The New York Jets and the New England Patriots are facing a quarterback crisis, and as any real chance of making the playoffs continues to fade with each passing week, one NFL legend believes it’s time to explore new options.
Mac Jones (Patriots) and Zach Wilson (Jets) were both drafted in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft and expectations for both quarterbacks in their respective organizations were high. But just three seasons later, and there’s been little growth to note for each of their parts.
“He makes throws that you scratch your head over,” former Washington legend and Super Bowl champion Joe Theismann said of Jones during an interview with Fox News Digital.
“I got to tell you, watching him – I’ve probably watched four or five games – he just doesn’t look comfortable in a pocket. And if you aren’t comfortable in a pocket, the ball’s going to go places sometimes where you don’t really, I don’t think you really know. I mean, his accuracy is off.”
“The best way to describe what I see about him is he just doesn’t look like somebody who has any confidence in a pocket,” Theismann continued. “He doesn’t throw the ball with confidence. It’s like, he’s not sure. There’s tremendous indecision in the way he plays that position. And if there’s one position in football you have to be decisive at is the quarterback position.”
Jones was benched for the fourth time this season and for the second straight game during Sunday’s loss to the New York Giants. Before being replaced by Bailey Zappe, who also had a lackluster performance at MetLife Stadium, Jones finished 12 of 21 for 89 yards and two interceptions, one which resulted in a 55-yard return to set up Tommy DeVito’s touchdown pass to Isaiah Hodgins in the second quarter.
FROM OUTKICK: MAC JONES BENCHED BY PATRIOTS AFTER THROWING INTERCEPTIONS AGAINST GIANTS. SO WHAT’S NEXT?
Through Week 12, Jones had 12 turnovers and 10 touchdowns. For Theismann, it could be time that the Patriots think past this season and use their first-round pick in the upcoming draft to select a new signal-caller.
“I think New England has to,” he said.
“[Jones’] rookie year, you know, you say, ‘OK, he’s learning the game. He’s learning how to play quarterback in the National Football League.’ But you’ve got to see some type of a movement forward with progression as far as comfort level, accuracy in throws, making decisions with the ball in your hands. He hasn’t moved to the next level in any of those areas.”
But the Patriots aren’t the only team in the AFC East that Theismann believes should be prioritizing the quarterback position in the 2024 NFL Draft.
“I think the Jets are going to be another team that is going to have to be looking at the draft.”
ZACH WILSON UNDERSTANDS JETS’ DECISION TO BENCH HIM: ‘WE’RE NOT PUTTING UP POINTS’
The once-hopeful Jets are on a four-game slide after a brutal loss to the Miami Dolphins on Black Friday. Leading up to the game, head coach Robert Saleh announced that Zach Wilson would be benched in favor of Tim Boyle.
Wilson would serve as the third-string backup.
“You keep hoping and waiting. I mean, Mac’s been given so many opportunities to be able to find some semblance of rhythm in his game, and he really hasn’t. I think Zach’s in the same situation. I really liked Zach a lot coming out of college. I thought he was accurate.”
Theismann explained that even with Aaron Rodgers’ return from an Achilles injury, the Jets will only have so much time before needing to find his replacement.
“He’ll be back next year in New York. There’s no question. But [then] you’re really within a year on the outside, maybe two, of having to find somebody else to play.”
“You need someone who takes the bull by the horns. You know, I think you need someone that’s played. You see these guys coming out of college right now that have played one year. They really haven’t been seasoned enough, I think, to be able to step in and do what you need to do.”
For now at least, the Jets will stick with Boyle, which is a decision that Theismann backs.
“We’re giving Timmy another shot to roll next week,” Saleh said after the loss.
“Obviously, there’s things that he could have done better, there’s things that he had no control over, and I know he battled out there. We were able to get to certain calls that we were hoping to do. We were able to execute a lot of the different things that we wanted to execute, it just didn’t come to full fruition.”
The Patriots’ decision at quarterback seems less decisive.
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