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New Jets DL Javon Kinlaw believes New York 'has got everything it needs to make a push to the playoffs'

Javon Kinlaw is in the business of gobbling up ball carriers.

He's also not opposed to dining on some rather uncommon cuisine.

That much was made clear after one of the New York Jets' newest defenders was asked by the team website's Caroline Hendershot what fans should know about him.

"I eat squirrels, snakes, rabbits, anything," Kinlaw replied amid a casual response in an interview posted Wednesday on the team site. "I like to fish, hunt. I love fashion and I'm a cool dude."

And so, the cool dude with a fashion sense and a diverse palate has introduced himself to Gotham.

Though finer New York restaurants aren't known for serving up members of the Sciuridae family, Kinlaw believes he's landed in the right spot with the Jets. With his last game played having been the Super Bowl, the 26-year-old sees a winner in Gang Green and a club poised for big things after an unlucky 13-year playoff drought.

"I know what it's like in those games, money-wise especially," Kinlaw said. "I know what it's like -- the physicality, the energy. And I can only imagine the energy, what it's going to be like in MetLife. So I want to go back. I feel like this team has got everything it needs to make a push to the playoffs. So, I'm looking forward to it."

Born in Washington, DC, Kinlaw grew up in South Carolina and played his college ball there before he was selected No. 14 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. Following four underwhelming seasons in the Bay Area, Kinlaw is back on the East Coast with the Jets and reuniting with former defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, who's now his head coach. That made his signing a natural one in his mind.

"I mean it was kinda like a no-brainer honestly, knowing Saleh and knowing [defensive line] coach [Aaron] Whitecotton," Kinlaw said. "It was a no-brainer. I felt comfortable with it, and this is a fast, relentless young defense and I'm a young player so I just can't wait to get into it with these guys. I look forward to it."

Regardless of what's for dinner, Kinlaw believes he'll be a fit at the Jets' table, one in which he can continue to develop and perhaps realize the first-round potential that largely went unfulfilled in San Francisco.

"Just by knowing what I bring to the table, but also telling me, 'Hey, this is what you can improve on, that's what you can improve on,' and I'm looking forward to it," Kinlaw said of what Saleh and Whitecotton can do to help him along. "You'll see what they've got for me, and I'm looking to take all my improvements head-on, so I can become the player I know that I can."

Though not eye-popping, Kinlaw's coming off a solid final campaign statistically in San Francisco, having played in all 17 games with six starts, a career-high 3.5 sacks, 25 tackles and four tackles for loss.

A liability in the run game at times, Kinlaw should offer some pass-rushing punch up the middle and perhaps some more interesting soundbites. We'll see this season and at his introductory news conference on Thursday.

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