Zach Wilson, NY Jets, Film Breakdown, Review
Zach Wilson, New York Jets, Getty Images

Despite his 4-0 record, the New York Jets’ young quarterback has had a few rough games thus far, including last Sunday’s outing against the Denver Broncos.

First things first.

The New York Football Jets won again. They are in a four-game winning streak that started with the return of starting QB Zach Wilson, marking the longest winning streak for the franchise since 2015.

Now, let’s get to what happened on Sunday.

Facing an elite Denver Broncos defense in a very tough environment, Wilson arguably had his worst game of the season. He was more effective against the Green Bay Packers despite throwing for less yards, and he also didn’t have some of the clear misses he did against Denver.

So, what’s the deal?

Obviously, Denver’s defense is a tough outing for anyone. They entered the week ranked second in DVOA and have one of the best secondaries in the league, led by second-year cornerback Patrick Surtain II.

On top of that, the Jets lost three of their best players on offense in the first half (Corey Davis, Breece Hall and Alijah Vera-Tucker), which didn’t help Wilson’s game.

Nonetheless, the truth is the truth and it must be said: Wilson had a down game, with some worrying reps.

On Sunday, the former second overall pick showed a few of the issues fans saw early in 2021: bad footwork, wide base, and hesitancy. Obviously, there are some plays that need to be analyzed within context (pressure, OL blocking, separation, etc), but Wilson had some reps that, objectively speaking, were bad.

Right now, he’s in a confidence funk (again) that needs to be turned around.

Since things are working for the rest of the team (defense, run game), Wilson is hesitant to make mistakes, which impacts everything else. He’s late on some throws and his throwing mechanics are off, because he’s (once again), thinking while doing it.

It’s not only Mike LaFleur to blame (even though he might have some “fault” here, depending on his tone in meetings), as Wilson is the one who makes the throws. He’s got to make the throws confidently no matter what, because that’s what the quarterback position is all about: knowing where to go with the football accurately within your team’s scheme and strategy.

Right now, Wilson is not doing it.

There were many plays against the Broncos in which average QB play would’ve helped the Jets win the game with ease, as the film shows below. It’s undeniably worrying.

Yes, Zach Wilson had an excellent (no hyperbole) fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers and a good game against the Dolphins. But the point is: the Jets need more.

With recent season-ending injuries to Breece Hall and Alijah Vera-Tucker, it will get much tougher to create big plays on the ground for this offense (despite James Robinson signing).

That will put some pressure on Wilson, who will either fold or deliver. I’m currently betting on the latter, because I think his issues are due to a tentative style of play that is a consequence of thinking that “not getting in the way is a way to help”.

The Jets need Wilson’s help now. The hope is that he delivers.

Zach Wilson’s game film vs. Denver Broncos

Below, I break down a few of Wilson’s throws to try and illustrate what I believe is affecting his game right now.

Audio Version available to members only: Learn more here

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A former quarterback, Vitor Paiva wants to showcase a deep analysis of what's really happening on the field, showcasing what's really on the mind of a football player during a play, in his Sidearm Session. Email: vitorpaivagon[at]gmail.com
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Jetphenom23
Jetphenom23
1 month ago

While I agree with the observations on Wilson and his tentativeness in his game play I can’t say I can blame the OC. Flashbacks of the preseason and even weeks 2-3 show the offense capability of moving the ball via the pass. I mean we (Jets Fans) we’re singing the praises of Chris Streveler and his ability to execute the offense without reps mind you…that clearly points to the mental aspect of the game and the signal caller’s processing and decision making…Zack needs to pick up his biblical play book and have faith in the scripture of the day (or play).

Not to mention we may have the answer at QB with the aforementioned Streveler…I say if Zack stinks it up in Q1&2 against the pats throw some trickery in there using Streveler and give him a minor audition 🤷🏿‍♂️

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Sarah
1 month ago

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Last edited 1 month ago by Sarah
Richard Hausig
Richard Hausig
1 month ago

Well done Victor! This is a great explanation of the issues, all of which casade during a play and create this disaster.

Poor footwork leads to bad mechanics and both combine to slow the drop and set up time so every pass is late. Go check the films, hes late on almost every throw.

But worse, when the footwork isnt instinctual it takes away from his full concentration up field and slows down his progressions. Thats a big problem because, as you pointed out, his pre-snap reads don’t seem correct either.

No one knows except the team and the player but the symptoms speak to a player who doesn’t work and study hard or is in over his head. This is the season when he should be learning to read defenses and grasp the pre-snap reads and he’s still focused on fundies he should have learned at BYU.

The other thing that really bothers me about him is the lack of awareness. You see it every time he avoids the first pass rusher and goes off schedule. You saw it in the preseason when every person in the building was yelling slide he tried to make a move and got hurt. In a preseason game. This week when he could have gone out of bounds he took a shot. The week before too. We’ve seen him slide too early and not get the sticks and the chaos he created last week looked comical. I don’t want to insult him personally but he wouldn’t be the first guy who had tools and didn’t work hard or wasnt smart enough to play the position, more fail than dont. Maybe the switch will just click on but what have you seen that would make you think that’s gonna happen? I was an early proponent of scaling it back and reducing the burden in order to give him a chance to breathe, and now? We are right back to square one.

I was against dumping Sam and I was wrong. This guy is way worse and if JD can find a QB he’s got to move on it in the off-season. This is a solid group now and its rising. I’ll call it right here, bust. And dont think JD and Salah haven’t realized it, they have but they can’t say what we can.

quasar18
quasar18
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard Hausig

You say you don’t want to insult him personally but you are on every comment thread saying he has a poor work ethic when you have no evidence of it. They aren’t moving on from him until the end of next year, so if you have resigned yourself to the fact that he is a bust, you should probably hope that you are wrong.

Richard Hausig
Richard Hausig
1 month ago
Reply to  quasar18

I dont want to insult him or anyone if the problem is a disability. Im asking the question that gets asked of all talented players who fail. Is it:

Work ethic
Study habits
Personal problems
Mental acuity
Other.

There aren’t a lot of other reasons unless you blame coaching which I think you and others mentioned. I believe NFL coaching is a big problem and that plenty of good players get ruined. But that’s not the case here. The Jets have done everything possible to give him the supporting players and the coaching staff has done a good job with a lot of the young players. Wilson arrived here with the problems that are holding him back. Feet, mechanics awareness. If you believe that the coaches aren’t good enough to teach him properly then its an argument I can understand because I see issues with the coaches too, I just don’t think this is one of them. The coaches are getting better, the defense too. The line for all its injuries hasn’t been terrible as it could have been and he’s surrounded by talented receivers. This is not about any of that, its about him not being able to execute fundamental stuff.

quasar18
quasar18
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard Hausig

It’s none of the above because he hasn’t failed. He is still a developmental player who has played 17 games. His splits between a clean pocket and under pressure are also stark. He is a top 5 QB when he has a clean pocket and bottom 5 QB when pressured. Wilson had a clean pocket at BYU for most of his time, so this indicates to me the issue is lack of experience under pressure and not lack of ability. He needs to learn to maintain proper footwork under pressure.

quasar18
quasar18
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard Hausig

I am also not sure what you are saying about him not reading defenses. He reads defenses fine. He is hesitant to throw the ball into tight windows because he doesn’t want to turn the ball over. He definitely isn’t like Sam, Geno, or Sanchez. Those guys had no idea what they were looking at. If anything, Wilson is too cerebral and isn’t playing instinctively right now. Wilson definitely reads the D better than Flacco who went through his reads like a snail.

The lack of awareness you cite is more the hero ball that plagued him at BYU. This stuff works for Mahomes, but Wilson isn’t executing it yet. It is why he was drafted 2nd overall. It is partly his fault, but the jets also need to find a way to help him out on scramble drills. I see receivers doing a better job finding mobile qbs in my flag football league. How come when the play breaks down nobody is coming back to the QB to help out? It comes down to coaching. They need to show the team some clips of Mahomes and Rodgers until they can’t watch anymore and can do scramble drills in their sleep.

Last edited 1 month ago by quasar18
Richard Hausig
Richard Hausig
1 month ago
Reply to  quasar18

I actually can give a pass on his ability to read defenses at this point because he needs reps to understand that. That is the grad degree stuff and takes time.

I like that hero ball line about him. That’s exactly what it is and it comes from the need to prove to us and himself that he can do this. I said before, he’s got a good rap, he’s comfortable when interviewed and comes off as very confident, which any QB needs to be. But I see his confidence as almost as ignorance. Im not calling him ignorant, hes done well for himself and understands the celebraty part. I think maybe he just doesn’t know what he doesn’t know and that because his athletic ability has allowed him to succeed he’s never had to worry about the details. We’ve seen it in plenty of other players so its nothing new.

Hesitant? I don’t think that’s it. He hasn’t been picked but he’s been lucky a few times and weve seen him throw into double coverge a few times. I don’t think he cares about that, in fact I’ll give credit for never backing down or being scared. That’s an important trait but it can also get you in trouble if you don’t know when to live to fight another play, like he did when scrambling last week.

I was thinking about Mahomes during the GB game. Remember the throw Wilson forced into the end zone in the first half? It could have been picked but it wasn’t. Mahomes made the same play that day and did get picked. The difference? Mahomes makes enough plays that you can live with it. Wilson doesn’t.

ncjetsfan
ncjetsfan
1 month ago
Reply to  quasar18

Great responses, but they’re probably wasted on that guy. He seems totally clueless to me.

ncjetsfan
ncjetsfan
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard Hausig

Dude you are totally clueless. One of the things Zach is known for is his work ethic and film study. You have no clue what you’re watching.

Matt Galemmo
Matt Galemmo
1 month ago

I’m watching the same things and seeing it entirely differently. I do not see the throws people call “easy.” I see intermediate outs, play after play, and defenders playing with outside leverage. It’s interesting that people in this message room are criticizing LaFleur for not playing to Zach’s strengths, because I think that’s exactly what he’s doing. He was late to Conklin and missed Wilson because he was looking to air it out too much. You have to take what they give you, and Wilson’s too hesitant to do that.

The Pats will take away everything outside the numbers, guaranteed. I want to see hi-lows on the hashes. They’re (mostly) single read and force the QB to decide. If you want to couple that with a go on the opposite numbers for 50-50 balls that works too. But, until further notice, don’t expect the intermediate out to be open very often.

quasar18
quasar18
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt Galemmo

It isn’t that simple though. Lafleur is trying and failing to put Wilson in a position to succeed because he is being outclassed by DCs. The defense is always going to try to take away what Wilson is best at. It is up to the OC to play chess and find a way to re-establish it. Wilson hit enough of the short stuff that they could have taken some shots to keep the D honest. Instead, they stick with the short stuff and make Wilson execute it to perfection the rest of the game after a few deep shots don’t work.

quasar18
quasar18
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt Galemmo

Did you notice how everything opened up in GB after Wilson hit that bomb to Davis?

Matt Galemmo
Matt Galemmo
1 month ago
Reply to  quasar18

I noticed how Zach improves as the game goes on. I also noticed plenty of outs in the intermediate range.

“It is up to the OC to play chess and find a way to re-establish it.”

That would be by calling stuff over the middle when they play thirds with outside leverage.

quasar18
quasar18
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt Galemmo

Agreed. And Wilson has excelled inside the numbers when called upon (see, TB and Pit games). There is no good reason to not call those types of throws other than an infatuation with the run game, reverses, jet sweeps, and screens. That is an OC issue, not a QB issue. I love the creativity, but sometimes Lafleur needs to chill with the trickery and help his QB. The trickery can also lead to false starts, illegal man downfield penalties, and can even fool the QB. Everything is too damn complicated and the coaches put it all on Wilson’s plate from day 1. It isn’t because Wilson is capable, but because Lafleur is still an amateur himself and burdens his players with too many responsibilities.

Last edited 1 month ago by quasar18
ncjetsfan
ncjetsfan
1 month ago
Reply to  quasar18

Spot on. If MLF continues with his incompetence, I fear that he is going to destroy Zach’s confidence and ruin Zach.

ncjetsfan
ncjetsfan
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt Galemmo

Zach is a rhythm passer. Wise OCs give their young QBs an easy throw or two early to help get rid of the jitters and get them into a groove. With the exception of I think the Miami game, MLF doesn’t do that. Instead he dials up a 30 yard out or a bunch of running plays, then expects Zach to hit on a difficult pass, when they have him playing in a way that doesn’t fit his skillset and mindset. They are wasting his talents, and I fear ruining him. They are misusing him the way they did Moore. MLF is too rigid and too inexperienced. The hire should have been Brian Daboll and not Saleh.

Matt Galemmo
Matt Galemmo
1 month ago
Reply to  ncjetsfan

Replying to both you and quasar…

I’m half agreeing with you guys. Much of what LaFleur does is good in my book. He passes a lot on first down (52% with Zach), which is important, and I think the Jets need to widen the defense, so the bubbles, jets, etc are good, too. Anytime they get anything positive out of plays outside the hashes it’s good for this offense.

But there are two acute criticisms I do have of LaFleur. I haven’t noticed the hi-lows, and I think Zach excelled with those, and where are the designed boots? If the purpose is to widen the offense and slow up the pass rush, and with Zach’s mobility and elite dodging ability, why isn’t he on the edges more? If it’s because they’re taking away the edges, why aren’t they hi-lowing in the middle more?

Someone said it’s not that simple. Maybe not, but I thought it actually was. Run wide to open the middle. Boot & flood against single high and cover 3. Hi-low against cover 2 and quarters, rubs, drags, TE options against man. Are they doing that and it’s not working (aka it’s not that simple), or are they not doing it?

