It was fitting that Testaverde was an honorary captain Monday night. Much like the 1999 club, most believe, even after the dramatic Week 1 win, the Jets’ postseason hopes will wither on the vine with Rodgers gone.
Parcells said it’s on Saleh and his staff to move forward and cover for a loss after revolving their entire offseason around Rodgers. The world continues to spin, and the Rodgers’ excuse’ will only last so long.
“People, the media and fans, are going to say, ‘Oh you lost your quarterback, there goes the season,'” Parcells told Costello. “What I will tell you [is] sports are very current. Three weeks from now they’re not going to be talking about Aaron Rodgers. They’re going to be talking about who dropped a pass or who fumbled the ball or who missed a tackle or who gave up a big pass play as the reason why the Jets lost.”
In ’99, the Jets started 1-6 while starting Rick Mirer after Testaverde’s injury. The club then rallied around Ray Lucas and got to 8-8. Parcells believes his club would have made the playoffs if he’d turned to Lucas sooner.
“It was just my mistake,” he said.
That’s the balance Saleh will have to deal with handing the reins to Zach Wilson. Will he ride the young signal-caller through the ups and downs? Or will there come a point when he has to pull the plug and find a veteran option who can play more consistently?
The Jets have a playoff roster if they get steady quarterback play.
“You are charged with winning games under any circumstances that exist and that’s what you have to try to do,” Parcells said. “I said, ‘They’re not canceling the games.’ They’re not canceling them. You’re coaching them. It’s your job to get your team ready to play to the best of their ability. It’s a player’s job to prepare and play to the best of their ability. If they do that, then they should have a chance to win.”