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Robert Saleh: Zach Wilson needs to get away from the game for a bit

Vincent Goodwill discusses the ways in which NFL players often need to leave vulnerability at the door, but the injury to Damar Hamlin encourages open conversations amongst teammates and coaches.

When the Jets initially benched quarterback Zach Wilson this season, head coach Robert Saleh said the idea was for Wilson to reset and get back on track after some rough performances.

Wilson returned to the lineup after Mike White fractured his ribs, but his two starts showed that it failed to produce the desired results. White returned to the lineup last week and the Jets have been eliminated from the playoffs, so the plan for Wilson moving into the offseason has been a topic of conversation for head coach Robert Saleh this week.

Saleh said that the team wants Wilson to follow a path familiar to anyone who has dealt with a malfunctioning electronic equipment. Saleh said at his Wednesday press conference that the team wants Wilson to unplug from football and reboot himself before coming back to the game later in the offseason.

“Yeah, go read a book, go do something,” Saleh said. “Get away from this game, just reset. I think the greatest strength and greatest gift you can give yourself as a human is to figure out what’s important to you, what do you value and how can you stick to those values day in and day out. That is the greatest gift you can give yourself, is to discover yourself and I think Zach needs to get away, read a book, and figure that out.”

Once that process plays out, Saleh said the team’s goal is to “reconnect” with Wilson and work with him to “regain his confidence in himself.” He vowed that “through hell or high water, we’re going to figure out how to get him to where we know he can be,” but any offseason moves the team makes at quarterback will show how much of that is coach speak and how much is truly the plan the Jets are putting in place for 2023.