Dec 22, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) scrambles away from Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Roy Robertson-Harris (95) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Jets coach insists he won’t quit on beleaguered Zach Wilson

Zach Wilson passed for just 92 yards and guided the New York Jets to three first downs before being pulled Thursday night and was roundly booed by the home fans during their 19-3 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The second overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft didn’t look anywhere near as smooth as the No. 1 pick in that same draft, budding star Trevor Lawrence of the Jaguars.

And the setback was the fourth straight for the Jets (7-8) and second in a row since Wilson regained the starting job after Mike White injured his ribs.

One day later, New York coach Robert Saleh said the organization can’t quit on Wilson and must continue to have his back.

“We’re never going to quit on anybody,” Saleh told reporters on Friday. “I’ve got confidence in all our guys. I don’t know how many years I’ve been in the league now, it’s been a while, but I just feel like every single year there’s a kid who just is struggling and everybody wants to quit on them. And this may not be their year, but it doesn’t mean that next year can’t be their year. And that’s everybody on the roster.

“As long as that person is wearing a Jets uniform, we’re going to do everything we can to pour our hearts and souls into these kids. At the end of the day, the best players will always play, you guys know that, that’s how we stand. But at the same time, as long as they’re here, as long as they’re playing for the Jets, we’re going to pour everything we can to help them be the best version of themselves they can be. And if that best version earns a spot on the field, then that’ll happen.”

Wilson has completed just 54.5 percent of his passes for 1,688 yards, six touchdowns and seven interceptions in nine games (all starts) this season.

He also had accuracy issues as a rookie, hitting just 55.6 percent of his throws while having more interceptions (11) than touchdowns (nine) in 13 starts.

Wilson lost his job earlier this season after a poor effort during a 10-3 loss to the New England Patriots in Week 11. He was 9-of-22 passing for 77 yards in that setback.

Things got worse after the game when he was asked if he let the New York defense down. He had a one-word answer: “No.”

The Jets removed him as starter in favor of White with Saleh saying Wilson needed a reset.

Against the Jaguars, Wilson was replaced by Chris Streveler, who guided the offense to four first downs on his first series.

By playing on Thursday, New York has a long weekend and doesn’t need to make a quarterback situation until early next week. Saleh said he needs further information on White’s progress before he can make a decision.

“Again, we’ve got time,” Saleh said. “I don’t have those answers for you yet.”

It was mentioned to Saleh that going back to Wilson as the starter would be a tough sell after Thursday’s benching.

The coach maintained that Wilson is capable of turning things around despite the shaky performance.

“Confidence is a big deal,” Saleh said. “I do know that he works his tail off and I’m with you, it a tough thing to overcome. But it doesn’t take much to flip confidence. He just needs to get on a little run, just a couple things happen to go his way. …

“We’ve got to help him, we’re not going to quit on him. We’ve got to do our best. And that’s for every player in our locker room, as long as they’re wearing a Jets logo, we’re going to pour our hearts and souls into them and do everything we can to help them.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 20, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) runs under pressure from New England Patriots defensive end Lawrence Guy (93) during the first half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Saleh: Jets yet to decide QB1 after Zach Wilson clunker

With Zach Wilson firmly under the microscope in the Big Apple, New York Jets coach Robert Saleh told reporters Monday afternoon that he has yet to decide who will start at quarterback Sunday against the Chicago Bears.

Wilson had his worst performance of the season Sunday in a 10-3 loss to the New England Patriots. The second-year quarterback completed 9 of 22 passes for just 77 yards and ran three times for 26 yards.

He caught heat after the game when he was asked if he thought he let the Jets’ defense down. The heat came because of his one-word answer: “No.”

Saleh said Monday he informed Wilson that his status as New York’s starter was uncertain. Mike White and Joe Flacco are the other quarterbacks on the Jets’ 53-man roster.

“We’re keeping everything on the table over the next couple of days,” Saleh said.

The coach defended the former No. 2 overall draft pick from some of the off-the-field criticism, saying, “I don’t think Zach lacks in leadership.”

Wilson missed the first three games of the season while recovering from a preseason knee injury. The Jets won the first four games he started upon his return but are 1-2 since, with both losses coming to New England.

