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Without further ado, I bring to you, Gang Green Nation’s Highlight Reel for the past week:
On the pressure of playing in New York:
In my opinion, the narrative of “the spotlight in New York” is one of the most overblown thing in sports. Every athlete feels a incredible amount of pressure. If you play really well, you get a massive 8 figure a year a year contract. If you struggle, fans will hate you and the media will attack. This applies no matter where you play. Is it amplified a little bit more in New York? Sure, but I don’t think it’s as big of a deal as people make it out to be.
I don’t know. Maybe spotlight isn’t the right word, but I get the feeling there’s definitely a difference in pressure between playing in New York and a smaller market like say Jacksonville. There aren’t many beat writers there, and generally in smaller markets it’s understood that the local media’s job is to be supportive of the local team. Very different from having to deal with like ten beat writers, some of whom are trying to generate controversy on every word a player speaks not to mention talk radio, etc. Again maybe you wouldn’t call this spotlight, but there are more pitfalls if a player cares what people are saying/writing about him.
Not to mention, the pressure you’re under to win immediately is entirely different. In Jacksonville, the media won’t hammer him if he gets off to a slow start. It’ll be an expected lull because the team sucks. If whoever the Jets pick, probably Wilson, comes out and looks okay but the Jets win like 5 games this year then the media will be all over Wilson and the Jets saying, “did they make a mistake?” Should the Jets look to move on with Kedon Slovis or whoever the QB2 will be next year”. Joe Douglas on the hot seat after Wilson struggles in year one” Like, the pressure, not only to develop into a good QB, but to do it quickly, is going to be apparent. There is no breathing room for growth.
The difference between playing in a top media market versus a small media market:
Jets: “Trevor Lawrence should return to school to avoid playing with the Jets.” And “New York Jets do Zach Wilson a favor and don’t draft him”. Both real headlines from this season. Jaguars: silence
On positional value:
The gap between elite and average by position. I think its an underrated aspect when we talk about positional value. I think TE and linebacker are both good examples. The gap between Kittle and Kelce vs almost every other TE in the league is massive. There aren’t 10 other pass catchers in the league more valuable than either of them. But after that the value drop off at the position is steep and rapid. There are not that many human beings with that kind of body type who are elite athletes. Same with linebacker, linebackers who are truly high level cover guys are very valuable. Most linebackers in the league, however, are not. The better but not great ones can move to tighten passing windows and rally quickly to underneath passes to limit YAC. But there aren’t many guys like Kuechly, Wagner, or Ryan Shazier who have the speed and skillset to hang with plus tight ends in man coverage and actually consistently contest passes in zone. I think with receiver it’s the opposite. Because there are more people who have the athletic disposition to play wide receiver, the slope of talent is not as steep. The tenth or 15th best wide receiver is arguably more valuable than the 4th or 5th best tight end
On the draft:
Every year people say, “This is the happiest I’ve been with a Draft in a long time.”
This year it actually is true.
I loved the JD and Saleh approach. I was an all offense draft type of guy and to see the first 4 picks used on offense was great. This draft gave Zach more support in one draft, than Sam was given in the 3 drafts he was here. (And also hoping Yerboah better than the TEs drafted in Sam’s time, Herndon and Wesco). The transition to defense and the lottery ticket approach to DB makes sense to me. It’s a Covid year. And one or 2 of these DBs is going to be undervalued/not enough game tape to make a proper assessment so they at least can be someone that they develop. In the end that’s the key from here out. PLAYER DEVELOPMENT. QB development will be most important and having Zachs left side covered (even at the cost of two 3’s) and giving him 1st rd talent WR and Day 2 talent RB is going to be tremendous. And now I hope Saleh can turn some coal into a diamond with all these secondary picks.
-Dr. Kevin MD
It’s really incredible to sit here this morning and look at the dynamic personnel on this offense. A complete overhaul- Wilson, Carter, Moore, Mims, Davis, Crowder, Yeboah... Paired with the new outside zone run scheme, the pre-sap motion and misdirection, Jets fans really need to brace themselves for the reality that this can be an explosive offense. I’m drinking the Kool Aid for sure. But as some analyst put it yesterday, this is no longer about hope, it’s about expectations. This group is going to put up points.
