Jets' Robert Saleh on Zach Wilson: All Gas, No Brakes mantra for him is to 'be boring'

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Robert Saleh on sideline with headset on
Robert Saleh on sideline with headset on

When Robert Saleh says the Jets will be "all gas, no brakes," it doesn't mean the ball is going to be launched 60 yards downfield every play or the defense is going to all-out blitz the quarterback each snap.

It's simply getting better each day with 110 percent effort in doing so.

So when Saleh talks about rookie Zach Wilson needing to keep things a little more "boring" after trying to do too much in the first terrible game of his very young career, it's not steering him away from that signature mantra of his. It's just his path on that road.

"Sometimes when people hear that whole mantra of “All gas, no brakes,” they confuse it with ‘Alright, we’re going to turn the corner at 100 mph when the speed limit is 25.’ It’s not that," Saleh told reporters on Monday following the Jets' 25-6 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday afternoon. "It’s just. ... going to bed better than you woke up. That’s it. Put your foot to the pedal and just step on the gas in regards to getting better at what you’re asked to do every single day, and that’s a situation where he has to be better.

“So that ‘All gas, no brakes’ mantra for [Wilson] is be boring. It’s not about being electric and making the plays. You just trust if you stay ahead of the chains and stay within yourself and you play the game of football and keep the team in an advantageous situation, other teams will panic.”

But that also doesn't mean Saleh is going to be keeping Wilson in a cage, either. His electric arm and ability to make plays outside the pocket is why GM Joe Douglas and the rest of the organization was high on the BYU product.

Saleh noted that he and Wilson will continue to talk about what went wrong in his four-interception game, but after Monday, it's on to the next opponent. And he said Wilson has been nothing but a professional after his first career dud. That's exactly what you want to hear as a Jets fan, too.

Learning from these mistakes is key for Wilson's development. Some of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time had issues when they first transitioned to the league, and Wilson is no different.

What exactly can he learn from this latest performance?

"He’s gotta quiet his feet down in the pocket, he’s gotta get his eyes where they need to be within the progression of the play and he’s gotta trust," Saleh said. "The O-line did a really good job of protection yesterday and he’s gotta sit in there and play quarterback on a drop-back pass.

"It’s all a process. Playing quarterback in this league is already hard. Rookie playing quarterback is even harder."

It comes in waves as a rookie and it's all about ebbing and flowing. You want to dazzle and make yourself known. But, at the same time, being boring gets the job done and puts wins on the board. Ask Mac Jones, the rookie Patriots QB, how that's gone for him in his first two weeks.

More importantly, progress each week -- good or bad results on the record -- is what matters most.

So, yeah, Wilson is going to flop sometimes. It comes with the territory. But Saleh knows the kid will also amaze, too.

“We’ve talked about this from the beginning and I’ve said it here," he explained. "There’s going to be some hair-pulling moments, there’s going to be some exciting moments, there’s going to be unbelievable moments.

“Yesterday was a rough one, but that doesn’t mean that that’s the trend. He’s going to get better from this and there’s going to be moments where it’s like, ‘Holy cow, he’s special.’ When we get to those moments, we take them in stride because we continue to get better from all of it.”