Thursday Jets Notebook Dan Leberfeld

The Jets will have back G Alijah Vera-Tucker, G Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and DE John Franklin-Myers. It was announced today. DT Foley Fatukasi was activated yesterday.

Of all the guys activated this week, these four are the key – four key trench players.

And while Greg Van Roten and Dan Feeney both did solid jobs filling in for AVT and LDT last week, Van Roten and Feeney aren’t the biggest guards, and have some issues at times with long, athletic defensive tackles. Getting the bigger and thicker pair of AVT and LDT should help the Jets deal better with the Ndamukong Suh and Vita Vea, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ talented defensive tackle duo.

And plus, the Jets need Feeney at center this week with the season-ending injury to Connor McGovern.

And getting Fatukasi and JFM back on their defensive line, should help the Jets’ run defense, Honestly, if they don’t stop the run against Tampa Bay, they have almost no chance in this game, because Tom Brady with a running game, and the ability to sell play-fakes, is particularly lethal. Fatukasi is their best run defender.

Also, while Tampa Bay has a lot of players hurt, their talented offensive line is intact, and the Jets could use JFM and Fatukasi against this excellent unit. Last week they were forced to start a backup DT, who gives you everything he’s got, but has some issues getting off blocks.

These four players are the key COVID-19 returns – AVT, LDT, JFM and Fatukasi . . .

A lot of hype on social media for Zach Wilson winning his third Pepsi Zero Sugar Rookie of the Week award.

He won this week for a game he threw for 102 yards. Obviously a big part of his candidacy this week was his 52-yard TD run, but the bottom line is the Jets QB has a lot of work to do, and can’t let these kinds of awards go to his head.

We are talking about a three-time winner of the Pepsi Zero Sugar Rookie of the Week award who in 11 games this season, has 7 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, 67.9 rating and a 56.7 completion percentage.

Those are not ideal numbers at the QB spot. I’m not picking on Wilson who has a big upside, but he can let frivolous awards like this go to his head. He has SO much to work on.

And he’s a very even-keeled focused guy, who is very mature for his age, so he’s doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who will let this Twitter-hype, even from his own team, for his third Pepsi Zero Sugar Rookie of the Week award, go to his head.

I promise not to use the Bill Parcells “Canton quote,” but I will share with you something Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott said after a reporter praised the performance of rookie offensive tackle Spencer Brown early this season.

“Don’t put him in the Hall of Fame just yet,” said McDermott.

Exactly. And the same applies to Wilson, who has a lot of potential but needs work on his footwork and mechanics . . .

Yesterday, the Jets signed linebacker Javin White off the Las Vegas Raiders’ practice squad. Aside from his talent, what made White appealing to the Jets is that he’s a good system fit. Raiders defensive coordinator Gus Bradley plays the same system as the Jets, and probably would have been a candidate for the Jets DC job if he hadn’t already joined the Raiders.

Expect a view vertical shots by Tampa Bay to speedsters Antonio Brown and Breshad Perriman. Tom Brady is throwing deep more in Bruce Arians offense.

“[Brady’s] in an offense that pushes down the field more,” said Jets defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich. “That’s a Bruce Arians staple forever, they’re going to take vertical shots down the field.”

One of Arians favorite lines is “no risk-it, no biscuit.”

December 30, 2021

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