With QB Zach Wilson in the concussion protocol and uncertainty about his status for this Sunday, OC Nathaniel Hackett is "carefully" devising a game plan for the Jets ahead of their Week 16 matchup with the Commanders at MetLife Stadium.
If Wilson can't go, QB Trevor Siemian will get his first start of the season. In the week leading up to the game, Hackett has been walking the line between building up a game plan around Siemian and being prepared if Wilson is cleared to start.
"We have to look at all the different things [Siemian] and the other quarterbacks are comfortable with that we can get going this week," Hackett said. "We prepare for everything. There's obvious protocol that we have to go through, but we'll see how it fares out."
Lucky for the Jets' offense, Hackett's offense has been praised by future Hall of Fame QB Aaron Rodgers as being "quarterback friendly" and easy to adapt to a specific passer. During Hackett's three seasons as Green Bay's offensive coordinator, Rodgers had arguably the best stretch of his career throwing for 111 touchdowns and 13 interceptions and earning Most Valuable Player awards in that stretch.
If Siemian starts, he will be the Jets fourth starting passer this season – after Rodgers, Wilson and Tim Boyle. Hackett's confident he will be comfortable a playing in the system.
"We want to try to get the things he's most comfortable with," Hackett said. "Which might be some of the things Aaron really likes, it might be some things that Zach likes, so every single guy is different. You always want that play to be called that he feels he can execute at a high level. there's a lot of different things that go into that. It's very intricate is the best way to put it. I've always felt like it's a very quarterback friendly system."
Siemian, a 7-year veteran, replaced Wilson against Miami. In two appearances this season, he has completed 19-of-39 pass attempts for 176 yards and 2 interceptions. The last two days of practice, both walkthroughs, he has taken all the first team reps.
"He goes out there and it's not too big for him," Hackett said about Siemian. "He prepares really well, I think for the situation, for the lack of practice, he's done a pretty good job of running the huddle. It'll be good for him to have the reps that he's had up to this point this week, to have a full week to be able to go out there and execute."
Regardless of who gets the start, the Jets offense will be in search of stability. In the Jets' last five games, the team has made three in-game QB changes. The inconsistency has led to recent struggles on offense. Against the Commanders, who have one of the league's worst pass defenses, they will have an opportunity to bounce back. In Washington's last five games, it has allowed 35.6 points and 286.6 pass yards per game.
"It's hard, because you're always looking for consistency," Hackett said. "And I think that's the name of this game, is as much consistency as you can find from anywhere on the field, the better you're going to be, the more you're going to be able to progress, because you always want to continually get better as the season goes on to enter into the playoffs, and that's something that we haven't found this year, and we have to lock in and look at all the different ways we can create that."