The New York Jets may not be completely done with Zach Wilson, even after a disastrous second season that saw him start the year injured and then lose his job to third-string quarterback Mike White.
The Jets have no plans to move the second overall pick in the 2021 draft this offseason, the NFL Network reported Sunday. The organization reportedly views the former BYU standout as «an incredibly hard worker, a good teammate and very smart.» The team reportedly believed that he «handled his downgrades well» and kept working with the goal of improvement in mind.
Wilson began the season on the mend when he suffered a knee injury in preseason. He got his first start in Week 4 against the Pittsburgh Steelers and had a touchdown pass and two interceptions. He would stand out against the New England Patriots in Week 8 with a 355-yard passing performance with two touchdowns and three interceptions in a loss.
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His year took a rocky turn after the team managed just three points in a Week 11 loss to the Patriots. He completed just nine passes for 77 yards during the game. He then received incredible criticism for not taking responsibility for the loss and was subsequently benched by White.
When White broke his ribs against the Buffalo Bills, Wilson had a chance to play against the Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars, but he didn’t win either game.
Among that, Jets coach Robert Saleh lamented the pressure quarterbacks face to perform as soon as they get to the NFL.
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«The frustrating thing is this guy is going to be a good quarterback,» Saleh said after a loss to the Lions. «The NFL and this new world of instant coffee that we’re in just doesn’t want to give people time. So, we look at him, and they criticize him with a fine-toothed comb, everything he does, and rightfully so.» It is what he is. He did a lot of really good stuff, so we’re going to do our best to focus on the things that he did well and make sure we bring that to life, and we’ll continue. to work on the things that he needs to improve.»
If this season is any indication, sometimes it behooves an organization to wait and see with a quarterback. Geno Smith has been the best example of this.
He was pushed into a starting role with the Jets in 2013 and barely had two seasons as a starting quarterback before being benched. He finished with the New York Giants and Los Angeles Chargers before joining the Seattle Seahawks and returning to the starting job. He was selected to the Pro Bowl for the first time in 2022 after throwing 27 touchdown passes for 3,886 yards.
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Wilson still has two years left on his rookie contract.