If there were ever a week to stay off social media and the internet in general, this is the one for Jets quarterback Zach Wilson.
His poor performance on Sunday vs. the New England Patriots was bad enough, and now his first 20 NFL starts can be compared to JaMarcus Russell. But his lack of accountability was even worse. You can imagine it’s part of the reason why Jets head coach Robert Saleh didn’t outright commit to Wilson starting under center in Week 12 vs. the Chicago Bears.
Wilson has been getting criticized on all fronts, and rightfully so. The lackluster on-field production is one thing, but it’s his post-game comments that have put things into overdrive. Count former Jets head coach Rex Ryan as one of those critics. He didn’t hold back on a Monday episode of ESPN’s Get Up! (quote transcribed by NJ.com):
This kid doesn’t get it. And when you have a bad game, your team loses, as a quarterback and a leader of the team because that’s your position, you always start with I’ and ‘me,’ alright? ‘I had a poor game. I’ve got to get better. My receivers were open. I’ve got to deliver the ball to them. This game is on me.’
You know what? That’s what we see out of Jalen Hurts. Didn’t we see that out of Josh Allen? … Kid, grow up. … And by the way Zach, you did deserve it. You stunk up the joint yesterday. And I’m sorry but this kid divided the locker room. You better step up and be a man, and especially in this city. … This kid is a talent, OK? I’m not worried about the talent. I’m worried about you being a man and understanding your responsibility for this football team as the quarterback.
Phew, talk about not holding back. It feels like Ryan hit on all points imaginable in this little rant. When he said he’s not worried about Wilson’s talent, he’s been on record saying that in the past. Back in September, Ryan said the second-year signal-caller is the most skilled quarterback the Jets have had since Joe Namath.
That’s high praise, but skill can only take a player so far in the NFL. Especially when we’re talking about being a quarterback. Being effective in that position involves leadership as well as on-field skills.
We didn’t see any of that on Sunday from Zach Wilson. Will he learn his lesson? Let’s hope so because there isn’t a ton of time left for him to figure it out in New York.