Last edited 1 month ago by Matt Galemmo
Richard Hausig
Richard Hausig
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt Galemmo

This is not a great week to have to face Belicheck. Wilson has regressed the last two weeks and no one knows why better than Bill B. He’s going to expose every flaw.

Matt Galemmo
Matt Galemmo
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard Hausig

I liked the game plan for Fields. Is there anything Fields did Monday night Zach can’t do? 13 designed QB rushes wrecked the Pats.

I’d assume Belicheck will have a plan for that going forward, but I’d like to test it anyway.

Mike Palazzo
Mike Palazzo
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt Galemmo

I agree, The Bears played out of shotgun quite a bit and it worked for them. Testing the Pats pass rush by playing shotgun during passing downs should help open up the field for Zach. He wont have to drop back so it may buy him an extra second or two to find the open receiver. His pre snap reads should be a little easier too. If the Pats rush 5 then there should be an open Receiver or a 1-1 opportunity against a LB. The RB can either help pass protect or he can be an option in the flat. Shotgun should force the Pats to only rush 4 most of the time so if there is pressure then Zach can take off for positive yardage. They can also run the ball out of shotgun towards the left side which is Browns and Tomlinsons way. Like you said, Test it and see if we get positive results.

Jonathan Richter
Jonathan Richter
1 month ago

Ok, I’ve read all the previous comments. Here’s my take. Vitor is correct that Zach is starting to get happy feet when he feels a pass rush coming. But you need to keep your head at the same time. Vitor was right that after his first spin move he had an open receiver but was still stuck in “I have to get the hell out of here, mode”. He’s so afraid of getting hit that he can’t hang in a make a throw he needs to make. We saw that in the miss to Conklin also as he was bailing out while throwing, instead of standing there and taking the hit that’s coming.

Vitor was also right in pointing out Zach’s poor footwork on several throws. Fortunately, those are fixable.

quasar18 seems desperate to exonerate Zach, blaming ADHD. On the one hand he says ADHD sufferers often have trouble with the easy stuff and excel when there is pressure. Well, we’re not seeing Zach excel under pressure. Nor are we seeing him do the easy stuff. Something’s gotta give.

The good news is, this year’s easy stuff is a little harder than the easy stuff he had problems with last year, like screens, where he used to always throw it at the receiver’s feet, or way wide. He seems much better at that this year. And I have full confidence that Zach will continue to work at correcting his mistakes, and will get more comfortable the more games he gets to play. He just finished one seasons-worth of games. It usually takes 3 full seasons to truly evaluate a QB. I’ll take 4-0 while Zach figures things out.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jonathan Richter
quasar18
quasar18
1 month ago

Nah not what I am saying at all and ADHD is not an excuse. It’s not like you get test accommodations in the NFL . I am just making observations about what he is and isn’t good at and why. Also, good under pressure means good in high pressure situations like 4th quarters where all of a sudden he looks like a different player. I don’t mean literal pressure which he struggles with for different reasons (mostly Lafleur’s incompetence at route concept design).

Last edited 1 month ago by quasar18
quasar18
quasar18
1 month ago

I also agree with you about all of his weaknesses and would never “exonerate him” (I guess he is on trial now, lol). My point is more that they are focused too much on making him into a pocket passer (which he isn’t, in part due to his ADHD which makes it difficult to stand in the pocket under pressure) that it seems like they have lost the plot and have eliminated everything he is good at from the playbook. They also seem allergic to making anything easy for him or having his receivers be competent at scramble drills

Last edited 1 month ago by quasar18
ncjetsfan
ncjetsfan
1 month ago
Reply to  quasar18

Exactly! This just another example of MLF’s rigidity. He’s trying to force Zach to fit some concept he has of how the QB should play, rather than adapting the offense to what Zach does well. I’ve seen too much of that BS in the last 50 years with the Jets and I’m sick of it. If I was Woody, MLF would be in my office first thing in the morning and would be told that if he wanted to keep his job, he would scrap this BS ground and pound approach, and re-design the offense around what Zach does well. MLF claimed he was going to do that when hired, but he either lied or is too stupid to realize what he’s doing.

quasar18
quasar18
1 month ago

It seems like you are trying to “exonerate” Lafleur. He is part of the reason Moore wants out too. Not sure why he is getting a pass while Wilson is getting nitpicked. Lafleur has regressed as an OC just as much, if not more than Wilson has regressed (if at all) as a QB.

mlesko73
mlesko73
1 month ago

I’ve been as big a critic of LaFleur as anyone in the past, but I’m not sure after watching these clips how you can blame him? I’m a big Zach guy, and want him to succeed.
These clips clearly show Zach not performing. The last two plays are horrible.

