Breece Hall’s ‘unbelievable’ pass-catching role is latest Jets evolution

Breece Hall’s ‘unbelievable’ pass-catching role is latest Jets evolution

Breece Hall was limited to 17 yards rushing in the Jets’ ugly win over the Giants on Sunday, but he partially made up for the rough game on the ground by catching a season-high six passes for 76 yards and a touchdown.

On Monday, the Jets will face the Chargers and versatile back Austin Ekeler, who has been a multi-talented weapon for Los Angeles for much of his seven-year career.

“He’s been doing it for a long time,’’ Hall said Friday after the Jets practiced. “I think he’s really underpaid. I think he should be getting paid a lot better than what he is.”

Ekeler, who caught 107 passes last year, is in the final season of a four-year, $24.5 million deal and looked to get traded prior to this season before ultimately staying with the Chargers.

Hall, in just his second season out of Iowa State, is developing into the kind of threat Ekeler has been — although he was quick to point out Friday that they are two different types of running back.

New York Jets running back Breece Hall
New York Jets running back Breece Hall has started to catch more passes for the Jets.
Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

“He’s a little smaller than me and more agile, so I can’t watch him and take anything from his game,’’ Hall said. “It’s cool to see what he does. He runs, can catch the ball. Runs routes [well]. You give him space, he’ll make you pay.”

That’s how the Jets are trying to incorporate Hall more into the offense, with five catches two weeks ago in their upset win over the Eagles followed by the solid showing versus the Giants.

“I think it’s a combination of [something that’s] in design and also some of the things that the defense is taking away from us because we’ve been passing the ball a little bit more,’’ offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett said this week. “I think we can all agree, whenever he or Garrett [Wilson] or [Tyler] Conklin has the ball, all those guys are dynamic. … My job, along with all the coaches and quarterbacks, is to get them the ball so they can make plays because that checkdown to Breece is just unbelievable.”

The offense still wasn’t able to do much against the Giants’ defense last week, but if Hall can be another weapon for Zach Wilson, the Jets will take it.

Hall could be an asset for Zach Wilson on Sunday.
Hall could be an asset for Zach Wilson on Sunday.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

And with the offensive line still in flux because of injuries, running the ball might continue to be an issue — for Hall or anyone else.

Hall said the offensive line shuffling hasn’t particularly impacted the way he wants to run.

“Just run the same,’’ Hall said. “We get reps with all the guys. … Everyone knows what to do. We’re seven games in now. There’s not really anything we can be surprised at. Injuries happen, but we’ve got some guys stepping up and [coming] back. We have to hold everybody accountable.”

As long as the short passing game is available, though, Hall and the Jets will take it.

“I think it’s good for everybody to have that safe haven [of] when you can throw a guy a ball 2 yards and make a big play with it,’’ Hall said. “It’s always good to know and it gets everybody comfortable to know you’re like a safe jacket for everything.”

Dan Martin

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