Friday Night Whispers

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Jets really are remarkably

healthy entering this game.

The only two players out are cornerback Brandon Echols and wide receiver Jeff Smith, two role players, not starters.

To have this kind of health this late in the year is pretty remarkable, and should benefit the Jets in Seattle, facing a Seahawks team that has a lot of players listed on the injury report.

Also, the Seahawks are playing a lot of rookies, and there is a feeling that some of them have hit the rookie wall, and that is a factor in why the Seattle has struggled a lot recently.

Seattle has lost three straight games and five of their last six.

The Jets really only have two rookies playing major roles – Sauce Gardner and Garrett Wilson . . .

Zach Wilson should have sat for a year or two before playing. BYU played a soft schedule during his standout junior year, and he had a lot of mechanical things to work on, but also the mental part. With all the mechanical issues that need to be fixed, the mental part doesn’t get talked about enough. ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio talked about an issue with pre-snap reads in both Jets losses to New England.

“Over and over again on October 30 and [November 20], I saw the Patriots do the same thing with their defensive front – squeeze from the outside – and use a looping game, where they would loop guys into the A gap, right into Zach Wilson’s face and wasn’t able to “A” recognize and “B” get out of it quick enough and as a result, they had a lot of negative plays and bad plays in the passing game,” Paolantonio said.

Nothing wrong with picking a QB high in the draft and letting them sit for a year or two, since you basically have them locked up for five years (with the fifth year option) and then even six with a franchise tag . . .

If the Jets can get their running game going, it should help their passing attack.

“When you’re running it [well], that fraction of a [second] changing somebody’s eyes, that initial step in the wrong direction (by defenders) gets people open and it makes it easy,” said long-time scout . . .

I asked Sheldon Rankins today what the Jets need to do to improve their run defense which has struggled since the bye-week:

“We can’t allow the leaky yardage, I think that is what it was the past for weeks,” Rankins said. “Runs that are supposed to be two get to four, or runs that are supposed to be nothing, they are popping for two or three, that allow teams to get ahead of the chains and not allow us to play to our strengths. Just don’t allow the leaky yardage, that’s the big thing.”

Runs up the middle have been a problem, where often defenisve tackles get double-teamed.

“[We need to be] able to strain on those double teams and squeeze run lanes,” Rankins said.

While the Jets have some talented defensive tackles like Rankins and Quinnen Williams, it’s becoming quite obvious they need add another defensive tackle, this off-season, who is a force against the run, to compliment the rotation . . .

There was a report earlier this week from the Washington Post’s Jason LaCanfora who quoted an “high-ranking NFL official,” whatever that means, saying:

“This is killing [owner Woody Johnson] trust me, I know him well … All of that booing is driving him crazy. He already wasn’t really sold on this coach. He’s going to want [offensive coordinator Mike] LaFleur out and some changes to that staff. He can’t help himself. Weren’t they 6-3 at the bye? And now they’re getting booed out of their own stadium at Christmas. I’m telling you, something is going to happen there”

Not buying this.

The booing was related to the QB, who has been replaced.

This reporter has a tendency to “spitball.”

Woody is not the kind of guy who confides in others around the league what he’s thinking. He has a very small circle around him.

Not saying he was happy with the booing. Not saying there might not be staff changes, but I have not heard anything related to him turning on the head coach.

December 30, 2022

Premium will return by 11:30 pm on Sunday.

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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