The Jets added 12-year veteran center Ryan Kalil this week and quarterback Sam Darnold and head coach Adam Gase couldn't be more excited about the move.
"Ryan Kalil, I've heard great things, obviously he's done great things in the NFL," Darnold, who played his college ball at USC like Kalil, said on Friday. "He's seen a lot of football."
Kalil might've taken a bit of a step back in 2018 with the Carolina Panthers as football analytics outlet Pro Football Focus graded him as the No. 16 center in the NFL last season. However, Kalil does have an impressive resume that includes five Pro Bowls and two All-Pro selections.
In addition to his talents, Gase is happy to have Kalil's intangibles added to the locker room.
"For us it's a great thing that we can add to that group. A guy that's played at a very high level for a long time. Gonna be really helpful for the offense, for the quarterback, for our locker room, bringing in the right kind of guy for us," Gase said. "I'm fired up."
In terms of on the field, Darnold is the key. The quarterback and center must be on the same page for an offense to run successfully. The Jets are slowly approaching their season opener against the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 8. That gives the duo about a month to work out the kinks before then.
Darnold is confident chemistry will be built by then.
"Yeah," Darnold said in regard to the time frame. "From what people have said to me, he's a great dude. I don't think there's gong to be any issue there getting along. Again, I think communications in terms of protections, run game, all that stuff, as much as we can communicate, especially with our offense and the offense we want to create, and the offense that we want to have, communication is key."
On Friday, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano reported that Kalil is not yet on the field because Kalil still needs to officially sign on the dotted line and pass his physical.
Per Gase, the Jets will slowly work the 34-year-old lineman, who briefly retired this offseason, into football activities. Kalil likely won't practice on Saturday, either.
"It's going to be a minute. We're going to make sure he's good before he steps on the field," Gase said.