On this edition of the TOJ Roundtable, your favorite TOJ writers and hosts offer their hottest Jets take right now.
James Kuntz: I have many hot…one might even say Fuego…Jets takes. For example, I believe we shouldn’t extend Foley Fautukasi and that Tevin Coleman and La’Mical Perine get way too much heat. However, the take I want to bring to this roundtable is that Mike LaFleur is undeserving of 90% of the criticism he’s received over the last few weeks.Firstly, any ire directed towards LaFleur’s Week 2 playcalling is misdirected. The overriding reason for the Jets’ offensive failures is Zach Wilson, who turned the ball over four times. This loss was on the QB–point blank, period.
Secondly, the most common criticism I see of LaFleur’s Week 2 playcalling is that he ran the ball 3 consecutive times on the goal line. Personally, I don’t have any problems with this; I think it’s very reasonable for a run-first offense to rely on the run game in goal line situations (especially with a struggling, young Quarterback).
Thirdly, LaFleur was widely criticized for running the ball on first downs in Week 1. While I do agree that more variation was warranted, this offense is based on the wide zone run (and the subsequent passing opportunities that arise off of it). Large play-action throwing windows will not exist if the coordinator does not run the wide zone first.
There are so many other criticisms of LaFleur that must be debunked (e.g. Denzel Mims’ playing time), but I will leave those for another roundtable.Stephen Zantz: It’s only been 2 games so any knee jerk reactions would be unfair. However, my hottest take thus far is that Tevin Coleman should be inactive once Perine is healthy. This isn’t to say Coleman has been really bad because he’s been ok through 2 games. If you’ve been watching this team it is abundantly clear that both Ty Johnson and Michael Carter give this offense way more juice. MC was awesome against New England and showed his ability to be a runner and receiver. My issue with Tevin is that he is lacking the burst he had during his tenure with the Falcons. The injuries clearly have impacted his ability to be an impactful player. Perine made this roster for a reason because he does a lot of things as a RB pretty well despite not being excellent at anything. Personally, Josh Adams also brings more to the table with his ability to be a punishing runner with power. The other backs on the team with the exception of Ty Johnson aren’t using that style.
DA Osorio: Hot takes two games in? I LOVE it! TOJ Live’s youngest member makes some good points regarding the running backs, but I’m going to go to the other side of the ball: the New York Jets should trade Marcus Maye at the deadline instead of re-signing him. Now, I know what you’re thinking: DA, that is crazy because the secondary has played so well. It is precisely because the secondary has played well that I think you move him. This defense is led by CJ Mosley: he was the best player on the field the last time he played and has been the best player so far this season. Question Mark Williams has not done anything of note through two games, but the slack has been picked up by Sheldon Rankins and the law firm that is Johnny Franklin Myers. Shaq Lawson has also played well, and this DL being good has helped all corners not named Bryce Hall (who has been good on his own, in my opinion) look solid. While returns are early, Bobby Saleh’s staff deserves credit for coaching up a young team to play well versus the 2nd best WR duo in the NFL week one and an accurate checkdowner in Bac Jones in week 2. This week, they get the beast that is Courtland Sutton and Noah “Brother of George” Fant, so a real test is here now, but the corners playing well and my trust in this staff means take the picks you get for Maye and develop Ashtyn Davis into his replacement.
Will Parkinson: The Jets made the right decision with the number 2 overall pick in the 2021 draft. Seemingly this is a hot take on Jets twitter and around the talking head community but I strongly believe the Jets made not only the right move to draft a QB at 2, but also take Zach Wilson with that pick. While I am not doubt a massive believer in Sam Darnold and happy he has performed well thus far in Carolina, I don’t believe it was the right move to keep him based on performance, the roster around him, the coach, the contract and everything that was stated all offseason. While Zach Wilson struggled in week 2, he looked fantastic in the second half against Carolina just 10 days ago and is still an ultra talented young QB who seems to get it both physically and mentally. Maybe my answer to this question will be different in 5 years, but for now there is no reason to panic and the Jets made the right call both trading Sam Darnold to a spot he is better off in as well as drafting Zach Wilson and giving him the keys to the franchise.