Zach Wilson’s seat should come as no surprise

In 2021, I wrote an open letter here to the New York Jets urging them not to recruit Zach Wilson with the second overall pick. I wrote this because the Jets are as much for the quarterbacks as Hollywood marries. I suggested they let Wilson fall to the 49ers who got the third pick.

Did you hear the planes?

no they did not.

They drafted it anyway, and here we are in year two and the kid looks lost. On Wednesday he was on the bench.

It didn’t take long, did it? seasons and a half. This is the Jets QB’s life.

I finished my case.

Last Sunday, he hit rock bottom in his young career, completing 9 of 22 passes for 77 yards against the Patriots. The Jets totaled 103 yards of offense and three scores. A week ago he threw for 154 yards and 1 TD. In the week before that he threw for 354 yards, but also caught three interceptions.

In seven games, he averaged just 183 yards per game and totaled four TDs and five interceptions. He averages 6.8 yards per attempt and only completes 55% of his passes. Among NFL quarterbacks, only Pittsburgh’s rookie Kenny Pickett has a lower rating than Wilson, who has been sacked 60 times in 20 career games.

According to Tru Media, out of 34 eligible quarterbacks, Wilson ranks 34th in completion percentage, 32nd in touchdown rate (2.1%), 26th in interception rate (2.6%) and 32nd in off-target throws rate (16.4%) . Perhaps the most worrying thing is that it put up similar numbers last year, which means there has been no progress. Other quarterbacks from Wilson’s draft class—namely, Trevor Lawrence, Mack Jones, and Justin Fields—show signs of developing into franchise quarterbacks.

Anyway, three weeks after saying Wilson would be the starter for the rest of the season, coach Robert Saleh demoted him to third string Wednesday, behind freshman starter Mike White, a 2018 fifth-round draft pick, and 37-year-old Joe Flacco. .

“Zach’s career here is not over,” Saleh said. “I know that’s going to be the narrative and I know that’s what everyone wants to shout about, but that’s nowhere near the case. The whole point is to make sure Zach gets back on the football field this season. When that happens, I’m going to make that decision. I’m going to take it day by day.” . “The young man needs a rest,” he added.

Salih continued, “There are some fundamental, fundamental things that have gotten out of control for him. This is just an opportunity for him to sit down and focus on those things and find a way to reconnect with all the different things that we loved during the draft process. It’s something I feel he’ll be able to do.”

Saleh’s decision to bench Wilson reflected popular sentiment since last week’s match.

“Robert Saleh should take Zack Wilson’s seat because the rest of the Jets deserve better,” reads the headline in the New York Post this week. A similar CBS headline was: “Jets May Have to Squat QB to Stay Catch”. Jets, 6-4, in the playoffs. They might have more patience with Wilson if they were 2-8.

Wilson did not help his case. After the Patriots game, in which the Jets defense played heroically, Wilson proved impolite to say the least when asked if he felt he had let the defense down.

“No,” he told reporters after the game.

The media fed him his streak and lost it. This did not like his teammates. He lost the match and then lost the locker room. He should have done what Fields did after he threw for just 153 yards in the Bears’ three-point loss to the Falcons last week. Albert Brier of Sports Illustrated tweeted that in the locker room after the game, Fields apologized to his teammates, saying, “Give the defense a chance to attack, and the offense didn’t work.” Before Fields could continue, his defensive teammates stopped him and offered their support.

According to the New York Post, Wilson’s father, Mike, saw the press conference and immediately realized his son had made a mistake. He informs Zack of this before he gets to the team bus and sends him a video of the press conference. Only then did he realize what he had done, Wilson said. He apologized to the team Wednesday, saying his feelings had served him well.

“I just wanted to correct this thing,” he told reporters. “I just had a sick feeling in my stomach. The way you handled things is not what a captain should do – especially a quarterback on a football team in this case.” He described his session as “well deserved”.

Time will tell if damage control is enough. SportsNet New York’s Connor Hughes reported earlier in the week that “sources inside the Jets’ losing locker room told SNY that Wilson was walking around after the game like he wasn’t the problem. He rubbed more than a little the wrong way, frustrating many others.”

Post columnist Ian O’Conner wrote, “Zach Wilson has played and talked for himself off the field, so the man behind center on Sunday against Chicago has to be Mike White, or Joe Flacco, or whoever isn’t named Zack Wilson.”

New York media is tougher than any defensive lineman in the league.

So here we go again. Another Jets quarterback fumbles. It’s easy to blame Wilson, but the Jets have a gift for chewing up promising quarterbacks. If Tom Brady had fallen into their arms as a rookie, it would have been another Sam Darnold or Christian Hackenberg.

In the past 16 years, the Jets have drafted 12 quarterbacks, six of them in the first two rounds. This works out to a quarterback who is drafted every 1.3 years.

Zach Wilson, first round, 2021.

James Morgan, fourth round, 2020.

Sam Darnold, first round, 2018.

Christian Hackenberg, second round, 2016.

Brice Beatty, Fourth Round, 2015.

Taj Boyd, sixth round, 2014.

Geno Smith, second round, 2013.

Greg McElroy, Round 7, 2011.

Mark Sanchez, first round, 2009.

Eric Inge, Fifth Round, 2008.

Kellen Clemens, second round, 2006.

Brad Smith, Fourth Round, 2006.

The common denominator of these brokers’ failure to succeed is the planes. In between draft picks, the team also experimented with free agents, at one point switching quarterbacks dozens of times in the five seasons before drafting Wilson. By now they must have found a strong midfielder by chance.

The Packers have had two starting quarterbacks in three decades. The Chiefs, Saints, Patriots, Cowboys, Vikings, Falcons, Seahawks, Giants, and Steelers, among other teams, have also enjoyed stability in the position. Even the hapless lions had stability in this position. Some teams have a knack for nurturing quarterbacks. Airplanes are not one of them.

Jets and centipedes have never been a good marriage.

New York Jets quarterback Zack Wilson (2) ends up passing during the game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, November 20, 2022, in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Another poor outing last Sunday cost the former BYU star his starting position.

Stephen Seeney, Associated Press


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