OC Mike LaFleur encourages struggling QB Zach Wilson to 'keep working'

‘He’s a New York Jet and that’s not changing’: OC Mike LaFleur encourages struggling QB Zach Wilson to ‘keep working’ as the former second-round pick is set to be benched vs. Seattle

  • Jets QB Zach Wilson has one of the worst QBRs of any starter in the NFL this year
  • The former second-overall pick is 5-4 in nine starts & will be benched on Sunday
  • But the team’s OC Mike LaFleur is encouraging Wilson to not give up on himself
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New York Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur doesn’t seem to be giving up on struggling second-year quarterback Zach Wilson just yet.

The BYU product seems set to spend the rest of his season on the bench after a poor performance last Thursday against the Jacksonville Jaguars – which saw him sat for a fourth-string player.

Adding to that decision is the return of Mike White – the battered Jets signal caller who is set to come back after sustaining a rib injury against the Buffalo Bills.

With his future with the team – and in the NFL as a whole – up in the air, LaFleur offered him some advice for the meantime. 

Jets QB Zach Wilson has struggled to stay consistent as his team tries to climb to the playoffs

Offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur said that Wilson is ‘a New York Jet and that’s not changing’

‘Keep working,’ LaFleur told reporters. ‘He’s a New York Jet and that’s not changing, that’s the way my mindset is, [quarterbacks coach] Rob Calabrese, anyone else associated with it. He comes to work, and he’s got to be prepared to not just get better, but prepared to play.

‘What the last few years has taught us … is you always better be ready. The league is next-man-up. I don’t think we all thought that [fourth-string QB Chris] Streveler was going to be in there last Thursday if you had asked about a month ago. But we had to prepare Streveler for that moment and on a short week, with basically no reps he went in there and did about as good of a job as you could ask a man to do.

‘So, nothing changes with Zach in terms of the preparation that we’re going to put in for him, and the work that we are going to put in for him. He’s a talented football player. He’s a talented thrower.’

With a road trip to Seattle on the cards, QB Mike White (5) is set to return after a rib injury

This season, Zach Wilson has the fifth worst QBR of any quarterback having played in nine games – ahead of Denver’s Russell Wilson, Houston’s Davis Mills, New England’s Mac Jones, and Baker Mayfield, formerly of Carolina and now playing for the Los Angeles Rams.

However of those players, Zach Wilson is the only QB with a negative touchdown-to-interception ratio having tossed six touchdowns and seven interceptions. The only QB in the league with a worse ratio and at least nine starts is Steelers rookie Kenny Pickett.

Zach Wilson, Taylor Heinicke and Baker Mayfield are also the only quarterbacks who have started nine games but tossed less than 2,000 passing yards. Though of those three QBs, Heinicke’s worst passing game saw him throw 149 yards and Mayfield’s worst had him throwing 111. Meanwhile, Wilson is the only one to have thrown under 111 yards this season – and he’s done it three times.

With White at the helm, the Jets hope to stay alive in the playoffs and cling on to one last bit of hope by winning in Seattle against the Seahawks on Sunday.

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