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NY Jets: Ex-Patriots safety under fire for Zach Wilson comments

Zach Wilson, New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs
Zach Wilson, New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs, Getty Images

The former Patriot faces heavy criticism for ripping into New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson

A former New England Patriots player is catching heat for his comments after the New York Jets‘ loss to the Chiefs on Sunday night.

While interviewing Chris Jones for NBC, Rodney Harrison called Zach Wilson “garbage.” He suggested that the Chiefs should have torn the quarterback apart and pushed back against the praise Jones gave Wilson.

Harrison’s comments were swiftly met with wide-ranging criticism, mainly from current and former NFL players.

Micah Parsons, the Dallas Cowboys linebacker who is arguably the best defensive player in the league, said that the interview should have “been a moment to praise the Chiefs” and that he hopes Wilson “proves a lot of these people wrong.”

Le’veon Bell, who played for the Jets from 2019-2020, said in a post that he “is pulling for Zach Wilson now” and that the hate Harrison showed was “crazy.”

Former quarterback and current analyst Matt Leinart said in a post on X (formerly Twitter), “This is trash. Our job in media is to analyze and critique, not to rip these guys apart, especially after a great game. Complete garbage.”

In addition, former NY Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes also chimed in, calling the situation a “bad look” for Harrison.

Simmering down

In the aftermath of the comments, head coach Robert Saleh said in his press availability Monday that Harrison handled the situation.

“Rodney is a good man. Whatever he is getting for that is water under the bridge. I think he has handled it exactly the way he is supposed to,” said Saleh.

Even with the Harrison situation seemingly resolved, his comments were still unfortunate. It is no secret that Wilson has struggled throughout his NFL career. The film and statistics make that clear.

Still, struggles and poor play are no excuse to call a player “trash” on live television or to try to bait an answer out of a well-respected player like Chris Jones. Some players take longer to develop than others, most notably ex-Jets passer Geno Smith. Development is not always linear.

While the previous play and stats may tell one story, Wilson may find a way to be productive and successful over the coming years if he can play as he did Sunday night. But even if he doesn’t, Harrison’s comments were still petty and inappropriate for an NFL analyst. Perhaps they are suggestive of continued gripes between a former Patriots player and a current Jets one.

At the very least, the backlash Harrison swiftly received may make analysts think twice about putting players on blast.

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