Given the quarterbacks on the Jets’ roster, it’s fair to assume No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson will take the first snap for New York not only in training camp, but also in the club’s season opener against Carolina.
But head coach Robert Saleh hasn’t yet anointed Wilson as QB1.
That’s not entirely a shock either, since the Jets will have competition at several different positions in Saleh’s first training camp at the helm. He told Albert Breer of SI.com that’s part of why Wilson hasn’t been labeled as the starter.
“The biggest thing we’re trying to do, and call it coachspeak, we’re trying to give all 90 guys a chance to establish themselves as starters,” Saleh said. “And we want to give everybody an opportunity to go out there and play and showcase who they are, give them the ability to see how they match up. So you’ll see rotation, like you saw in OTAs this year. We’d go to the back end and give everyone a chance to be a starter, and step in there with the ones to see how they communicate, see how they work. Same thing with the D-line and linebackers and then on the O-line, at running back, receiver, just having that constant rotation.
“So yeah, the quarterback part is the same, those guys are all going to work. Will [Wilson] take the first snap? Probably. But at the same time, it all comes down to what he can handle, and how he can handle things going through training camp and the preseason.”
But Saleh added that he’s liked a lot about what Wilson has brought to the table in his work ethic, specifically calling out Wilson’s film study.
“He’s a relentless worker,” Saleh said. “And I mean this, there’s guys who watch film, and then there’s guys that watch film almost religiously, and he’s one of those guys. He’s constantly trying to find ways to absorb information and learn. He’s wearing out the quarterback coach with film study. He’s relentless in that regard. His mental horsepower is off the charts. And he has a tremendous opportunity to go out there and be a good football player, because of that — because of his want to learn, because of his want to get better, because of his desire to ask questions that, frankly, he shouldn’t be asking yet. He’s looking at tells already through OTAs. The way he goes about it, he’s interesting mentally.
“And I’m excited to get a chance, when we go to Philadelphia and Green Bay, for him to see different defenses. It’s gonna be cool to see him react, and see how he asks questions, and see how he responds in Day 2 of those practices, it’s gonna be cool.”
As the second overall pick, Wilson has a lot to live up to when it comes to expectations. But from everything Saleh has said heading into the young QB’s first training camp, Wilson will be given every chance to learn and succeed at his own rate.