12-Year NFL Pro Begs Jets to Promote Standout Rookie

Elijah Moore

Getty New York Jets rookie Elijah Moore catches a touchdown pass in Week 9.

With the record having dropped to 2-7 after Week 10, the New York Jets would have to go on a seemingly unfathomable run to make the postseason in 2021.

The more reasonable expectation for this roster is steady improvement. We all understand this is a young team with a ton of injuries but the final product has somehow gotten worse as the weeks have ticked on by.

That must change for head coach Robert Saleh to restore some faith going into year two. One way to do that is to develop the potential stars of the future.

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Damien Woody Calls for Moore

Former New England Patriots Pro Bowler and Jets and Lions offensive lineman Damien Woody took to Twitter after the Buffalo Bills blowout. The 12-year NFL veteran is now an ESPN analyst who has become an outspoken member of the Gang Green community on social media.

His Monday morning tirade on November 15 left no stone unturned, but one tweet jumped out at us in particular.

Woody voiced: “Elijah Moore is WR1 so treat him accordingly! It’s so damn obvious man [face-palm emoji], Corey Davis is a number two. I love Michael Carter (both of them actually) but MC plays with that passion I love! AVT is going to be a stud but [you] sense a theme here? Jets rookies are best on the team.”

Jets fans have grown frustrated with Davis during his first campaign with the franchise due to dropped passes, injury absences and most recently, a key fumble in Week 10. In fact, the offense has had its two most efficient games of the season without the big-name wide-out in terms of total offensive yardage.

At the same time, the rookie out of Ole Miss has begun to break out with four touchdowns over the past four games since the bye. According to Michael Nania of Jets X-Factor, both Moore and Carter ranked tied for second all-time in franchise history for most touchdowns within their first nine career games.

The only Jets rookie with more TDs over his first nine games was Keyshawn Johnson in 1996 with five. Wayne Chrebet and Tony Paige also registered four during their opening stretch.

Nania added that since Moore missed a game due to a concussion, he could theoretically tie or surpass Johnson for this honor in Week 11. The analytics expert also backed Woody’s WR1 argument being that many fans view the second-round pick as a slot receiver.

Nania tweeted out Moore’s stats lining up in the slot compared to the outside. The rookie has triple the snaps on the outside but has also totaled 161 receiving yards there compared to just 34 in the slot. His yards per route and yards per target are also significantly higher on the outside.

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‘Jets Rookies Are Best on the Team’

Woody also suggested that the Green & White’s best players are their rookies, including both Carters, Alijah Vera-Tucker, and presumably Zach Wilson.

Obviously, there are a few key exceptions — Quinnen Williams, Bryce Hall, C.J. Mosley and Mekhi Becton among others — but this statement isn’t too far from the truth. This group of rookies has the potential to be a very lucrative draft class that turns into a long-term core for this franchise, especially on the offensive side.

A Moore promotion wasn’t Woody’s only suggestion for Saleh. The ex-Jet had some advice for his defense too.

He tweeted: “I’ll tell Saleh this…players over scheme! [You] have got to adapt until you have the horses to run your scheme the way [you] want. You’re beating your head against a brick wall all [because] of the ‘scheme’?! That’s not coaching to me.”

Many Jets fans wondered why the coaches left Stefon Diggs in one-on-one coverage with players like Brandin Echols and Javelin Guidry. Well, this is the reason. Saleh and Jeff Ulbrich have not made the necessary adjustments to account for their personnel.

In some ways, they are also force-feeding their system and asking unproven talents to play high-percentage roles — like Nathan Shepherd, Jarrad Davis/Quincy Williams, or even Echols before his injury.

The theory here is that it takes a year or two for the scheme to click, but things have gone so poorly that some fans would prefer to pull the plug after 2021. There’s got to be some sort of middle ground.

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