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Phil The Thrill

Did “The Drop” in Carolina Derail Zay Jones’s Confidence?

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Here’s an interesting take that I heard on the Bills Beat podcast.  The hosts were talking about Zay jones and I believe it was Matt Fairburn who wondered whether the dropped pass against Carolina in 2017 messed with Zay’s confidence.

 

Zay was supposed to be a WR with  some of the best hands in the draft.  He caught everything in college and broke records.  He was thought of to be NFL ready and an immediate contributor.   He was quiet in preseason but as far as I can remember, no one questions his hands. 

 

But since the drop drop in Week 2 of the season, Zay was inconsistent and couldn’t catch routine passes.  He had an extremely high drop rate which was among the highest in the NFL his rookie year.  

 

There was one game against NYJ on Monday where it FINALLY looked like he was coming into his own.  But then, he was tripped and left the game with an injury.  

 

Last year he led the Bills in Receiving but he has yet to eclipse a 100 yard performance.  He also had a few costly drops.  He has contributed at times, but when you consider his draft status, he’s been somewhat of a disappointment at WR.  

 

So how do you explain the lack of production from Zay?  Is it an issue of confidence?  Or is he just not very good at getting open and catching the ball?

 

 

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I mean, that was only a minimal drop, as far as drops go. Wasn’t a great ball.

 

but either way, Zay has been inconsistent and made a lot of mental mistakes.

Edited by whatdrought

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A metaphor for the whacked out notion about Zay Jones implied here.

Edited by I am the egg man
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He’s just not as good as we hoped. Many a miss in player evaluation. If it was an exact science, every team would have an awesome roster. 

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3 minutes ago, Rocket94 said:

Are you trying to say he is suffering from PTSD?

 

Not PTSD.  Just that it shook his confidence. It has been known to happen to athletes when they don’t deliver on big moments

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Soon the Bills will draft a 1st round WR and Zay Jones will not likely be given a contract extension....Bills still need a guy opposite Smokey Brown...that person is not Zay Jones.

Edited by JaCrispy

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I think it weighed on him considerably. However, two years is a long time to have the yips. I hope that's not still holding him back. Zay has been inconsistent, but this year he has made the tough catches he needed to make - notably one to convert a 4th down against the Jets. He is doing a little better this year, so far.

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That was the 2nd game he only ever played, wasn't a great ball so no. 

 

Recall reading in Jay S column according to Football analytics or whatever they call themselves, he only had 3 drops last year so question how bad his hands really are compared to what fans seem to think. 

 

More than anything he's just become fans #1 whipping boy

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58 minutes ago, Phil The Thrill said:

Here’s an interesting take that I heard on the Bills Beat podcast.  The hosts were talking about Zay jones and I believe it was Matt Fairburn who wondered whether the dropped pass against Carolina in 2017 messed with Zay’s confidence.

 

Zay was supposed to be a WR with  some of the best hands in the draft.  He caught everything in college and broke records.  He was thought of to be NFL ready and an immediate contributor.   He was quiet in preseason but as far as I can remember, no one questions his hands. 

 

But since the drop drop in Week 2 of the season, Zay was inconsistent and couldn’t catch routine passes.  He had an extremely high drop rate which was among the highest in the NFL his rookie year.  

 

There was one game against NYJ on Monday where it FINALLY looked like he was coming into his own.  But then, he was tripped and left the game with an injury.  

 

Last year he led the Bills in Receiving but he has yet to eclipse a 100 yard performance.  He also had a few costly drops.  He has contributed at times, but when you consider his draft status, he’s been somewhat of a disappointment at WR.  

 

So how do you explain the lack of production from Zay?  Is it an issue of confidence?  Or is he just not very good at getting open and catching the ball?

 

 

 

Josh isn’t targeting him.  There has to be a reason.   Maybe something he’s seeing in practice. Maybe he just like other other guys hands better?  Brown made an incredible snare over the middle. 

 

Zay seems to get open...  maybe he’s got a small catch radius or maybe his hands are just bad. 

 

Really wish that slant v giants connected to see what he did with it.

 

Edit: Btw on EZ near TD pass: Just looked at all 22.  It’s annoyingly close. Seems like it hit his fingertips but he completely sold out to get it.  Tough catch.... REALLY tough catch for Zay

 

Edited by Over 29 years of fanhood

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22 minutes ago, I am the egg man said:

A metaphor for the whacked out notion about Zay Jones implied here.

