Tim Boyle is new to Jets fans, having run the Green & White offense publicly for only 16 preseason drives and three more on Sunday in relief of Zach Wilson at Buffalo.
But Boyle is not new to football or to the starting opportunity that head coach Robert Saleh presented him on Monday. And he showed no signs of nerves or indecision at Tuesday's walkthrough practice (as expected) nor at his post-practice news conference as the reality sets in of trying to rally the Jets offense against their first-place division rivals, the Dolphins, on Black Friday.
"An opportunity is an opportunity and I'm really excited to take advantage of it," Boyle said. "I'm not someone who's going to be shellshocked by the moment. I'll see what they give me and hopefully I'll take what they give me. It was good to get out there Sunday and knock off the rust. I'm excited for the game."
Saleh also went with the "opp" angle when asked about his new starting QB before Tuesday's practice.
"One person is not going to change everything," the coach said. "It's collective, it's coaching, it's the other 10 players on the football field. We all have to take part and try to find ways to get the offense to move. I'm excited for his opportunity, for him. I know he's had some starts in the league before, but this is another opportunity with another team. I know the guys will go out there and play their butts off and we'll see what happens."
The one element of the 6-4 Boyle's game that everyone has noticed, that Saleh talked up after the loss to the Bills and Boyle discussed at his media avail is his ability to deliver the ball quickly to its intended target.
"My priority this week is getting the ball out on time, not taking sacks, just getting the ball in our playmakers' hands and letting them have fun with it," he said. "My first start in the NFL against the Cleveland Browns, they had two really good edge rushers and didn't have any sacks that game. So I said that was kind of my game, that's the one thing that frustrates edge rushers when they can't get there because the ball's out. We'll see if we can do that Friday."
Boyle talks like he's been there before, and in some limited ways, he has. He had three starts for pre-Jared Goff Detroit in 2021, and while the consecutive road games at Atlanta and Seattle were both losses, he threw the ball around the park with 46 completions on 71 attempts for 449 yards, three TDs, four INTs and seven 20-yards-plus completions and leading five TD drives for the 3-13-1 Lions. Jets fans may have felt a similar vibe of succeeding in lesser circumstances this summer when Boyle generated a team-leading five TDs mostly at the tail ends of the four preseason games.
Now he gets his shot not at the end of a lost season or at the beginning in the preseason but in a game in which he Jets, are still viable at 4-5. All they need is more yards, touchdowns and points to do battle with the formidable Dolphins on the Green & White's next national stage — this is the NFL's first game on the day after Thanksgiving, with a 3 p.m. ET kickoff.
If Boyle sounds confident about the hurdles ahead, consider his advisers. Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett was his OC with the GBP — Green Bay Packers, of course — in 2019-20. "Coach Hackett is awesome," he said. "He's super up-front, super transparent. That definitely helps our vision moving forward into the game."
And while with Hackett on the Packers, Boyle was also with Aaron Rodgers, who has already offered some advice to his understudy and will again this week.
"Aaron's going to check back in tomorrow. I'm excited to have a good conversation with him," he said. "He's already told me take what the defense gives you. Whenever you're going out there in the middle of the season, just get comfortable, get some completions and run the offense. You don't have to be Superman out there. I just have to play within myself and play my game."
But having friends in high places and top offensive talent to work with like Garrett Wilson and Breece Hall isn't going to be enough unless the new quarterback's got the right mindset. And from the sounds of it, Boyle's armed and ready to get cooking on his biggest stage yet in his sixth year as a pro signal-caller.
"You've got to feel like you're dangerous out there. You can't go into a play or a series with any doubt, so thinking confidently is critical," he said. "I'm going in there feeling that I'm the guy, I'm not going to miss. Confidence is everything playing quarterback.
"I'm excited to go out there and put my flavor on things, not overdo it, and put the ball in our playmakers' hands."
Sounds like a recipe for success. And soon, as Boyle said, we'll see what happens.