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#pounditSunday, February 25, 2024

Robert Saleh offers weird defense of Zach Wilson

Robert Saleh talks with the media

Jul 27, 2021; Florham Park, NJ, United States; New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh talks with the media on training camp report day at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

New York Jets coach Robert Saleh knows he has to put together a public defense for quarterback Zach Wilson, but his efforts on Monday were not exactly convincing.

Saleh insisted Monday that he still believes Wilson will develop into a good quarterback, but criticized the “instant-coffee world” for being too critical and not giving Wilson time to develop.

“The frustrating thing is that this kid is going to be a good quarterback, but the NFL and this new instant-coffee world that we’re in just doesn’t want to give people time,” Saleh said, via Rich Cimini of ESPN. “So, we look at him and he’s just nitpicked with a fine-tooth comb.”

This does not really hold up under scrutiny. It is not nitpicking to question the long-term future of a quarterback that Saleh himself chose to bench less than a month ago. Some fans will want instant results from a No. 2 pick, but most would settle for tangible progress. Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields were both drafted in the same class as Wilson and have shown clear improvements as they get comfortable with the league, but Wilson is missing a lot of the same throws and making the same mistakes he has been since being drafted.

Saleh has a job to do defending Wilson, but even Jets players seemed fed up with him at one point. This might not be the angle the coach should take.

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