NY Jets quarterback Zach Wilson has come under criticism in recent days following his dreadful performance against the New England Patriots in Week 11.
But while his performance was undoubtedly terrible, many of the headlines featuring Wilson have highlighted his questionable postgame comments instead. Those comments drew the ire of many and potentially contributed to the Jets' decision to bench him this week.
Wilson initially opted against taking the blame for the Jets' loss, something that didn't go over well with many in the locker room. Almost immediately reports started to emerge that players were upset with Wilson while some even went as far as to question his character and overall attitude.
Former Jets cornerback Lamar Jackson, now playing for the Chicago Bears, was asked about Wilson and the Jets' decision to bench him in favor of Mike White ahead of the two teams' meeting this Sunday.
His comments were interesting to say the least.
"I like Zach Wilson, but I can see comments about how he carries himself, a sense of arrogance. I could see how it could rub people the wrong way. When he’s good, he’s good, and when he’s bad, he’s bad. When you’re not the most likable guy, of course when things are bad, everybody’s going to have a problem with you."- Lamar Jackson
Former NY Jets CB Lamar Jackson had an interesting take on the Zach Wilson/Mike White situation
Jackson spoke about Wilson's perceived "arrogance" and explained that he could understand why some feel a certain way about the second-year quarterback. Perhaps the most telling remark was his quote about Wilson not being "the most likable guy."
Jackson doesn't come across as bitter. Instead, his comments seem earnest and truthful. He doesn't want to speak poorly of Wilson, but he also wants to give an accurate account of the sentiment toward him.
The former undrafted free agent spoke a little more favorably when asked his thoughts on Mike White. It certainly seems as though White is more beloved in that Jets locker room.
"I can definitely tell you the locker room, they’re behind Mike White. He’s one of those guys that’s very likable. I know everybody’s going to be trying to buy in and help him succeed just [because of] the type of guy he is. I know he has good respect over there. Guys are going to help Mike White make it happen. They kind of know the situation. There ain’t no telling how they really feel about Zach. A guy steps in that’s been there . . . I’m sure they’re all going to play hard for him."- Lamar Jackson
Jackson believes that the Jets will rally around White on Sunday and that he's a well-respected guy in that locker room. That's a far cry from the words he shared about Wilson.
In fact, Jackson questioned how Jets players "really feel about Zach" while insisting that the Jets are "behind Mike White" and that he's "very likable." There's a stark contrast between those two opinions.
Jackson originally signed with the Jets as an undrafted free agent following the 2020 NFL Draft and went on to appear in 14 games from 2020-2021. He signed on with the Bears this offseason and has made five appearances for the team so far this season.
Of course, Jackson's comments are just the perspective of one player. However, it is the perspective of a player who spent all of last year sharing the same locker room as Wilson and many of the players still on the roster.
His comments aren't a death sentence for Zach Wilson, but they are alarming.