The New York Jets went 7-4 through their first 11 games of the season, sitting in excellent position to break their 12-year playoff drought. But after losing six straight games to finish the season at 7-10 with no playoff berth, Gang Green is back on the drawing board.
General manager Joe Douglas has done well to build his roster on both sides of the ball, but a key question all season is whether the Jets got it right at quarterback. Zach Wilson was benched twice during the season, as he clearly regressed in his sophomore year since he was drafted No. 2 overall.
Wilson’s future with the Jets, then, is in doubt, and many believe the Jets will look for a veteran option on the free agent market. It’s not what they envisioned when Wilson was kicked out of BYU.
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If they bring a new quarterback to One Jets Drive, Wilson, who has two guaranteed years left on his rookie contract, vows to make things difficult for his teammate.
«I’m going to make that guy’s life hell in practice every day,» he said via the new york post office. «I’m going to go out there and do my best to show the coaches that I deserve to be there. It’s not in a negative way, it’s in a positive way. He’s making everyone else better.»
JETS COMMITTED TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF ZACH WILSON: ‘THROUGH HELL OR THE HIGH SEA’
It’s a good mentality for Wilson. However, his trouble moving the offense consistently is forcing the Jets into this situation.
Wilson has thrown for six touchdowns this season compared to nine interceptions. When the Jets were winning games, they relied on their running game (second-round pick Breece Hall ripped through defenses before suffering a season-ending knee injury) and their close defense. In Wilson’s five wins as a starter this season, he has thrown just two touchdowns and averaged 169.4 passing yards per game.
After Hall’s injury, the Jets weren’t as strong on the run, causing Wilson to fall further back. The results weren’t positive, and he came to a head in New England when he went 9-for-22 for 77 yards in a 10-3 loss to the Patriots.
After the embarrassing performance, reporters asked Wilson if he thought the offense let down the defense, which gave up just three points before a Marcus Jones punt return sealed the win for New England. Wilson simply replied, «No.» A couple of days later, the Jets benched him and traded on Mike White.
ZACH WILSON WOULD HAVE BENEFIT FROM SITTING BEHIND A VETERAN QUARTERBACK, SAYS JETS OC
White and veteran Joe Flacco are free agents this offseason, adding to rumors that the Jets will be looking for a veteran with the idea that he could start over with Wilson.
In two seasons, Wilson is 8-14 as a starter with a 55.2 completion percentage with 15 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.
The Jets still feel that Wilson has the talent to be a successful quarterback in the league.
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«Philosophically, we’ve never been a team that gave up talent early,» Douglas said via the Post. «We all know the talent that Zach possesses. We’re going to do what we’ve done with every player: work with Zach, develop Zach. We’ll do everything we can to help Zach reach his full potential.» here.»