really good,” receiver Kendrick Bourne said of Jones. “He’s definitely a pro’s pro now.”
The Patriots quarterback explained that he cleaned up his diet and committed himself to proper sleep, wellness, and lower body-fat levels. Good for him. Jones has been everything Bill Belichick could have expected from the fifth quarterback picked in the 2021 draft, and then some.
But the Patriots have suffered a brain drain on offense, losing four assistants to Las Vegas, including new Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels, the best offensive coordinator of his generation, and Bo Hardegree, who helped shape Jones into the league’s best rookie quarterback. That leaves former Giants head coach Joe Judge and former Lions head coach Matt Patricia to help Belichick help Jones. Judge has spent just one year of his career as an offensive assistant, working with New England’s receivers in 2019. Patricia last worked as an offensive assistant 17 years ago, as the Patriots’ assistant line coach.
Maybe none of that will matter, and New England will go 11-6 because Belichick is Belichick and the Pats are the Pats. Or maybe this will be a rare Foxborough opening that the Jets can exploit.
Either way, Wilson should take it personally that Jones completely outplayed him in Year 1, even if he says he doesn’t.
“I don’t try and compare my play to anybody else, as far as other quarterbacks go,” Wilson said Tuesday. “I try and look at what I did last year and what I put on film and how I can just keep improving on that.What Mac is asked to do from his coaches is probably different that what I’m asked to do. We all have different schemes, different offenses, so I can’t sit there and compare what we’re trying do to there.”
Those comparisons will be printed and aired anyway. Jones made the playoffs, Wilson did not. Jones made the Pro Bowl, Wilson did not. Jones went 10-7 in his starts, Wilson went 3-10 in his. Jones completed 67.6 percent of his attempts and threw for 22 touchdowns against 13 interceptions, Wilson completed 55.6 percent of his attempts and threw for nine touchdowns and 11 picks.
On the bright side, Wilson delivered four rushing touchdowns to none for Jones, and proved to be the superior athlete while competing with teammates and coaches who were inferior to those of the Patriots.
This time around, the game shouldn’t be moving too fast for Saleh and staff, and the talent gap between the teams shouldn’t be as wide. Wilson should benefit greatly from the presence of Garrett Wilson on the outside, Breece Hall in the backfield, Laken Tomlinson on the line, C.J. Uzomah, Tyler Conklin and Jeremy Ruckert at tight end, and a defense that added two first-round picks, Sauce Gardner and Jermaine Johnson II.
“We’re definitely going to be better,” Wilson said.
Their quarterback has no choice but to be better.
“You can tell his head’s right,” Saleh said. “He’s in a great mental space. … He looks good. He’s confident. He’s smiling. He’s vocal.
“You can always tell the [confidence] level in their understanding of what they’re being asked to do by the volume of their voice, and he’s getting pretty loud.”
Saleh said it takes NFL players three years to figure things out, but it seems Jones made that happen in one year.
Jones was drafted 13 overall spots and three quarterback spots after Wilson, who needs to spend the 2022 season reminding people why.
By: Ny Post
Taxi passenger’s arm shattered by gunfire
Now taking a cab doesn’t even keep you safe from gunfire!
Two young men enjoying an evening out in the Big Apple became the latest unintended victims of gunfire, when they were hit by bullets while sitting in a taxi early Saturday.
The pair were with a group of friends at about 3:50 a.m., in the cab heading from Brooklyn to Manhattan, when shots that were intended for others hit them, sources said.
The bullets flew as the cab drove down West 36th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues, near Vito’s Slices and Ices pizza shop, which was closed at the time.
Investigators believe three shooters were aiming at a couple wearing a lot of jewelry outside the shop, sources said.
Police recovered three bullet casings.
“It’s getting out of hand,” said Alexander Franklyn of Staten Island, whose 24-year-old son, Nicalus, was hit in the arm. “You don’t seem to be safe anywhere.”
Franklyn said his son was in the back seat of the cab and the bullet shattered a bone in his arm. He was heading into surgery at Bellevue Hospital on Saturday afternoon.
Nicalus, a case worker for a social services agency, and had been with three other friends, all pals from playing rugby, and was going to the Manhattan apartment of one of them when he was shot, his dad said.
“I’m not sure what the future’s going to hold,” Franklyn said of his son’s ability to continue playing.
The other victim, 22-year-old Samy Shelbaya, was grazed in the arm by a bullet, Franklyn said.
An Instagram page for Shelbaya says he’s a medical school student who played rugby at Michigan State University.
The Taxi and Limousine Commission said it was investigating the shooting but would not release information on who owned the cab.
A neighborhood resident who gave her name as Jazzy said she was out with friends and came across the crime scene Saturday.
“The violence is overwhelming. The violence is totally out of control. At one time we can attribute it to drugs. Now it’s unexplainable violence,” she said.
