May 24, 2022

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Jets’ biggest offseason priority: Supporting Zach…

4 min read
Jets' biggest offseason priority: Supporting Zach...


Jets owner Woody Johnson did not try to disguise what his team’s offseason plan has been when he met with reporters this week at the NFL’s meetings. 

“Developing the young quarterback, that’s really mission No. 1 is getting him going, giving him the things he needs around him in those 11.” 

A year after drafting Zach Wilson second overall, the Jets universe revolves around the young quarterback. The Jets will go as he goes and everyone knows it. Coach Robert Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas know they won’t hold their jobs for very long if Wilson is a bust. 

That is why Douglas went out and added help on the offensive line and at tight end in free agency and brought back one of his favorite targets in Braxton Berrios. Now, the Jets are anxious to see what kind of progress Wilson can make when the spring program begins this month. 

“I’d love to see Zach own the playbook at a faster clip,” Saleh said this week. “Not that he wasn’t … it was a typical rookie learning curve. We’re really looking for that recall. The fundamentals and all that stuff that we’re looking for, that’s all going to come. For OTAs, really looking for him to take that step in the right direction with regards to playbook, football 101, absorbing the scheme so he can play a lot faster.” 

Zach Wilson
Zach Wilson
Getty Images

Wilson has shown leadership in recent weeks, traveling the country to throw with his different teammates. He was in Miami last week, working with Berrios. 

“I’ve been joking that he’s been on tour, visiting his teammates,” Saleh said. “It’s cool that he’s putting in the work and he’s showing that he’s putting in the work. It’s going to be good when they all get back.” 

Wilson showed flashes in his rookie season but not much consistency. He threw nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions and 55.6 percent of his passes. He did not throw any interceptions in his final five games, one encouraging sign from his rookie year. 

“You know what was amazing was after his injury he never turned the ball over,” Johnson said. “I thought he really … sitting back and watching the game a little bit, he advanced as if he had played. It really was incredible and more to come this year. He didn’t have a lot of his receivers. You don’t want to make excuses but a lot of his receivers, you don’t want to make excuses but a lot of things that could have been better weren’t better. If we can somehow remedy some of that, I think you’ll see some good things out of Zach and the team in general.” 

Douglas already has started to address the surrounding cast around Wilson and is armed with four picks in the first two rounds in the draft and surely will do more. Douglas signed tight ends C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Conklin in free agency, hoping they can add another dimension for Wilson and the Jets offense. 

“I think when you have a quality tight end, it’s a great security blanket for a young quarterback,” Douglas said. “It just gives you more options, more options for a young quarterback that can work the middle of the field for us.” 

Douglas tried to add a speedy receiver for Wilson in Tyreek Hill, but the star chose the Dolphins over the Jets. The feeling is the Jets are still looking to add a receiver either through a trade or in the draft. 

“That’s definitely a position that’s a premium position for us and where we are with a young quarterback,” Douglas said. 

Laken Tomlinson should improve the offensive line in front of Wilson and the defense, which ranked dead last in the NFL last year, has to show improvement. All of that should help Wilson in Year 2. 

“The goal was to try to help Zach as much as we can on both sides of the ball,” Douglas said. “I feel like we were able to add youthful vets with a lot of experience, been able to play in some big games, a couple of Super Bowl participants.”

https://nypost.com/2022/04/01/jets-biggest-offseason-priority-supporting-zach-wilson/