The Jets coach reiterated his belief in quarterback Zach Wilson on Monday, a day after a dreadful performance by Wilson in a 15-10 loss to the Patriots.
Jets fans booed Wilson during the game and called for him to be replaced after it.
But Saleh said the team is sticking with Wilson this week against the Chiefs and beyond.
“He’s our unquestioned quarterback, guys,” Saleh said Monday. “As long as he continues to show in his preparation, the way he’s been practicing and even in these games, guys. He’s not the reason we lost yesterday. It’s always a team effort. As long as he continues to show improvement, and I know from a box score standpoint it’s not showing, he’s going to be our quarterback.”
Saleh sounds like he is in denial when he says Wilson is not the reason the Jets lost.
Wilson was unable to generate any offense outside of one fourth-quarter drive.
The defense held the Patriots to 13 points and kept them in the game.
Wilson completed 50 percent of his passes and threw for just 157 yards, with most of those coming in the fourth quarter.
Saleh would not say whether they plan to add a quarterback this week, deferring to general manager Joe Douglas.
“That one is a Joe question,” Saleh said.
It is possible the Jets add a quarterback this week, but that player will be brought in to learn the offense for a few weeks before the they would even consider playing him.
For now, the Zach Wilson show continues, much to the fans’ chagrin.
“One thing I’m going to give him credit for is he had a turnover-free game yesterday,” Saleh said. “He had no turnover-worthy throws from my recollection, and because of that we were in position and had the ball at midfield with 1:40 to go and two timeouts to go win the game. Because we played a clean game of football on the offensive side of the ball and we were able to win the field-position battle in the second half.”
The Jets never intended to have Wilson play in 2023, of course.
This was supposed to be a redshirt season for him to sit and watch Aaron Rodgers, decompress and learn.
Instead, he was thrown back into the fire four plays into the season.
Saleh indicated Monday that the team has struggled to adjust the offense built for Rodgers into an offense built for Wilson.
“It’s not an excuse, but the reality is it was built a certain way and now we’re trying to adjust on the fly, which is a challenge but a challenge but I think we’re going to end up coming to an answer for,” Saleh said.
The Jets need to figure something out quickly if they want to salvage this season.
Things can spiral out of control quickly.
They face the Chiefs, Broncos and Eagles before their bye week.
The Chiefs and Eagles are two of the best teams in football.
At 1-2 now, it is hard to imagine the Jets being better than 2-4 at the break, but funny things happen sometimes in the NFL.
As for Wilson, Saleh insists that Wilson has not lost confidence despite plays on Sunday when it looked like Wilson was afraid to throw the ball downfield.
“I think he’s playing with confidence,” Saleh said. “He’s throwing the ball accurately when it’s in timing and rhythm and his foot hits his backstep and he lets that thing rip. It’s pretty. He’s doing a really nice job in that regard.”
The Jets made the decision to stick with Wilson as their backup in the offseason when they began their chase of Rodgers.
That decision looks questionable at best right now.
“You just don’t throw people away, man,” Saleh said. “You’ve just got to continue to work with him. He’s here. He gives us our best chance to win. As coaches, we’re going to do everything we can to help him.”