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It makes perfect sense . . .
There is no doubt that Zach Wilson hurt himself when asked if he let the Jets’ defense down after the New England game, he said: “No. No.”
This was a bad look. Part of the reason he snapped that way, according to a source, is he doesn’t like the reporter who asked it, but nonetheless, that was a teachable moment for the QB. Even if you don’t like a reporter, you have to realize that you are talking to a huge audience on camera, not just that reporter.
But whether he fell on the sword, or not, after the 10-3 loss to New England, Wilson getting benched today goes a lot deeper than that.
This is all about really messed-up throwing mechanics, and it’s hard to be successful as an NFL QB with the kind of mechanics Wilson displayed on Sunday in New England.
Remember that article we published Sunday from Foxboro with quotes from Patriots radio analyst Scott Zolak criticizing the QB’s mechanics? He was very critical of the Jets QB’s footwork throughout the game, calling him “Backfoot Barry” on more than one occasion.
When he throws off his back foot, his passes tend to sail. I asked Jets offensive coordinator why Wilson has a tendency to throw off his back foot so often.
“It’s just something that we’ve got to continue to point out, we got to continue to drill, I mean,” LaFleur said. “You’re never going to simulate a pocket in a Wednesday, Thursday, Friday individual period. You can semi-simulate it in practice, but you also know you’re not getting hit right there. So, it’s kind of real, it’s kind of not. So, you’ve just got to be very cognizant and when you’re watching tape and then try to make that Sunday come to life as much as you can [during the week]. Whether you’re rolling balls, whatever it is, whether you’re hitting them with pads, just so they can feel that pocket and there’s different ways.
“That’s where we’re at right now, we’ve got to work on that and get feet in the ground so he can have more of a consistent swing just like you would in golf.”
You have to respect that answer. He didn’t try to pretend the problem isn’t there. He made it clear this is a major part of the issue right now, and what a challenge it is to fix in practice because there is no real pass rush.
So if you take a step back, and think about what happened today in an even-keeled fashion standpoint, sans emotion and hysteria, what the Jets did today made a ton of sense.
You have a 23-year-old QB, in his second season, whose mechanics are all over the map, so take a timeout and try to fix it.
The player is under contract two more seasons after this one, and then you have the fifth-year option, so it’s not like are running out of time with the player.
To be honest, more teams should do this with young quarterbacks. The Jets deserve credit for hitting the pause button with this gifted arm talent, who needs a lot of refinement.
And considering they have three other quarterbacks in the building – Mike White, Joe Flacco and Chris Steveler, why not?
Bill Polian feels Zach Wilson’s quote about the defense, which the reporter was basically asking him to apologize for letting them down, would not have been a big deal if the media didn’t run to his teammates with the quote.
And Polian also feels making matters worse was the same reporter coming up with a story that his attitude after the game wasn’t playing well in the locker room, according to “several sources.”
This reporter works for a media partner.
The bottom line is the Jets did the right thing today. Giving Wilson some time to clear his head and work on his fundamentals. Going with another QB will perhaps give the Jets better play at the position to help make a run at a wildcard spot.
Also, they get another chance to see White, who is a free agent after the season, and has flashed significant ability in limited action, in practice, the preseason and in some games last season.
November 23, 2022
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