Bucs-Jets Stuff Dan Leberfeld

There is a lot of youth in many capacities.

It was a hard-fought effort, but the Jets’ somewhat inexperienced staff and young roster reared its collective head at the end of the team’s loss to Tampa Bay.

A miscommunication between offensive coaches and Zach Wilson led to a failed QB sneak on a key fourth-and-two that could have iced the game, and then a two deep-zone not being played properly led to the game-winning touchdown.

This is the youngest team in the league to go along with one of the youngest coaching staffs, including a rookie offensive coordinator working with a rookie QB.

The Jets need to be a smarter team in 2022, on the sideline and on the field, and as philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “What doesn’t kill  you makes you stronger.”

Obviously some personnel needs to be upgraded, but some of the young guys that stay, will benefit from the lumps they took this year, there is no doubt about it.

For instance, Elijah Riley, who was involved in giving up the game-winning TD pass, will likely play the two-deep shell more effectively moving forward. He’s a very smart kid, but is very inexperienced, being signed off the Philadelphia Eagles’ practice squad earlier this season.

That isn’t selling a moral victory. I don’t believe in them. Just saying some of these players and coaches will benefit moving forward from the scars they got this year . . .

Bruce Arians wasn’t forthcoming in his press conference about what happened with Antonio Brown leaving the stadium during the game, but then the details were leaked to an NFL insider.

All Arians told the media after the game was, “He’s no longer a Buc. That’s the end of the story. Let’s talk about the guys that went out there and won the game.”

Why would a reporter accept that as an answer? What a joke. You want them to drop the subject and talk about other players?

I’m not here to defend Brown, but we need to be sensitive to the mental health issues that are rampant right now in this country, and we need to help each other out.

I just want to say one thing about this situation. If you are going to sign a player like Brown, who has issues, if he tells you he can’t play due to an injury, don’t snap at him and tell him he’s done for the day. That isn’t going to work with a hypersensitive guy who had a brutal childhood. Use a little softer touch, Bruce. Know who you are dealing with, unless you want to lose him, which happened today.

Look everyone, I’m not making excuses for Brown, but just dealing with the reality that you have to handle him with kid gloves if you sign him. That is just the reality of the situation . . .

The Jets’ offense, which came out strong, likely would have put up more points, and it might not come down to the end, if they didn’t lose three key players early in the game – left tackle George Fant, running back Michael Carter and tight end Dan Brown.

Chuma Edoga struggled playing for Fant, Carter’s work speaks for itself, and the loss of Brown left the Jets with one tight end, making them use Conor McDermott a lot as the #2 tight end. While did catch a TD pass last week on a trick play, he’s not really a threat in the passing game in normal situations.

Not making excuses, but those three losses hurt the Jets . . .

Zach Wilson’s second TD drive of the game, was his best of the season, converting four third-down conversions.

While the Tampa Bay defense was without both of their star edge-rushers, and future Hall-of-Fame linebacker Lavonte David, Wilson’s performance today was clearly his best of the season.

There are no moral victories, but that was clearly the reality of the situation.

January 2, 2022

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