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New York Jets finally own up to big mistake that cost them 2023 season, Robert Saleh addresses Zach Wilson’s future

New York Jets
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets went all-in on the 2023 season, sacrificing long-term cap flexibility and future draft picks to compete for a Super Bowl with quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Four plays into the 2023 NFL season, disaster struck and the Jets never recovered.

New York was riding a wave of confidence coming out of training camp. Hard Knocks alone made it clear how much this team was relying on Rodgers, hoping the four-time NFL MVP would finally push the Jets over the hump and help them win the Lombardi Trophy.

Related: New York Jets QB Aaron Rodgers has new wish list for 2024

The Jets were so confident that even with a 39-year-old quarterback with a history of durability issues starting behind one of the NFL’s worst offensive lines, they didn’t plan for the worst-case scenario. So, when disaster struck, they failed to respond.

However, for much of the season, Jets’ head coach Robert Saleh has adamantly defended the team’s process at quarterback in the wake of Rodgers’ injury and offered endless support for quarterback Zach Wilson. That changed after Sunday’s winl.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, head coach Robert Saleh admitted that the Jets made mistakes in not preparing better for the worst-case scenario at quarterback and then not adjusting after their backup plan didn’t work.

“When you have a Hall of Fame quarterback, you’re going to build it around his strengths, period. That’s a very common thing throughout the league. It’s not just a Jets thing. That’s leaguewide. Could we have done things better? I’m talking about myself and the coaching staff, with regards to, ‘All right, this is our worst-case scenario, now what?’ Absolutely, and it’s something that we will make sure that we do a heck of a lot better with in 2024.”

New York Jets HC Robert Saleh on how the team handled the QB situation after Aaron Rodgers’ injury in Week 1 (H/T ESPN)

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New York had countless opportunities to improve its quarterback situation early in the season. Even if the Washington Commanders weren’t willing to trade a backup quarterback like Jacoby Brissett, Carson Wentz and Joe Flacco were available in NFL free agency deep into the season.

Even beyond that, the Jets could’ve traded for backup quarterback Joshua Dobbs. While he’s proven to not be a starting-caliber quarterback, he would’ve been an upgrade over Wilson. Despite all of the options available, New York stood pat.

“I still think when you look at the process that we went through in that regard, I still feel like it was sound. I don’t think anyone anticipated (the injury) four plays in, but Zach (Wilson) is going to be a good football player for a long time in this League. I believe that.”

Robert Saleh on New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson

However, it’s clear Saleh and the Jets’ organization remain very high on Wilson with the belief that the former No. 2 overall pick can be a long-term starter in the future. Evidently, New York is still learning from its mistakes.

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