Popular Post football guy Posted September 8, 2022 Popular Post Share Posted September 8, 2022 There's a lot going on behind the scenes with this, and I'm not necessarily a fan of much of it... Coach-speak. Saleh wasn't totally lying when he said Zach had a "chance" to play week 1, but he did know Flacco was starting. The reality is, if this were a more important game and Zach was a more seasoned veteran, he would be suiting up. But he's young, still green, isn't 100% (how many players are?) and they feel like Flacco does give them a legitimate chance to win week 1. More on why that is later. Exercising excessive caution. While I do understand sitting him week 1 and always expected it, I am absolutely baffled by the decision to announce that he won't play until week 4 "the earliest". He can absolutely play sooner, but he's being babied, which I really don't like. Again, very rarely is a player 100%, let alone "110%". Part of being a pro is managing whatever you're going through and being aware enough to protect yourself without sacrificing performance. Zach has a balky knee. He needs to learn how to play through that while protecting it and without it hindering his play by much. Tacking on an extra 2 weeks to be "sure" is foolish... in this sport, you can be the healthiest player, you can know the gameplan inside-and-out, see the defense well but then hit the field and bomb or be out for the season one play later. Let the guy keep preparing as if he's going to play and make the call based on his ability to practice and be ready, not based on other factors. It doesn't matter how much the team has invested in him, you shouldn't put a predetermined timeline on when he "may" be ready to play. They'll never admit it publicly, but the main reason has more to do with the OL than Zach's knee. The main reason they're being excessively cautious with Zach has a lot more to do with the line in front of him rather than what's actually going on in that knee. They are abundantly aware that between the CBA limitations on "hitting" in training camp, limited reps with the starters as a group (specifically Duane Brown coming in late/George Fant dealing with various injuries), the Jets brass feel they will need a few games worth of reps before they actually gel as a unit. Putting a much less experienced Zach Wilson back there - with his knee - while the OL is trying to figure things out makes both the front office and coaching staff nervous, and that was before Duane Brown's shoulder injury popped up. Putting in Joe Flacco - who the Jets are confident will get everyone in position, help the offensive line with their protections, and get the ball out quickly? Their much more confident. As much as the doctors are forecasting when Zach will be "110%" healthy, the coaching staff and front office are projecting how much time it will take for the offensive line to properly gel. This also bothers me. If you don't trust your OL and think it will take 3 games for them to gel, you're signaling not only a lack of faith in the OL, but a lack of faith in your QB (again, babying). Why use the injury as an excuse to let the team improve around the QB? Just seems like a poor strategy... Leaving the door open. Everyone in the Jets facility knows Zach is the guy. There is no question about that. They also know that while Joe Flacco limits the offense in some ways and is not the future of the organization, he is capable of being a spot-starter and putting the Jets in position to win football games. He can put forth a performance like Mike White did against the Bengals if the right things click, but also provide more of a downfield element. If Joe comes in and plays off his rocker the way Mike White did for 5 quarters last year but for all 3 games and goes 3-0/2-1 in the process, they're going to give him the 4th game, 5th game, etc. But they are realistic that eventually he will likely fall back to earth and they will revert back to Wilson. This strategy bothers me a lot as well. If Zach is your starter, he is your starter. Period. Don't put a leash on it; make it clear that he will miss week 1, is questionable for week 2/3/4. Once he is able to practice fully, it's his team. That's it. Trying to "stash" him until someone in front of him flubs is such a baseball strategy. You drafted him to be your franchise QB and made him a week 1 starter last year. There's no going back on it. If the team felt he needed more time to develop, he shouldn't have been starter last year. That's it. They've gotten way too cute and a lot of it stems from how the staff views players and their expectations of them. This is where the "Shanahanian" aspect of the coaching staff bothers me... they want Zach to be the controller for LaFleur to execute each play the way he sees it... need to let Zach go in and figure things out on his own. It's the same thing that has held several other young and talented offensive players back in the scheme. Don't be so rigid; be willing to show flexibility in the scheme to help produce confidence in the player and results on the field, while teaching them to learn how to execute the offense the way its designed overtime. 9 2 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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