Wilson has completed 55.6 percent of his passes this year – matching last season’s rate – and has 1,279 passing yards with four touchdowns and five interceptions. His career touchdown-to-interception ratio through 20 career games is 13:16.

The Jets (6-4) are in the thick of the AFC playoff race and are just one game behind the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills, the AFC East co-leaders. New York owns a win over both Miami and Buffalo.

–Field Level Media

Oct 2, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  New York Jets wide receiver Elijah Moore (8) runs after a catch against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first quarter at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Disgruntled Jets WR Elijah Moore excused from practice

Second-year New York Jets wide receiver Elijah Moore was excused from practice Thursday.

Coach Robert Saleh told reporters it was an excused absence for Moore due to a family matter, but ESPN reported that “Moore’s absence was more football-related.”

Before the Jets took the field for practice, Moore tweeted “Love my teammates!” followed by “God I need direction,” but he deleted the latter.

He had also aired grievances about not being targeted a single time in the Jets’ Week 6 win over the Green Bay Packers, tweeting, “If I say what I really wanna say … I’ll be the selfish guy… we winning. Grateful! Huge blessing! All I ever wanted. Butter (sic) sweet for me em but I’ll be solid. So I’ll just stay quiet Just know I don’t understand either.”

After a promising rookie season in which he caught 43 passes for 538 yards and five touchdowns in just 11 games, the 2021 second-round pick has started every game in 2022. However, he has just 16 receptions for 203 yards without a score.

“You guys look at the last couple weeks, we just haven’t thrown the ball much,” quarterback Zach Wilson told reporters. “A lot of opportunity hasn’t gone around. It’s not a thing where I’m trying to avoid him or whatever it is because he’s a great player. I’m just going through my progressions. … We’re talking about routes and how we can clean things up every week. It’s just being patient and trusting the process.

“I love him and I hope he understands that he’s special to our team.”

–Field Level Media

Aug 12, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) before a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Jets plan to start Zach Wilson in opener if cleared

Head coach Robert Saleh wants to hear only one voice when it comes to deciding whether to start Zach Wilson when the New York Jets open the regular season against the Baltimore Ravens on Sept. 11.

That voice belongs to the medical staff.

Saleh clarified the Jets intend to prepare 37-year-old backup Joe Flacco as if he will get the call in the opener, but the franchise has every intention of playing purported franchise quarterback Wilson — out up to four weeks due to arthroscopic knee surgery — in that game if he’s cleared by team doctors.

“If Zach is ready to play, he’s going to be the Week 1 starter. If he’s not, Joe will,” Saleh said Thursday.

Saleh said Wilson is “already walking” following surgery in Los Angeles and a flight back to New Jersey to report back to the team facility on Thursday.

The 23-year-old Wilson will miss at least two weeks’ worth of reps by Saleh’s estimation, including joint practices with the Atlanta Falcons and New York Giants, plus preseason games against both teams.

Wilson, the No. 2 pick in the 2021 draft, missed time last season with a torn PCL in the same knee. He was 3-10 as a starter with nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

“If you want to get good at football, you have to play football. You have to practice football,” Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur said. “That can’t happen for him, obviously. So he’s going to go and he’s going to attack it the best way he knows how. He went through this last year, unfortunately. He knows what to do, what to watch, what to say and what to do in the meetings. He’s going to make the most of the situation, just like we all will.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 10, 2021; London, England, United Kingdom; New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh reacts in the first half against the Atlanta Falcons during an NFL International Series aame at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The Falcons defeated the Jets 27-20. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jets owners has ‘unwavering’ support for Robert Saleh

New York Jets owner Woody Johnson on Tuesday threw his “unwavering” support behind coach Robert Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas despite the team’s 1-5 record.

Johnson made the comments from the NFL owners’ meetings in Manhattan in the aftermath of the Jets’ 54-13 loss to the New England Patriots.

Johnson said he spoke with Saleh and Douglas, just six games into Saleh’s tenure. Johnson said he has “unwavering, steadfast confidence” in what they’re doing to rebuild the team. Douglas was hired in 2019.

