Patrick Kinahan: Steve Young advocates Rams stashing Wilson as backup QB

Save Story
Leer en español

Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — Count a Hall of Fame quarterback among the many wishing there's truth to the latest speculation involving the beleaguered quarterback for the New York Jets.

NFL Rumors, the social media account with nearly 300,000 followers, last week posted "Zach Wilson is believed to be targeted by the Los Angeles Rams as a QB behind Matthew Stafford." One season removed from multiple injuries, Stafford turned 36 three weeks ago and is nearing the end of his NFL career.

Three seasons into a thus-far disappointing tenure with the New York Jets, Wilson likely has played his last game with the organization that drafted him No. 2 coming out of BYU. Without identifying Wilson, owner Woody Johnson indirectly blasted him earlier this month by saying the Jets need a backup quarterback to Aaron Rodgers because they "didn't have one last year."

After two rough seasons, Wilson was slated to back up Rodgers last year, but he was pressed into service after the future Hall of Fame quarterback suffered a season-ending injury in the first game.

None other than Steve Young endorses the chance for Wilson to resurrect his career with the Rams. The former BYU quarterback wants Wilson to learn from Rams coach Sean McVay in the manner he did under San Francisco coach Bill Walsh more than 30 years ago.

"It's a spot where he could really understand the position, really get coached in a way that could be really (good) for him and still could see the field in the near term because Matthew is probably not going to play forever," Young said during a radio interview on The Zone.

Becoming the NFL's youngest head coach ever then at age 30 in 2017, McVay transformed a Rams offense that went from last in scoring to first in his rookie season. The Rams won the NFC West in his first season, marking the franchise's first playoff berth since 2004.

The Rams reached Super Bowl the next season and then won it in 2021. McVay got to his first Super Bowl with Jared Goff at quarterback and then won it with Stafford, who had never won a playoff game until joining the Rams.

The Jets, meanwhile, have produced only one winning season since 2011. Since Mark Sanchez started every game in 2010-11, 15 different quarterbacks started at least one game over the last 12 seasons.

"Quarterbacks thrive with support. With quarterbacks being the most important position in sports for now three generations, and now even more so in the last generation it's become even more specifically about the quarterback, you'd think there'd be so many organizations that would figure it out and they just haven't," Young said.

"If you're not in one of those (good) spots the job gets significantly tougher. And then if you're in one of those terrible places it can crush you."

Young can relate to Wilson's experience, having started his NFL career in a bad situation with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs were 3-16 in his two seasons as a starter, and he threw for only 11 touchdowns with 21 interceptions.

Considered a bust, especially after Tampa Bay drafted Vinny Testaverde with the No. 1 pick in 1987, Young was shipped to San Francisco for draft picks. After serving as Joe Montana's backup for several seasons, he eventually enjoyed a stellar career.

Through the BYU connection, Young has counseled Wilson throughout his NFL struggles. He appreciates Wilson's vulnerability and his willingness to learn.

"Zach is responsible for Zach's problems," Young said. "Zach has to own that. No matter what, I think it's important that you say that, despite the fact that we know there's a thousand mitigating factors. Zach has to own it, because if he doesn't the next place that he gets to that hopefully is a lot better for quarterbacks there'll be other mitigating factors there even in the good spots that if you're not careful you'll lean on, and you won't get it done. He needs to own it and then make the changes."

Most recent BYU Cougars stories

Related topics

NFLSportsBYU Cougars
Patrick is a radio host for 97.5/1280 The Zone and the Zone Sports Network. He, along with David James, are on the air Monday-Friday from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.


From first downs to buzzer beaters, get’s top sports stories delivered to your inbox weekly.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast