The Quarterback Plan
Apologies for the late send today….life.
I sat for a long time yesterday deciding what to write today. I quietly (largely) took a backseat to the conversation online around the Jets and Zach Wilson, reading and digesting as much as possible. I listened to Robert Saleh debunk those conspiracy theories that his hand was being forced, which makes sense considering it’s illogical to presume that anyone is demanding the Jets play Wilson.
But a few comments on TJW made me think of the long-term future, and while the short-term future looks murky at best, why not take a look at what the plan is, or at least my perception of what the plan should be. Even if the Jets flame out this year, it’s likely both Joe Douglas and Robert Saleh return, as long as Aaron Rodgers returns. But what happens once Rodgers rides off into the sunset?
During the MNF broadcast, Troy Aikman attributed this quote to Quinnen Williams, stating that the Jets defensive lineman said this about himself as "the highest-paid decoy in football". But according to Williams, he never spoke to Aikman and called that comment “weird” and “upsetting”. Stating “It’s a team sport, I just want to help the team win.” It’s strange when commentators believe they can just make something up and it won’t get called out despite them broadcasting it to millions of people.
Zach Wilson had this to say about the offensive struggles "As frustrated as [Jets fans] are, we're even more frustrated…I want them to know that I'm doing everything I absolutely can to be the best QB I can be." I have absolutely no doubt that he’s working hard, everything I’ve ever read about Wilson points to him being a tireless worker. But sometimes you can’t teach certain elements of playing QB, and as such no matter how much work you put in sometimes it just doesn’t work out. Not every QB who failed to make an impact in the NFL was lazy, nobody likes failing.
Billy Turner is dealing with a hand injury and Robert Saleh said that was “concerning”. I’d find it more concerning if he plays considering how bad he was against LA. Allowing 3 sacks and 10 pressures should get you benched as a veteran. Duane Brown is getting “closer” but Rodger Saffold is “obviously not in football shape yet” and we shouldn’t “count on it this week” in terms of him being available.
Here is your full injury report for Wednesday. Wednesday is the least important as a lot of teams just do a walkthrough and give veterans time off. It’s also the day when players with injury histories have load management breaks. So we’ll see how this shakes out over the next few days.
I missed this off yesterday’s newsletter, but Aaron Rodgers was asked about the Jets offensive struggles during his weekly slot on the Pat McAfee show and because he’s not blind, he reiterated what we’ve been saying for weeks: “It just comes down to situational football. We’ve been bad on third down and bad in the red zone. When you’re bad on third down, you’re not going to keep drives going. When you’re bad in the red zone, you’re only getting field goals. It’s the same shit: It comes to execution and the little things and everyone doing their job.”
Just to reiterate the above point and to add context to the conversation. Here are the worst 10 teams in football when it comes to third-down conversion. As you can see, not only are the Jets at the bottom, but they’re on their own island when it comes to this. It’s also why they’re on course to have the lowest third-down conversion rate in 45+ years:
Now if we do the same thing for the red-zone offence, you’ll see that yet again…the Jets are not only the worst team in the league, they’re out on their island again.
So it’s not just that they’re bad, they are hopelessly bad and I think this is where the frustration comes from. Seeing this, seeing these stats, the head coach is refusing to make a change despite us being halfway through the year. I’m actually to a point where I don’t care too much what the change is, but I just want to see something different. If that’s keeping Zach at QB and trying Todd Downing calling the plays, let’s do it. If that’s inserting Boyle or Siemian in at QB and keeping Hackett calling plays, then do it.
I keep reiterating this point, but some people don’t enjoy Zach's criticism. It’s not just Zach, I get that. There is a very real and very good chance that the Jets don’t improve by inserting Trevor Siemian. I accept that possibility. But compare their careers and you’ll see why, considering they’ve played a similar amount of games, people want to explore the option considering the statistics presented above.
Just. Do. Something.
I believe the Jets master plan revolved around Aaron Rodgers and Zach Wilson. The plan was for Aaron Rodgers to play 2 years, the Jets to re-sign Zach on a lower contract after declining his 5th-year option and for the former #2 to take on the reigns once Aaron decided that he wanted to spend his days campaigning for alternative medicine adoption.
But like a lot of things with the Jets, it doesn’t always go to plan.
Zach Wilson was supposed to be enjoying a red-year season and the Jets were supposed to be winning a lot of football games. Neither is happening, although winning 4 games is probably better than some expected at the start of the season after Rodgers went down. Thank you defence!
But what now?