Let’s cut to the chase here

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Think about it.

19, 25, 26, 24 and 27 points.

That is what the Jets’ defense has given up in their five games, and the team stands at 1-4. The 24 point game was in their only win, a 27-24 win over Tennessee.

Has the Jets’ defense been great? No. They have been kind of a middling defense, but all things considered, they have been much better than the team’s offense.

And while players almost never say this stuff publicly, they tend to toe the company line about it being one team, some players have to be a little pissed at this point at how their offense is dragging down the team.

And I made a point of saying just “players” in that last paragraph, not just “defensive players.”

Because there are offensive players doing their job, and being let down as much as defense, like the veteran offensive tackles who are playing well, wide receivers Jamison Crowder, Keelan Cole. I think Alijah Vera-Tucker has settled down after that rough opener and is showing why the Jets traded up to 14 to get him.

So it’s not just offense as a whole you can point a finger at and say – “the whole unit is letting the team down.”

As we have mentioned before in this space, the combination of a rookie offensive coordinator and rookie quarterback, a few month removed from playing North Alabama, Texas State and Troy, is tough combo to have.

It’s not a lack of effort. They are both working their tails off, but having so much experience at those two spots, is far from ideal.

And Mike LaFleur calling plays from the sidelines is a mistake. He should be upstairs. Better view. Maybe a veteran coordinator, with a lot more experience can do it from the sidelines, but LaFleur needs to be upstairs. This idea that he needs to be on the sidelines to talk to Zach Wilson between series is overrated. Let Matt Cavanaugh talk to Wilson, and let LaFleur focus on calling plays. Not only does it hurt LaFleur not having that all 22 view from upstairs, but sitting with Wilson between series, instead of gathering his thoughts and preparing for the plays he will call on the next series, is also setting him back.

Obviously the tragic death of Gregg Knapp, and the hands of somebody texting and driving, set back both LaFleur and Wilson. Knapp was going to help both of them a great deal. You could see that throughout the spring in minicamp and OTA practices.

But we are reaching the point where the Jets might need to use an injury as an excuse to sit Wilson for a few weeks. Remember that is what happened with Sam Darnold as a rookie with a foot injury. Any QB missing as many layup throws as Wilson now, needs a timeout. You can’t win in the NFL missing layup throws.

Don’t listen to elitists – Mike White is more than capable of starting a few games. He outplayed Wilson this summer, just like he outplayed Sam Darnold last summer.

Look, I think Wilson is a heck of a prospect, with a huge upside, but for the sake of the locker room, if he keeps missing so many easy throws, you need to pull him for a bit, and go with White.

Look, Wilson’s definitely banged up. He’s taken quite a beating. So there is no doubt there is an injury of some kind, just like with Darnold, you can use to keep the second-guessers off your butts.

If you are trying to build a strong football culture, all players need to be held accountable, not just some.

October 11, 2021

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Dan Leberfeld
Dan Leberfeldhttps://www.jetsconfidential.com
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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