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Jets' Zach Wilson More 'Thick' After Bulking Up This Offseason

Wilson is up 13 pounds since the end of last season, preparing himself to excel physically during the 2022 campaign.

In order to get better on the field in his sophomore season, Jets quarterback Zach Wilson focused on getting bigger.

Or thicker, as head coach Robert Saleh put it.

Wilson told reporters on Tuesday that he has added some serious weight this year, jumping up to 221 pounds before reporting to OTA practices this week.

The BYU product said he ended last year around 208 pounds. 

"I really don’t want to be over 220, my goal is to kind of try and push a little bit over 220 and then once we hit the summer, try and cut back," Wilson explained. "I want to play around 218. But that was a big goal, I just feel like every year in season you’re going to lose weight, and so everybody tries to get as big as they can and then you’re going to lose a little bit of weight once training camp and season hits."

The quarterback added that he's been working closely with New York's nutritionist, placing an emphasis on his diet more than just lifting for the first time in his career.

So far, the results are exactly what Wilson was looking to accomplish.

"Yeah, I feel better, for sure," he said. "The energy, the ability to have that stamina throughout the whole practice I think is better. I just think in the long run, once we get in a game where we’re actually getting hit and tackled, having some more size on me would help."

With his "good weight" comes sacrifices, though.

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"I do have a sweet tooth pretty bad, so that’s been the challenge," Wilson said with a grin. "The cookies, the cakes and those kind of things."

Even if he hasn't been able to quench his sweet tooth, Wilson feels more athletic and faster, attributes that can only help as he looks to utilize the weapons around him on offense this season.

General manager Joe Douglas and his staff made it clear over the last several months that surrounding Wilson with talent was one of their main goals. He brought in a top receiver in the first round of the NFL Draft (Garrett Wilson), re-signed one of Wilson's favorite targets (Braxton Berrios), bolstered the tight end room (with C.J. Uzomah, Tyler Conklin and Jeremy Ruckert), drafted a stud at running back (Breece Hall) and even added a veteran to Gang Green's fast-improving offensive line (Laken Tomlinson).

No matter how good the offense can be around Wilson, the second-year signal-caller still needs to make the throws and right decisions after the ball is snapped.

"I feel like the entire staff, GM, from the top all the way down, from ownership down, I feel like those guys have done a great job just getting the pieces that we need, and I think that comes back to my job of now I need to do my job of getting these playmakers the ball," he said. "How can I let these big tight ends, these really good receivers, these running backs, get the ball in space and let them do what we brought them in to do."

Only time will tell if he's able to take that big step forward in 2022, putting the Jets in a position to play meaningful games this winter. For now, his head coach is very pleased with what he's seeing.

"He looks good, he looks confident," Saleh told reporters. "Shoulders are back, he’s not caved in. He looks good, he’s confident, he’s smiling, he’s vocal. I’ve said it before that you can always tell the confidence level and their understanding of what they’re being asked to do by the volume of their voice, and he’s getting pretty loud."

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