Jets HC Robert Saleh Explains Odd Zach Wilson Strategy Heading Into Camp

Robert Saleh NFL

Getty San Francisco 49ers coach Robert Saleh observing some key details in the game.

The bare bones of every head coach in football are built upon competition. It pours out of every fiber of their being.

That ideology is no different for New York Jets coach Robert Saleh.

As he heads into his first training camp running the shop, Saleh is ready to put his imprint on this team. Although he may want to adjust one of his beliefs sooner rather than later.

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That Mentality Can Rub a Lot of People the Wrong Way

To reiterate, competition breeds success.

In theory, competition is great and helps separate good teams from great ones. Although sometimes inauthentic battles can rub people the wrong way.

Saleh recently spoke with Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated and explained his strategy with rookie quarterback Zach Wilson heading into training camp.

“The biggest thing we’re trying to do, and call it coachspeak, we’re trying to give all 90 guys a chance to establish themselves as starters. And we want to give everybody an opportunity to go out there and play and showcase who they are, give them the ability to see how they match up. So yeah, the quarterback part is the same, those guys are all going to work. Will he take the first snap? Probably. But at the same time, it all comes down to what he can handle, and how he can handle things going through training camp and the preseason.”

The first-time head coach will not crown Wilson the Week 1 starter in July, because he is selling competition to his program.

On paper that makes sense, but in this specific situation, it’s not genuine.

The No. 2 overall pick’s competition is Mike White and James Morgan. Neither player has started a game during their brief tenures in the NFL. Let’s get real, this isn’t a competition, and selling it like it is one to the 90 man roster is borderline insulting.

Players can smell bulls*** when it’s in the air.

The most attractive quality from Saleh is his genuineness. When he speaks it doesn’t feel like bluster, it comes from his heart. This fake quarterback battle goes against everything that he’s about.

If Saleh wanted a legitimate competition he had several opportunities to make it one. Nick Foles? Nick Mullens? Brian Hoyer? If he would’ve added any of those players it would’ve made it a lot more realistic.

Would Wilson have still won the job? Who knows, but the current “competition” that is currently slated for preseason and training camp is nothing more than a hoax.

Everyone in that locker room can clearly see that Wilson is a more talented player and boasting about a competition for the sake of the word just doesn’t feel right.

The Actual Things to Watch Out For

If this is the current crop of passers that’ll be here through the last portion of the Jets’ offseason, there’s no question that the former BYU stud will be the starter for the Jets.

With that question put to bed, there are actually a ton of interesting storylines to watch out for as we progress through camp.

Joint practices

Wilson is going to get a ton of different looks this offseason which should only help accelerate his development. The Philadelphia Eagles and the Green Bay Packers are going to bring a slew of coverages, blitz schemes, and looks for the young quarterback to interpret.

Then throw in the actual live simulation bullets from the preseason and Wilson, a self-proclaimed film junkie, will have more than enough opportunities to grow.

One gander at Gang Green’s quarterback depth chart will tell you that the former BYU stud is going to start from day one. It will be trial by fire and that’s the only true way to figure out whether a quarterback can make it in this league or not.

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