After the brutal loss in New England, we’ve seen this New York Jets coaching staff display a willingness to change the way they operate.
Offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur started calling plays from the booth where he appears to be more comfortable, the game plan has gone from longer routes to getting the ball in the hands of the playmakers, and head coach Robert Saleh even grew a beard.
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Jets Hire John Beck
You might have heard the name John Beck before in association with Wilson and many other college quarterbacks. The ex-NFL backup has reinvented himself as one of the top teachers in the nation when it comes to young signal-callers and the BYU product was one of his recent prize pupils.
Wilson actually spent his bye week training with Beck out in California, rather than LaFleur and the Jets staff, which led me to question why Woody Johnson and Joe Douglas didn’t just hire the guru. Get him in here, make him an offer that he cannot refuse!
To my surprise, the Green & White actually did exactly what I requested for once.
According to several members of the Jets beat on November 2, Beck was hired for the remainder of the season and he will serve as the team’s “personal QB coach.” Here was Brian Costello of the New York Post.
Many Jets fans spotted Beck on the sidelines speaking with Mike White during the Week 8 victory. The backup quarterback ended up having a career game, breaking records as the first 400-yard passer for the franchise since Vinny Testaverde and the second-highest NFL passing total in a QB’s first career start behind Cam Newton.
Coincidence? I think not! No offense to White, but there’s a clear correlation between the Beck addition and the offensive explosion. Whether that’s having someone down on the field to guide these young quarterbacks so that LaFleur can remain in the booth or having his wealth of knowledge to assist this inexperienced staff, it’s a win-win.
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Influence on Wilson
If Beck turned White into a 400-yard passer, what’s his presence going to do for Wilson? The Jets may have just caught lightning in a bottle and who would have thought that it would be because of another “QB guru” joining the staff.
After Adam Gase, we don’t take too kindly to those types but I think we’ll make an exception based on Beck’s track record. In an article this summer, I detailed two interviews that Jets media posted, where team reporters Jack Bell and Eric Allen chatted with Wilson’s college mentor.
Beck called Wilson “relentless” and “cerebral,” like an offensive coordinator on the football field. He also touted his natural ability, stating: “Physically it’s going to be hard to find a guy who has more natural arm talent. Zach can make difficult throws look easy. He runs around and has some quick feet, and you’d be surprised at how explosive he is.”
One other quote stood out from those interviews this summer. Beck reinforced the idea of “playing smarter,” something we saw from White on Halloween. That means taking what the defense gives you, going through progressions, throwing the check down, and getting the ball out fast.
The QB coach said: “The cool part for [Wilson] is that he got to have the same offense for three years [at BYU], which allowed him to mature and progress in the system to the point that he mastered it. It’s just about him playing smarter in the system, with [the] tools he has.”
That should be music to most fans’ ears and so should the arrival of Beck. Perhaps the best is yet to come for this Jets offense in 2021.