FLOURHAM PARK, N.J. — New York Jets head coach Robert Salih is reluctant to commit to Zach Wilson as a potential quarterback changeover this week.
Three weeks after saying Wilson would be the starter for the rest of the season, barring injury, Saleh was non-committal Monday about whether a 2021 second-team selection would start Sunday against the Chicago Bears.
This was the organization’s first sign of doubt about Wilson’s status as the No. 1 quarterback.
“We will keep everything on the table for the next two days,” Saleh said.
When asked if he would be ready to name Wilson as a starter this week, he said, “Not now, not until I’m done evaluating everything.”
Wilson was informed of his situation by the coaches, leaving him in a state of uncertainty.
Mike White is next on the depth chart, followed by Joe Flacco, who started the first three games while Wilson recovered from a preseason knee injury. Saleh did not rule out any quarterbacks as potential replacements.
Wilson is championship-winning 5-2, but has played poorly in two of the past three games — both losses to the New England Patriots. He completed just nine of 22 passes for a career-low 77 yards in Sunday’s 10-3 loss. Then, show a little accountability with comments that went viral. When asked if he let the defense down, Wilson simply said, “No.”
The sources said the remarks upset some defensive players.
Clearly, Saleh was not happy with the way Wilson handled his post-match press conference.
“Is it wrong? Absolutely,” Saleh said. “Is it something he’d be better at? Absolutely.”
He said Wilson needs to understand “that our job is to take the bullets and own them,” adding, “I don’t think that’s indicative of how he feels about his team or his teammates.”
A source said Wilson’s poor performance was discussed at a team meeting on Monday. All offers – good and bad – are mentioned in team meetings, Saleh said.
At 6-4, the Jets are still chasing the playoffs, but they’re not getting much production out of Wilson. He has only four touchdown passes, one fewer than Flacco, who hasn’t played since Week 3.
Saleh emphasized that every position would be evaluated, not just the quarterback.
When you load 100 yards of attack [actually, 103]Saleh said, “I don’t care how good New England is—and they’re good—it’s unacceptable. It’s not NFL football.”
Saleh said after the game that the offensive performance in the second half (2 yards total) was “dogs”. Saleh said Monday that he has no plans to replace his offensive coordinator, caller Mike LaFleur.
Wilson came under fire after throwing three interceptions on October 30 against the Patriots, but he responded well with a solid game in an upset of the Buffalo Bills.
But Sunday’s performance was a huge step backwards. Jarrett Wilson and Denzel Mims clearly got frustrated during the match, and Jarrett Wilson shouted to reporters, calling the offense a “sorry” unit without mentioning Zack Wilson’s name.
“I think we have championship quality defense and I think we have really good players in attack,” Saleh said. “From a planning standpoint, I think we’re in there with everyone else. But I’m just trying to evaluate to see how we can get this offense going a little bit.”
Wilson ranks 23rd in total QBR (45.2) and 34th out of 34 qualified passers in completion percentage (55.6). As expected, the three players who were made available to the media on Monday expressed their confidence in Wilson. Asked about his level of confidence in Wilson, guard Lake Tomlinson said, “He’s high. He’s a quarterback. What do you mean?”
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