I’m not sure what the answer is. I’ve been screaming for true West Coast plays, like the waggle etc, but clearly, Denver wanted to take that away (see clip#2). The Bears did a great job of changing things up last night. They called 13 planned QB runs (more than the rest of the season combined). It allowed Fields to feel comfortable and let his natural talents shine. He is not a pocket QB, not b/c of arm strength, but b/c of his comfort outside the pocket. Belicheat wasn’t prepared for it and it took away the blitz and ability to play man (turning backs to QB).
The Jets need to find the right mix for Zach.

quasar18
quasar18
1 month ago
Reply to  mlesko73

Every QB is going to miss throws. I have seen the best QBs miss throws like that. Mahomes, Allen, and Jackson miss them all the time. So what is the difference between those QBs and Wilson? Those QBs take shots down the field while Wilson is being forced to dink and dunk. One 40 yard pass makes up for 4 missed 10 yard throws.

quasar18
quasar18
1 month ago
Reply to  mlesko73

You can blame Lafleur for failing to understand his QBs strengths and weaknesses and forcing the QB to do what he is least comfortable with on nearly every play while making him scared to turn the ball over. Great way to kill confidence.

Richard Hausig
Richard Hausig
1 month ago
Reply to  mlesko73

Ive said exactly what you said, get him running it and throw quick stuff, 1 2 3 boom. No thinking.

That’s not a winning strategy generally speaking but you make concessions because you’ve invested a lot in the pick, ok. But this guy is a poser. He looks confident and has a nice smile and he fooled Kiper, McShay and JD. It happens, he fooled me the first two games too I thought he was progressing. But he cant stick to it because hes trying to prove to us and to him that he’s a star. Call it whatever you want, for me he lacks the self awareness to understand the job. He gets the rest of the year, there is no other option. Id be shocked if he’s here next year.

quasar18
quasar18
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard Hausig

How come you can’t criticize Wilson’s play for one post without making indictments of his character? It is hard to take your opinions seriously when you sound like such a hater.

quasar18
quasar18
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard Hausig

Lol sure, he had every expert fooled except you, the genius.

Richard Hausig
Richard Hausig
1 month ago
Reply to  quasar18

What I was saying was I thought he’d made progress with the fundies, especially with the feet the first two games back. I want him to do well and credit where its deserved.

You guys are welcome to blame whoever you want but this is not about the play calling or game plan or anyone else. This is about him being able to play under control and execute the most basic, positional fundamentals. There is a right way and a wrong way to execute a play in any sport. A pitcher has to repeat his delivery, a basketball player his jump shot etc. A QB has to be able to execute the basics from his feet up in order to throw the ball accurately and on time. Its not a small thing if you can’t do it because the first error in the mechanics then casacades into the rest of your set up and delivery. Feet too wide, ball high, shoulder late to point, ball behind, throw off the back foot… And then the ball comes out late, a couple of extra milliseconds lost in bad footwork can allow an open receiver to be covered by the time the ball gets there. A QB who can’t repeat his delivery is the same as a pitcher who can’t repeat his, neither can throw accurately enough to be successful.

So you’re right I do have a problem with him. This kind of stuff can be fixed with a little hard work and focus. Errors of commission are acceptable for any young player. But to fail yourself and the team because you haven’t learned to execute the basic fundamentals required to play the position? If you’re cool with that, ok. I think its a huge red flag and calls into question just what exactly he’s been doing to improve. I watched the tape and found Victor to be very knowledgeable and insightful and its all there to see. Maybe you dont believe the basics matter, neither does Wilson apparently, but I do. So do coaches and analysts, because they explain it to us all the time.

quasar18
quasar18
1 month ago

Wow, I completely disagree with a lot of this. I feel like a crazy person because I think Wilson looked OK against Denver given the circumstances. The issue with Wilson is playcalling. They are trying to turn Wilson into a pocket passer and forcing him to make “easy” throws. The issue is that the throws are not actually easy for Wilson who is more consistent as an intermediate to deep ball thrower. They basically gave him two plays to air it out and then put the reigns on him.

They need to push the ball down the field more. Also, the checkdowns are way too deep and not in position to make catches on scramble drills. Every time he escapes, there is nobody anywhere nearby to check down to. That is on the OC.

Lafleur is being stubborn but because he had a few games in the booth where Mike White and Joe Flacco were good, he is getting a pass. He knows what he has in Wilson. He can either adapt or continue to limit Wilson and alienate Moore due to his stubbornness.

Wilson is always going to miss the easy throws, but if you don’t let him make the hard throws, then the failure on the easy throws will be magnified.

