The Jets are speeding toward the start of a new era under center with next week's draft.
All signs point toward New York selecting BYU quarterback Zach Wilson with the second overall pick. It's the second part of a two-part question and answer at signal-caller for the Jets, who accomplished the first half by sending Sam Darnold to Carolina.
Now, it's just up to New York to send in the draft card and mint Wilson as the newest Jet. Consider the pressure cooker plugged in -- unless your name is Robert Saleh.
"I don't think there's risk," the Jets coach told reporters Thursday in regard to building around a rookie quarterback. "It still comes down to having a good football team and building a good roster around everybody. There's players here that are talented, there's rookies that are talented. The expectation is that they're 1 of 53 when it's all said and done and they've all got to perform their best to create a great football team.
"So as far as pressure is concerned, there's no pressure on me. There's always pressure. There's always pressure to put together the best football team we possibly can regardless of who's playing. I'm very comfortable with every decision that's made and it's our job to put him in the best position to be successful. And not just the quarterback, but every single player that takes the field."
Saleh is correct, and the Jets have failed miserably in that regard in recent years, missing in the draft, spending a good chunk of change in free agency periods and ultimately assembling a heap of pieces and parts that didn't fit. It cost Adam Gase his job and Darnold, too, and all the while, the Jets have yet to leave the runway. In 2020, they didn't even push back from the jetway.
It's time that changes. After being grounded for too long, Saleh's squad will attempt to approach takeoff in 2021, with Wilson as the likely novice pilot at the controls.
Will millions be watching? Sure. Is it a larger audience than Wilson ever experienced at BYU? You bet. And is it also Saleh's most significant job of his career? Absolutely.
But as Robert Griffin III was once known to say, no pressure, no diamonds. We're one week from the start of that very process.