Jets’ Saleh: ‘I think Zach(Wilson) will be a lot better’

After struggling in his rookie season, the New York Jets are hoping that QB Zach Wilson will be better in 2022. Last season, the second overall pick in the 2021 draft struggled as he threw for 2,334 with only nine touchdowns and 11 picks in 13 starts. In those 13 starts, the Jets were 3-10 and finished the season 4-13.

“I have to do better,” Wilson said earlier this week. “So, how can I keep improving? And not stressing so much about the season coming up and the expectations and all that. It’s how can I keep improving day by day and trusting in the guys around me, get them the football, be consistent, throw good balls, be smart, all the things a quarterback needs to do. And I think that’ll take care of itself.”

According to his coach, Wilson, who added around 12 pounds from last season, has gotten better. 

“I think he already has,” Jets coach Robert Saleh said Friday about Wilson taking the next step. “I think Zach(Wilson) will be a lot better, but at the same time, we are a very young group. So, we’ve added guys, but it’s a young group. You’ve got a rookie. You’ve got a second-year player. Obviously, Corey (Davis) is there, and Braxton (Berrios). You got Jeff (Smith) and (Denzel) Mims and a couple other guys. The backfield is young. It is a young group, but at the same time, what is going to be fun is watching this group gel together and create its own identity. Obviously, we have some good players, and they’re all going to grow together. Aside from all of that, I thought Zach did a really good job in the offseason. He’s continued in the first week.”

Last season, Wilson, who was sacked 44 times, completed only 55.6% of his passes, which must improve in 2022, and he expects to improve that number.

“I don’t think it’s something mechanically that needs to be changed,” Wilson said. “I feel like I’ve always been able to throw the ball. When you understand where to go with the ball, and you have that confidence and understanding within the offense, you’re able to be accurate because you’re confident where you’re going with the ball. I think that’s one thing, and also finding completions. Just telling yourself on every single play, yes, make the best decision but find a completion too. Maybe sometimes you might miss the one down the field, but as long as you’re finding a completion, you’re doing the right thing.”

The 22-year-old recently had some off-the-field relationship drama, but for him, the focus is on football. 

“It comes with the position,” he said. “So, really, it’s just handling my business, handling what matters, and keeping my family tight. We’re all good. So, I’m excited to be here and really just focus on football. I’ve never mentally felt like I’m in a better spot than I am now, so I’m excited to be here.”

In the offseason, Wilson spent time in Idaho with some Jets players; according to Wilson, the players did many things, including working on the field.

“We found a spot, a little ranch, (Gazza) Ranch in Northern Idaho,” Wilson said. “We flew. A lot of the guys were like, ‘We’re going to Canada. Where are we going?’ But, they had quite the trip out there. We had an awesome spot. It was great for us. We went golfing one day, boating the next day, taught those guys how to wake surf a little bit. They set up a perfect field for us, painted some NFL lines for us. We got to work on a lot of stuff. More than anything, it was like I said back when we were leaving OTAs; it was a good bonding moment for all of us to sit by the fire at night and talk. It was a really cool trip. We definitely had a blast together.”

To Saleh’s point, the Jets are a young football team, and the weapons around Wilson are also young. So, as they grow, hopefully for the Jets, Wilson will continue to grow and improve in 2022 and beyond.

Leave a Reply