The aspect of Zach Wilson’s game that has most impressed Robert Saleh

3

Robert Saleh was not talking about his rookie quarterback’s talent or arm strength. And yet, the Jets coach saying Zach Wilson is “light years ahead” in terms of process was eye-opening.

Saleh heaped on the praise after Wilson’s stirring play in Saturday’s preseason win in Green Bay. On Monday, asked to explain what he meant, Saleh said it is not how Wilson processes the game or his reads, but rather how diligent he is in his preparation.

“The way he goes about his day-to-day business, and the way he studies tape and his pregame – how he studies the night before, what he’s doing, the things he’s asking the video guys and the information that he wants,” Saleh said of his quarterback, who went 9-of-11 for 128 yards and two touchdowns against the Packers.

“Just speaking from a defensive standpoint, I’ve been fortunate to coach some of the best linebackers this game has ever had, and those guys were swimming their first year; were grabbing at things to try to figure out. This young man has a tremendous process on how he gets to game day.”

The makeup is a big part of the reason the Jets made the BYU star the No. 2 pick and their hopeful franchise quarterback. With all the caveats that come after two preseason games – the Packers were playing a second-string defense, after all – Saleh has been more taken by everything leading up to game day rather than game day itself.

Zach Wilson throws a pass in the Jets’ second preseason game.
Getty Images

If the mentality is right, it speaks to a player who has a lot of room to grow.

“That process that we trust is why he’ll continue to grow and fix mistakes that he may have,” Saleh said over Zoom. “Game day might happen and be like, ‘Damn, he just hit the wrong wall.’ But what we trust is that he’s going to be able to reset on Monday, go through that process that he has and find ways to get better from the week before. That’s what we’re really, really excited about.”


The Jets hope to get guard Alijah Vera-Tucker (pectoral strain) and wide receiver Elijah Moore (quad) into practice this week. Asked if they would be ready for Week 1, Saleh said, “God willing.”

Elijah Moore speaks at the Jets' training camp facility.
Elijah Moore speaks at the Jets’ training camp facility.
Getty Images

Quarterback Mike White (ribs) and defensive end Ronald Blair (hamstring) are day to day. Offensive tackle Conor McDermott (knee), who was carted off the field Saturday, is still being evaluated, Saleh said. He at least will not be ready for the start of the season.


Cornerback Bless Austin’s absence Saturday was not disciplinary related, Saleh said. He was out with a personal issue.


Despite the significant injuries to defensive end Carl Lawson and linebacker Jarrad Davis, Saleh said they would not go out of their way to play the starters less in the final preseason game.

“Every time you take a snap in this game, you’re subject to injury,” the coach said. “If anything, you’re probably safer in the game than you are in practice, in my opinion, because in practice you’re not expecting for people to fall on the ground, and so that’s where a lot of things can go wrong.”

View original post