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How much of Wilson's problems are mental? (i.e. the yips)


Scott Dierking
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First Hack, now Wilson. Need to get over this soon, before it becomes truly mental and muscle memory.

Christian Hackenberg Caught the “Yips” With the New York Jets

Hackenberg looked like everything you’d want in an NFL quarterback. He was 6’4″ and weighed 230 pounds. He was agile and had a cannon for an arm. He was loyal to his school, staying even after Penn State lost scholarships and their coach to the NFL. Most importantly, Hackenberg had lots of success in O’Brien’s pro-style offense. He was loaded with potential.

So, what happened?

Hackenberg got the “yips.” The “yips” is a term most often used to describe baseball players when they lose the ability to perform basic tasks. Short distance throws become cringe-worthy. The simple becomes profoundly difficult. Chuck Knoblauch and Steve Sax‘s all-star career’s were most famously destroyed by the “yips.” The “yips” are totally unexplained and come out of nowhere. Former New York Newsday reporter, Rich Cimini, reported being ten yards away from a play and being hit by one of Hack’s errant throws.

This kind of bad luck would be a surprise if it didn’t happen to the Jets, but it’s just the Jets being “Jetsie.”

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Just now, TuscanyTile2 said:

His short passing has been Hackenberg-esque so far.  I have to believe it will improve because it doesn’t make sense to me that this wouldn’t have been seen during scouting. But it’s gotten to the point where I’m worried.  

How would you know, Hack never threw a pass in a game that counted but your comparing the two.  Nice

Do people here watch other games?  Every QB misses short passes to wide open backs, no one questions whether that was missed during scouting.  L Jackson missed a handful last night, so did Baker.  Happens for many reasons

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2 minutes ago, Jet Nut said:

How would you know, Hack never threw a pass in a game that counted but your comparing the two.  Nice

Do people here watch other games?  Every QB misses short passes to wide open backs, no one questions whether that was missed during scouting.  L Jackson missed a handful last night, so did Baker.  Happens for many reasons

That’s fair but even on his completions ball is either low, behind or even wobbly at least last game. It’s just weird because it’s a stark contrast from what we seen on take and his pro day. “ Arm talent?” it’s a fair question if not only because it’s seem to have gotten lost someplace. Personally I think it’s mental and he still adjusting to speed of the game. Lear I hope so. Don’t really know. 

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12 minutes ago, Jet Nut said:

How would you know, Hack never threw a pass in a game that counted but your comparing the two.  Nice

Do people here watch other games?  Every QB misses short passes to wide open backs, no one questions whether that was missed during scouting.  L Jackson missed a handful last night, so did Baker.  Happens for many reasons

That was Hack’s reputation.  And there’s film of him in college. 

Yes, every QB has bad throws but, so far, Zach has made it more of a habit than an exception.  

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1 minute ago, The Crusher said:

That’s fair but even on his completions ball is either low, behind or even wobbly at least last game. It’s just weird because it’s a stark contrast from what we seen on take and his pro day. “ Arm talent?” it’s a fair question if not only because it’s seem to have gotten lost someplace. Personally I think it’s mental and he still adjusting to speed of the game. Lear I hope so. Don’t really know. 

I've noted a bunch of high and behind throws, too.  That's not a good thing as lots of those wind up as INTs.

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4 minutes ago, Uncle Nicco said:

I don’t agree that his decision making the last 4 weeks has been suspect, he has 3 picks, Corey Davis slipped on one and the back pick was the unluckiest play I’ve ever seen.

I think his accuracy issues are mostly mental right now. I did see this in college but it was 1/10 short throws not 5/10. If you look at the pre season and weeks 1-4 this wasn’t an issue. 

Despite the accuracy issues which hopefully are temporary, Wilson has shown progress since the Tennessee game. 

Let’s not forget that before the Ten game the narrative was Wilson’s lack of support. Dropped balls, OL issues, play calling. This narrative around the accuracy started in the 4th Q of Tennessee with the miss to griffin. 

That’s the thing honestly, kid was fine or passable on this stuff then all of a sudden it dropped off a cliff. Hopefully this win helps him get back to it. 

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Definitely mental he is not secure in his own abilities. He plays not to make mistakes. I think he will be a good QB he just needs confidence in himself and time. 
NY market is no easy ride for a rookie especially the Jets, the media and fans don’t help either. Look at Mike White when he walks into the stadium before a game  and then watch Zach, you can see the difference in they way they carry themselves. White has that swag Zach looks insecure. 
 

 

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23 minutes ago, UntouchableCrew said:

When I watch Wilson there are obviously a lot of problems. Despite obvious ability and physical gifts he's played the position poorly in almost every respect. His decision making has been suspect. He doesn't have a good feel for the pocket. He holds the ball too long.

But the thing that has me most concerned -- that seems like something you can't dramatically improve with coaching and experience -- is his horrific accuracy on short to intermediate throws. His ability to simply make routine NFL passes is alarming, and the kind of thing that makes him jump of the page in a way that most "bad" QBs don't. Even Darnold, as awful as he was never had me going "this guy can't play" with the same frequency as he skipped another swing pass in the dirt.

My only hope is that there's something mental going on here -- that he's got the "yips" or something. That it's in his head and he almost has as mental block that can be massaged out of him over time. 

I simply cannot imagine a QB drafted this high, with 20+ games of college film to study, is this poor at making relatively simple throws. I knew he'd take time to adjust to the speed of the game and there was always a chance he wouldn't get there from a mental processing standpoint. But if he doesn't improve his accuracy none of that matters.

What is worse is he blasted some short ones to the receiver.  He needs to develop touch as well as accuracy.  

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16 minutes ago, Jet Nut said:

How would you know, Hack never threw a pass in a game that counted but your comparing the two.  Nice

Do people here watch other games?  Every QB misses short passes to wide open backs, no one questions whether that was missed during scouting.  L Jackson missed a handful last night, so did Baker.  Happens for many reasons

I may regret  asking this but, are you trying to say you see no red flags with Wilson's short passing game?

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I think a lot is mental but nothing to do with the yips.  I think he gets nervous/excited/anxious whatever and he tries to rely on “talent” more so then staying true to his mechanics.  That is the type of thing that can get better over time if he can trust things around him.

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15 minutes ago, munchmemory said:

Never heard of "yips" until yesterday.  What does it mean, "skittish"?

EDIT:  Just saw a definition in another thread.   Please disregard my question.   Thanks anyway.

The yips was a term initially used in golf with putting, or the inability to putt fluidly, pulling, pushing, stopping the putting stroke too soon.  

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Just now, HawkeyeJet said:

I think a lot is mental but nothing to do with the yips.  I think he gets nervous/excited/anxious whatever and he tries to rely on “talent” more so then staying true to his mechanics.  That is the type of thing that can get better over time if he can trust things around him.

That is precisely the yips. 

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8 minutes ago, FTL Jet Fan said:

Definitely mental he is not secure in his own abilities. He plays not to make mistakes. I think he will be a good QB he just needs confidence in himself and time. 
NY market is no easy ride for a rookie especially the Jets, the media and fans don’t help either. Look at Mike White when he walks into the stadium before a game  and then watch Zach, you can see the difference in they way they carry themselves. White has that swag Zach looks insecure. 
 

 

His pace is lacking? 

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