MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — When the Jets faced the Dolphins four weeks ago, Zach Wilson watched from the sideline as Joe Flacco started at quarterback.
Now, it’s his turn.
Wilson will make his fourth start since returning from a knee injury against the Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday. Wilson has had two duds and one promising performance since he has returned.
The 3-10 Jets have nothing left to play for this season, and it is all about figuring out who is part of the future now, starting with Wilson. The talk this week has been about Wilson’s eyes and having them move through his progressions quicker in order to improve his accuracy.
Wilson sounds like a player struggling to figure out how to play like his coaches want him to, but also not overthinking things and playing instinctually like he has before he entered the NFL.
“I just need to play loose and not try and be such a perfect pocket passing quarterback all the time,” Wilson said. “That’s the biggest thing. I’m just trying to do so right by the coaches and what they’re asking me to do and a part of it, I need to just be loose and play free and obviously play within the offense but just react and throw the ball like I’ve always known how to throw the ball, and that’s what’s so cool about these next games.”
The 6-7 Dolphins enter this game riding a five-game winning streak and are fighting for a playoff berth. Miami coach Brian Flores is known for his attacking style and his love of bringing blitzes, something that will challenge Wilson.
Wilson bounced a few short passes last week, something he has to clean up. If he can make a few of the easy throws this week, that is a step in the right direction.
“I know Zach’s frustrated with it, and I know he has made those throws his whole life,” Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur said. “The difference is this is Sunday in the NFL, the speed of the game is just faster, and things are happening faster. I think, not to speak on any of the rookies because I don’t know what’s going on with other quarterbacks, just from the naked eye, it’s going fast for a lot of guys. It takes these guys at all different speeds to catch up to it.”