Robert Saleh: Zach Wilson ‘avoiding big negative plays is a positive’ for Jets

Zach Wilson white scramble Bills 11/6/2022
Zach Wilson white scramble Bills 11/6/2022

Zach Wilson threw for one touchdown and just 154 yards on 18-of-25 passing in the Jets' win over the Buffalo Bills, but the pedestrian numbers were a big step up from the three-interception day against the New England Patriots.

When asked about how his game improved the most last week compared to the previous week, head coach Robert Saleh pointed to Wilson’s “pocket presence on third down.”

“Last week [against] New England, first and second down I thought he did a lot of good things,” Saleh said. “Third down just kinda fell apart for him a little bit with pressing to try to make a play.”

The parts of his game that impressed Saleh don't show up in the stats because they weren’t explosive plays, but the head coach pointed to a pair of third-down conversions with his legs in the second half: a 13-yard run on a 3rd-and-long and a five-yard scamper that led to the touchdown pass to James Robinson on the next play.

“He did a lot of really, really nice things,” Saleh added. “[Wilson] got rid of the ball quick, that third down towards the end of the game to [Denzel] Mims was such a big play. So, overall I just thought he was really good just keeping the main thing the main thing.

“Understanding that throwing the ball away, running with your feet, avoiding big negative plays is a positive. And really thought he did a nice job.”

But the second-year quarterback will still be experiencing some growing pains.

“He’s still a pup. Just like, you guys have all had kids,” the head coach said to the assembled media, “I’m sure every once in a while they fall on their face, you just gotta pick them up and start walking again.

“And so, [against] New England I get it there were a couple of mistakes, but he’s been having a really nice year and he’s gonna continue to get better.”