Eschew Confirmation Bias

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This isn’t about being right in the draft, it’s about winning games and making the playoffs.

So Joe Douglas and Robert Saleh can’t let confirmation bias impact their thought process at QB moving forward.

Zach Wilson is the first man up at QB after Aaron Rodgers injury.

But he should not be the last if he struggles.

The Jets roster is too strong to waste it trying to be right about a draft pick.

“Belichick stands in front of the team and says look, the only players who are going to play here are the best players,” said a former Patriots executive. “So if we drafted you in the first round, or you were an undrafted college free agent, who’s ever the best player is playing. He says that to the team. Most teams when we drafted you in the first round, we don’t care if the other guy is better than you, we are going to keep you.”

That is the way everybody should do it, but most don’t.

It should not matter where Wilson was drafted.

At this point, you see what he can do replacing Rodgers, but you can’t afford to stay with him too long if he’s not playing well.

Obviously on a short-week this week after playing on Monday Night Football, the Jets aren’t going to bring in a veteran QB and throw him out there.

Also, if they signed or traded for a veteran QB, whether they played him or not this week, his mere presence might spook Wilson entering his first start this year.

So while it’s smart to snoop around for who might be available this week, it’s probably not the time to pull the trigger. Don’t make Wilson look over his shoulder this week.

Wilson is not better than his current backup Tim Boyle, regardless of what you might hear elsewhere, however, there isn’t a big enough difference to make the move to Boyle now.

So where could they turn for another option if Wilson is the not the answer and they eschew confirmation bias, who can be kryptonite to a football operation?

I would call Houston about Case Keenum, who has 64 career starts. I’m not putting him in Canton, but he knows what he’s doing out there and is the consummate game manager, something the Jets could use to complement their strong running game and defense.

I would work out Matt Ryan, the former Atlanta Falcons and Indianapolis Colts QB.

You need to work him out to see if he still has the requisite arm strength to make all the throws.

Yes, that stint in Indy was ugly last year, but they had no left tackle, and took a beating.

There is a popular narrative that Ryan is a bad idea because he’s immobile and the Jets offensive line isn’t very good, but I don’t agree with the O-Line part.

The O-Line was obviously awful on that first drive, but I think moving forward it can be a solid line. Duane Brown and Mekhi Becton seem to get better as the get progressed after getting the cobwebs off, and the interior is solid. The run blocking against Buffalo was excellent.

Is it the best line in the league? No, but it’s not the train wreck the echo chamber would lead you to believe. So if Ryan is healthy, and still has his legs and arm, I’d kick the tires on him. He has a winning record as a starter, a 65.6 career completion percentage (which is what you are looking for to sustain drives) and 381 to 183 TDs in his career, and he’s a year and a half younger than Rodgers. If he checks out physically, why not? Don’t judge him by his work for Jimmy Irsay’s Colts. That’s a weird place.

Leaning on Jeff Ulbirch on this one. He was an assistant in Atlanta from 2015-20, and knows Ryan well.

Also Colt McCoy, if he’s healthy, should be a consideration.

To me, you need a guy who is good at going through progressions, not just an arm.

And Douglas and Saleh can’t let confirmation bias have a seat at the table.

September 13, 2023

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Dan Leberfeld
Dan Leberfeld
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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