As it usually happens with quarterbacks taken in the first round of the NFL Draft, there were some controversial takes on Zach Wilson. While some thought he could finally be the savior of the New York Jets, others thought he'd be yet another bust.
Wilson sure did enough to impress scouts and fans alike during his stint at BYU. But, as we've seen it over and over before, it's not the same when you have to pad up with the pros and make the transition to the NFL.
And if we were to judge Wilson by his awful performance in a simulated game, we'd have to say that the Jets are in big trouble. Head coach Robert Saleh, however, isn't concerned at all; and he even compared him to Peyton Manning and how much he struggled during his rookie season.
Jets Coach Robert Saleh Opens Up On Zach Wilson's Terrible Simulated Game
“For most rookies, it’s going to get worse before it gets better,” Saleh said, as quoted by ProFootballTalk. “It is what it is. There’s a lot of things that happen. There’s a reason why being a rookie is hard in this league. There was a Hall of Famer yesterday that was inducted that had a 71 quarterback rating his rookie year. It’s not easy to play quarterback in this league as a rookie. Especially quarterback. It is going to get worse before it gets better. He’s at that point now where he’s going to be able to stack up days. We got the utmost confidence in him and his ability and his ability to figure out his mistakes, correct them and get to a better place.”
Wilson Acknowledges His Struggles
Wilson was far from satisfied with his performance. He wasn't able to lead the offense to the red zone vs. the Jets' first-team defense and only completed half of his passes. The worst part of it is that it happened in front of thousands of fans:
“Not great,” he told ESPN. “I have high expectations for myself and this offense. I have to lead the guys and I have to make better decisions. That’s why this isn’t Game 1; that’s why we’re doing this. I understand that. Of course I’m going to be frustrated with myself, but I’m going back to the film room and find out what I can learn.”
You can always expect some growing pains for rookies, especially quarterbacks. The key will be to bounce back and silence the critics, and Zach Wilson looks like the kind of guy who can do that.