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Jets CB Sauce Gardner has 'a lot of things' to work on after standout rookie season

Sauce Gardner enjoyed a hardware-winning rookie campaign, walking into the NFL as a lockdown corner. But even the Associated Press NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year knows he can improve.

Speaking at his youth football camp in Detroit on Saturday, the New York Jets cornerback set his sights on an even better Year 2.

"It was pretty cool, you know, like always," Gardner told Jania Clowers of The Detroit News of his rookie season. "You always have something to work on. I got a lot of things I can work on that's going to get better coming into my second season. I had a pretty good year."

There are few flaws in Sauce's game. He allowed just two touchdowns in his rookie campaign and generated a -28.8 target EPA, second-best among all corners, per Next Gen Stats.

Perhaps the biggest sign of respect for the rookie came when Gardner's hometown Lions eschewed throwing his way at all in Week 15, despite the corner being on the field for 68 snaps. Blanketing one side of the field provides the rest of the defense a much easier time.

After earning personal acclaim during his rookie season, Sauce is focusing on improving his game to help get the Jets to a place they haven't been since well before the 22-year-old was born.

"I want to win a Super Bowl," Gardner said. "I want to be the best teammate I can be. Not just my personal goals but I just want to be more team-oriented. I just want to be the best teammate I can be to help my team win."

With Aaron Rodgers joining Gang Green, the expectations in New York are through the roof. If Gardner does indeed improve into the NFL's top lockdown CB in 2023, chances improve for the Jets to end their 12-year playoff-less streak.

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