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Nick Lowe once sang, “You’ve got to be cruel to be kind.”
In other words, sometimes being blunt with people is actually more helpful to them than blowing smoke.
And former NFL GM Michael Lombardi continues to offer some bold, unfiltered commentary on the Jets. He worked for Bill Walsh, Al Davis and Bill Belichick during his long stint in the NFL.
Some would call him a “hater” but you could make a strong argument that this is a wonderful time for this discourse, because everybody is undefeated now, and there is more than enough time between now, and the beginning of the season, to fix certain things.
The bottom line with the Jets is this, and most of us know it – if they hope to improve significantly from last year’s 4-13 campaign, their defensive unit, and QB, must both take quantum leaps.
Let’s start with the defense, and these are new comments from Lombardi on his VSIN show over the weekend.
“The Jets were 31st or 32nd in most every key defensive data point,” Lombardi said. “Their defense was horrible. Have they made better additions, yes, but let me say this – you gotta get good, before you get great.”
Lombardi offered some detailed stats beyond the boilerplate variety to make his point about their defense.
“They were the worst team in the National Football League in scoring percentage allowed,” Lombardi said. “What does that mean? That means every time the opponent gets the ball do they score a field goal or a touchdown. Scoring percentage. They were the worst team in football in that area. They were 30th in turnover percentage. So not only do they not stop you from scoring, they don’t get the ball back.”
And that stat about creating turnovers is pretty important when you consider their attacking style of defense.
“They were 30th in defense in creating turnovers and the premise of the defense is creating turnovers,” Lombardi said.
We will see if an influx of new talent in free agency and the draft will help.
And Lombardi feels their second-year QB Zach Wilson needs to take a giant step.
“They’ve got to protect the football at a much higher rate and they’ve got to throw the ball at a better rate,” Lombardi said. “They must be able to throw the ball with more consistency and throw it down the field. They averaged 5.4 yards per attempt. That’s not good. That’s 28th in the league in passing yards per attempt. That’s not good enough.”
Lombardi added: “[Wilson] had the four games that he missed due to injury, but when he got back it was a little bit better, but in the last game against Buffalo, he threw for 87 yards. Not great. Here are his yards passing in the last four games. 170 against Miami. 102 against Jacksonville. 230 against the Bucs and 87 against the Bills. That’s not good.
“There were too many games they couldn’t throw the football and there were too many games where he turned it over too much.”
Yes, they have added a lot of new talent, but that doesn’t guarantee anything.
“Do they have better talent, no doubt,” Lombardi said. “No doubt, but talent and being a better team don’t always go hand-in-hand, ask the Brooklyn Nets.”
Some people might take these comments as a personal affront, but honestly, sometimes blunt assessments can be your best friend.
Especially this time of year when you have a chance to do a lot about it in minicamps and training camp.
You can collectively roll up your sleeves and fix certain things.
Everybody is 0-0 and doing a lot of self-scouting now.
Perfect time for these kinds of comments.
Jets need better defense and quarterback play in 2022-23.
Who can argue with that?
June 6, 2022
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