Not many Dan Leberfeld

Not looking to be negative or to take anything away from anybody, but I don’t think this is a long list. Look at the record.

Here is an exchange from Robert Saleh’s press conference today:

Connor Hughes, The Athletic: Robert, is there a player this year this year, I know there’s still a game left, but maybe somebody that you didn’t necessarily, or you’ve gotten more than you expected out of them or someone that’s even taken you by surprise? 

Saleh: That’s a good one. There’s a lot of guys in terms of just from an unknown standpoint, right? We got such a young roster, so just trying to figure out who is going to come up. I know Bryce Huff, he went on IR yesterday, but he was a guy from OTAs, he’s a guy that definitely has a future with us. Braxton, I mean go back to Braxton, the way he’s carved out a role for himself and the way the offense has started to use him. Our young DBs have all stepped up and have been fantastic. I can spend all day going through some things, not that I’m surprised, Connor, but you never know, especially when you’re playing such a youthful group how they’re going to evolve, which ones will fold under the pressure, which ones will rise above the pressure. This group is littered with guys that have really exceeded expectations.

In a day and age with so much negativity, Saleh’s glass-half-full attitude about everything is probably a good thing.

However, on this topic, I have a hard time thinking of many, if any, who fall into this “exceeded expectations on this 4-12 team. I’m being totally honest. Huff had his moments earlier in the earlier, but then kind of leveled off, and missed some time with a back injury. He’s a solid player, but not sure he exceeded expectations this year.

All Berrios needed was a chance. I don’t think the talent has always been there, but he was kind of pigeonholed as just a returner. In practice, he has always shined as a receiver. Perhaps he exceeded expectations as a kick returner because he was used there much in college or the NFL.

But who else exceeded expectations? I’m not being a wise guy. I just can’t think of any.

The stuff about the young DBs we’ve been reading about the last few weeks – hold your horses on that. Even in a little bit inconsistent game by his standards, Tom Brady still threw for 410 yards and three touchdowns. It could have been more, but there were some drops.

The week before, Jacksonville’s Trevor Lawrence, who has had a terrible rookie year, threw for 280 yards.

Based on what we have seen this year, it’s hard to concur with the assessment that the young DBs have been “fantastic.”

This week they face Josh Allen, Let’s see how that goes.

Let’s be honest, the Jets need to pick a cornerback high in the draft with elite cover skills. Bryce Hall can be a good #2 corner. But all these young DBs have been wildly inconsistent, which is somewhat understandable with their inexperience.

But I’m being honest here, and not looking to be a contrarian, but I just don’t see any players who exceeded expectations this year.

And Joe Douglas has to ignore all the noise, and strictly look at the film of all 17 games when assessing players this off-season. All rose-colored glasses need to be thrown in the trash.

January 5, 2021

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