No explanations – they need to play better

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NFL players make a lot of money

They are highly-paid professionals, and rightfully so. Not only did they make the league, which is very tough to do, but they put there bodies through so much to play this incredibly taxing sport.

The Jets offensive line hasn’t played that well in recent weeks, so Brian Costello asked Robert Saleh on Monday if they are considering any lineup changes.

“No, they’re fighting their tails off,” Robert Saleh said. “The o-line has had a ton of injuries throughout the year. I know just along the offensive line with the guys we’re rolling out there now, they’re fighting their tails off. The amount of rehab and regen they’re trying to get through week-in and week-out to take care of their bodies and the sacrifice that they’re making for this team to just be able to get out on the football field on Sunday is much appreciated. So, as far as personnel changes and all of that, we have the eight guys we’re going to war with every week, and I promise you that they’re in a lot of pain and fighting their tails off.”

Left tackle Duane Brown and center Connor McGovern both make $9 million this year, right tackle George Fant base salary this year is $9.75 million, and left guard Laken Tomlinson is in the first year of three-year, $40 million for an average of $13.3 million a year. Right guard Nate Herbig, is the lowest paid of the starting group at $2.4 million.

We know most of these guys are playing banged-up, but they know what they signed up for, and they have plenty of company around the league.

And let’s be clear, we’ve never heard any of these guys complaining.

The bottom line is, whether they are banged up, or not, this unit needs to step it up, and might need a line-up change.

But line-up change or not line-up change, and Saleh isn’t big on benching people, this group needs to play better.

Mike White re-entering the lineup at QB will help. He makes quicker decisions, getting the ball out of his hands faster.

And sometimes, with Wilson, guys give up sacks, that might not necessarily be their fault. Offensive linemen don’t have eyes behind their heads, and if the QB moves off the designed spot in the pocket, this can mess up an offensive lineman’s set.

Late first half against Detriot, Wilson, on a second and 20, was sacked by DE Romeo Okwara. People could say this was on George Fant, but Wilson moved up from his spot, and Fant didn’t know this, and Okwara peeled off him to get an easy sack.

Another issue is not making defenses pay for blitzing by getting the ball to a hot-read.

In the second quarter against Jacksonville, DE Roy Robertson-Harris sacked Wilson. It looked like Fant had an issue over there, but it should be pointed out, that the Jaguars overloaded that side with four guys rushing, including linebacker Chad Muma. Just too many guys to block on the right side. It was basically three players, including the center, trying to block four guys.

White is better at hot reads. His presence should help the line.

Another issue has been the running game, and while the run blocking needs to improve, another problem here is teams loading up the box, not fearful of the pass with Wilson playing. So White should help loosen up the box for the running game.

But the bottom line, even with these explanations, the Jets offensive line needs to play better.

Yes, they are banged up, but they have a lot of company around the league.

December 27, 2020

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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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