Zach Wilson Has Been Moved From The Doghouse To The Outhouse
1:39 PM EST on November 23, 2022
When Gianni Infantino was role-playing his World Cup speech (I am an Emir ... I am Twitter ... I am Jimbo Fisher) in an attempt to make people forget he is just regular old on-the-take sleaze-satchel and grifter, he created a template for all his future orations. Today for example: I am Zach Wilson.
Infantino ... err, Wilson, is the newly demoted quarterback of the New York Jets, gone crossways with head coach Robert Saleh and most of the rest of the Jets roster and now adjudged less valuable to the Jets' immediate future than Mike White, Joe Flacco, or for that matter Gianni Infantino. He was all but declared a discarded fraternity sofa Wednesday in Saleh's pro forma show'n tell, in part because of his brutal performance in Sunday's 10-3 offense-is-for-candies loss to New England, in part because he deftly sidestepped any responsibility for his role in the 3, and in part as near as we can tell because he is almost unendurably smug about his place in the football universe. By his assessment, he is doing a hell of a job, which makes him Liz Truss, Elon Musk and, well, Gianni Infantino.
In telling the nation that buyer's remorse is all the rage in Hempstead, Saleh, who elegantly described as "dogshit" the Jets' offensive performance Sunday (103 total yards, six first downs, 10 punts), dropped these passive-aggressive hints:
And then there was this response:
In short, Wilson is buried for the moment on a team that is 6-4 but currently eighth in the seven-team AFC playoff race and tearing itself asunder as though this was a normal Jets season. Despite having the protection of being the No. 2 draft pick in 2021, he is being held accountable for not being accountable, responsible, competent or even likable, and for, well, inspiring football jargon like "dogshit." As of this moment, he is having a worse year than the No. 3 pick, Trey Lance, who merely fractured his ankle and may be on the road to losing his job to the guy from whom he took his job, Lazarus T. Garoppolo.
Indeed, the quarterback-plentiful (though clearly not rich) 2021 draft has given us Trevor Lawrence, who is a Jacksonville Jaguar with all the shame of association that attaches to it; Wilson, who is hated by most of his team despite Saleh's insistence that it isn't actually hatred; Lance, who is watching Garoppolo cheat career suicide on a weekly basis; Justin Fields, who is trying with only sub-moderate success to make people forget that the Bears are still the Bears; and Mac Jones, who has four touchdowns and seven interceptions for the Patriots. The best 2021 quarterback, Davis Mills, went in the third round and he is playing for the 1-8-1 Houston Texans. And we've skipped over Kyle Trask and Kellen Mond, and forgotten to add Ian Book and Sam Ehlinger, the latter who inadvertently helped turn Frank Reich into Jeff Saturday.
In short, the quarterback industry is closer than usual to teetering toward backruptcy, to the point that the Los Angeles Rams just added to their practice squad a human being created entirely out of the shards of old backup quarterbacks' names: Case Cookus. Sometimes, this arglebargle just writes itself.
But on this day, and seemingly for the foreseeable future, the last of all these (including Case Cookus) is Wilson. He is being held responsible for (capitals fully intended here) HOLDING BACK THE NEW YORK JETS BY THE NEW YORK JETS. The only thing that could make it worse is if he goes to a podium soon and says, clearly and forthrightly: I am Gianni Infantino.