Zach Wilson, NY Jets, PFF Grade, Stats, Interview
Zach Wilson, New York Jets, Getty Images

Zach Wilson is emerging as a leader in the New York Jets locker room

On Sunday, New York Jets rookie quarterback Zach Wilson will face off with Tom Brady, who is notorious for being one of the most demanding leaders in football history.

According to Jets offensive tackle Morgan Moses, Wilson is beginning to show some of the same qualities.

“He’s a professional on and off the field … the thing I’m starting to learn about him is as he’s getting comfortable, he’s learning how to demand greatness out of everybody around him. When you do that and you have that type of player under center that demands greatness from every position, the sky is the limit for our offense,” Moses told the media.

Being able to lead by example is a crucial skill for anyone who is trying to establish themselves as a strong leader.

But for a rookie quarterback in the NFL, leading by example is a difficult thing to do when you are going through the roller-coaster growth curve that is required to achieve individual greatness as a professional signal-caller.

Wilson was voted as a team captain to begin his rookie year. Clearly, he has had the respect of his teammates off the field since day one.

With that being said, Wilson’s rough start on the field had to make it difficult for him to maximize his leadership role. Players are far less likely to buy into someone’s motivation tactics if that player is struggling himself, and from a rookie quarterback’s perspective, it may be difficult to muster up the confidence to try and lead when he is not doing his own part.

Over his first six starts, Wilson produced four touchdowns and nine turnovers. The Jets then enjoyed substantially better offensive results under the leadership of veterans Mike White, Josh Johnson, and Joe Flacco during Wilson’s four-game absence due to a PCL injury.

Since returning, however, Wilson is starting to complement his off-field leadership with on-field production and progression that his teammates can easily get behind.

Wilson has produced seven touchdowns compared to only three turnovers across five starts since returning from injury, leading the Jets to a 2-3 record after a 2-8 start to the season.

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Moses acknowledged the difficulties of being a rookie quarterback in the NFL and explained how Wilson is progressing.

“It’s hard to play QB in the NFL. It’s hard to come in as a rookie and play QB. But he’s gotten better. And that’s the things that you want from a young guy, just to see that he’s not making the same mistakes, that he’s getting better, he’s trusting his reads, he’s trusting his coaching, and he’s trusting the people around him.

“Obviously, we know he’s a great player, he wouldn’t have got drafted number two overall. I just think you’re starting to see the playmaking ability that he’s used to making start to show up because he’s getting more comfortable within the scheme and with the players.”

Performing well gives an individual the right to demand more out of his teammates. Tom Brady can be a demanding and ruthless pain in the neck because he does his part on the field every single week. But when you’re struggling, it’s not your place to call out others.

Now that Wilson is starting to find his groove as a player, he is earning the right to demand more out of those around him – and according to Moses, it seems Wilson is making full use of it.

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Michael Nania is the best analytical New York Jets mind in the world, combining his statistical expertise with game film to add proper context to the data. Nania scrapes every corner, ensuring you know all there is to know about everyone from the QB to the long snapper. Nania's Numbers, Nania's QB Grades, and Nania's All-22 give fans a deeper and more well-rounded dive into the Jets than anyone else can offer. Email: michael.nania@jetsxfactor.com - Twitter: @Michael_Nania

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Jets71
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Jets71

This seems great, but it only works if the QB starts actually “playing great.” This will begin to chafe teammates if he’s out there, air-mailing wide open receivers and short-hopping throws to wide open backs in the flat. I’d rather he just play well before he starts demanding anything from anybody else.