Robert Saleh: When it clicks for Zach Wilson, everyone’s going to see why he was the No. 2 pick

New York Jets Training Camp
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Jets rookie quarterback Zach Wilson has not been good this season. Coach Robert Saleh says three games is way, way too few to judge him.

Saleh acknowledged today that Wilson is going through a tough start to his NFL career, but Saleh said Wilson is going to come out better for it.

“He’s suffering every scar you can possibly imagine, but it’s a good thing,” Saleh said. “It really is. Because he is one of those guys who gets to the film room, he gets to the meeting room, he’s asking the right questions, he’s got tremendous process. He’s only going to get better. When it clicks, everyone’s going to see why he was the second overall pick. And it’s just a matter of it clicking.”

Saleh said the Jets’ locker room remains confident in Wilson.

“His teammates’ confidence in him has not wavered. Everyone gets it. Everyone has been a rookie before,” Saleh said.

Saleh is right that it’s way too early to judge Wilson. But if he keeps playing well, it’s going to be hard for Jets fans — and maybe some teammates — to keep being patient.

45 responses to “Robert Saleh: When it clicks for Zach Wilson, everyone’s going to see why he was the No. 2 pick

  1. “When we destroy Zach Wilson’s career because of the horrible team we’ve put around him, everyone’s going to see why no one wants to come to the Jets.”

  2. I really don’t understand the need to rush these into the lineup when they’re clearly not ready. I don’t care what spot they were drafted at.

  3. Wilson was a late bloomer in college who rarely faced ranked competition and fared poorly when he did. It’s a huge learning curve from BYU rolling up on North Alabama to the NFL and it doesn’t help that his OL is terrible.

    I don’t know whether he will end up being worth the #2 pick or not, but I know you can’t tell based on his first 12 quarters of NFL play with a terrible team around him, a rookie head coach who’s background is defense, and a rookie offensive coordinator.

    Let’s revisit this topic in 2023.

  4. It will probably click the same way it did for Darnold….when he is on a different team!

  5. Most HOF QB’s who were good enough to be drafted #1 or 2, and who went to horrendous teams, did very poorly early in their career’s. Hey, what ever happened to Sam Darnold? There’s a guy named Darnold playing in Carolina, and he’s 3-0. Any relation to the Darnold that played for the Jets? Remember, that guy was a bust.

  6. Honestly, just stop running your mouth. For the love of god. He played Div 2 competition last year and he lacks accuracy in tight windows and is always trying to run out of the pocket immediately. All red flags.

    You blew it.

  7. Chris Simms said Wilson was the best QB in this class in terms of talent. Sims said Mac Jones was the most pro-ready. He may be correct, in both cases. But in our give-it-to-me-now world of entertainment, “developing” players is a strategy most fans don’t appreciate – and usually a luxury for teams (the 49ers for example with Jimmy G holding down the fort while Trey Lance learns.) Aaron Rogers was a back-up for Hall for Famer Brett Favre for THREE seasons. Alex Smith needed Jim Harbaugh to believe in him before he brought the 49ers (and eventually the Chiefs and WFT) to the playoffs. The opposite is true as well. Some QB’s rise to instant success only to fade fast (see Mark Sanchez.). Every QB has a unique journey. Looking forward to seeing how Wilson adapts in the next 14 games.

  8. Guessing most on here don’t actually watch the Jets.
    Just join the conga line as it passes by, Wilson is the goods.

  9. Have never been able to figure out why A-list asistants like this guy, leave stable jobs for garbage organizations like this one?? Or the Lions, Jags, Bengals, Bears, Bengals. Year after years they pick in the top ten.

  10. There is only one Josh Allen. When a rookie QB looks as bad as Wilson does, it never ends well…. Except for Josh Allen.

  11. I never wanted the jets to get rid of darnold, I wanted to keep both Wilson and darnold. I know the panthers are 3-0 and darnold played good so far, and maybe will continue to buy Christian mccafferety is a game changer. Once he went out of the game darnold changed completely. His numbers weren’t nearly as good and everything seemed harder for him.

