Jets admit they 'failed' Zach Wilson, would have benefitted from being second choice

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The New York Jets have conceded they may have been better served easing Zach Wilson into the starting quarterback role after a disastrous second season.

The 2021 NFL Draft second overall pick endured a tough season with the Jets, who were eliminated from playoff contention on the weekend on the back of a five-game losing run, where he was benched twice and ultimately lost the starting spot to Mike White.

This season, Wilson has started nine games with a 54.6 per cent completion rate for 1,688 yards with six touchdowns and seven interceptions. The BYU graduate started 13 games in his rookie season in 2021.

Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur said: "In hindsight, it probably would've benefited [him] just to sit back and learn a little bit and watch a veteran and just kind of grow in this league - kind of in the backseat, watching.

"Get better in practice, get better through the scout team and all that. But that wasn't the course that we went."

The Jets added veteran Joe Flacco in a midseason trade to bolster their quarterback options, while White had no NFL experience in preseason when they backed in Wilson to start.

LaFleur conceded he had not done a good job in helping Wilson develop to his full potential.

"In two years, yeah, we haven't done our job with him, right?" he said. "Any player at any position that isn't producing to the level they're capable of, as a coach, we failed them.

"There's a two-way street with it. The player has to meet us in the middle of it, but you want all these guys to play at their absolute best.

"We all know Zach hasn't played at his absolute best. He has shown spurts. He has shown the talent. Like [coach Robert] Saleh said yesterday, through hell or high water, we're going to work with him."

The Jets' struggling offense has been a big reason for their five-game losing streak which ended their postseason bid, managing only four touchdowns in the past five games.