In order to be successful as an athlete, professional or otherwise, there are two main elements that one needs to master.

Of course, an athlete needs to be physically gifted in order to succeed in their sport. That said, mental strength is equally as important, and an athlete's mentality can end up defining their career. The ability to stay level-headed, and persevere through adversity, can truly make-or-break an athlete's pursuit of glory.

Some athletes are true masters when it comes to mental strength, while others, including New York Jets' QB Zach Wilson, just can't seem to master that side of their game.

WIBX 950 logo
Get our free mobile app

Reports Share Head-Scratching Decision Made By New York Jets' QB Wilson

Nothing seems to be going right for New York Jets' QB Zach Wilson. The much-maligned top draft pick has struggled immensely in the National Football League, and currently holds a record of 11-20 as a professional.

During his team's eventual 32-6 loss to the Buffalo Bills, Wilson was mercilessly benched, and since then, has not played a snap in roughly 1.5 games. Unfortunately for fans of Gang Green, the players that have replaced him, Tim Boyle and Trevor Siemian, have not fared any better.

All of that led to this, a head-scratching report from The Athletic's Dianna Russini:

To summarize: a professional football player, who is paid to play football, declined his team's offer to play in a football game.


Here's Russini's follow-up report:

Naturally, Jets' coach Robert Saleh tried to refute the reports, saying this:

"Let's be clear. If he was reluctant to play, guys, he wouldn't be here. All right? I actually coincidentally just got done speaking with him, he came in about half hour ago and we had a really good conversation. The young man wants the ball, he wants to start, he believes he's the best quarterback in the room and best quarterback for this team and the guy who gives us the best chance to win." - Robert Saleh via CBS Sports

Robert Saleh is welcome to say whatever he'd like about Zach Wilson and his desire to play. No possible comment made by Saleh yesterday could reverse the damage already done by the reporting by The Athletic's reporters.

Zach Wilson Appeared to Be Maturing This Season, Despite Struggles

If I'm being honest with you all, it's a shame that this report had to come out when it did. I genuinely felt as though, despite his continued poor play, Zach Wilson was beginning to mature as a professional athlete.

Remember his disastrous performance against the New England Patriots last season? The one that got him benched the first time around?

Here's how he handled that adversity:

This year, meanwhile, has been a different story for Wilson in terms of his accountability. Here is how he handled a similar situation this season:

Wilson is just 24 years old, and was faced with an unbelievable amount of attention, and adversity, during his first few seasons in the league. He was thrust into a position that he was not ready for, and had to find a way to survive while playing (poorly) in New York.

From a mental perspective, he was taking steps in the right direction, which is why I hope this report winds up being a mischaracterization of the truth, whatever the truth may be.

That said, if it's true, I can't see another team wanting Zach Wilson to serve as their backup quarterback when his days with the Jets finally come to an end. A backup QB needs to be ready to play at a moment's notice, and clearly, Wilson isn't prepared to do that.

Ten Times New York Football Teams Played for the Super Bowl

The Giants, Jets and Bills have all made it to the NFL's highest peak, but not every team was good enough to win. Here are ten times NY teams played for the Super Bowl.

Gallery Credit: Dan Bahl

More From WIBX 950