Two weeks after losing quarterback Aaron Rodgers to a torn Achilles and three days after a tough loss to the New England Patriots, New York Jets coach Robert Saleh has acknowledged that the team needs more from Zach Wilson.
“We all acknowledge he has to play better. We all acknowledge that,” Saleh said during a Wednesday press conference.
He continued, “He acknowledges it, teammates acknowledge it ... but the key is to have confidence in yourself. You have to.”
Before Wednesday, Saleh had been careful to build Wilson up with his public remarks. He told reporters Sunday that the team would be experiencing “hiccups” no matter who was under center, as the Deseret News previously reported.
Saleh’s Wednesday remarks came after the Jets decided to bring a new face into the team’s quarterback room. Adam Schefter, ESPN’s senior NFL insider, broke the news Tuesday that veteran QB Trevor Siemian was joining the Jets practice squad.
“The 31-year-old Trevor Siemian was with the Jets in 2019. He spent this past summer with the Bengals. He has been with seven NFL teams and was a part of the Broncos’ team that won Super Bowl 50,” Schefter noted in a follow-up post on X, the site formerly known as Twitter.
Jets are planning to add to their QB room: Veteran QB Trevor Siemian is signing with the Jets, pending a physical, per sources.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 26, 2023
Who is the Jets backup QB?
Before Siemian came on board, the Jets were working with Wilson as the starter and Tim Boyle as the back-up. The team had faced growing pressure to add a veteran QB as Wilson struggled.
“There is no downside to this move. (Siemian) immediately upgrades their back up QB and over time could beat out Zach Wilson for the starting position,” said Mike Tannenbaum, a former Jets GM, on X.
Tannenbaum stood out on the social media site for being positive about the roster move. Many football fans, including some Jets fans, questioned — or outright mocked — the team’s choice of replacement QB.
The “Jets (are) playing chess,” posted one X user. “They’re bringing in someone that’s going to make the fan base beg for Zach Wilson to be on the field.”
Here are some other funny reactions to the news:
I expect the same level of media coverage for this that Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce received https://t.co/kI5jF9ni6w
— Lindsay Bebout (@lindsaybebout) September 26, 2023
Zach Wilson seeing Trevor Siemian walk into the facility. pic.twitter.com/HuUTSs22q0
— Ben Stevens (@BenScottStevens) September 26, 2023
— Alan Hahn (@alanhahn) September 26, 2023
What’s next for Zach Wilson?
The Jets’ move to sign Siemian comes after the team’s loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday. Wilson completed 18 of 36 passes for 157 yards during the game and generally struggled to get the offense going, as the Deseret News previously reported.
Jets legend Joe Namath didn’t hold back when asked to describe Wilson’s play during a Monday appearance on “The Michael Kay Show.”
“I wouldn’t keep him,” Namath said, according to CBS Sports. “I’ve seen enough of Zach Wilson. I’ve seen enough.”
Saleh addressed Namath’s comments during his Wednesday press conference, noting that he and Namath would have to “agree to disagree.”
“Joe is an icon, a Hall of Famer, and a well-respected individual in this organization,” Saleh said, according to the New York Post. “Door’s always open for him to walk in, and my office is always open for him, but we’ll agree to disagree with his comments, but he is entitled to those comments.”
Dave McCann, a contributor to the Deseret News, wonders whether this weekend’s matchup between the Jets and Kansas City Chiefs will be Zach Wilson’s “last stand.”
“Wilson has had chances to make plays and hasn’t,” McCann wrote.
The Jets-Chiefs game will take place Sunday night in prime time.