Zach Wilson Breaks Silence Jets’ Decision to Bench Him

Zach Wilson

Getty New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson during Week 11 of the 2022 season.

It’s been a nonstop media day in New York Jets land that began with a major announcement — Zach Wilson will be benched in favor of backup Mike White against the Chicago Bears.

The shocking turn of events at quarterback all began with a horrid encore performance versus the New England Patriots and a postgame comment that Wilson surely wishes he had back. For the first time since Sunday, the 2021 first-round pick addressed everything, from his benching to his lack of accountability after the Week 12 loss.

Zach Wilson Shows Accountability After Benching

Wilson faced the music on Wednesday and by all accounts, he took the news like a true professional — showing humility after the events of the past few days.

“It’s tough man, and it’s never fun but the first thing that went through my mind is I gotta get to work,” Wilson responded when asked what his initial reaction was to being benched, “I gotta get better, and I’m going to approach that every single day just to keep working to get better.”

Wilson added that he wasn’t surprised he got benched because he “hasn’t been doing his job” on the field. “It comes down to — I gotta play better,” the youngster admitted candidly.

As for his postgame quote, Wilson owned up to that too and SNY’s Connor Hughes shared another video of his answer below.

“You know what, it’s deserved,” Wilson voiced about the criticism he’s faced this week both from the fanbase and the NFL community. “The way that I handled the situation wasn’t right. I’ve got to be a better football player and then I’ve got to be a better leader for these guys. I have an opportunity to turn the page here as a player and as a leader, and to be able to take a step forward and to be able to be here 100% for my guys and handle the situation.”

He also noted that speaking to his teammates “was the only thing I could think of the last couple of days, that I wanted the opportunity to talk to those guys.”

According to ESPN’s Rich Cimini, Wilson called the entire week a “humbling experience,” adding that he “regrets his comments from after the game” and told them that he “didn’t realize what he said until his dad texted him” about it. From there, he felt “awful and wanted to apologize” for them.

The Jets were off Monday and Tuesday, so today was his first chance to do so in person.

Jets Teammates Appreciate Zach Wilson’s Apology

Saleh alluded to the fact that Wilson apologized to the locker room this morning but he refused to go into detail on what was said. During the afternoon, different beat reporters relayed what some of the veteran leaders on the roster thought about his words.

“Corey Davis said he’s ‘glad’ that Zach Wilson addressed the team after what happened Sunday,” reported The Athletic’s Zack Rosenblatt. “It shows who he is, his character. He’s a leader and we’re going to need him moving forward.”

Wide receiver Elijah Moore chimed in on the QB change too, replying that he supports both Wilson and White — per Cimini. “Says they have Wilson’s back despite demotion,” he continued to relay. “Says the team will support him the way it supported [Moore] and [Denzel] Mims following their situations (trade requests).”

Cimini also shared this from cornerback D.J. Reed: “Reed tells me that Zach Wilson did speak to the team today. Declined to get into specifics, but called it a ‘heartfelt’ message. Said it was ‘something that had to happen.’ Wilson told the team his goal is to win his job back.”

Lastly, defensive captain C.J. Mosley showed his support toward Wilson, via Rosenblatt.

“C.J. Mosley said he didn’t have any hard feelings for what Zach Wilson said after the game and that he appreciated him speaking to the team today,” the beat reporter tweeted. “He said that Zach Wilson ‘put everything on him’ and said that he has to be better.”

Finally, the accountability that fans and media members have been looking for.

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