robert saleh jets
The Record

The Jets employ a promising core of young players.

It hasn’t been a season to remember in Florham Park.

But don’t let the results through the first 13 weeks shadow the potentially bright future the Jets possess.

The Joe Douglas-operated front office made various moves during the 2021 draft that have led to the team employing a solid group of first-year players.

Led by starting quarterback Zach Wilson, Gang Green’s rookie class could be at the forefront of a memorable era of football.

The head coach overseeing this class additionally realizes the potential, despite his team’s current 3-9 mark.

“I know results, this is a results-oriented business, I want to make sure that’s very clear. So, we understand it still comes down to wins and losses, but the reality is that you do have to look through and see, what are the building pieces and what direction does this organization and team need to go to get us into that perennial discussion as it pertains to playoffs and championships, and that picture is super clear. This rookie class is fantastic,” Robert Saleh told Newsday‘s Bob Glauber and the rest of the media Wednesday. “The youth that we have on this team is fantastic, some of the vets that we have on this team, there’s a lot of really great things to work off of on this roster, and there’s a lot of guys that we’ll get back from injury that will add to this team.

“There’s a lot of really cool pieces on this team and there’s a lot of things to look forward to, but it still comes down to, we’ve got five games left too, and to take one game at a time and focus on making sure we’re doing everything to continue to solidify our identity and the direction we want to get with our schemes and then, obviously, the players, with the quarterback, the receivers, the young secondary we got going, there’s still a lot of growth to be had at those positions. That’s where we’re relentlessly trying to make sure that we maximize every last bit of it.”

Injuries have obviously taken a toll on the Jets’ young core. Wilson missed four games due to a knee injury earlier this season. Running back Michael Carter, arguably the team’s top rookie, is currently on injured reserve with an ankle sprain and must miss at least one more game.

Wideout Elijah Moore is additionally day-to-day with a quad injury ahead of Week 14.

At least on the offensive end, a developed Wilson combined with Carter, Moore, and a line that includes rookie Alijah Vera-Tucker and Mekhi Becton (2020 first-rounder who’s been out since Week 1 with a knee injury) could do damage if the health-related issues don’t arise in 2022.

Time will tell how this young core progresses — the fanbase is holding out hope for the promising group.

Follow Ryan Honey on Twitter: @RyanHoneyESNY

Listen to ESNY’s Wide Right Podcast on Apple here or on Spotify here.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.