Walsh, after all, has played well in relief.
In the equivalent of about 2½ games, Walsh has completed 52 of 78 passes (67 percent) for 797 yards and eight touchdowns, with two interceptions.
His passing efficiency rating of 181.22 ranks No. 4 in the country, behind West Virginia's Geno Smith, Texas' David Ash and Georgia's Aaron Murray.
Not bad for a backup who hadn't yet instilled great confidence in the coaching staff.
“I certainly feel better about J.W. now than I did a month ago,” Gundy said.
It's a different offense with Walsh running things, yet so far, it's continued to be a productive offense.
“With a guy like J-dub,” Monken said, “it's how much can you stay in the game and move the chains and stay ahead of it. We're run/play-action, until he keeps developing as a thrower.
“But I think he's going to continue to get better. And I think we'll be able to expand the drop-back game as we go.”
That means this week and probably next.
“Now's that time,” Monken said. “We're doing what we do. And as we get closer to game day, we pluck things away and say, ‘You don't really need that, do you?'
“J-Dub is used to being coached hard and he expects to have success. There's a lot to that. There's a lot to him learning it and working at it and not cowering to it and not frowning when you yell at him.
“He battles. He's going to battle and the guys are going to follow him. That's half the battle, that they're convinced, and no matter what the situation we can win with him.”