Zach Wilson’s lack of accountability is becoming a problem
When an NFL quarterback looks like he’s only 12 years old, it becomes critical that he not act like he’s 12 years old, too.
After Sunday’s loss to the Patriots, Jets quarterback Zach Wilson acted his apparent age by declining to admit that his performance let down the defense, which held New England to just a field goal.
It should be easy got a quarterback to take public accountability, especially when it’s warranted. Of course he’s responsible, at least in part, for the failure of the Jets to score three points for the game -- and to gain only two net yards in the second half.
Even if he believes deep down that it isn’t his fault, it’s important for the quarterback to embrace the scrutiny and not deflect it. The locker room is listening. Did the quarterback take the heat? Or did he point fingers?
And it wasn’t just the things Wilson said to reporters. Connor Hughes of SNY.tv reports, citing unnamed sources inside the team’s locker room, that Wilson “was walking around after the game ‘like he isn’t the problem.’” Per Hughes, Wilson’s demeanor “rubbed more than a few the wrong way.”
“I don’t listen to it at all,” Wilson told PFT by phone after the Jets beat the Bills two weeks ago, when asked about the outside noise sparked by the Week Eight loss to the Patriots.
“Of course, you know, it’s there and it’s impossible to completely block it out,” Wilson added. “But for me, when I do hear this motivation, and then for the most part, I’m not surrounding myself with that stuff because I understand the process. I understand my mentality is to learn and grow each and every game.”
There’s a pretty clear way in which Wilson needs to learn and grow after his team’s most recent game. He needs to learn to grow up. He needs to learn to take responsibility, publicly and privately.
Of course, none of that will matter if he doesn’t play better. Highly-drafted quarterbacks have three years to figure things out. The clock is ticking on Wilson, who is more than halfway through Year Two.
His third year is coming. If things keep going the way they are, there’s no guarantee he’ll get a third year. Given the way Jets fans may begin reacting to Wilson, he may not want one.