Rex Ryan Goes To Bat For Zach Wilson After QB Struggles Vs. Patriots

'If you're a coach, you look at the mirror first'


Sep 21, 2021

Rex Ryan doesn’t believe the lion’s share of the blame for the Jets’ Week 2 loss should fall on Zach Wilson.

Yes, Wilson did throw four interceptions — including three in the first half — and made some truly mindboggling decisions. But Ryan, who coached in the Meadowlands for six seasons, believes Wilson wasn’t set up to succeed, unlike the rookie quarterback who was on the other sideline this past Sunday.

“If you’re a coach, you look at the mirror first,” Ryan said Monday on ESPN’s “Get Up,” as transcribed by “Why did my kid play this poorly, alright? Look, he’s the most talented guy that the Jets have had playing the position since Joe Namath. So mark it down, I’m telling you, it’s the truth.

“So now, as a coach, you got to look at it. And when I talk about, well how can we make it easy? Obviously your play designs, right? Look at (Bill) Belichick. Everyone’s raving about this matchup. Raving about Mac Jones. ‘This is the next Tom Brady.’ What? No, he’s not. No, he’s not. But Belichick is a great football coach. He has them throw the football down the field, about what, four yards? He’s throwing it four yards down the field while everybody’s building confidence. Big confidence. Big confidence. And now he’s able to throw it down the field later in the game.”

Ironically enough, one of Jones’ self-criticisms after the Patriots’ win over the Jets was his lack of downfield throws. But unlike Wilson, Jones didn’t try to force anything. Perhaps that stemmed from Belichick and Co. stressing the importance of playing mistake-free football.

Does Wilson have a better skill set than Jones? Probably. Is he a better athlete? No doubt. But Jones was put into a decidedly better situation than Wilson, and the signal-callers likely will have vastly different Year 1s because of it.

Thumbnail photo via Chris Pedota, via Imagn Content Services, LLC
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