The Jets’ plan on offense amid ‘urgency’ surrounding Zach Wilson
Mike Lafleur said he doesn’t feel extra pressure to help Zach Wilson reach another level this season. But the New York Jets offensive coordinator admitted to a different emotion about the franchise quarterback heading into his second season.
“Pressure, no. Urgency, yes,” Lafleur said Wednesday.
“If you don’t like pressure in this league, then you’re in the wrong league. … But the urgency to get it done, and get it done the right way, but also in an urgent manner, we’ve got to get better every day.”
Well lookie here …
Zach Wilson is slinging it. This time he finds Corey Davis on the chunk touchdown.
— Robby Sabo (@RobbySabo) October 3, 2021
There’s plenty of room for Wilson to improve. The No. 2 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft started 13 Jets games as a rookie and had the lowest rating of any full-time quarterback in the NFL (69.7). He was intercepted 11 times and threw for nine touchdowns and 2,334 yards.
Perhaps most troublesome, Wilson completed only 56 percent of his passes. He routinely bounced passes at the feet of his receivers, particularly on screens or swing routes out of the backfield. Overall, he was wildly inaccurate in the passing game.
“A lot of his issues were maybe trying to see too much,” Lafleur explained. “Even last year, when he was looking in the right spots, his body followed. He’s an accurate quarterback, he has been his whole career. But the biggest focus is the eyes, getting your eyes in the right spot at the right time.”
Lafleur and coach Robert Saleh have each said they see a lot of growth in Wilson already heading into Year 2. Physically, he is more filled out. Mentally, he is processing things quicker. And he appears to be taking charge of the offense, emerging more as a leader.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) June 1, 2022
There is, though, that sense of urgency for Wilson to take a major step forward in his development. Sooner rather than later.
He is the single most important player on the Jets, the one they’ve pinned their hopes on to lead them back from a decade-long stretch without making the playoffs.
To that end, the Jets stocked up on offensive weapons for their young QB.
“Priority No. 1.” Saleh said.
Those moves follow the additions of running back Michael Carter and wide receiver Elijah Moore in the 2021 draft, and the signing of free agent wide receiver Corey Davis before last season.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) May 10, 2022
Assuming the skill players remain healthy — Davis, Moore, Carter and enigmatic wide receiver Denzel Mims all missed time last season due to injury and illness — Wilson will have more options and fewer excuses not to succeed in 2022.
“It’s a very good problem to have,” Lafleur said of spreading the wealth offensively. “We’re young, guys are still learning how to play, but we’ve got pieces to work with.”
Carter, who led the Jets in rushing with 639 yards as a rookie, said there should be plenty of touches for everybody.
“There’s enough for all of us to eat, you know what I mean?”
Enough to help Zach Wilson feast on opposing defenses, the Jets hope.