Zach Wilson had a year to forget.
The Jets quarterback and 2021 No. 2 overall draft pick finished last among all eligible quarterbacks in passer rating and completion percentage for his miserable second season, according to NextGenStats. He threw only six touchdowns and seven picks in nine games. And he was benched multiple times for Mike White and Joe Flacco.
Wilson desperately needs to put this year in the rearview if he wants to grow into the franchise quarterback the Jets drafted him to be. Luckily, the confidence is there. When asked about the Jets possibly acquiring a veteran quarterback this offseason, Wilson’s comments were telling.
“I’m going to make that dude’s life hell in practice every day,” he told reporters on Monday. “I’m going to go out there and do my best to show the coaches I deserve to be there. And it’s not in a negative way; it’s in a positive way. It’s making everybody else better, hopefully.”
It’s a fantastic quote in a tough situation –- don’t forget, the kid is only 23-years-old and needs to answer questions about a disastrous season. After mightily struggling on various occasions and partly costing his team a playoff spot.
But the confidence can only get Wilson so far.
It’s not a confidence league; it’s a results league. And as we previously alluded to, the results have been horrendous with Wilson under center.
While he may have the correct mentality, his lackluster on-field performance will trump all and could force the Jets to part ways with him this offseason. Because general manager Joe Douglas, head coach Robert Saleh, and Co. can’t run it back with the kid. They need to stop trying to justify a draft pick for the betterment of an organization that hasn’t reached the playoffs in over a decade.
He’s clearly not the answer, nor is he a fit in Mike LaFleur’s offense. There’s a reason White looked better in the Jets’ offense and so did Flacco at times. And the team cannot disappoint this fanbase yet again by trying to justify the drafting of Wilson, especially when there are superior options at the game’s most important position.
So the confidence is great — it’s a whole lot better than if Wilson said he would refuse to compete and would only return unless he was the clearcut starter. But that’s not what’s going to ignite a career resurgence — actually playing the quarterback position the correct way will.
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