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Robert Saleh admits how NY Jets should’ve handled Zach Wilson

NY Jets, Robert Saleh, HC, Zach Wilson
Robert Saleh, Zach Wilson, New York Jets, Getty Images

Robert Saleh reflects on how the New York Jets could have handled Zach Wilson differently

The head coach of the New York Jets had a lot to say about the team’s offense on Wednesday.

At his media availability, Robert Saleh stated that quarterback Zach Wilson, along with tight end Jeremy Ruckert and offensive lineman Jake Hanson, would miss Sunday’s game with concussions.

Saleh then spoke about Wilson’s tenure in New York and how it ultimately has played out.

“I think we admitted that when it’s all hindsight. You wish you would have probably given him that first year. We’ve all said that, and we’ve been pretty vocal about that. We were hoping to get that this year and give him that one year to watch Aaron (Rodgers) play football and learn and grow, with all the different things that come with this scheme,” said Saleh.

“It’s unfortunate four plays in what happened, happened, but I think he’s made tremendous improvements from a year ago, I do. I think he has; it’s just an unfortunate series of events that occurred.”

Saleh also called Wilson a “fighter” and reiterated that he thinks the former BYU quarterback will “have a long career in this league.”

Regarding Dalvin Cook, who the Jets officially released Wednesday, Saleh explained why the decision was ultimately made.

“Just good business for everybody, I guess. Dalvin (Cook) has been an unbelievable teammate since the day he walked in here. Obviously, it hasn’t gone the way any of us have wanted. He’s been an unbelievable teammate, an unbelievable mentor to the young guys,” said Saleh.

“I know he’s been hurting, not physically, but just wanting to be out there to be able to help the team, but he’s put aside all his frustrations and showed up with a smile on his face, energy, and practice, and being attentive in meetings. He’s been an unbelievable teammate, and whatever opportunity he gets, I know he’s going to be great.”

The head coach also said the lack of usage for the former Pro Bowler is due to Breece being the team’s “bell cow” and getting healthier over the course of the year.

When asked about tackle Duane Brown, Saleh alluded to more injury struggles this season.

“I think when he got back in, we realized a couple of things with regard to the rehab stuff, and we tried to get him back the best we could. I’m not going to get into detail on the things that were ailing him. It wasn’t the shoulder the entire year. I give him credit though he battled his butt off just to give us something. Unfortunately, we just couldn’t get him healthy enough to finish off the season.”

Between the updates to injured players and Saleh’s backing of Hackett (you can read more about those comments here), it seems the Jets are toeing the line between status quo and changes.

It is clear that the likes of Wilson and Brown have played their last games for the Jets. Those departures open up needs at backup/developmental quarterback and offensive tackle, both positions that will be critical to 2024 success.

On the other hand, the organization is content with the status quo at head coach, general manager, and offensive coordinator. With Aaron Rodgers returning, it is evident the Jets think they can make a run with the current structure they have in place.

As per usual, the Jets are in for an interesting and pivotal offseason. With the pressure mounting, how the team improves on players like Wilson, Brown, and Cook will determine the New York Jets’ trajectory in 2024.

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