Back on April 29th, when the NY Jets drafted their new franchise quarterback, Zach Wilson, head coach Robert Saleh famously told Wilson, "The biggest thing I want to tell you, remember this. This organization is going to lift you. Not the other way around."
The Jets' plan all along was to do just that. But a tragedy leading into the season threw the entire organization for a loop.
And based on the results after five games of the season, it's crystal clear that both Zach Wilson and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur were negatively affected by the loss of Greg Knapp.
In September, I reluctantly wrote an article here at The Jet Press about the effect that Greg Knapp's tragic and untimely passing left on the Jets offense and the negative impact it has had on the development of quarterback Zach Wilson and neophyte offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur.
Full disclosure, it wasn't an easy article or topic to write about. It's a very delicate subject. I had debated writing about it since August.
Life always trumps football. The loss of Greg Knapp to his friends and loved ones is infinitely more important than the Jets passing game.
But there's no question that someone like Knapp would have greatly benefitted the Jets' new franchise quarterback and, quite frankly, the quality of the entire coaching staff.
Moving on without Knapp before the season started was difficult. To the Jets' credit, they hired an experienced coach in former NFL QB and offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh to help fill the great void.
The Jets brought Cavanaugh back into the green and white family after spending time with the team from 2009-2102, in what seems like a lifetime ago.
Considering the circumstances and the timing, the hiring of Cavanaugh was the best the team could do at the late stages of season preparation. But moving forward, the Jets need to strongly consider getting the proper support system for Zach Wilson.
There are some things that the team can do now during the season and potentially in the future to help aid Wilson in his development.