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Robert Saleh: Jets Committed to Zach Wilson Development 'Through Hell or High Water'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 4, 2023

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - SEPTEMBER 25: Zach Wilson #2 and head coach Robert Saleh of the New York Jets talk during warmups before the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at MetLife Stadium on September 25, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Sarah Stier/Getty Images

New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh isn't ready to throw in the towel on second-year quarterback Zach Wilson.

Saleh told reporters Wednesday the Jets "believe in the young man" and want to rebuild his confidence.

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"We believe in the young man. It's not a talent thing...we're going to work our tails off to help him."<br><br>Robert Saleh on Zach Wilson: <a href="https://t.co/uoeezeRQe8">pic.twitter.com/uoeezeRQe8</a>

"We're gonna grind with him," he said. "Through hell or high water we're going to get him to where we know he can be."

Some have already begun to wonder whether the 23-year-old is effectively done with the Jets. He was a work in progress as a rookie, throwing for 2,334 yards, nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Into his second season, he has shown little improvement.

Through nine appearances, he has 1,688 passing yards, six touchdowns and seven interceptions. His completion percentage has fallen slightly from 55.6 to 54.5, and his 37.2 QBR would rank 27th if he qualified for ESPN.com's leaderboard.

Most damning, the Jets offense has performed better with multiple other quarterbacks running things.

Will Brinson @WillBrinson

The rest of the Jets season should just be an experiment to see what quarterbacks do not instantly make the Jets a better team when they replace Zach Wilson. <br><br>Joe Flacco โœ… <br>Mike White โœ… <br>Chris Streveler โœ… <br><br>How low can we go??

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Most games with 3 Pass TD as Jets QB since start of last season<br><br> Starts<br>Mike White 2 6 <br>Joe Flacco 1 4 <br>Josh Johnson 1 0<br>Zach Wilson 0 22 <a href="https://t.co/vCby83t5aR">pic.twitter.com/vCby83t5aR</a>

It's not a good sign when the player you selected second overall can't beat out Mike White for the starting job.

Maybe it is simply a case of letting Wilson mentally reset in the offseason. At the least, he can't possibly be worse in 2023.

Saleh's comments come days after NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Jets general manager Joe Douglas "does not plan to shop Wilson this offseason" and that New York "views Wilson as an incredibly hard worker, a good teammate and very smart."

But NFL fans might remember the Arizona Cardinals being committed to Josh Rosen during the 2019 offseason until they weren't anymore. They said all of the right things until the moment of truth came and they shipped him to the Miami Dolphins.

How the Jets truly feel about Wilson will become clear when it's time to line up a starting quarterback for the 2023 campaign.