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He nailed them . . .
Talking about Jets GM Joe Douglas and his first two picks in the 2022 draft – cornerback Sauce Gardner and wide receiver Garrett Wilson.
Gardner was picked with the fourth selection of the 2022 draft, and they landed Wilson at 10.
And on Thursday night, the NFL announced that Gardner was named “The Defensive Rookie of the Year” and Wilson was “The Offensive Rookie of the Year.”
It goes without saying that it’s very impressive to have both of these honorees on one roster.
And these are the kind of game-changers (like on that recent cover pictured above) you need on your roster if you want to be a playoff team.
The Jets need more of them if they hope to take the next step.
Now, with that being said, Gardner and Wilson, have a lot to work on, and it’s important for the Jets not to overhype them because they can’t let early career honors go to their head. Good cultures don’t do that.
Why do you think Bill Parcells always said when a reporter praised a young player – “Don’t put him in Canton just yet fellas.”
When Zach Wilson won an honor known as “The Pepsi Zero Sugar Rookie of the Week” three times during his rookie season, somebody had him pose with the belt they gave the winner each time, sometimes after losses.
Probably not ideal. Did all the early praise go to his head? Perhaps. He really made no progress in his second year. Maybe since he got so much praise as a rookie he thought he had it all figured out.
People that are 22 generally deal with things differently than people at 28. Why do you think Parcells said what he said?
During the 2021 season, Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott, was asked about a good game from rookie right tackle Spencer Brown.
“Don’t put him in the Hall of Fame yet,” said McDermott.
You see where their coming from?
The good cultures pump the brakes on praising young players too much early on.
And by the way, Brown took a step back in his second year.
Wilson is a terrific player but has some things to work on. He had a couple of untimely drops, one in Cleveland, and a on fourth-and-4 in Seattle.
He also needs to get a lot stronger.
Don’t get me wrong. He’s a heck of a talent, but has a lot to work on.
Gardner, had a terrific rookie year, finishing with two picks and 20 PDs, but he can be a little grabby at times, and probably should have been called for pass interference on that long pass to Gabe Davis at the end of the Jets win over the Bills at MetLife Stadium. He also needs to work on his zone coverage. While it’s best to use him in man-to-man as much as possible, there are times you need to use zone, and Gardner needs some work on zone communication, and the art of passing guys off to others.
I’m not nitpicking. They are both superb talents, but they both have a lot to work on.
And good cultures are focused like a laser on not pumping up young guys too early.
It can go to their heads.
February 10, 2023
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