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    HomeSportRobert Saleh defends Jets QB Zach Wilson, pleads 'the 5th' when asked...

    Robert Saleh defends Jets QB Zach Wilson, pleads ‘the 5th’ when asked why he doesn’t bench him for Trevor Siemian

    Nine weeks into the season, New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh continues to field questions about Zach Wilson‘s play.

    Tuesday was no different, after an abysmal Jets offensive showing in Monday’s 27-6 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.

    Saleh defended Wilson at his weekly news conference. He continued to do so on “The Michael Kay Show” before a question about practice squad quarterback Trevor Siemian stumped him.

    “You’ve got Trevor Siemian in your building,” Kay said (2:30 below) of the NFL veteran with starting experience. “Why not give him a try?”

    “I gotcha,” Saleh answered. “Again, fair question. Like I said. I don’t know. I’m gonna plead the fifth on this one in terms of just — I’ve kind of explained it. Respectfully, obviously.

    “They’re valid questions. I know from a passionate fan, from fans who are passionate all having the same questions, I respect it greatly.”

    Saleh sounds like a man who’s weary of the Wilson questions. He has been facing them for multiple seasons, and he’d just spent two minutes with Kay defending his quarterback and contending that what he sees on the tape demonstrates that Wilson “didn’t really play that bad.” Saleh instead placed the blame for New York’s offensive woes on the collective, including Wilson, his teammates, offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett and himself.

    “Sometimes it’s very obvious when you turn on the all-22 that the quarterback is just incapable,” Saleh told Kay. “That’s just not the case here. There are so many things that everybody needs to get better at, including the quarterback.”

    Saleh’s comments to Kay echo those from his news conference earlier Tuesday, in which he likewise surmised that New York’s offensive struggles are a collective failure.

    “If it was just him, it would be something worth discussing,” Saleh told reporters. “But this is a collective issue that we all need to get on the same page with, whether it’s dropped balls, players being where they’re supposed to be, executing the way we need to execute, calling plays that need to be called, putting players in positions that they need to be put into. That’s all of us.

    “Yes, he has a lot of things that he needs to improve, and I know he understands that. At the same time, this is collective.”

    Robert Saleh continues to defend Zach Wilson. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) (Jim McIsaac via Getty Images)

    This is a familiar refrain in New York. On a team with a top-10 defense and playmakers on offense, the Jets have long been perceived as a quarterback away from contention. They thought they found that quarterback when they traded for Aaron Rodgers.

    Rodgers’ Achilles injury forced them to turn back to Wilson after they previously benched him for Mike White. Wilson has since shown little sign of progress from the poor play of his first two seasons while completing 59.9% of passes for 6 yards per attempt with five touchdowns and five interceptions in eight games.

    Saleh didn’t ask for this. And it’s understandable if he’s tired of the questions. But this is what he’s got. And unless the Jets can muster a solution at quarterback, the questions aren’t going to stop.



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