The New York Jets continue to search for a franchise quarterback, a struggle for them since Joe Namath led the organization to the team's lone Super Bowl championship 52 years ago. Zach Wilson is the latest "new hope" for the Jets, who have the No. 2 pick in the draft and have their choice of any player not named Trevor Lawrence.
While all the signs point to the Jets drafting Wilson, general manager Joe Douglas still won't tip his hand on what the franchise will do next Thursday. But it sounds like Wilson is preparing to be selected by the Jets, as the BYU quarterback has reached out to former Jets standout quarterbacks on what it's like playing in New York. Per NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala, Wilson has spoken to Chad Pennington, Mark Sanchez and Josh McCown about playing for the organization and the rough environment that is New York.
The Jets don't have much to brag about in the quarterback department. Namath is the franchise's lone 4,000-yard passer -- which was in 1967 -- and Ryan Fitzpatrick is the only quarterback to throw 30 touchdowns in a season (2015). Winning hasn't been associated with franchise quarterbacks and New York either, as the Jets are 0-4 in conference championship games since winning Super Bowl III in 1968. The franchise hasn't been to the Super Bowl since the historic upset over the Baltimore Colts.
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Jets head coach Robert Saleh is preaching that the No. 2 pick won't end up like Pennington, Sanchez, Sam Darnold and the other first-round quarterbacks the franchise have taken this century.
"You can always beat the narrative of 'same old Jets,' but it's not," Saleh said to reporters this week, via the New York Post. "What Joe's already been able to establish with the foundation and bringing in certain players and guys who love ball, and when you look at that free-agency class that we were able to bring in this year, you can talk about their talent levels all you want — you can plus-minus, whatever you want — but the one thing you can take away from the men that were brought into this building is their absolute love for football."
That's what the Jets believe they are getting in Wilson. Studying up on the franchise's history are major brownie points for the rookie quarterback.