Jets, Robert Saleh staying patient with Zach Wilson: 'It's not easy being a rookie quarterback'

Josh Allen and Zach Wilson might be on opposite ends of the NFL's starting quarterback landscape, but Jets coach Robert Saleh offered a reminder on Monday that Allen, nevertheless, is familiar with the view from where Wilson stands.

Yes, the Buffalo Bills' $258 million passer had a disastrous five-game introduction to the NFL that, at the time, looked no more promising than the Jets' struggling rookie.

"It's not easy being a rookie quarterback, never has been, never will be," Saleh said, via the Jets website. "Josh Allen the first five games of his rookie year, the numbers were the same as what our guy is going through."

Allen was crowned a rookie starter from the outset of the 2018 season, as Wilson was this year.

The numbers:

Allen lost three of his first five starts in completing 65 of 122 passes (55 percent) for a paltry 151 yards per game, only two TD passes, five interceptions and four fumbles.

Wilson, 1-4 as the Jets' starter, has completed 98 of 171 (57 percent) for 223 yards per game, four touchdowns, nine picks and two fumbles.

Ugly, to be sure, for both -- particularly in the area of ball security. Both were swallowed whole by opposing pass rushes early in their careers, as well; Wilson has been sacked 18 times, Allen 19 over the same rookie stretch.

"I know it can be frustrating sometimes, but it's going to start clicking," Saleh promised. "It's a rollercoaster ride and you have to take the good with the good, and the bad with the bad."

Just two days after Allen led a thrashing of the defending AFC champion Chiefs, and outplayed Patrick Mahomes while doing it, it seems like forever ago that Bills fans were rightly wondering if the club's first-round pick was a huge mistake. Three years later, they've got one of the NFL's elite at the position. And while that doesn't mean Wilson's career will track similarly, it's a stark reminder that it can always start tracking differently.

"We're always looking at ways to simplify things for him," Saleh said. "At the same time, we can't help with the speed of the game and the change of schemes. There are things he's seeing every week, things he has to get better at seeing."

Coming off a disappointing 27-20 loss to the Atlanta Falcons in London, Wilson now regroups with an idle week before a Week 7 road game at New England on Oct. 24, against another rookie starter in Mac Jones.

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