There are certainly lots of new faces on the Jets roster. One, however, stands out from the rest.
He must manage immense expectations, and embrace the fact that his success is a major determination of the team’s fate this season.
So far, Zach Wilson appears to be handling the pressure beautifully. Those in attendance at Jets practices have raved about the No. 2 overall pick’s arm strength and deep ball accuracy.
Despite flashes of brilliance this offseason, Wilson recognizes he has tons to learn, that understanding the offense is a long-term project.
“It’s like a foreign language," Wilson said in a press conference last week. "Every single day, it’s the same plays, but you’re getting different reps, different looks at it, different defensive coverages.
Development is aided by chemistry with teammates, and the BYU product has already developed many strong relationships, attending Islanders playoff games with his offensive line. He quickly forged a connection with second round pick Elijah Moore, whose talent impresses him immensely.
“You throw a ball at his knees, or above his head, and he catches it so well and he’s able to transition upfield," Wilson said. "It’s so natural for him, his ability to catch the ball and get up the field. I spend a lot of time with him. He’s someone I want to be around because he wants to be great."
With a long layoff before training camp, Gang Green’s franchise quarterback must find ways to remain locked in.
Wilson told reporters that he plans to get together this month with his receivers, allowing him to continue growing as a signal caller. The Utah native labeled timing as his most improved trait during offseason practices, and maintaining that progress is only possible through consistent reps.
Wilson has absolutely no problem with tirelessly honing his craft, a characteristic that is key for a rookie quarterback. The Jets coaching staff has repeatedly expressed their amazement at the 21-year-old’s dedication to film study, applauding his work ethic. Yet, Wilson doesn’t look at film like it’s work.
“I’ve always looked at film as my time away from football, that’s when you can rest your legs a little bit and hang out. There’s always someone working harder than you. I don’t love feeling unprepared,” he said.
Despite arriving in New York just over two months ago, the 6-foot-3 signal caller seems to be settling in nicely. He loves the balance that living in New Jersey provides.
“Jersey is a great place to be able to focus on football," Wilson said. "You got the city close by if you want to have some good dinner, go to a game, but when we gotta focus on what’s going on, this is a good place to be. I enjoy being here every day."
The Jets front office have put their franchise in the hands of a bright, poised young man from Northern Utah, who is looking to prove that he is no Sam Darnold and that he is indeed the answer to turn the franchise around.
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