Zach Wilson presented ‘great opportunity’ as Jets turn the page after Aaron Rodgers’ injury

But the message to his team was about life after Rodgers, which begins now. 

“I don’t think there is anything to say,” Saleh said. “It sounds cliché, it’s next man up. Nobody cares, nobody cares that you’ve lost a player. At the end of the day, Sunday is coming. We’ve got to put our best foot forward. That’s the harsh part of the business. I think guys understand that.”

Rodgers has been around the facility this week — tight end Tyler Conklin said he started to text Rodgers, and then struggled to come up with what to say — but the focus now is on third-year quarterback Zach Wilson. The Jets will eventually bring in a veteran for depth at the position, but Saleh is committed to Wilson as the starter. He and players expressed confidence in Wilson and said they had seen real improvement in him during the offseason program and in training camp.

Rodgers talks often of speaking things into existence, and perhaps there is a little bit of that happening here. The Jets may need to talk themselves into believing Wilson is really changed. After all, it was his poor play last year that caused the Jets to woo Rodgers to replace him. The Jets’ long-term plan was to have Wilson sit and learn from Rodgers for a few years, before Wilson might once again take the starting job, presumably older and wiser. Wilson is barely older and hopefully wiser, but the Jets don’t have much choice but to line up with him – at least for now, his familiarity with the offense undoubtedly gives them the best chance to win. Saleh was blunt in his assessment of what he has seen from Wilson – the easy stuff doesn’t look hard, as it did last year. As an example, he pointed to a little swing pass Wilson threw to running back Dalvin Cook on Monday night. 

“We all know what those looked like a year ago,” Saleh said.


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