“I’ve been around for, this is going on 22 years, with my little absence that I had recently, and this is a good group,” Johnson told reporters. “We will get it right. Last week, you know, (was) frustrating, but now we turn the page and we’re off to the Bengals.”

Rookie quarterback Zach Wilson was injured in the game and is expected to miss 2-to-4 weeks.

“It’s just a very young team with a young quarterback,” he continued. “He’s 22 years old, he just turned 22. So he’s seeing things for the first time like a lot of the quarterbacks now, a lot of the young quarterbacks. It’s going to take him a little bit of time, but I have a lot of confidence in Zach, too.”

Backup quarterback Mike White will make his first NFL start for the Jets at home Sunday against Cincinnati (5-2).

–Field Level Media

Quarterback, Zach Wilson practices his footwork as the New York Jets participate in OTA   s at their practice facility in Florham Park, NJ on June 10, 2021.

The New York Jets Participate In Ota S At Their Practice Facility In Florham Park Nj On June 10 2021

Jets ‘hopeful’ No. 2 pick Zach Wilson signs before Wednesday practice

No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson is not with the New York Jets as training camp begins, but first-year head coach Robert Saleh said he hopes the rookie quarterback will arrive soon.

Wilson, unsigned as likely offset language in his initial contract causes a rift in negotiations, was in California on Monday working with a private quarterback coach based on his Instagram posts.

Wilson’s contract value is set — four years, $35.2 million guaranteed, with a fifth-year team option.

But general manager Joe Douglas and Wilson’s reps are still working through granular details of the agreement.

“With regards to Zach, obviously Joe’s working on it here this morning and hopefully that gets done,” Saleh said Tuesday. “But as it is with every player on this roster, when one person misses, another person has to take over those reps, so it’s a challenge just in terms of trying to maintain the wear and tear on all these individual players.

“But for the individual, that’s where the challenge becomes in terms of making up those reps. Everybody knows how important it is to me and our team with regards to reps and practice and process, and every moment you miss from that process, it becomes a challenge from an individual standpoint. But as a team, we’re in good shape, the installs are in good shape and we’re ready to roll.”

The Jets’ first full squad workout on the practice field in Wednesday.

Wilson entered Tuesday as one of three unsigned first-round picks, but the Los Angeles Chargers agreed to a deal with Northwestern offensive tackle Rashawn Slater. That leaves Wilson and No. 3 pick Trey Lance as the lone “holdouts.”

Since rookie deals became part of the salary cap signing pool, holdouts have become rare for first-year players.

But offset language has often been a sticking point. Offset payments refer to what the original team would receive in supplemental pay if a draft pick is cut and signs with another team. Timing of bonus payments can also be a sticking point.

The Jacksonville Jaguars signed both of their first-rounders, No. 1 pick Trevor Lawrence and No. 25 Travis Etienne, to four-year contracts with no offset language.

–Field Level Media

Jan 3, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh against the Seattle Seahawks at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Jets set second interview with 49ers DC Robert Saleh

The first known coaching candidate scheduled for a second interview with the New York Jets is 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, who is scheduled to fly to New York for another visit with general manager Joe Douglas.

Multiple reports characterized the development as Saleh becoming a finalist to replace Adam Gase as head coach, but the team has not confirmed that a second interview equates to finalist status.

Saleh, 41, had his initial interview with the Jets on Friday via video conference. He’ll meet with Douglas, who is making his first coaching hire, and members of ownership in person on Tuesday.

After a 2-14 season, the Jets hold the No. 2 overall draft pick and project to have a surplus of salary cap space to improve a young roster.

A respected defensive coordinator with San Francisco since 2017, Saleh has also interviewed with the Los Angeles Chargers, Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars.

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said he’s been worried about Saleh getting a head coaching job for two years and treated Week 17 as if it would be his final game with the franchise.

Veteran defenders also threw their support behind Saleh, including cornerback Richard Sherman.

“I expect him to be a head coach next year, because of what he’s able to do,” Sherman said in November. “He’s able to rally men. He’s a leader of men, and that goes a long way.”

–Field Level Media