So I can’t even put most of this on Wilson. He really is a special talent and if an OC can’t utilize him properly, that is an indictment on the OC. Lafleur (and others) need to stop judging him based on what he can’t do (dink and dunk) and let him push the ball down the field more like he did at BYU. Or they can go back to Mike White and keep dinking and dunking.

Richard Hausig
Richard Hausig
1 month ago
Reply to  quasar18

What do you see that makes you think he’s a special talent? I’ll give him escapablity, he’s got a really quick bailout step. The issue is it’s always the backwards spin which actually causes him to get into even more trouble. In all honesty, I don’t see anything else but I’m willing to listen and be convinced.

quasar18
quasar18
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard Hausig

Cannon for an arm, ability to throw on the run, ability to improvise, very high football IQ (to the point of being a savant), insane juke move and athletic ability. Very Mahomes and Rodgers-esque. He showed a lot of that in the Titans game.

He gets himself into trouble because nobody is coming to bail him out. Mahomes does the same stuff, but his receivers are actually ready and in the right spot. There is a reason the jets wanted Tyreek Hill…. It is also why they tried to make Moore into a deep threat. Wilson desperately needs a player with the stamina and awareness to get open on a scramble drill. He doesn’t have that yet other than Corey Davis on occasion. Hopefully GW can develop into that, because Moore doesn’t seem to want to play that role.

Last edited 1 month ago by quasar18
ncjetsfan
ncjetsfan
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard Hausig

If you can’t see the arm talent, the ability to extend plays and create in Zach, then you have no clue what you’re watching and need to take up another sport, because you don’t understand football.

DFargas
DFargas
1 month ago

After this film review, I still have questions about LaFleur’s play-calling as it impacts Wilson’s development. His pass designs may be good, but the ones shown here were least 10 yards up the field and took maybe 2-3 seconds to develop. I have seen some of the greatest QBs of all time, like Tom Brady, consistently using far simpler, two-steps-turn-and-throw plays to the RB, or some other outlet receiver “in the flat” where he doesn’t have to think, but I never seem to see those in the Jets game plan. Wilson is having trouble dealing with pressure as your colleague Mike Nania points out, and he could use some really quick screens and slants, to help with that, but LaFleur just isn’t providing them. Or, is he including them, and Wilson is hesitating too much? Also, I know Wilson has to play looser and more spontaneously, but I do appreciate his caution against giving up turnovers. He’s acting like that’s his top priority, and maybe that’s a good thing, even if it slows down his progress a bit.

DFargas
DFargas
1 month ago
Reply to  Vitor Paiva

It’s funny you should mention using a go route. I lived in the SF Bay Area throughout the Montana/Walsh era and watched their short pass system evolve from the beginning. It always has annoyed me that people consider those passes “easy” because the QB has to be very precise in timing and accuracy, and the field is often crowded in those short and medium areas. The short passing game is really an art form that takes years to master. So, when I see young QBs come in, I think, why are they giving them all these complex short patterns that they are not ready to execute? Why not just say, “You see number 85 over there on the right? He’s going to run as fast as he can down the sideline. I want you to take three steps back, look left then look right and throw it as far as you can in 85’s direction. Think you can handle that?” I think most young QBs would love to hear that.

quasar18
quasar18
1 month ago
Reply to  DFargas

I agree. Dinking and dunking at the NFL level is not easy. This is why backup QBs get paid big bucks to sit on the bench. The issue is not the failure to dink and dunk. The issue is the failure of the playcaller to allow the QB (and not just Wilson BTW) to do anything else. Flacco was chucking bombs in Baltimore but was averaging like 4 YPA with Lafleur

Richard Hausig
Richard Hausig
1 month ago
Reply to  DFargas

Thats a great point about SF. If there was 1 thing Montana didn’t do well it was the deep ball. But man when he hit those guys in stride on the slant it was like a bomb.

I think when they say easy they mean simple. 3 steps boom. Not sure but I’d think the biggest part of that play is reading the defense to make sure the LB isnt sitting on it. Either way everything we are debating the coaches have thought of and aren’t doing for some reason. I wonder what that reason is? 🤔.

quasar18
quasar18
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard Hausig

What on earth are you talking about? Wilson was hitting slants all day in rhythm in Pitt and Miami. If you think he can’t read a defense to throw a slant in a clean pocket, then it is clear you have no idea what you are watching.

quasar18
quasar18
1 month ago
Reply to  Vitor Paiva

Those plays are not easy for Wilson, who has ADHD. People with ADHD often struggle with simple concepts and excel when there is pressure. This is why he is better in the 4th quarter. People with ADHD also need a plan or a system. They need to coach the receivers to get in position when Wilson scrambles. I have never seen such poor scramble drill play in my life.

quasar18
quasar18
1 month ago
Reply to  quasar18

When Wilson does not have a plan, he panics and everything goes to shit. Who is that on? The OC. Give him a plan and tell him who he should go to when there is pressure.

