The New York Jets are beginning a new chapter in 2021 -- in more ways than one. Not only did Robert Saleh take over as the new head coach, but the Jets also moved on from quarterback Sam Darnold, and drafted his successor in Zach Wilson with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. The Jets have made the playoffs just six times in the last 20 years, and half of those postseason appearances came from one head coach.
Former Jets coach and current Arizona State head coach Herm Edwards recently appeared on All Things Covered with Patrick Peterson and Bryant McFadden to discuss the Jets' outlook for the 2021 season, and to revisit why he had success early on in New York.
The Jets likely won't be competing for a Super Bowl in 2021, but this rebuild could be expedited if they made the right decision in selecting Wilson with their first pick. Edwards says the Jets and Saleh's future rests on his shoulders.
"Well I think you guys know this. If you got a quarterback, you got a chance," said Edwards. "You gotta have a quarterback. I was fortunate. We had Vinny [Testaverde] there my first year and then I had Chad Pennington sitting in the wings."
After two seasons without a playoff appearance, the Jets went 10-6 with Testaverde during Edwards' first year as head coach back in 2001, and then won the AFC East the following season with Pennington under center. It's a given, but Edwards says you can't overstate how important Wilson's transition to the next level is for the Jets franchise.
"It all starts with the quarterback, once you get that piece in place, you can build the rest of the team -- because if you get the right one, you got a 10-year run," said Edwards. "If you don't have a quarterback guys, let me tell you something, that field is 150 yards long."
Edwards says that you run to win and throw to score, and Wilson has the kind of arm that can put up points. During his final season at BYU, he completed 73.% of his passes for 3,692 yards, 33 touchdowns and just three interceptions. He can seemingly make any kind of throw, but if his success and swagger can translate to the next level remains to be seen.