-Fields of Gold
As a lurker for yrs I finally signed up to say my piece. I don’t see how any Jets fan following closely for 10+ yrs can’t love this draft and what JD has done since hired. Finally some competence from a GM building for long term. Really only had 2 yrs to make moves and could’ve been more aggressive at times but never sacrificed the long term goal. Only move I haven’t really agreed with is not getting a ransom for #2 but only bc a top QB pick this yr vs next doesn’t change competitive timeline much. Sam never really had a chance with the team around him either so I think it was worth giving him another year with a new coach that doesn’t suck the life out of you. To me, means JD convinced Wilson has much higher upside and I’m willing to trust him on that. Refresh for both isn’t the worst thing either and I don’t think Wilson’s success should outweigh what else JD does over next 3 years. Top QB picks are a crapshoot but that’s why I wanted to trade down and take the chance next year if needed. Grading this draft under the circumstances is an A+ by our standards. I’ll trade those later picks for as close to a guarantee on pro bowl lineman any day. Moore’s a stud and fills a role most teams place a premium on bc they’re hard to find. Extension of the running game so not reaching for a RB was ideal. Late round picks on stud athletes was a great strategy now that we have someone to coach them up into their roles. After the 2nd round you won’t find an obvious stud CB anyway and Saleh can scheme to protect the secondary until we find our true #1 guy or we develop him. Sure would’ve been great to get another o lineman but we have enough pieces to put the puzzle together and Clark could become solid. Fant should do better in this scheme. I think we’re close to being a few pieces away as long as Wilson pans out, which is more than we can say in a long time. We also have the money and the culture (more importantly) to get those guys in FA next year. Not expecting much this year but excited for the future for the first time in a while.
On Zach Wilson’s jersey number:
Zach - Number 2
Complete speculation on my part - but I wouldn’t be surprised if Zach picked 2 as a motivational tool because Trev was Picked 1. He likes that stuff, the “prove them wrong” type deal. He wore no. 1 the last 2 years, and could have again, but now switched it. Works for many athletes. Michael Jordan, for example, would use any whiff of “disrespect” to get motivated.
Maybe he’ll write “Pick #2. Prove them wrong” on his headband
On the 2021 season:
I realize we are likely a 6-7 win team, even though I think we are winning 9, but I’m really really pumped about this team. I realIze we don’t have top tier corners, but the Saleh defense is one I feel comfortable if we sign Nelson or Sherman. I’m hoping the covid restrictions lighten up, because I think I’m either going to make the trip to Indy or Carolina to see a game this year. It’ll be my first Jets game since we beat Indy in the playoffs
On the future of the AFC EAST:
Idk about anyone else but my worst fear going forwards over the next 2-3 years is we end up similar to that of the Arizona Cardinals. A team that went from really bad to respectable but because they play in a tough division every year they are either last or no better then third place.
-Johnny the Kid
In trying to keep with the spirit of objectivity, my opinion on AFC East teams:
Bills - trending up, have everything going for them with a great roster, great coaching staff and smart choices all around. Probably the team we’ll be trying to catch up for the next 10 years or so. Pats - trending down, have a great coaching staff at the end of their tenure, made dumb choices in free agency that remind me of the Jets of past, selected a so-so QB prospect who they are counting on to be on Brady-levels of roster raising early on his career. Probably heading towards their first “rebuild” in a couple of years Fins - meh. I’ll be honest, I love 50% of their decisions and hate the other 50%. I mean, Jaylen Waddle for Devonta Smith and a First has gotta be the dumbest trade in this draft (worse than AVT). I don’t think Waddle is an entire first round pick better than Smith. I also don’t like Phillips who is one concussion away from retirement. It’s just too risky. I do like Waddle as a player though, and they still have plenty of picks. This thing will go as far as Tua can go. I liked him coming out, so if he can go back to being the player he was pre injury, they might be another team we are catching up to for the next 10 years or so. Jets - too early to tell. I really really like they went offense early. If these guys develop, we might finally have a fun offense for a change. However, didn’t love the trade up for AVT, didn’t love that they didn’t sign a single starting CB, don’t love the QB choice, don’t love that our guys are still getting injured. That said, I love Moore/Carter, I’ve never been this excited for a WR/RB duo on the Jets. Both were draft favorites for me and it’s just exciting to know that even if our QB don’t hit we might create a good enough offense to trade for a good veteran who can get us to the playoffs (like Rams with Stafford).
So there you have it, Gang Green Nation’s Highlight Reel. Want to be featured next week? Just keep doing what you do, and more importantly, keep being who you are—after all, YOU’RE what makes Gang Green Nation so great!
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