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New York Jets RB Frank Gore talks after the Jets’ loss to the Chargers on Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, dropped the team to 0-10.

NorthJersey.com

EAST RUTHERFORD — New York Jets rookie receiver Denzel Mims has already provided glimpses of the all the necessary tools to be a game-changing playmaker in the NFL.

He’s made contested catches, fought for yardage after the catch and found ways to get himself open when the defense is focusing on him. But the one talent that might be most important to his future is best on display when the ball isn’t coming his way.

Watch Mims block on Sunday, when the Jets host the Dolphins (1 p.m., CBS). He attacks his assignment with intensity and sense of urgency. Sometimes, there’s even an edge and chippiness in it. It’s a window into Mims’ entire attitude, which will be the most important factor to whatever success he’s destined to have in this league.

“I know I can improve on a lot, and I’m going to continue to do that,” Mims said this week. “Yes, I have had a little success, but that’s not enough for me and that’s not enough for the team.”

Mims has given Jets fans a lot to be excited about in the first four games of his career. But the truth is it that it’s way too early to know how good he can be. He’s been consistent, and shown the flashes of his potential in every game. And that has been impressive in a way: he became only the 13th NFL rookie receiver since 2000 to post at least 40 yards in each of his first four games.

New York Jets wide receiver Denzel Mims (11) catches a pass in front of Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Charvarius Ward (35) in the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) (Photo: Jeff Roberson, AP)

But he has yet to have a breakout game. He set a career high with 71 receiving yards against the Chargers last week, but he has yet to catch more than four passes in a game.

However, when you combine his solid numbers with his intensity and competitive mindset, there’s a lot to like about the direction he’s headed in.

“I get excited when I see certain things on Sunday and I see how he’s progressing and the questions he asks and the things that he tries to do at practice,” Jets coach Adam Gase said. “I get excited to just see how this kid is going to keep growing.”

Mims has been particularly adept at making contested catches in the first four games. He made an impressive leaping catch against the Chiefs, and another highlight reel catch against the Chargers on Sunday. But he has made other, more subtly difficult catches in these first four games.

It’s already made a difference for the Jets’ offense, which is coming off its two best passing games of