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Robert Saleh on Zach Wilson: For most rookies, it gets worse before it gets better

The Jets didn’t go the route of providing veteran competition for first-round pick Zach Wilson at quarterback this summer and that means Wilson will have to play through any rough patches he encounters on the field.

Wilson hit one of them in a simulated game at MetLife Stadium on Saturday. He completed less than half his passes and only led the offense to three points as they faced off with the first-team defense.

Jets head coach Robert Saleh called it a “priceless” learning experience for Wilson on Saturday. On Monday, Saleh told reporters that he expects more of them while referencing Peyton Manning’s rookie year as a reminder that even the best of quarterbacks can take some time to get going.

“For most rookies, it’s going to get worse before it gets better,” Saleh said, via SNY. “It is what it is. There’s a lot of things that happen. There’s a reason why being a rookie is hard in this league. There was a Hall of Famer yesterday that was inducted that had a 71 quarterback rating his rookie year. It’s not easy to play quarterback in this league as a rookie. Especially quarterback. It is going to get worse before it gets better. He’s at that point now where he’s going to be able to stack up days. We got the utmost confidence in him and his ability and his ability to figure out his mistakes, correct them and get to a better place.”

Wilson will be back at MetLife Stadium to face the Giants in the preseason opener on Saturday. The Jets will be hoping to see a few more signs of that better place than they saw this time around.