December 6, 2022


Let's Get It!

Zach Wilson training camp standoff came with Jets quarterback benefit

3 min read

One of the benefits of Zach Wilson’s training camp absence has been more reps for backups Mike White and James Morgan.

Jets coach Robert Saleh again sounded like a coach who does not believe the Jets need to add a veteran behind Wilson. White and Morgan have never taken a snap in a regular-season game.

“A backup quarterback, whether they’re veteran or not, there’s not a lot of wins happening,” Saleh said. “It’s a rare thing for it to happen. It has happened before but when you look at what’s out there, and the investment that we’ve put out and our players and James and Mike and what we’ve been able to achieve overall through OTAs and the growth that they’ve made, it’d just be irresponsible almost to think that these guys that [are with] somebody else will be able to come in because of what you just asked with how far along [would] these guys have to be [to be] able to supplement the growth that they’ve already had.”

The Jets did have veteran quarterbacks Josh Johnson and Sean Mannion visit on Thursday, but it is unclear if they actually had interest in adding them now that Wilson is signed. Saleh suggested it was just due diligence.

Jets backup quarterbacks James Morgan (l.) and Mike White at practice.
Getty Images

“Sometimes we bring guys in just to cross our t’s, dot our i’s for emergency situations and make sure that, you know, we are always having a list,” Saleh said. “So, these are all just standard protocols. But as far as a quarterback is concerned. Yeah, I mean, we have two guys here now. And it’s to bring these guys in who also know the system.”

The Jets have lost their past 15 games with a backup quarterback starting either because of injury or replacing the starter.

The Jets have joint practices with two teams this summer. They will travel to Green Bay to practice with the Packers on Aug. 18 and 19 before the two teams meet in a preseason game on Aug. 21. Then, the Eagles will come to Florham Park on Aug. 24 and 25 in advance of the Jets-Eagles preseason game on Aug. 27.

“I think they’re fantastic,” Saleh said of joint practices. “Especially when teams go about it, and they’re not looking to fight, they’re looking to get work in. I’ve been fortunate, I’ve been part of all those. But, I think it’s good work, because you see different defenses, you see different offenses, you see a different special teams unit, you’re going against different bodies. To be honest with you, I have always felt like you get more out of those joint practices than you do the actual preseason game.”

Saleh said the Jets had discussions about having joint practices with the Giants. The two teams last practiced together in 2005 in Albany. It ended with a fight-filled practice, including Giants coach Tom Coughlin and Jets defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson verbally sparring.

Saleh said it could happen in the future.

“Hopefully, next year,” Saleh said. “We would love to.”

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