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Keys To Fixing The 2024 Jets Offense

NFL: Combine Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

By all accounts, 2024 is “the year.” The year where we put it all out there to win it all. The 2023 season has put us so deep into a ditch, that it may not even be possible to dig all the way out of it. It becomes so much harder from the fact that we aren’t moving on from any coaches. Regardless of what will or won’t happen with the coaches, there are still key areas Joe Douglas needs to focus on and never forget.

Offensive Tackle

What Went Wrong

This was one of the most neglected positions going into the 2023 season. It seemed like JD was counting on a skittle and a prayer to help make this position work. We had an aging Brown who has only been injured since joining us, working his way back to health vying to be our starting LT. Then on the other side, we had Becton who hasn’t been healthy in 2 years, being pegged to be the starting RT. Any normal person would see those options as risky at best. Behind them was a buffet of more question marks with very low ceilings for the year. We had Max Mitchell who was recovering from blood clots and not very good and Billy Turner who was never really good. Carter Warren has some promise, but he missed all of camp and never should have been looked at as an actual option.

What Needs To Happen

We need to throw a lot of assets at this position. It isn’t a great group as far as free agents go, but there are moves to be made. If overpaying is what it will take, then that is what it takes. We should have at least 2 new tackles on the roster by the time we get to the draft. One or both of these tackles should have the ability to play LT or RT to give us as much flexibility going into the draft as possible. This year’s draft class for tackle is very strong, unlike free agency. It would be a sin to not take advantage of it. By the time camp opens, Carter Warren and Max Mitchell should only be competing for OT4 or practice squad.

Interior Offensive Line

What Went Wrong

There was a little more vision and forethought when looking at the interior OL. But in the end, it relied on a lot going right. They didn’t want to rely on a rookie C being able to start week one so looked to get a vet. The problem was that the vet was Connor McGovern. There is a reason he was available so late in FA, and no one wanted him as their starter. He and Wes Schweitzer should have always been backups at best. It turns our Tippman was up to the task and is 1 of only 2 guys who should be starting in 2024 at RG or C.

At Guard is where we were hoping for strength. Instead there was more uncertainty. The only positive to Laken Tomlinson 2 years with us is that he has stayed healthy. Beyond that, he has been a big disappointment. It’s a lot of money for very little return. Replacing 3 starters would be hard, so if they do opt to keep Laken, I understand. On the other side is Alijah Vera-Tucker. AVT has missed 49% of his NFL career so far. I consider someone injury prone if they missed more games than played in. He is borderline injury prone by my definition.

What Needs To Happen

When healthy AVT is great, but we can’t rely on him staying healthy. Let’s go into the season with the assumption that AVT will miss time. We need a starting quality backup who can either come in for AVT or go in for Laken if he continues down the path of uselessness. We can find a starting quality IOL in the draft. Wes is still on the roster and can be our emergency option. If we do move on from Laken, there are a number of G options in free agency. We could even move AVT back to LG, Tipp to RG and bring in a new vet center. There are options available, but safety nets of quality need to be in place.

Quarterback

What Went Wrong

On the surface, things looked very promising in this department. Dig a little deeper and the incompetence brews to the surface. No matter how happy we are to have Rodgers, he is still a 40 year old QB who was almost certain to miss time due to injury. So then all eyes move to who we had behind him. If the idea was to give Zach a red shirt season, then that should have continued to be the plan once Aaron went down. Tim Boyle had no business being on this team as anything other than a camp arm or at most a practice squad guy. Not only were his numbers horrible in college, but he hasn’t shown any growth since then. A true vet option should have been brought in before camp. This need became even more apparent when Rodgers got hurt.

What Needs To Happen

There is no way we can go into 2024 without contingency plans in place for QB. It is likely Rodgers gets hurt again. Let’s assume he will miss time. If Zach is still on the team, he can’t be anything more than the #3 option. A true #2 options is imperative. This window to win now is closing fast. We can’t afford to let the loss of Rodgers ruin another season. If Zach is traded, we should also be looking to draft a high upside prospect to get the red shirt year Zach never got to have.

Skill Positions

What Went Wrong

There are two big mistakes made last year that were mistakes even before the season started. Signing Allen Lazard and Dalvin Cook were big mistakes. Lazard, while having experience with Rodgers has never been close to a reliable #2 option. Even with Corey Davis still on the team, we had no #2 option. We had no one who could get separation other than Wilson. Putting that kind of pressure on Wilson put him and the offense as a whole in a bad position.

Cook was just not needed. Even if Hall wasn’t ready to go early on, Cook was not a good option to take his place. His style of production just doesn’t fit our scheme. We rotate guys in and out a lot. That is not the best fit for someone who needs to be a bell cow to see even a little production. And that production has fallen off a cliff. Hall, Carter and Izzy would have been just fine as far as talent goes. The biggest thing holding them back was the OL. Right about now we wish we had that Cook $ to spend in this offseason.

What went wrong wasn’t limited to just signings. There was also the poor management of talent. The team waited way too long to move on from parts of the offense that weren’t working. CJ, Lazard, Cook... All 3 should have been riding the bench long before they actually did.

What Needs To Happen

Right now our starting 3 receivers are slated to be

Garrett Wilson

Xavier Gipson

Allen Lazard

Needless to say, this is a horrible wide receiver room. We need at least 2 solid options before Gipson or Lazard even sniff snaps. The offensive line is priority, but filling out this position group is essential. It needs to be injury-proof and Aaron Rodgers-proof. When I say injury proof, I mean that no 1 injury should sink the group. When I say Aaron Rodgers proof, I mean talent that will produce without Rodgers being the one throwing to them.

For running back and tight end, we have our top 2 spots filled, but there’s a lack of depth behind them. This depth can be filled out using the back end of the draft or some low costing FA signings.

Possible Scenario

After Free Agency

After Draft