FLORHAM PARK, NJ (ABC4 Sports) – Zach Wilson’s rookie season with the New York Jets was rough.
His second season has been a disaster. After missing the first three weeks with a knee injury, Wilson has since been benched twice, and has thrown just six touchdowns with seven interceptions, completing 54.5 percent of his passes.
Wilson was eventually replaced by Mike White, but the Jets still missed the NFL Playoffs for the 12th straight year. Wilson is not expected to play in New York’s regular season finale against Miami on Sunday.
But despite his down year, the team is still behind the former BYU star.
“Zach has got all the talent in the world, and we have all the confidence in the world in him,” said Jets head coach Robert Saleh. “We’re going to grind with him, we are. Through hell or high water, we’re going to figure out to get him to where we know he can be.”
The confidence he had coming out of BYU two years seems to have disappeared, and the Jets will spend the off-season trying to get it back.
“We want to make sure we can reconnect with Zach and regain his confidence,” Saleh said. “We want him to regain his confidence in himself, in us, and us in him, all of us.”
“At BYU, he could sit in the pocket, hit his back foot and deliver the ball,” said Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur. “He has shown that he’s talented, and that he is smart and is willing to work.”
Upon hindsight, the Jets admit they probably should have sat Wilson for a year or two. But in this day and age, as the #2 overall pick, that just wasn’t going to happen.
“People don’t want to wait,” LaFleur said. “They want the instant gratification, and they want these rookies and second year guys to be superstars, and understandably so. In hindsight, it probably would have benefited him to sit back and learn a little bit. To watch a veteran do it and just kind of grow.”
As much as Jets fans blame Wilson, and there has been plenty of criticism on social media, the Jets say they’re the ones that failed him.
“Through two years, we haven’t done our job with him,” LaFleur said. “Any player at any position that isn’t producing to the level that they’re capable of, as a coach, you’ve failed him. You want all these guys to play at their absolute best, and we all know that Zach hasn’t played at his absolute best.”