Preseason debut vs. Giants a solid first step for Jets’ Zach Wilson

Zach Wilson Jets
Zach Wilson
Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

Chalk up Zach Wilson’s debut in a New York Jets uniform as a success.

It wasn’t flashy or headline-stealing, but the No. 2 pick of the 2021 draft out of BYU put together a strong showing in the Jets’ 12-7 preseason victory over the Giants on Saturday night. The 22-year-old completed 6-of-9 passes for 63 yards over two drives.

A solid understanding of the offense provided some further relief that early struggles at the Green and White scrimmage and proceeding training-camp practices will be an outlier more than the norm — though one preseason outing should in no way dispel such concerns.

“We have so much confidence in the young man,” Jets head coach Robert Saleh, who made his debut on Saturday night as well, said (h/t New York Post). “You want him to stack up as many good days as possible but there’s still youth. He’s still a rookie. There’s still a lot of things that he’s going to learn from. There’s still a lot of opportunities for him to grow. This young man’s potential is through the roof but it’s going to be a process.”

A flash of that potential came shining through on the Jets’ second drive when Wilson hit Keelan Cole for a 16-yard completion on a 3rd-&-9. While the coverage the Giants showed wasn’t overly complex, Wilson still had to make an accurate throw in a tight window with high traffic around him.

Much work is left to be done, but Saturday night was the first important step in the right direction for a young talent saddled with the expectation of becoming the Jets’ long-awaited franchise quarterback.

“I think it’s getting more comfortable with everything,” Wilson said. “The offense is all installed at this point, to an extent. Now, it’s just repetition. It’s like, ‘How much can I keep working on the same exact plays,’ and now I’m getting every single different look in practice, and now coming out here it’s great for all of us. We’re starting to settle in.”