Why Zach Wilson’s ‘reset’ might help young Jets QB

The decision to make Zach Wilson inactive might be the turning point in his career — for the better.

Jets head coach Robert Saleh seems to think so, characterizing the former second overall pick’s benching as a “reset” on Wednesday

“Some basic, fundamental things have gotten really out of whack for (Wilson) and this is just an opportunity for him to sit back (and) find a way to reconnect to all the different things that we fell in love with during the draft process,” Saleh said.

What exactly from Wilson’s draft process that he needs to reconnect with was left unsaid, but it may have something to do with his attitude. Saleh and GM Joe Douglas have repeatedly emphasized that they value character highly when selecting their players.

Wilson, a captain at BYU, may have been a high-character player in college. But his petulant response to a reporter after a terrible performance against the Patriots on Sunday showed poor leadership and is only the latest episode in a concerning trend for him. 

Wilson has repeatedly refused to take responsibility for his poor play in a season in which he ranks last in completion percentage (55.6) and 33rd in passer rating (72.6).

The first step to fixing Wilson’s play is getting his acknowledgement that he has been atrocious. Saleh clearly is hopeful that the shock of this benching will bring Wilson to this realization.

This strategy has worked before. 

Former Jet offensive lineman Damien Woody told how his own benching allowed him to “refocus” himself and improve, clawing back from the practice squad to a starting position. Wilson has the opportunity to follow a similar path.

Only after taking responsibility will Wilson be able to fairly self-criticize and improve. With the pressure of being the starter in New York off his back, White may “refocus” quicker than expected.

Doomsayers may suggest Wilson’s NFL career is over, but he has the talent to bounce back.

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