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Have heard this a few times recently . . .
and I don’t totally get it.
That the Jets should have sat Zach Wilson for a while before starting him, and started a veteran, but didn’t have one.
The first part makes sense. Wilson should have sat for a while.
The second part I don’t get.
Obviously, we are talking about the summer of 2021, Wilson’s first camp.
The other two quarterbacks in camp were Mike White and James Morgan.
So basically the argument is they had no choice but to start Wilson because the other two guys weren’t an option.
Well, first of all, White looked better in that camp than Wilson, but let’s leave White out of this argument right now, since he was theorectically another young QB, older than Wilson, but had never started an NFL game.
But the issue here is perhaps how they stacked the QB depth chart that summer.
Wilson came out of college super-raw after a standout junior year against a soft schedule.
He needed a lot of work.
So if you have a rookie QB coming in, who is exceedingly raw, no matter how high you pick him, why not have a veteran on the roster to start until the kid is truly ready?
For instance, the San Francisco 49ers drafted Trey Lance with the third pick of the 2021 draft, and were going to start Jimmy Garopolo during Lance’s rookie year.
Granted Garopolo was already there, but still, the plan was to start a veteran in 2021, and not make the North Dakota State junior start right out of the gate.
So the point is simple – Not having a veteran in camp doesn’t mean Wilson was ready.
And now the narrative is he wasn’t ready. Jets people have said that publicly.
So why not bring in an Andy Dalton, Case Keenum, Tyrod Taylor, whoever you want to name, find a guy like that, start him, and take it slow with Wilson?
Philosophically, the argument that Wilson wasn’t ready, but they had nobody else, certainly has holes in it.
So now fast forward to where things are right now.
The Jets intend on bringing in a veteran QB to start, and let Wilson sit this year, and in essence giving him the red-shirt year he needed as a rookie in Year Three.
I’m not sure we have ever seen that before.
First-round pick, starts 22 games his first two years, and then sits his third year to fix him.
I’m not saying it’s wrong, just different.
I actually have no issue with it.
He’s only 23. He’s under team control for the next two years, and then have a team option for the fifth year.
And maybe he’s ready to roll at some point in his third season, if the other QB, whoever that might be, gets hurt.
But this idea that they started him as a rookie, because they didn’t have a veteran, is a teachable moment, for the Jets and other teams.
If you feel a rookie is very raw, make sure you have a “hold-the-first” QB to borrow a Bill Parcells saying.
January 30, 2023
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