When Aaron Rodgers recently clapped back at New York Jets legend Joe Namath over the latter’s unfiltered criticism of backup quarterback Zach Wilson, the four-time NFL MVP also noted that both current and former players need to come together during these trying times.
As it turns out, Rodgers may have heard the whispers about some players supposedly starting to turn on head coach Robert Saleh amid their current slump.
Robert Saleh Remains Steadfast
It’s no secret that Wilson has underperformed since he took over the reins following Aaron Rodgers’ career-threatening Achilles injury. However, Saleh has offered his full support to the embattled quarterback, noting that he remains confident in the young QB’s ability to lead this team:
“He’s our unquestioned quarterback,” Saleh said, via Michael David Smith of PFT. “As long as he continues to show the way his preparation, the way he’s been practicing, and even in these games, he’s not the reason why we lost yesterday. It’s always a team effort. As long as he continues to show improvement — and I know it’s not, from a box score standpoint, it’s not showing — he’s going to be our quarterback.”
This is exactly the type of message you would expect from a head coach. It would have been shocking if Saleh decided to throw Wilson under the bus. As it turns out, however, this could be what some of the Jets players expect their coach to do.
Discord in New York Jets Locker Room
According to league insider Rich Cimini of ESPN, several members of the team have begun questioning their coach’s decision to stick with Wilson. Speaking on a recent episode of the Flight Deck podcast, Cimini revealed that there is currently some palpable “tension” within the squad:
“Of course he has doubts about Wilson,” Cimini said of the coach (h/t Scott Polaceck of Bleacher Report). “He’s watching what we’re watching. He’s watched it for two-and-a-half years. He definitely has doubts. He knows what Wilson is. But the thing is, he’s coming off as a Zach apologist. And that doesn’t play well in the locker room. The defense, in particular, is not happy.
“This defense knows that if any other player was performing his job the way Wilson is performing his, that player would be benched. Trust me, there’s tension in that locker room.”
This cannot be good. Cimini did not name any names, but he did note that it’s New York’s defensive players who are currently unhappy with Saleh. At this point, it’s hard to deny that things are beginning to fall apart for the New York Jets.