One bad play shouldn't eliminate the player.

Edited by I am the egg man

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That drop/bad TT throw probably didn't help Zays psyche. Last year was decent but not earth shattering. I think this season will be his last with the Bills unless he all of a sudden explodes. I'm sure will be drafting a 2nd/3rd rd wr in April. And there's always the "Duke" ?

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Why just that one drop, when there are so many to choose from?  I think he should change his jersey number.  Bad juju from Scrub Johnson and TJumptomakeacatchGraham, neutral juju from 'scoe.  Yeah, that's the ticket, a better number.

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41 minutes ago, whatdrought said:

I mean, that was only a minimal drop, as far as drops go. Wasn’t a great ball.

 

but either way, Zay has been inconsistent and made a lot of mental mistakes.

 

It was a great ball actually, it was not a clean route where Zay tripped on his own feet slightly on his cut that threw him just off where he he didn’t get a clean turnaround and wasn’t where he would have been if he hit the route clean.

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I think Zay crapped himself on that route knowing that the play was designed to go to him for a TD.

 

He nearly fell on his face running against air and stumbling he didn't get to his spot and it made what should have been a routine catch into a very difficult catch..........but one he had shown himself capable of at the Senior Bowl.

 

He knew it and was very emotional about it so I think doubt in himself might have crept in there.

 

Something similar happened with Josh Reed in Jacksonville in 2003.

 

Reed had been velcro handed as a rookie but when elevated up the depth chart after Peerless Price was franchised and dealt Reed cracked under the pressure............he dropped a wide open bomb from Bledsoe to the astonishment of Bills fans everywhere.     He was never the same.

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IMO Zay’s issue isn’t the one drop.  I question if the issue is that he just doesn’t have the mental toughness to handle the rigors of the NFL, ups and downs, focus, etc.   

 

 

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He needs one good game.  As pointed out, last year vs the Jets looked to be it, but then he burned their DB, and the DB ended up injuring him in desperation.  

 

It seems like he and Josh are rarely on the same page.  Josh has only had a few blatant misses this year, one was the John Brown would-be TD and the others have all been to Zay.  

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OBJ scored on the same route that Josh under threw Zay on... imagine if he was on target and scored 

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14 minutes ago, SCBills said:

He needs one good game.  As pointed out, last year vs the Jets looked to be it, but then he burned their DB, and the DB ended up injuring him in desperation.  

 

It seems like he and Josh are rarely on the same page.  Josh has only had a few blatant misses this year, one was the John Brown would-be TD and the others have all been to Zay.  

 

 

He's had a number of good games.......even in his rookie year he played a tremendous role in that key win at KC.............he just always reverts to inconsistency catching the football.

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5 minutes ago, BADOLBILZ said:

 

 

He's had a number of good games.......even in his rookie year he played a tremendous role in that key win at KC.............he just always reverts to inconsistency catching the football.

So much so that virtually every catch he tackles himself because he immediately stops and goes to the ground to make sure that he catches it, ensuring no YAC. It's pitiful to watch.

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If that one drop had anything to do with him “losing confidence,” then that drop was not the issue. 

 

Be that as it may, Zay has not appeared to be what he was predicted to be out of college, and that is not out of the ordinary. 

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2 minutes ago, Kelly the Dog said:

So much so that virtually every catch he tackles himself because he immediately stops and goes to the ground to make sure that he catches it, ensuring no YAC. It's pitiful to watch.

 

Great point........I think this is lost on a lot of fans.

 

YAC is actually a thing for most WR's.

 

But we don't even CONSIDER the possibility that Zay will get anything after a catch anymore.............just always so relieved when it doesn't hit the turf that it feels like a win.

 

5 minutes ago, Rocky Landing said:

If that one drop had anything to do with him “losing confidence,” then that drop was not the issue. 

 

Be that as it may, Zay has not appeared to be what he was predicted to be out of college, and that is not out of the ordinary. 

 

 

It's unusual for a WR to go from being great at catching the football to being poor at it.............but as mentioned earlier it's not foreign to Bills fans after Belitnikoff winner Josh Reed went from incapable of dropping a pass as a rookie to the shakiest handed of possession receivers for the rest of his career.

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The lack of productivity is due to Cole Beasley and John Brown being on the team now. 

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Why all this psychologizing? His problem is he lacks fundamental, in the bone football instincts. He's just not that good.

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