The New York Jets are 6-4 and would be a legitimate, surefire playoff team if they had even pedestrian quarterback play. All they need is a game manager who can make basic, accurate throws from time to time and basically just be a competent professional. Pretty clear from Robert Saleh's remarks on Monday that 2021 No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson doesn't meet any of that baseline criteria.
Between his outright, public denial of wrongdoing in Sunday's 10-3 loss to the Patriots wherein he completed nine of 22 passes for 77 yards — 34 of which came on a lollipop, underthrown deep ball — his reported attitude in the locker room and the reality that he just flat-out sucks as an NFL quarterback, Wilson has done everything he can to squander a golden opportunity. Saleh and the Jets coaches, along with Wilson's teammates, have gone to bat for him in the media as his growing pains have persisted. It seems like everyone's patience has now worn thin.
And said patience wearing thin happened in rather abrupt fashion. What an about-face from Saleh!! This type of theatricality is worthy of a Broadway stage!!
Unfortunately, aging veteran Joe Flacco or Mike White don't really represent a potential franchise savior for the Jets, who've struggled since the damn Joe Willie Namath days to find a competent player at the most important position in sports.
Flacco's entire legacy is tied to one magical playoff run, one of the worst defensive plays in NFL history he heavily benefited from, and a bunch of 50-50 balls thrown up to Anquan Boldin. Sorry but I will say that shit every chance I get about Flacco's inflated status in NFL lore. Meanwhile, the far less-experienced White's last start in 2021 was a 45-17 loss to the Bills in which he threw four interceptions.
Not like benching Wilson means New York is about to unleash a massive upgrade and/or superstar on unsuspecting opponents. That is what makes Saleh's lack of commitment and belief in Wilson all the more troubling. It feels like the staff has already figured out this guy can't hack it, and they're not about to burn a whole season without at least exploring an alternative to give the offense a spark.
Sunday's game is at home against the Bears, who have a 2021 first-round QB of their own in Justin Fields who many Gang Green fans probably wish they had drafted. Fields is banged-up with a shoulder injury, so plenty of attention will be paid to who starts under center on both sides regardless of who it is in the end.
I mentioned this play in a blog I posted yesterday about Wilson's various troubles, but this angle really crystalizes just how beside himself offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur must be at this point with the young gunslinger's sloppy, inaccurate, lacking-in-finer-detail bullshit execution of the quarterback position:
Wilson is still only 23 and you'd think his best football is in front of him given how awful he's been through about one and a half NFL seasons. Then again, perhaps this is the beginning of the end. Just seems like he doesn't "get it" in terms of being a leader, falling on the sword where appropriate and, you know, quarterbacking at an even passable, consistent level.
When you're keeping close company with the likes of JaMarcus Russell, that's probably not a good sign.