  12. charliecharger says:
    October 1, 2021 at 7:46 pm
    Most HOF QB’s who were good enough to be drafted #1 or 2, and who went to horrendous teams, did very poorly early in their career’s. Hey, what ever happened to Sam Darnold? There’s a guy named Darnold playing in Carolina, and he’s 3-0. Any relation to the Darnold that played for the Jets? Remember, that guy was a bust
    Since you want to liken the two, please tell us all about the future NFL talent Darnold played against in college versus what Wilson faced. I’m sure you also thought Geno Smith and Christian Hackenberg we’re going to tear up the league once they left the Jets. Didn’t happen.

  13. hawkguy says:
    October 1, 2021 at 7:28 pm

    I really don’t understand the need to rush these into the lineup when they’re clearly not ready. I don’t care what spot they were drafted at.


    Thank you. Whatever happened to letting a rookie QB hold onto the clipboard his first year until he gets acclimated to the pro game.

  14. The Jets made a huge mistake in trading Darnold (as witnessed by what he is accomplishing in Carolina with a better team around him). They could have had BOTH Darnold and Wilson in the QB room fairly cheap (which might have included exercising the 5th year option on Darnold). That would have allowed them to see how good Darnold might be away from Gates’ malevolent influence (Check that box off) and given Wilson a year or two to learn.

    That being said, unless the Jets get a real Oline (they can’t block me and I’m 62 with a replaced ACL) you could put Tom Brady back there and still not have a winning record.

    WAKE UP DOUGLAS! Great teams are build around solid lines on both sides of the ball. Control the line of scrimmage and you win the game. Hey Johnson boys, I know that and your GM doesn’t snd you can have me for a WHOLE lot less.

  15. It’s all about “if” not “when”. He obviously has the arm talent and athleticism. We’ll see if he can find the touch and wisdom. I’m a Dolphins fan but I’ve seen enough from the Jets recently that I don’t think Saleh will be around if/when that happens. The Jets coaching staff is a revolving door. They were willing to hire Gase after his disaster in Miami came to a close. I would bet firm money that Saleh has 2 seasons to make a noticeable improvement. If not he’ll be let go after next season or midway through the following. These young coaches are in a vicious cycle but its their choice when signing that HC contract.

  16. Wilson will have to succeed despite the organization’s best attempts to destroy his confidence with their ineptitude. I feel for both Wilson and Salem, both are very likely very good football men but having to show that with a constipated organization like the Jets will necessarily set their careers back significantly.

  17. There’s no reason the stink of the past has to follow this FO into the building. I’m no Jet’s fan, but I sure do respect Saleh. Wilson has what it takes to be great, except a supporting team. Can Saleh, et al, deliver that? I think so.

  18. He could very well pan out as serviceable but lacks the tools to be great. He was the right ”pick”, sure. But the right “move” was to trade the pick.

  19. Rookie QBs are 1-10 so far this year, yet for some reason teams would rather throw these guys to the dogs than start a more seasoned and successful professional such as Trubisky, Minshew, Foles, Keenum, Mariota, Flacco etc etc.

    It’s a symptom of our instant-gratification society. But notice what winning teams like the Packers, Chiefs and 49ers have done: let the rookies sit.

  20. Of course it’s the Jets and everyone can LOL but having watched Saleh carry himself though poor seasons and expectations at San Francisco, I’m sure he’s the right guy to help Wilson handle it emotionally and from a mental strength standpoint.

    Whether Wilson can handle it technically, tactically and physically, and whether the Jets can put the right pieces around him, remains to be seen.

  21. When it “clicks”’for Jamarcus Russell and Ryan Leaf everyone will see why they were drafted so high as well.

  22. In the old days top picks got a few years to gain experience while starting and improve. Troy Aikman was 0-11 as a rookie. Zach Wilson’s played three ganes !

    Give the young kid a chance

  23. Possibly. It worked out well for josh Allen. The bumps he took in year 1 definitely helped him. Time will tell

  24. Replace “not with the Jets” with “not with Adam Gase” and you would be more accurate. They will have a high pick next year and a lot of cap room to play with to get the kid the protection and weapons he needs. As for starting some hump while the kid holds the clipboard, what’s the point? You’re still going to suck no matter what, and the only thing you miss out on is getting the kid the real NFL experience, which includes learning to make the right reads, adjusting to the speed of the game, etc. As long as you see improvement as the season goes, it’s been a success.

