What do BYU fans think about Zach Wilson’s latest drama?
Zach Wilson’s NFL career thus far has been anything but smooth.
The former BYU quarterback has shown a knack for generating headlines in the 573 days since being drafted second overall by the New York Jets. Unfortunately for Wilson, those headlines are often more upsetting than encouraging, and not just because his mother has become a tabloid favorite herself.
Wilson was the subject of thousands of memes leading up to and during the draft. He began his Jets tenure with a “dumb” contract holdout (where he eventually netted $35 million in guaranteed money). He was underwhelming in his rookie campaign, finished 3-10 as New York’s starter, missed time with an injury and frustrated much more than he flashed.
And that was just on the field.
His offseason was highlighted by a public breakup with his longtime girlfriend, the resulting fallout with fellow Cougar alum Dax Milne and plenty of other buzz regarding his personal life. It’s bizarre to think Wilson’s off the field issues have earned him just as much attention as when he broke the internet with that one pro day throw. Thank you, nosy New York media.
Despite the controversies, the 2022 season began a bit kinder for Wilson. Sure, his play on the field has still been questionable, as he currently ranks No. 23 in adjusted QBR at a gross 45.1 clip, but the Jets started 6-2 with legitimate hope to snap the NFL’s longest current playoff drought. Most of New York’s success has come from a solid rushing attack and dominant defense, but Wilson had done just enough to keep the Jets from losing and avoided doing too much to prevent them from winning.
Until this past Sunday.
In a 10-3 snoozer, the Jets held the hated rival New England Patriots to just three total points on offense in their best defensive effort of the year. Wilson, however, was sacked four times, posted a season-low 50.8 passer rating and managed just three measly points of his own, missing several opportunities to give New York the lead before the Pats called game on a walk-off punt return score.
It was an ugly finish, but an even more painful reality would soon await Wilson: In the postgame press conference when asked if he felt he let his defense down, Wilson responded with..
That’s it. Just “no.”
I’m sure Zach had “no” idea how much a single word could blow up in his face.
Since his curt response on Sunday, seemingly the whole world has turned on Wilson. Fans have taken to social media to slander the former No. 2 overall pick, calling him “entitled,” “selfish,” “pathetic” and even proclaiming Wilson as one of the worst draft busts in history, while analysts have concluded Wilson has “officially lost the fan base” and “has no clue what he’s doing out there.”
It’s brutal out here.
Amid the media mob, ESPN reported Wednesday that the Jets were benching Wilson immediately. It’s quite the move— how many playoff-caliber teams with winning records make a quarterback change in the middle of the season? While Jets head coach Robert Saleh insisted that “Zach’s career here is not over,” it sure doesn’t look too bright at the moment.
We asked BYU fans how they felt about Wilson’s NFL exploits. Here’s what Cougar nation had to say about its former quarterback:
He’s got all the talent in the world but he’s cocky and undisciplined.
Zach has the talent and work ethic to make it in the NFL, but he just needs to add humility and accountability to his leadership if he wants to maintain the respect of his teammates and fans. Otherwise he just looks like a spoiled baby in a man’s game.
You can’t blame a quarterback for your problems when your offensive line is made of Swiss cheese.
BYU football has a tradition of leadership and accepting responsibility, so it’s too bad Zach was raised in a Ute family.
The Jets have no run game and an awful offensive line. Zach has no time to throw. If you just look at the last game, the Patriots designed short yardage routes for their receivers. The Jets love to run a lot of long-developing plays that make no sense when your quarterback has no time to throw.
He definitely needs some accountability, but one bad interview doesn’t make him a bad leader.
He was overrated at BYU, he was overrated coming out of BYU and he is still overrated.
He couldn’t beat Utah and now he can’t beat the Patriots. History repeats itself.
Zach is the biggest draft bust since the Trailblazers drafted Sam Bowie ahead of Michael Jordan.
Have you ever noticed how no other BYU alum ever causes trouble in the NFL? Really makes you wonder about Zach..
It was over for Zach once he became a meme.
As a Jets fan, and Zach fan, the team has progressed further than he has. Their defense has been playing at a top five level and helping them win games, but Zach hasn’t developed as quickly as needed.
At least he’s still beautiful.
There’s still plenty of time for Zach to make things right and prove himself. I just hope people don’t use this as an excuse to give up on him.
Zach’s postgame comments were just stupid. He needed to take accountability because he is the quarterback. The NFL is a quarterback league, and he missed an opportunity to show some leadership qualities. I don’t know if this is the end for Zach in New York, but he needs to make it right with the team. He has the skills and talent, but it’s all mental for him.
He’s still a kid. Deep breaths. He’ll get better.
Can Zach Wilson get back on “the trail to fame and glory?” Time will tell. If his future is anything like his past 573 days, it’s sure to at least be entertaining.
Jackson Payne is the lead columnist at Daily Universe Sports. Follow him on Twitter @jackson5payne.