Zach Wilson still has some way to go before proving he can solve the New York Jets’ quarterback problem, but he’s taking all the right steps.
This week, the New York Jets wrapped up their mandatory minicamp with all eyes on the man wearing No. 2, Zach Wilson. Though shaky at times, Wilson had many spurts of terrific play, showcasing exactly why the Jets took him second overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.
For a rookie quarterback who’s been thrust into the starting role, growing pains are expected. Not even Peyton Manning could say he stepped into Indianapolis without experiencing as much.
And this Jets coaching staff is giving Wilson everything he can handle.
“We’ve thrown a lot at him,” offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur told the media at a press conference that wrapped up minicamp. “It’s been a learning curve for him.”
For Wilson though, that’s not a problem. His belief that he can constantly improve is a trait needed in a superstar athlete. He declined to address how well he thought he did during minicamp, but admitted there’s areas he can improve on.
“In my eyes, I feel I can improve every single day. I feel like I’m learning something every single day … Every single day it’s the same plays, but you’re getting different reps, different looks at it, different defensive coverages, whatever it is,” said Wilson as he spoke to the Associated Press.
With this attitude and his penchant for film study, Wilson’s been determined to get better with each passing rep.
“He’s a fast study … You’ve got to expect mistakes from anyone starting the first time in any profession. I’ve seen very minimal same mistakes twice,” said passing game specialist Greg Knapp.
Rookie quarterbacks can have a habit of getting stuck on mistakes. It can kill confidence, and in some cases, careers.
Being asked to be the face of the Jets franchise as a rookie, Wilson has shown that any mishap won’t stop him from trying to achieve greatness. Instead of dwelling on the what, he asks why, looking for an opportunity to learn.
“He’s unflappable in the sense that he doesn’t care if something went good or bad, he wants to know why it went good or bad,” explained head coach Robert Saleh. “He wants to learn from it. He is wired exactly the way you want all players to be wired.”
The Jets don’t officially start training camp until late-July, but Wilson plans to continue building connections with his teammates, and finding ways to improve himself in the process.
“I don’t love feeling unprepared. I don’t love feeling like I’m not ready for something,” said Wilson. “I’m just going to make sure I’m doing everything I can to be ready once training camp comes around.”