On the day Dalvin Cook first spoke to New York reporters after signing with the Jets, another Gotham running back made his long-awaited return to team drills.
And with second-year pro Breece Hall impressing in his first 11-on-11 work since suffering a torn ACL last year -- plus Cook now in tow -- the Jets might be able to boast one of the most talented backfields in the NFL.
Cook spoke Thursday about the quality of his new running back room and indicated that he has no concerns about the team being able to keep its stable of backs happy and busy.
"Obviously, when you dig deep and look into the roster, I think all the pieces are put together," Cook said. "I think I can come help these guys. When you look at the running back room with M.C. (Michael Carter), Breece, Bam (Zonovan Knight) and all those guys, with me just adding to it, I think it could be something special."
The concern for Hall is his return from ACL surgery. Head coach Robert Saleh said earlier in the week that he's “very confident” Hall will be ready for the regular-season opener against the Bills on Sept. 11, and the Jets saw evidence of that in Thursday's practice, with Hall ripping off a long run that might have been a touchdown in a game setting.
"He still can run," Saleh said, "that's for damn sure."
And just for emphasis, Saleh added: "He scored. No one touched him."
The Jets' offensive line concerns still loom, but it's remarkable how much their offensive talent has improved over the past few years. Now they have a unit led by Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, Hall and Cook headlining a strong RB group and standouts Garrett Wilson, Allen Lazard and others at receiver.
Cook said that Rodgers was a big factor in his signing with the Jets. They battled head to head the past few years as members of the Vikings and Packers, respectively, and though they were pretty evenly matched in terms of head-to-head record, Cook saw enough of Rodgers' brilliance to know he wanted to be on the same team as him if possible.
"Being on the other side of that for the last six years, you know, I couldn't be on the other side no more," Cook said. "So it was just like I got a chance (to) go join him and help him win. ...
"That was a big thing to come over here."