clearn.png
Thursday December 8th, 2022 10:36PM

Jets bench Zach Wilson, Mike White to start vs. Bears

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Zach Wilson has gone from being the future of the New York Jets franchise to an underachieving benchwarmer.

Coach Robert Saleh announced the decision Wednesday to sit Wilson and replace him with Mike White as the starting quarterback Sunday against the Chicago Bears.

“Zach's career here is not over,” Saleh said, adding that the plan is to have the second-year quarterback “reset” with the hope Wilson plays again this season. "This is not putting a nail in his coffin.”

Joe Flacco will serve as White's backup, and Wilson will not be active against the Bears.

“We haven’t wavered in our belief that he’s going to be the future of this franchise,” Saleh said.

Saleh didn’t commit Monday to having Wilson under center this week after the second-year quarterback’s dismal performance in the Jets’ 10-3 loss to the Patriots in New England. The No. 2 overall pick in the draft last year was 9 of 22 for a measly 77 yards with several wayward throws. The Jets managed just 2 total yards on seven possessions in the second half.

“I wouldn't necessarily say surprised because I haven’t been doing my job,” Wilson said of the benching. “Of course I would like to not agree with the decision and everything, but it comes down to I have to play better.””

Saleh said he’ll evaluate the quarterback position on a day-to-day basis, and added the entire offense must be better.

“His decision-making has been fine, his practice habits and all that stuff have been fine," Saleh said of Wilson. “But there are some basic fundamental things that have gotten really out of whack for him. This is just an opportunity for him to sit back, focus on those things, find a way to reconnect with all the different things we fell in love with during the draft process.

“And it's something I feel he's going to be able to do."

Wilson has taken a lot of criticism this week not only for his play on the field, but how he handled his postgame news conference. When asked if he thought he and the offense let down the defense — which sacked Mac Jones six times — Wilson replied curtly: “No. No.”

It appeared to be a lack of accountability and Saleh acknowledged there might have been "a little irritation,” but insisted Wilson's comments had no bearing on the decision. Saleh said Wilson addressed the team, but declined to share details.

Wilson didn't realize how his postgame comments came across until his father texted him before he got on the team bus asking him what he said.

“The way that I handled the situation wasn’t right," he said, adding he deserved the criticism. "I’ve got to be a better football player and I’ve got to be a better leader for these guys.

“I have an opportunity to turn the page as a player as a leader and take a step forward.”

Wilson is 5-2 this season as the starter of the Jets, who are off to a surprising 6-4 start and in the middle of the playoff hunt. But he has struggled with consistency and not shown the progress expected of him. Wilson has just four touchdown passes and five interceptions in seven starts.

“I've got to do a better job for him,” offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur said. “I've got to do a better job for the offense.”

Flacco, who started the first three games while Wilson was sidelined with a knee injury, still leads the Jets with five TD throws despite not having played since Sept. 25. Flacco was dropped to No. 3 behind White on the team’s depth chart a few weeks ago.

“He's more than capable of getting it done,” LaFleur said of White.

White briefly became a bit of a folk hero for the Jets last season during a four-game stretch that included three starts — and one that landed his jersey and a game ball in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Making his first NFL start against Cincinnati on Oct. 31, 2021, in place of an injured Wilson, White completed 37 of 45 passes for 405 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions in a 34-31 victory. He joined Cam Newton (2011) as the only players since 1950 to pass for at least 400 yards in their first career start. White’s 37 completions were the most by a player in his first start.

He injured his right forearm early in his next start and was forced out of the Jets’ 45-30 loss at Indianapolis. White made the start in New York’s next game against Buffalo, but was intercepted four times in the 45-17 defeat. He hasn’t taken a snap in a regular-season game since.

___

AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, AP Sports - NFL
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
With searches, Ukraine focuses suspicions on Orthodox clergy
Ukrainian counter-intelligence services have turned their sights on some Orthodox clergy whom they suspect of pro-Russian sentiment and activity
11:55AM ( 16 minutes ago )
Jets bench Zach Wilson, Mike White to start vs. Bears
Zach Wilson has been benched by the New York Jets
11:55AM ( 17 minutes ago )
Walmart manager opens fire in break room, killing 6
Authorities and witnesses say a Walmart manager opened fire on fellow employees in the break room of a Virginia store, killing six people
11:48AM ( 23 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Japan gets 2 late goals to beat Germany 2-1 at World Cup
Substitutes Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano scored late goals to give Japan a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Germany at the World Cup
10:41AM ( 1 hour ago )
Britcher, Sweeney giving women's doubles luge a try for US
Summer Britcher and Emily Sweeney have been USA Luge teammates for years
10:26AM ( 1 hour ago )
No. 1 Georgia puts 11-0 record on line against Georgia Tech
Georgia will be looking to cap an undefeated regular season and protect its No. 1 spot in the AP Top 25 this week
9:27AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Sports
Jury: NCAA not to blame in ex-USC football player's death
A Los Angeles jury has rejected a claim by the widow of a former USC football player who said the NCAA failed to protect him from repeated head trauma that led to his death
9:45PM ( 14 hours ago )
LSU, USC move up behind UGA, Ohio St, Michigan, TCU in CFP
LSU has moved up to fifth and Southern California is sixth in the College Football Playoff rankings behind Georgia, Ohio State, Michigan and TCU
9:19PM ( 14 hours ago )
USC jumps to 5th behind, UGA, Ohio St, Michigan, TCU in CFP
LSU has moved up to fifth and Southern California is sixth in the College Football Playoff rankings behind Georgia, Ohio State, Michigan and TCU
7:37PM ( 16 hours ago )
AP Online Football
Falcons look to fill huge hole with Pitts on injured reserve
The loss of star tight end Kyle Pitts for any extended period is going to be hard on the Atlanta Falcons
5:00PM ( 1 day ago )
Falcons' Pitts on injured reserve with ailing right knee
Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts has a right knee injury that landed him on injured reserve on Monday
4:37PM ( 1 day ago )
Falcons' Pitts sidelined with knee injury
Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts has a knee injury that will sideline him “in the short term,” coach Arthur Smith said
3:03PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Sports - NFL
With searches, Ukraine focuses suspicions on Orthodox clergy
Ukrainian counter-intelligence services have turned their sights on some Orthodox clergy whom they suspect of pro-Russian sentiment and activity
11:55AM ( 16 minutes ago )
Walmart manager opens fire in break room, killing 6
Authorities and witnesses say a Walmart manager opened fire on fellow employees in the break room of a Virginia store, killing six people
11:48AM ( 23 minutes ago )
Cat's out of the bag when TSA finds stowaway feline at JFK
Don’t accuse the TSA of catnapping on the job
11:26AM ( 46 minutes ago )
Gone in 9 minutes: How Celtic gold heist unfolded in Germany
Officials say thieves who broke into a southern German museum and stole hundreds of ancient gold coins got in and out in nine minutes
11:18AM ( 54 minutes ago )
Most Ukrainians left without power after new Russian strikes
A punishing new barrage of Russian strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure has caused power outages across large parts of the country as well as neighboring Moldova, piling more damage onto Ukraine’s already battered power network and adding to the misery for civilians as winter begins
11:09AM ( 1 hour ago )