Writing about Zach Wilson these days is a little risky. The former #2 overall pick divided the fanbase before the draft, and nothing has changed over the last two years.
We don’t need to go into the numerous issues he had as the starting Jets QB, and what percentage of the blame needs to be attributed to which individual.
What we do need to do is start looking to the future.
This is about baby steps, the tiniest of baby steps. But last night we saw at least some life from Wilson and we also saw something we haven’t seen in a long time, enjoyment.
“Zach did a good job. He was poised. Looked comfortable in the pocket, delivered the ball on schedule, and definitely something to build on.” - Coach Saleh
Football is supposed to be fun, but I don’t think it’s going too far out on a ledge to say that Zach Wilson hasn’t had fun playing football in a long time.
Last night he played with a smile on his face and a looseness that’s been missing since the Tennessee Titans game in 2021.
You can’t get too carried away after he only attempted 5 passes...but his 57-yard strike to Malik Taylor was progress, and with Aaron Rodgers set to be at the helm for the foreseeable future, progress and not perfection is what we need.
He stood in the pocket, came off his first read, identified the coverage and saw where the safety was, unleashing a ball that led Taylor into the catch. It was college Zach.
“For him, it’s rebuilding that confidence and the swag that we fell in love with during the draft process, I think he’s getting it. I said it before: He’s a rookie all over again. All the footwork is different. All the verbiage is different.” - Saleh continued
Sometimes you need to break something down to build it back up. The Jets tried the hard reset, but as we said at the time, you can’t do that kind of reset mid-season.
Zach said that Aaron helps him more than he has to, and that’s exactly what he needs. He needs coaching of course, but he needs encouragement just as much.
Before the game, I said to some friends that I hoped Saleh would remove Zach quickly after a positive play or series, and that’s what he did. That throw, that one throw can act as a confidence builder. It’s block by block, it’s slow and steady, but it’s something.
After the last two years, I’ll take something.