After Rodgers shock: Zach Wilson receives backing and praise from New York Jets

After the Rodgers shock, the New York Jets’ hopes rest on backup Zach Wilson, who is getting encouragement from all sides.

After the season-ending Achilles tendon tear of star quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the New York Jets have to completely throw their plans out the window.

Head coach Robert Saleh has already made it clear that backup Zach Wilson will slide into the starter’s role. If the franchise does add personnel, it will apparently only be for an experienced player for the second line.

Although the second pick in the 2021 draft has so far failed to live up to high expectations, the franchise remains a firm believer in his potential.

Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett also sees a positive development in the 24-year-old: “One is the past, but this is the future. The kid has worked his butt off, learned a new system and grown in it. I think everyone can attest to the fact that he has progressed.”

Wilson gets the full backing of the team. “There will be ups and downs with all quarterbacks and with other players, especially young ones. There are always going to be questions. As a coach, I just want to keep teaching him. It’s important to me that he continues to get more comfortable and continue to grow,” Hackett continued.

Zach Wilson makes big leap in development

The Jets’ long-term plan was to let Wilson learn behind Rodgers for a few years before taking over as the four-time MVP in the distant future.

That plan has been foiled for the franchise, at least for this season. Despite Wilson’s inexperience and unconvincing performances so far, however, the New Yorkers have the supposed best chance of winning with him. That’s because he is the most familiar with the Jets’ offence.

The past months alongside mentor Rodgers also seem to be bearing fruit. As an example, Coach Saleh pointed to a swing pass Wilson threw to running back Dalvin Cook against the Buffalo Bills: “We all know what that looked like a year ago.”

Wilson’s improvements have not gone unnoticed by his teammates. “The really cool thing is Zach has improved so much in a short period of time. It’s a great opportunity for him to become the player he wants to be,” tight end Tyler Conklin said.

New York Jets: team endorses Zach Wilson

With a fourth-quarter touchdown pass to wide receiver Garrett Wilson that paved the way for an overtime win over the Bills in Week One, the young playmaker also earned more points with his teammates and gained respectability.

“NFL Films” released a video on Wednesday showing receivers Wilson and Allen Lazard, as well as coach Hackett, cheering and encouraging the quarterback on the sidelines after the play.

“Keep it up, bro. Way to go,” Garrett Wilson said to his namesake. “That’s it, that’s how it goes,” Lazard added: “You feel it’s not on your shoulders now. Now it’s on them. “

“Don’t take off, but don’t get too low either,” Hackett hyped his protégé. “I’m never gonna fucking change, okay? Breathe. Relax. Play your game, because that was really impressive.”

Running back Breece Hall, who finished the game with 127 rushing yards on ten carries, reposted the video on X (formerly Twitter), writing, “We ALL believe in our number 2.”

The belief in the young playmaker unites the Jets after the Rodgers shock.

Because this much is clear: Wilson’s performance in his third year stands or falls on the season in which the franchise actually had so much planned.

3 weeks ago
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