Table of Contents
What Makes a Franchise Quarterback?
As a quarterback, you are a leader of men. Having the physical skills to win week after week is only part of the equation; accountability and respect from your teammates are what truly rally a roster and create the best teams at the end of each season. In a pivotal AFC East matchup against the Patriots last Sunday, Zach Wilson completed a measly nine of his twenty-two attempts for 77 yards and no touchdowns to show. After arguably the worst start of his career, one in which the Jets offense averaged 2.7 inches, yes inches, per play in the second half, New York suffered a 10-3 loss on a Marcus Jones punt return and had fans struggling to comprehend exactly what has happened to their team’s hot start on offense. To make matters worse, in a postgame interview when Wilson was asked, “Do you feel like you let the defense down at all?” he simply responded with, “No.” This response has proven to be by far the lowlight of the young quarterback’s career.
Lacking the Intangibles
After holding New England’s offense to three points, the Jets defense has certainly lost all of their respect for Wilson. His lowly answer regarding his poor performance also shows he has zero accountability for his actions. When you are a captain, the rest of the team looks up to you, and even if you feel that the blame for a situation is being forced onto you, you have to take it. These matters can be discussed internally, and when they are instead answered as fuel for the media, there is likely to be changed for causing an avoidable, negative situation.
The defense is not the only unit fed up with Zach Wilson’s attitude. Rookie wide receiver Garrett Wilson voiced his displeasure with the offense’s performance while being interviewed in the locker room saying, “This sh*t is sorry.”. When the two most important intangibles a quarterback can possess, accountability and respect, are lost by players on both sides of the ball it is time for a necessary change.
With a little over a month of regular season football remaining, Jets head coach Robert Saleh spoke on Wednesday announcing that backup quarterback Mike White would get the start in New York’s matchup with Chicago. This move was necessary to make, both as a disciplinary benching for Wilson and an opportunity for the rest of the team to regain the momentum they had lost against New England. White has found success in his opportunities during his time with the Jets, recording five touchdown passes and nearly 1,000 yards over four games in 2021. Jets fans appear to be approving of the change after their latest victory over Chicago, and Mike White looks to lead the Jets into the playoffs as Christmas soon approaches.