Former three-time Pro Bowl quarterback Alex Smith thinks the New York Jets have no one else but themselves to blame for the Zach Wilson situation. In the 2021 NFL draft, the Jets used their second overall pick to draft Wilson, hoping he would become their franchise quarterback.
Instead of being given time to learn from a veteran quarterback, Wilson was immediately thrown into the starting lineup in his rookie season. However, Smith thinks that Jets head coach Robert Saleh being a defensive mind was a bigger issue.
"Yeah, Robert Saleh, you're a great defensive mind and coordinator, but, like, you have no idea how to develop a quarterback. The coordinator you hired (in 2021) never called plays. So that's a completely different animal. And as much as you think you're prepared to handle that development of a young kid, you're just not," Smith said on SiriusXM NFL Radio, per JoeBucsFan.
Smith on why the Jets failed Wilson
"There is a different mentality, from my career, when you play for an offensive head coach that wants to light up the scoreboard and outscore the opponent. There's a different mentality you have, especially as a young quarterback versus a defensive head coach, when really the (coach's) mentality is 'Hey, don't screw up, don't turn the ball over, don't put us in a bad situation.'
That's a huge difference in a mentality and a mindset for a young quarterback, especially if it's a bit rocky to start," Smith said. This offseason, the Jets went all in to acquire Aaron Rodgers. When it comes to Wilson, he is now a backup quarterback.
However, the Jets have been insisting that Wilson's career in New York isn't over. Wilson will now get a chance to learn from one of the best in the game as the Jets hope Rodgers' presence will do wonders for Wilson's development.