In a candid and revealing interview, former New York Jets offensive tackle Mekhi Becton expressed his discontent with the Jets coaching staff and opened up about a controversial decision that he believes led to his injury.
Becton, the 11th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, did not hold back in his criticism of the team’s handling of his position and its impact on his performance and health.
In an interview with Bob Glauber of Newsday, Becton stated unequivocally that the decision to place him at right tackle during training camp in 2022 “was a mistake.” He explained that this decision proved detrimental as it put excessive strain on his right knee, the same knee he relied on for backpedaling in pass protection.
Despite raising his concerns with the coaching staff, Becton claimed that his input was disregarded, and he was compelled to play a position he was ill-suited for.
“It made no sense to put me at right tackle. I hurt my right knee. That’s going to be the knee that I put the most pressure on [while backpedaling in pass protection]. I explained it [to the coaches], but no one cared.”
According to Becton, he voiced his discomfort and physical issues throughout camp, but his complaints were dismissed by the coaching staff. He revealed that he had been limping during practices, and during one particular instance, his knee buckled, resulting in a serious injury that required reconstructive knee surgery. These injuries limited Becton to playing only 1 game out of 34 over the past two seasons.
“I got forced to play a position I don’t play,” Becton said. “I was pretty much telling them I wasn’t feeling good the whole time throughout camp and I was told I shouldn’t be complaining. Go out there and do it. I was limping throughout the whole practice, and I just took a step and my knee buckled and I got hurt again and had to get reconstructive knee surgery.”
Following these setbacks, Becton decided to take a different approach during the offseason. He embarked on a transformative journey, enlisting the help of the Parisi Speed School, which has yielded remarkable results. The imposing 6-foot-7 tackle, who initially weighed around 365 pounds when drafted, had reportedly reached close to 400 pounds last offseason.
Under the guidance of the Parisi Speed School, Becton adopted a rigorous workout regimen and made significant changes to his diet, resulting in a remarkable weight loss.
At the start of his training, Becton weighed 394 pounds, but he has since shed more than 50 pounds, with his most recent weigh-in recording at 342 pounds. Richard Sadiv, the owner of Parisi Speed School, credited Becton’s success to a combination of modified eating habits, reduced caloric intake, and intense workouts lasting 75 minutes, five days a week.
Update: #Jets OT Mekhi Becton, who ballooned to over 400 pounds, has since lost over 50+ pounds and now weights 342, per ESPN.
Becton completely transformed his body and slimmed down after a lot of hard work and commitment 👏 pic.twitter.com/1hprlQZlT6
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) May 7, 2023
Becton’s ultimate goal is to return to peak performance, building upon the solid ability he displayed as a rookie in 2020. Despite his limited playing time since then, Becton has dedicated himself to regaining his form, driven by the desire to reclaim his role as the team’s left tackle and perform at a high level.
The revelations made by Becton regarding the Jets’ decision to place him at right tackle despite his objections and subsequent injuries have raised concerns about the team’s handling of player safety and their willingness to heed input from players.
It remains to be seen how the Jets organization will address Becton’s allegations and whether they will take steps to prevent similar situations in the future.
In the meantime, Becton’s dedication to his physical transformation and determination to excel on the field should serve as an inspiration to his teammates and fans, as he strives to overcome adversity and establish himself as one of the premier offensive tackles in the league once again.