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National media already making excuses for Jets’ QB Zach Wilson?

Are the expectations too high for Jets QB Zach Wilson?

In an article in Monday, ESPN NFL analyst Dan Orlovsky said the expectations about Jets’ quarterback (QB) Zach Wilson are “unrealistically high.” 

Is this member of the national media already attempting to “insulate” Wilson with built-in excuses?

Leading up to the draft, I stated Wilson is a third round draft choice at best, after his break-out season against an inferior talent level and a soft schedule. I also sent Jets’ owner Woody Johnson numerous messages on Twitter urging him to not take Wilson in the first round in the days and weeks leading up to the draft. 

Let me say this, I am truly sorry for the loss of Jets’ passing game coach Greg Knapp and being a member of the Jets’ family myself, I want to offer my personal condolences to his family. 

As for the rest of Orlovsky’s comments…

Orlovsky cites the fact the Jets do not have anyone in the QB room who has taken an NFL snap. That is irrelevant. If you are the number two pick overall in the entire draft, you should be ready and equipped to lead a QB room. This is not a daycare center. That is the difference between being a top five pick and being someone taken down the line. This is what leadership is called and leadership is not dependent on age, it is dependent on having leadership qualities. In that same aforementioned scouting report, I questioned if Wilson has an entitlement issue given the family money he comes from with his uncle owning Jet Blu Airlines. Is it possible Wilson is already showing early that he does not have the necessary humility needed to get the offensive starters to believe in him and rally around him? 

The excuses only get worse from there, way worse. 

Next Orlovsky tries to build in the excuse that Jets’ offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur has never called a play in the NFL. Really? This is who the Jets hired based on feeling LaFleur had the necessary qualifications to call their offense. To say otherwise, is not only insulting to the Jets’ organization (since that is their hire), and head coach Robert Saleh (who selected him for the position), but also to LaFleur as well. “I have been around a lot of really, really, really good coaches, super-smart, great offensive minds, and they can’t call plays, because calling plays is rhythm and it’s art and it’s feel,” Orlovsky said. What is Orlovsky implying? Where is he going with this? What is the goal of this comment? Is it to further attempt to insulate Wilson in excuses, so when things go sideways everyone can point the finger at LaFleur instead of the golden boy? 

There is no question unmet expectations are the source of all human disappointment, but why is ESPN trying so hard to brace Jets fans for impact so soon after takeoff? 

Could it be my scouting report about Wilson is right? 

Daniel Kelly is a former NFL scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, Mike Tannenbaum, and Dick Haley. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated Detroit Lions and he is a contributing evaluator for Draft Diamonds. For more information about him visit his website at He can be followed on Twitter @danielkellybook and his Facebook page is WHATEVER IT TAKES NFL TALK. 

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