Richard Hausig
Richard Hausig
1 month ago
Reply to  quasar18

I agree with you and I’m appalled. But I’m willing to listen to anything thats factual and relevant. I will say this, if what he says is true it makes sense because nothing else about Wilson’s mindless play makes any sense. If thats the problem I can feel for him but it then calls into question the thinking behind drafting him. This is nothing against people with ADHD but this is a job that can make or break the career of other players and coaches and if that’s the problem its on the Jets for drafting him.

quasar18
quasar18
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard Hausig

Yikes. So you wanted the jets to pass on a talented prospect because he has a learning disability that doesn’t impact his ability to play the position if the coaches are willing to work with it?

He can absolutely be a top 5 qb with ADHD if he has a plan and isn’t forced to make something happen completely on his own. They can help him if they embrace who he is. It is part of why he is so good in the 4th quarter. They have the recipe, but Lafleur is stubborn and does better with a backup or a Jimmy G type.

It is interesting how you want to move on because a good coach would make him into a top 5 qb which is my worst nightmare (especially if it is Bellichick)

Last edited 1 month ago by quasar18
Richard Hausig
Richard Hausig
1 month ago
Reply to  quasar18

Is that true? He has ADHD? I didn’t know that but that makes sense.

I can’t speak to that condition so I won’t. Seems like what you are saying is that when he goes freestyle hes comfortable but when when he’s thinking, 3 step drop, set feet, point shoulder, cock arm, throw ball, he struggles to connect it? Is that right?

quasar18
quasar18
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard Hausig

Correct. Wilson loses his mechanics when he is thinking. Similar to a hitter in a slump in baseball. They taught him how to play in the system, and now they need to stop coddling him and let him play instinctively. Paradoxically, he will probably do better this way. His best throws have been when they have “thrown the playbook away.”

Last edited 1 month ago by quasar18
quasar18
quasar18
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard Hausig

I also take some of the Wilson slander very personally because I have ADHD and have heard a lot of the criticism leveled against me from teachers who have tried to limit my potential and label me as “dumb” without understanding how my brain works.

Wilson doesn’t suck, he just struggles when the coaches don’t try to mask his disability. Reminds me of when I was forced to learn cursive when I could just use a computer. Let Wilson have a crutch and stop forcing him to overcome so much.

Let him be a savant that struggles with “easy” and excels at “hard.”

Last edited 1 month ago by quasar18
ncjetsfan
ncjetsfan
1 month ago
Reply to  quasar18

Again spot on. G. Wilson is the only Jets WR that I have seen come back towards Zach when Zach was scrambling. The rest of the WRs either keep running away from Zach or stop and wait for the ball to get to them. Every WR should be taught to come back towards the QB when he is scrambling, and to aggressively go after the ball, not stand there passively and wait for the ball.

quasar18
quasar18
1 month ago
Reply to  Vitor Paiva

Let Wilson air it out consistently. They need to take at least one deep shot per quarter. At a minimum it opens up the underneath stuff. Also, better complimentary route design. Reminds me of Shotty with two receivers always in the same spot. Guess what, now there is a tighter window then necessary. Clear guys out. I think he wants blockers for YAC, but fails to realize an open field is better than blockers. Lafleur is escaping criticism and idk why. More I think about it, the more it is clear that this his fault.

He needs Wilson to be perfect to fit what he is trying to do. As a result, maybe what he is trying to do is wrong.

Richard Hausig
Richard Hausig
1 month ago
Reply to  Vitor Paiva

I’ll say I thought we’d see some slants too but this is not on Laflaur. OMG…

His footwork and mechanics are so bad you don’t need tape to see them. Watch how clunky and robotic he is when not improvising. He looks great scrambling except for the part where he NEVER knows when to end a without making it worse. They’ve scaled the offense back to make it easier and he finds a way to complcate simplicity.

Here’s the only question that matters now. How long do you think it will take him to develop? Forget where he was drafted, he’s now a project, like a 3rd or 4th rounder would be. So how long? This year? 2 years? 3? He’s not close and hes not getting better.

quasar18
quasar18
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard Hausig

You really sound like you have no idea what you are watching. His footwork and mechanics are inconsistent, not bad. He wouldn’t have been drafted if his footwork were this bad from a clean pocket, and his numbers wouldn’t be so good from a clean pocket. He wouldn’t have done as well as he did in Miami and Pitt if his footwork is as bad as you are arguing.

