On the podium, hands on the lectern and a broad smile stretching across his face, John Franklin-Myers amused himself, reveling in the media spotlight as long as reporters questioned him.
When asked if he smiles as much on the pitch as he does during the interview, he replied: “It’s a great opportunity. I have to have fun with it, not everyone has this opportunity. “
In every way, Franklin-Myers, 24, is taking advantage of his unique opportunity with the Jets. He became an important defending player in the Jets’ 4-3 pattern, an outside rusher who can also work inside, snatched from the hanger wire by the Jets in 2019 after being cut by the Rams.
He went from a deep player last year to one of the straws in stirring up the Jets’ defense. In the first two weeks of the 2021 NFL season, JFM – a fourth-round pick by Stephen F. Austin – has a Pro Football Focus score of 81.4, which is the highest among any Jets player. .
“I have an opportunity and they [the coaching staff] are doing a good job, putting me in a good position, ”he said. “I play with guys who do routine games. Really, anyone would do well to play with these guys. “
With much of the early defensive focus on the Jets’ emerging young cornerbacks; the spirited return of linebacker CJ Mosley; and expectations on the D-line centered on Quinnen Williams and Sheldon Rankins; JFM apparently flew under the radar. But that perception is likely to change, especially after scoring sacks in each of the first two games of this season. JFM is also part of a three-player squad (Chandler Jones and Nick Bosa are the other two) this season to record two or more sacks, two or more tackles for losses and a forced fumble in the first two weeks of the season.
“He’s one of those guys who had times in his career where he specialized as an outside rusher, there were times in his career where he was primarily an inside rusher.” said defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich. “I think the best way to use his skills is a bit of both, and that’s what we try to present with him. When he has the opportunity to do a bit of both, he’s very dynamic about that. way, because he maybe has a little more power than a traditional board guy, so he can overwhelm a tackle in a certain way. So I think the more we can use and the more we can take advantage of his versatility the better. I expect him to have a very good year for us, a career year for himself. “