A heaping helping . . .


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Not the same . . .

Todd Bowles said something I disagree with to a degree.

He was asked if it would be hard for a rookie QB to play on Sunday with limited practice during the week. Sam Darnold was limited in practice the last two days.

He mentioned Sam Darnold could still play even though he’s limited, and he mentioned that Josh McCown was also limited, so there is really no difference.

“Whoever doesn’t get full reps misses out on some things, but obviously we study all week and we study the same way with Josh and the same way with Davis (Webb),” Bowles said.

With all due respect, I don’t see it that way.

McCown is 39-years-old and has played pro football for 16 years. He has a history of coming off the bench in games with limited reps during the week. With all his experience, he’s proven he can play with limited reps.

It’s really hard for rookie quarterbacks to play in games with full practice reps, let alone limited reps. I think it’s really hard for rookie quarterbacks to play in a game with limited reps.

So I don’t see McCown and Darnold as equals in the “limited reps” world . . .

I asked Kacy Rodgers if they are going to make any defensive lineup changes.

“Not at this time,” Rodgers said.

I thought they might consider doing this since they’ve lost five games in a row, and are coming off a historical combo of games against Buffalo and New England.

They gave up the most total yards in back-to-back homes in Jets history.

Also, it’s the first time since 2002 they gave up back-to-back 200 yards rushing games.

The Jets’ run defense is a disaster right now, but the Jets’ defensive decision-makers clearly don’t believe the problem is the personnel.

“We’ve just got to be exactly where we are supposed to be, just being exact,” Rodgers said. “It’s not effort, it’s just one thing here, one thing there, then next thing you know it leads to a big play. So we’ve got to fine tune that.”

Somebody asked a follow-up question: “If it’s that simple, how come it’s still not fixed?”

“It’s never a simple fix, but it’s something that you constantly work at, because if one person makes a mistake it could lead to a big play,” Rodgers said.

Some of these gap integrity issues aren’t necessarily “mistakes.”

In the case of Darron Lee, I don’t see his issues as “mistakes” as much as an inability to shed blocks due to being undersized and not being powerfully built. He too often gets velcroed to the blocks of much bigger and more powerful men. This isn’t a “mistake.” The mistake might have been by the GM for picking a player built like this and expecting him to succeed as a 3-4 ILB, a position that requires a lot of stacking and shedding blockers. Lee fits a Carolina, Tampa Bay, Indianapolis or Dallas system as a run-and-hit linebacker in a 4-3 defense.

I asked Rodgers if it’s possible that a player just can’t get off blocks.

“That’s always a factor,” Rodgers said. “Physics does play a role, but that hasn’t been our situation.”

He might not be right here, but he’s probably not empowered to make changes.

Some of Nathan Shepherd’s gap issues are actually technique and leverage mistakes, but it’s not a lack of effort. This is more about not giving this super-raw prospect the requisite time to get down the proper technique. In college, he could just overpower people playing on a low-level college level. In the NFL, he needs great technique, but he was thrown right into the starting lineup, not given the necessary time to get comfortable with the technique.

Some coaches just won’t replace players who are struggling.

Rex Ryan was the same way.


Maybe they don’t want to embarrass players publicly.

November 29, 2018

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