Hindsight can be a funny thing. It can sometimes make you question some of your past decisions. In the case of offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, he may be having some regret throwing Zach Wilson into the fire perhaps too quickly.
In talking to reporters Thursday in what may be his last such conversation until the spring, LaFleur discussed Wilson, among other topics, and had an interesting thought when talking about Wilson’s development. LaFleur, looking back, believes perhaps it would have better served Wilson to sit and watch as a rookie and not be thrust right into the starting position.
“In 2023 now I guess you can say, people don’t want to wait, they want the instant gratification of these rookies, these second-year guys to be superstars and understandably so,” LaFleur said. “You get why, this is a highly competitive environment. I use the example of what’s going on in Green Bay right now, obviously it was Brett Favre and Aaron (Rodgers) sat for four, I think five years and Jordan Love’s kind of going through it right now, and I’m not there at practice, I can only go off of the words of what I hear, but just how much improvement he’s had through three years of sitting there watching Aaron going through the scout team and all that and that was his path, that is his path, and we’ll see what holds for Jordan.”
“Similar to Zach, in hindsight it probably would’ve benefited just to sit back and learn a little bit and watch a veteran do it and just kind of grow in this League, kind of in the back seat watching, and getting better in practice, and getting better through scout team, and all that, but again, that wasn’t the course that we went, and from here we got to pick it up, we got to pick up the straps, and we got to get back to work.”
LaFleur echoed Robert Saleh’s comments from Wednesday about the Jets committing to develop Wilson “through hell or high water” and getting Wilson where the team wants him to be.
“Yeah, there’s still development to be had,” LaFleur said. “Through two years, yeah, we haven’t done our job with him, right? I mean any player at any position that isn’t producing to the level that they’re capable of, as a coach, you failed them and that’s how I’ve always looked at that, and there’s a two-way street with it. The players have to meet you in the middle with it, but you want all these guys to play at their absolute best and we all know that Zach, he hasn’t played at his absolute best. He’s shown spurts, he’s shown the talent, but it’s like Saleh said yesterday, ‘through hell or high water,’ we’re going to work with him, and we’re going to work with any of these guys. If they’re on this roster, we’re going to work with them period and it’s not going to stop.”
The Jets continue to say they are committed to developing Zach Wilson. That also won’t stop them from going after a veteran quarterback in the offseason, which would allow give the Jets the time to allow Wilson to sit and develop. A very interesting offseason is on the horizon for the New York Jets.