From the day his name was scribbled onto a draft card to the day he steps on the field for his first preseason game, Zach Wilson's era in a once-proud but struggling NY Jets franchise will have covered three and a half months. What have we learned really?
Here are a few obvious bullet points. No one should forget he's a rookie. The Jets didn't have much to surround him with upon his arrival, and almost four months later, this team still has one of the league's worst rosters. The argument can also be made that his best offensive weapon is Corey Davis who's been seen as a slow developer in some circles and a bust in others.
That's a long-winded way of making the following declaration. Relax folks! This is going to take some time.
The NY Jets are going to have to be patient with Zach Wilson.
Think about it. Though no one wants to admit to it in the organization, many of Sam Darnold's failures as the franchise's signal-caller could be the fault of this team and its culture. He had Adam Gase for a head coach. Like Wilson, Darnold had nothing around him. The coaching was, shall we say, less than stellar.
The jury is still out on Darnold and whether or not he can play, but If you're of the mindset that comparing Wilson to some of his peers from the same NFL Draft class is the option that will make you feel better, think again. That probably won't lead you to a better place from an emotional standpoint
Trevor Lawrence has more talent and a few more pieces on offense. That will make his job easier. Trey Lance is surrounded by a more talented roster with weapons everywhere. He also has an offensive-minded head coach in Kyle Shanahan. Justin Fields, like Lance, is on a better team than the one we see in New York. Then, there's one more thing. The NY Jets are led by a talented and fiery but defensive-minded head coach in Robert Saleh. If you think that doesn't mean anything, think again.
The Jets weren't going to fix this team in a single NFL Draft. This will take time. The question is how much time does Wilson have? This hasn't been a team where we've seen patience or a ton of sustained success at the quarterback position. How long has it been? Chad Pennington and Mark Sanchez's first two years in the league?
This team may have given up on Sam Darnold early, too early as a matter of fact. The aforementioned Mark Sanchez experiment brought some sizzle early but eventually fizzled. We've even seen legends join this team to watch their careers die (Brett Favre and Michael Vick for instance).
Sure, those were all different eras, but the fact remains. This is a tough city to play in. This is a deserving fan base that should be given a winner. This is an organization that we knew wouldn't win a Super Bowl anyway.
Zach Wilson is going to be fine, and even though it sucks to say this. NY Jets fans are going to have to wait and be patient. This is the right man for the job, but this team must learn from what went on with Sam Darnold. Sure, we live in a microwave society where people want everything now, but the quarterback position in the NFL is a tough one to learn.
If the Jets are willing to be patient and bring this guy along correctly, this will work. If they don't and this guy doesn't get the proper coaching, this will be like Sanchez, and Darnold all over again. Give Zach Wilson some time Jets fans. Here's a promise. If you do this could lead to a huge payoff later.