Bob Wischusen has been the radio play-by-play voice of the New York Jets for 19 years. Lasting all season, Wischusen will share thoughts about the Green & White in a weekly column.
Little Change for the Defense
With four games to go in the season, it may seem like a complete upheaval from the outside looking in. And make no mistake — teams don't normally fire their defensive coordinator with four games to go in the season when they lose a game in an unthinkable way as the Jets did this past Sunday. Having said that, there really isn't going to be a ton of change for the Jets defense over this last month. The system is the system. They've been operating the same way all season with the same coaches and the same meetings, looking at the same tape with most of the same players. None of that will change. Philosophically, how the game is called may change. Maybe there won't be many blitzes at the end of the game where the Jets have no chance to win. The goal of the last month for the Jets' season defensively is the same as it's been this past month: Getting young players on the field in matchups where you will learn exactly what type of talent you have so there can be an evaluation process moving forward. Granted, Gregg Williams being fired makes headlines, but it won't radically change how the defense operates and what the priorities are for this last month.
Facing Jamal Adams
There are two elements to playing Jamal Adams this week. First is the emotional element. No matter what coaches or front-office members say, when a team separates itself from an emotional player, as the Jets did with Adams, the Jets want to beat him just as much as he wants to beat the Jets. There are emotions involved and you can't get away from that. Schematically, however, this becomes an interesting game, looking at how the Jets offense developed this past Sunday — a run game based on speed in Ty Johnson and Josh Adams. There's no one better at running sideline to sideline and making tackles in the run game around the line of scrimmage than Adams. So while there are emotions involved, what I'm most interested to see is if the Jets will be able to keep an effective speed run game going knowing they're taking on a player that is good at stopping other teams' effective speed run games. Yes, there are emotions but there is also really interesting football to watch: the Jets and Jamal Adams on Sunday.
Sam Darnold's Future
I know there are plenty of fans and certainly plenty of media that have already moved on from Sam Darnold as the starting quarterback, and I can certainly understand why. But there are still four games to go. These four games will not only determine if Darnold is the Jets' starting QB next season, but it could also go a long way in determining if he is a starting quarterback in the NFL next season, whether it be in New York or somewhere else. He needs to continue to show that he can operate an offense efficiently, get teams into the right plays in terms of run game, not turn the ball over through the air, and get the ball to the best playmakers the Jets have. He took a step in that direction this past Sunday in a competitive game against the Raiders. While Darnold's future with the Jets might be cloudy, what he has to make sure of is that the picture is clear if he is worthy of being a starting QB in the NFL. I absolutely believe he is. I still think his ceiling is as a top 10 QB in the NFL, and he needs to make sure that others feel the same once these next four games are over.