DENVER-Zach Wilson is a 22-year-old rookie who manages a dysfunctional offense and finished his first month winless as an NFL quarterback.
Has any of it shaken his confidence? “Absolutely not,” he said shortly after the Jets’ 26-0 loss to the Broncos Sunday at Empower Field on Mile High.
Wilson would not have admitted to being shaken even if he was, but it is fair for the rest of us to wonder after a 0-3 start and what more resembles regression that progression week to week.
Wilson at least reduced his interception in total from a loss in Week 2 to the Patriots and went from four to two. He finished 19-for-35 and passed 160 yards.
There was a lot of guilt going around, from playcalling to lack of protection to a series of makeable catches that receivers couldn’t make to Wilson himself making some bad throws and bad decisions.
Guard Greg Van Roten, an alumnus of Chaminade High School, said: “He has to learn that this is the NFL. You have to get the ball out. You can not hold on to it and try to make a game and throw it deep. down in the field.
“And we need to protect him better. It starts with us beforehand.”
Wilson was fired five times.
Coach Robert Saleh said Wilson had his best training week last week. “He really did,” he said.
But only what happens on game days counts, and the Jets score was zero.
Asked whether the transition from BYU to the NFL has been harder than he expected, Wilson said, “I would not say harder than I expected. I knew it would be difficult.”
He noted that everyone on the field was one of the best players on his college team.
“I understand it would be challenging,” Wilson said, “but I’m in this position for a reason and I keep getting better.”
Teammates have praised Wilson for his attitude, confidence and smile, and it seems he has taken his de facto role as a leader given his position.
When asked how he handles it when a receiver fails to make a game for him, he said, “You just have to give them a little love, man. Those guys also burst their butts out there. Not every throw gets perfect. “
Wilson, however, admitted frustration over the lack of results, but he insisted that he gets something out of all this no matter what.
“It can be hard for people to see it, but we learn a lot from those games. People are going to hate. That’s what it is.”
He added: “It’s hard, but it makes us stronger, just like it makes me stronger. It’s hard. I did not experience it in college. The crazy thing is, I knew it would be like that.”
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