A couple things to get into

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I’m going to start on a positive note.

Watching left guard Alijah Vera-Tucker closely today – that dude is a special talent.

He looks like a player, if he stays healthy, will be making some trips to Hawaii.

A couple plays, I was like, wow . . .

What Zach Wilson did today was very surprising, even considering he was a rookie in his second game, when you juxtapose him with Mac Jones.

It’s well-documented that Bill Belichick does a great job on rookie quarterbacks. Last year, his defense shutout the Chargers’ Justin Herbert 45-0. Herbert had an excellent rookie season, but even he was baffled.

And remember when Sam Darnold, in 2019, threw four picks against New England to go with a 3.7 quarterback rating, in a 33-0 Patriots win. Granted Darnold wasn’t a rookie at the time, but he was very young and inexperienced, and was baffled by Belichick’s defense.

Belichick is known for creating great disguises that mess with the heads of young quarterbacks.

But there is the deal with today – you could argue that these picks weren’t really “seeing ghosts” picks, at least from a coverage standpoint. One pick was a thrown a little high to Corey Davis on a bootleg right, and went off his hands and was intercepted.

The other three seemed to have some “hero ball” elements to them – ill-advised throws down field that might not have been there.

Aside from watching his own tape to learn from his mistakes, Wilson should also watch some Mac Jones tape from Sunday. Take what the defense gives you. Know what you don’t know. Don’t try to be Brett Favre in your second game – gun-slinging the ball all over the lot. Not equipped to do that yet.

Robert Saleh kind of said this after the game about Wilson.

“It’s OK to play a boring game of football,” said Saleh.

One other thing about Wilson from today, and I want to make it clear I’m not judging Saleh because what I’m referencing is easier said than done.

But if Wilson was playing for Belichick, and he threw four picks, he would probably have been replaced in the game.

Heck, remember a couple years ago, in Foxboro, the Patriots were blowing out the Jets, and Belichick pulled Brady, and put in rookie Jared Stidham, who threw a Pick Six to Jamal Adams. Next series, Brady was back in a quarterback. Think about it – he pulled Stidham, filling in for Brady in garbage time, due to one pick.

So perhaps Wilson should have been pulled, at least temporarily, to send him a strong message.

And anybody who says to me, “Who are you going to put in,” can talk to the hand.

Mike White is much better than people think.

But this isn’t about White. It’s about letting Wilson know four picks in three quarters, including three on his first five throws, is unacceptable.

Robert Saleh was asked today about why Denzel Mims was inactive.

“You have to earn your keep – you have to earn your playing time,” said Saleh.” It would behoove everybody if we looked at Jeff Smith and all of those guys who are putting in that work, too. Not to say that [Mims] is not, but he has to be better than them. As soon as that happens, he’ll be active.”

So if a team wants to stay totally consistent with a meritocracy approach, it has to include every position, even if it’s temporarily.

September 19, 2021

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Dan Leberfeld
Dan Leberfeldhttps://www.jetsconfidential.com
Publisher of Jets Confidential Magazine. Call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4) to subscribe. Co-host of Press Coverage every Saturday on SiriusXM NFL Radio from 11-2.

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