  25. It is scary when you realize this team was in better shape with Ryan and Sanchez

  26. It’s a bad thing. It really is.

    Everybody thinks playing a rookie QB is a good idea and they cite Troy Aikman’s story as a benchmark.

    Starting a rookie QB is a terrible idea. A rookie QB simply isn’t ready for the NFL so if their confidence doesn’t get shot then their psyche will with all the sacks they take and interceptions they throw, and years will be taken off their careers with all the abuse they take by their poor pocket presence and defense recognition resulting into sacks and punishment.

    A rookie QB needs to sit behind a solid professional veteran QB where he can learn how to prepare for an NFL game, learn how to study film, and observe the offensive system from the sidelines and film room without the pressure of playing. After he learns that then he will be fit to lead. You don’t ask a QB to go out on the field and lead your team when he’s not ready and everything isn’t clicking for him. There’s nothing worse than an unprepared leader that’s doesn’t know what he’s doing.

    Zach Wilson is on the path to bust-life. And it’s an organizational failure. Now if he has a GM that can put the best offensive line around him, along with a Hall of Fame WR, RB, along with a fast playmaking defense like Troy Aiknan and Peyton Manning had……….then maybe it might workout.

    I love Saleh, but he’s wrong on this. Sit that QB, don’t set him up for failure. Failure is the worst teacher for a rookie QB. He doesn’t have the generational talent to function in this league as a rookie QB.

  27. He is exactly right…just like we are seeing it with Sam Darnold ! I wonder when it will click for Jets ownership that building a Superbowl team requires consistently drafting terrific players and not reaching for one year wonders coming from small college programs…

  28. Influential people in New York are already calling for Salahs firing. That ESPN guy who stabbed his buddy in the back at ESPN thinks Saleh should be fired now. Mike Greenbergrosenbergsteinbergrosenthalberg wants the Jets to make a head coaching change.

  29. First off let’s stop cherry-picking Aikman’s rookie season and using it, that was a completely different era of football when running the ball was the way to victories and passing was secondary.

    And let’s not use Allen either, Josh’s success jumped in year 3 from years 1 & 2 because his coaches saw that limiting his long throws would cut out a lot of the incompletions and INTs so that’s what they did, his huge improvement in year 3 had more to do with coaches changing their game plans than anything Josh did from years 1 & 2 to year 3. Another thing is Buffalo wasn’t a bad team the year before they drafted Allen, they were 9-7 and made the Playoffs, they had a decent O-line and border-line great defense.

    Zack Wilson went to the 2nd worse team in the NFL that had and still has a horrible O-line and bad defense and drafting Wilson didn’t change that so Wilson isn’t going to change a thing until those other two issues are addressed and the same goes for the Jags and Lawrence.

    Teams drafting in the top 10(not including teams that traded up to get there) are drafting there for a reason, they suck and 80% of the time it’s becuase of a bad/horrible O-line. But many people think drafting a QB is the #1 thing those teams can do to improve but it isn’t, a team would improve a lot more by addressing the O-line issues and then when they get the O-line fixed go after a QB. You can win more than your share of games with a good O-line and a average QB, but if you have a terrible O-line and a great QB you aren’t going to win very many games at all and you can BANK THAT! And if they’d improve the O-line they’d be surprised how much better their current QB would look.

    And to prove my last point Trent Dilfer has a SB ring and he was a very bad QB! But what he had was a good O-line, running game and a great defense.

    Here’s a little stat these NFL sites don’t want you to know and they NEVER even bring it up, since 2000 nearly 70% of all QBs drafted in the 1st round have been busts!

  30. First off let’s stop cherry picking Trent Dilfer as a SB winning QB. They didn’t win a SB because of a world class O-line. They won a SB because they had one of the best defenses in the history of the game.

    Anyone who thinks “Build the O-line first” still thinks it’s 1995. The NFL is built on the passing game. You can win with dink and dunks, screens, and the occasional deep ball. What you can’t do is win with a bad QB. Almost every winning team now has a good QB. Almost every team that wins a SB has a GREAT QB. Going back to the year 2000 (the year after Dilfer), there have ben all of 2 QBs who won a SB where most people wouldn’t consider them a great QB – those 2 being Flacco and Foles.

    You NEED a good QB, and then you can build around him. That’s the current NFL.

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