How Jets are handling Zach Wilson’s rough debut

After a shaky debut, Zach Wilson will get extended time to make a second impression on Jets' fans.

Zach Wilson’s MetLife Stadium introduction to Jets fans didn’t go as planned.

The franchise’s latest hope at quarterback is expected to have a quarter, if not more, to make a better second impression.

Coach Robert Saleh said after Monday’s practice the plan is for the second-overall pick in the draft to play “at least” the opening quarter against the Giants in both teams’ preseason opener.

“Just be comfortable in the offense,” is what Saleh wants to see from Wilson. “Seeing coverages, seeing different things. He’s got to see it all. And the more he sees, the more reps he gets, the more comfortable he’s going to get.”

Wilson followed up Saturday’s shaky performance in the Green-White scrimmage in which he threw two interceptions and led the first-team offense to just a field goal with an uneven practice on Monday. In team drills, he completed 5 of 13 passes. He was sacked twice, at times holding onto the ball too long, and had a pass knocked down at the line of scrimmage. He was mostly indecisive and inaccurate. Wilson did rebound and threw a pair of touchdowns to Corey Davis, finding the newcomer on a fade pattern in the left corner of the end zone and zipping in a toss through traffic.

Zach Wilson will get a quarter or more to make a second impression on Jets fans.
Bill Kostroun/New York Post

“There’s a reason why being a rookie is hard in this league. There was a Hall of Famer [on Sunday] that was inducted [into Canton who had] a 71 quarterback rating as a rookie,” Saleh said, referring to Peyton Manning. “It’s not easy to play quarterback in this league as a rookie. But it is going to get worse before it gets better.”

One criticism aimed at the Jets with regards to Wilson is the lack of a veteran quarterback who can tutor — and challenge — him. They recently added Josh Johnson to the quarterback room, but the 35-year-old journeyman last played in an NFL game in 2018 and has just 33 appearances on his résumé. Plus, Wilson is being molded by a first-year offensive coordinator (Mike LaFleur) and first-year quarterbacks coach (Rob Calabrese).

“He’ll have Rob, who’s fantastic. He’ll have Mike, who’s been through it and he’s been able to watch the best do it,” Saleh said. “And so that part of the experience, I’m not very concerned about that, no.”

Saleh expressed confidence that Wilson is improving, that he has a strong command of the huddle, he knows where everyone is supposed to be, he is adept at making adjustments and correcting his own mistakes. Still, this is all new to him. He’s only had a handful of practices as a professional.

“There’s a process that he’s got to go through,” Saleh said. “It’s not easy, but we have tremendous hopes for him. He’s going to be just fine.”

That process will continue Saturday night when Wilson faces a different team for the first time. The young quarterback and the Jets hope to see some progress.

This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Zach Braziller

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