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Jets HC Robert Saleh claims Zach Wilson is looking ‘beefy’

Jets, Robert Saleh, Zach Wilson

Robert Saleh described Zach Wilson in a way the coach never had since the New York Jets selected the quarterback with the No. 2 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

“He looks beefy,” Saleh said with a laugh Saturday, before quickly adding, “in a good way.”

Wilson was listed at 6-foot-2, 214 pounds coming out of BYU last season. His slender build led critics to wonder about his durability in the NFL, especially after he was sacked 44 times and missed four games with a knee injury as a rookie.

But according to his coach, Wilson has put in significant work to build himself up this offseason.

“Zach looks good, he’s definitely hit the weight room,” Saleh said. “He’s definitely filled out, but he’s still got all his looseness and throwing the football and the zip and all that stuff. So, he looks good.”

Zach Wilson, Jets

Jets legend Joe Namath publicly questioned Wilson’s lack of size in a February radio interview. Interestingly, the 6-foot-2 Namath focused more on Wilson’s height than his bulk.

“I like him, but I don’t know how long he’s going to last,” Namath said on ESPN Radio in New York. “You’d like for a guy to be 6-6 or 6-7 back there in the pocket. School’s still out on how Zach’s going to do.”

Of course, there aren’t many quarterbacks that tall in the NFL. Perhaps Joe Willie was exaggerating a point that Wilson looked small last season.

Nonetheless, it’s no exaggeration that Wilson needs to play better this season.

Wilson threw nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions, completed 55.6 percent of his passes, and had the lowest QB rating of any regular NFL starter (69.7).

He was inconsistent on his throws much of the season, though he did play much better in the final six games when he threw for five touchdowns and was intercepted only once.

While Wilson beefs up this offseason, the Jets have made it a priority to improve the players around him on offense. They selected Ohio State standout wide receiver Garrett Wilson with the No. 10 pick and running back Breece Hall from Iowa State in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft and signed guard Laken Tomlinson and tight ends C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Conklin in free agency.