The issue is maintaining the footwork under pressure and syncing his feet with his eyes. He wasn’t pressured much at BYU and QB splits in terms of pressured/unpressured tend to converge over large samples. He simply needs more reps under pressure it seems.

I also am not sure why you think he isn’t getting better when he is by almost every metric (passer rating, QBR, etc). It isn’t a drastic improvement, but still an improvement.

If you want to know when Wilson would break out, look at his stats from BYU. He struggled y1 and y2 and had a huge y3. The plan appears to be y1 he stunk (redshirt evaluation year), y2 game manager, y3 breakout or move on.

Last edited 1 month ago by quasar18
quasar18
quasar18
1 month ago
Reply to  Vitor Paiva

You are conflating “easy designed throws” with “easy check downs.” Lafleur has been good at designing the former but utterly incompetent at the latter. His check downs are designed as if Wilson were a pocket passer. They need to be designed so that he can catch the check down on a scramble instead of trying to make 10 players miss.

quasar18
quasar18
1 month ago
Reply to  DFargas

Agree 100%. People are blaming Wilson’s play for Moore now too! Crazy stuff. The common denominator is Lafleur. I don’t feel like Wilson has regressed as much as Lafleur has regressed in his playcalling. He did a horrible job designing for Flacco and turned him into a checkdown merchant. He is now doing the same with Wilson. The common denominator is clear.

Richard Hausig
Richard Hausig
1 month ago
Reply to  DFargas

You are right about Brady thats because he’s made the decision pre snap in most cases. Its not fair to compare Wilson to Brady. Hes reading coverage details that only the most experienced QBs can know. He decides if his primary is open based on the first step or turn the defender makes or by reading the safety or LB to determine if the throwing lane will be there, etc. Thats not easy. And it’s why you see him throw the check down so early in the play. Hes finished his reads.

PATRICK RYAN
PATRICK RYAN
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard Hausig

Some of these comments, or those who are discounting the obvious and troubling red flags concerning Zach Wilson are hilarious.

Allow me to preface that I was – and still am to an extent – a Zach Wilson fan. I very much wanted the Jets to draft Wilson and breathed a sigh of relief when Jacksonville took Lawrence at #1 overall.

That said, the video included in this story cannot be refuted – or explained away.

Someone said that Wilson couldn’t be expected to find an open receiver during two of those comical scrambles that he had in Denver (and more in other games), however, the tape clearly shows that Wilson had open receivers in both cases, once to Garrett Wilson and on the other to Corey Davis. Instead, he’s looking down the middle of the field seemingly oblivious to the fact that he had receivers unguarded and with plenty of open space to get more yards had he simply thrown the ball in either receiver’s direction during those two plays.

Additionally, the tape also shows Wilson not being able to instinctively spot a wide open Ty Conklin in the middle of the field and double clutching and throwing the ball 2 seconds later than he should have – if he had, Conklin gains an extra 10 yards after that reception.

Wilson’s football IQ and his overall “feel” for the game was lacking big time in the Denver game and the Jets could have ended up losing had his fumble not been cancelled out.

This kid had better get his shit together and soon, otherwise he’ll have nobody else to blame when and if the Jets move on from him and possibly seek a trade for another quarterback heading into training camp next year.

Enough with the excuses, his mechanics are all fucked up as evidenced by the tape, his head seems to be on Mars on some plays, he looks as though he doesn’t see the field very well, and as far as his study habits or work ethic is concerned, I’m not in any position to comment on that because I’m not with him at practice or in the film room.

What I am certain of, however, is that he played like an amateur on too many plays last Sunday and that kind of play is not sustainable in the NFL.

I also didn’t like it when I saw him high-fiving Jets fans leaving the field after the game after such a shitty performance that he should have known wasn’t representative of championship caliber NFL quarterback play.

I don’t know, maybe he doesn’t want it enough, perhaps he’s realizing that the work one must do to play the position at this level is too much for him.

I’m also not in any rooms with a guy like Josh Allen, but I know just by watching him, the guy eats, sleeps, and shits football 365 days a year. I can’t say I get that feeling by watching Zach Wilson.

ncjetsfan
ncjetsfan
1 month ago
Reply to  PATRICK RYAN

You couldn’t be more wrong about Zach wanting it. If the OC is having Zach play in a way that’s not a fit with Zach’s abilities, mindset and skillset, then it is TOTALLY on the OC. The best OCs adapt their scheme to their players, not rigidly try to shove square pegs into round holes. MLF is a joke and should be fired. I’m a huge fan of JDs, but he screwed up when he hired Saleh instead of Brian Daboll. I guarantee you that under Daboll Zach would be looking like a star. He’d be playing like he did against Tennessee last year every week.