By: Ny Post
20-year NYPD veteran retires by giving the department the finger
A 20-year decorated veteran of the NYPD celebrated Independence Day a little early by retiring and giving the department the finger — literally.
Thomas J. Gambardella, 41, of Staten Island, posted a photo on Facebook of himself flipping the bird at a memorial inside NYPD headquarters, while wearing a T-shirt reading “Let’s Go Brandon,” following his official retirement from the force two weeks ago.
The statue Gambardella took aim at depicts a police officer watching over the child of a slain cop.
“I’m officially retired today!” he wrote in a post at the time. “From this sorry excuse of a s–t job. Thank God, I’m free at last!… I loved everyone I worked with and ‘some’ of the people I’ve worked for. But this job is no one’s friend. Time to live free. I’ll see you all out there!”
Gambardella, who was most recently a detective sergeant, told The Post on Saturday that he loved his job when he started out — but the gig turned “s–t” due to the city’s increasingly soft-on-crime policies.
“I was a true believer,” Gambardella, who comes from a police family, said of his early years on the beat. “I wasn’t a bag of s–t. I worked some intricate details. I gave a lot of my blood, sweat and tears. But no more.”
A combination of increasingly liberal policies and what he said was the NYPD’s stranglehold over every aspect of his life led him to sour on the gig.
“It’s the worst f–king job in the world,” Gambardella said. “They own you. They’re not your friends. All that talk about the ‘big blue family.’ They don’t care. If I die tomorrow they wouldn’t give a sh-t. If I needed something it ain’t gonna happen. I’m better off just saying a prayer.”
The potty-mouthed former officer said he was disgusted by the increased hostility toward police, calls to defund the NYPD and crackdowns on what cops could or could not do.
“Crime is soaring and cops are leaving in droves,” Gambardella said. “Anybody can see that. All this liberalism is obviously a failure. But this is what they wanted. It’s a stupid experiment and it’s the people who will pay in the end.”
Gambardella said he has gotten some backlash to his posts and photos, though not much.
“I have a disease,” he said. “It’s called diarrhea of the mouth. People who know me know I’m like this. I don’t cower down.”
Gambardella, who is divorced with three kids, said cops were treated well under Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former police commissioner Ray Kelly, and that the public was better off with them, too.
“The minute they stopped the quality of life enforcement that was the beginning of the end,” he said. “Just having people know they could get a response from a noise complaint was a big deal. But that’s all long gone.”
Gambardella, who said he was named Officer of the Year in 2006 when he worked in the 68th precinct in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, joined the force in July 2002. He was most recently in the detective squad at the 70th precinct in Kensington.
According to city records, he made $164,000 last year.
More than 2,119 NYPD officers have either resigned or retired so far this year – on pace to be the biggest exodus of officers since the statistics have been available.
Some 524 cops have resigned and 1,072 have retired as of May 31, NYPD pension stats obtained by The Post last month showed. In June alone, 523 officers left, with 400 retiring and 123 resigning, the most resignations in a single month in at least a decade.
Of the 2,119 who are leaving, 1,472 are retiring and 647 are resigning, a 38% spike over the previous record of 1,535 for the first six months of 2020, the attrition numbers show.
“The majority of officers who are retire are proud of their careers and their service with the NYPD,” a high-ranking police source told The Post when asked about Gambardella.
Several current and retired NYPD detectives said they were stung and angered by seeing the photo of Gambardella giving the finger to the memorial statue at One Police Plaza.
One retired NYPD detective said that officers will often buy miniature versions of the statue for families of slain police officers with the officer’s shield number on it.
By: Ny Post
Cristiano Ronaldo tells Manchester United he wants to leave
Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United return could prove to be short-lived.
Just 11 months after Ronaldo was triumphantly announced at Old Trafford, the Portuguese superstar has told the club he would like to leave if they receive a strong enough offer, per multiple reports, after United failed to qualify for the Champions League last season.
Ronaldo scored 24 goals in all competitions to lead United, but the campaign was largely a disaster, as the club was sixth in the Premier League — tied for its second-worst finish of the Premier League Era — and lost in the Champions League Round of 16, failing to secure any trophies. Ronaldo, who came to United at the last minute after being linked to Manchester City, struggled to fit within Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s system before Solsjkaer was replaced by the polarizing Ralf Ragnick.
According to The Athletic, newly minted Chelsea owner Todd Boehly met with Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes, last week to discuss the idea of him playing in London. The website also named Bayern Munich and Napoli as potential suitors, while Paris Saint-Germain is not considered interested.
Ronaldo reportedly has a year left on his deal with United, which does not view him as being for sale, according to The Athletic.
A five-time Ballon D’Or winner, Ronaldo’s 141 Champions League goals are the most of any player. If he is with United next season, it will be the first year in which he won’t take part in the top European competition since 2002-03, when he was 17 years old and playing for Portugal’s Sporting Lisbon.
By: Ny Post
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