Friday Whispers – Shouldn’t have spoken

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They received some bad news today, though it probably wasn’t today . . .

Mike White has not be cleared to play on Sunday due to his rib injury, and Zach Wilson will start.

If anybody thinks Zach Wilson’s footwork, eye level and so forth have been fixed in three weeks, there is bridge in Florham Park you should consider buying.

You can’t fix that stuff in three weeks, and you can talk all you want about how well he’s doing in practice, but that means so little. It’s touch football, You can’t touch the QB.

Wilson’s two biggest problems are he’s throwing off his back foot under pressure and lowering his eye level to look at the rush, and not keeping his eyes downfield.

He’s not encountering that kind of pressure in practice, playing touch football, that would allow coaches to determine that he’s improved.

I’m not saying Wilson can fix his footwork, mechanics, eye-level and so forth on the practice field, but it would likely take several months, not three weeks . . .

Why not make Chris Streveler the backup to Zach Wilson?

“Flacco wants no part of this – ‘it’s cold I’m old and I made my money,'” said one long-time Jets observer, just speculating.

They probably don’t want to hurt Flacco’s feelings, He’s very close with the GM.

The reason Streveler should be the backup is he’s very mobile, and as we saw last week, the Jets have protection issues, so do you want a statue back there? . . .

Bill Parcells used to say, “There is a way to win every game.”

Giants coach Brian Daboll has been brilliant at “manufacturing” win this year, working on around his quarterback position.

Once again, “there is a way to win every game.”

Baltimore coach John Harbaugh is consistently superb at this. How the heck is that team 9-4? They are not that good. They barely beat Denver, Pittsburgh and Carolina. But they consistently figure out a way to win games with all three phases of football – offense, defense and special teams.

That is what the Jets need to do on Sunday against Detroit, as they did in the first Jets-Buffalo game this year, a 20-17 win.

The Jets win over Buffalo at MetLife earlier this season was a perfect example of a team manufacturing a win:

Wilson finished 18 of 25 for 154 yards and a TD pass to James Robinson. That TD pass was an excellent play call by OC Mike LaFleur, and easy screen to the right, and Robinson took it in from six yards out.

So many key completions in that game were one-read passes. LaFleur did such a good job dialing up plays he made things easy for Wilson, who does best when the first read is open. The Jets need to bottle that first Buffalo game and bring it to MetLife Stadium Sunday. Play great defense and special teams, run the ball, and dial-up great one-read throws, which shouldn’t be that hard against a porous Detroit defense, that Kirk Cousins threw for 425 against last week.

“There is a way to win every game.” . . .

I’m not going to lie, as a reporter, I feel a little foolish. After attending Mike White’s press conference on Thursday, I was thinking, he was absolutely starting on Sunday, and reported as much.

And then Adam Schefter announced on Friday morning: “Sources: Jets doctors will not clear QB Mike White for contact before Sunday’s game vs. Detroit and thus Zach Wilson will start against the Lions. White wanted to play and has practiced but Jets doctors are not signing off.”

White is represented by agent Joel Segal.

The Jets doctors clearly didn’t want to be liable if something happened to White against Detroit, if he takes another big hit in the ribs.

But I find it hard to believe that so much more information came out late in this week that led to this Friday’s announcement by Schefter.

You’re telling me on Monday or Tuesday they didn’t know as much as they did on Friday? He suffered fractured ribs. That didn’t change from Monday to Friday.

More and more will come out about this strange story moving forward, but I know one thing for sure – Mike White should not have spoken to the media on Thursday. Considering his status was up in the air. He already spoke on Monday, so he fulfilled his NFL media obligation of speaking once a week during the season. The coach should have handled White update the rest of the week. Players always think they can play. That press conference really misled a lot people (I’m one of them). Probably a lot of gamblers as well. Shouldn’t have happened. Tell the media “no.” You already fulfilled the NFL obligation of once a week. Who gives a hoot if they complain?

December 16, 2022

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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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