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Highlights: Zach Wilson stars at Jets’ Green & White Scrimmage

Zach Wilson, NY Jets, Green and White Scrimmage, Highlights
Zach Wilson, New York Jets, Getty Images, Jet X Graphic

Watch some highlights from the New York Jets’ 2022 Green & White Scrimmage at MetLife Stadium

The New York Jets held their annual Green & White Scrimmage at MetLife Stadium on Saturday night. It featured periods of 7-on-7s, scripted 11-on-11s, and unscripted 11-on-11s.

Fans in attendance witnessed a competitive practice, featuring plenty of highlight-reel moments from both the offense and defense. After a red-hot start by the offense, the defense began ruling the night in its latter half.

Even though the offense eventually fizzled out, it was still a largely successful night for quarterback Zach Wilson. The second-year passer appeared confident and decisive as he did a great job of getting the football out quickly and delivering it into tight windows. It was night-and-day from his performance in this same setting exactly one year ago, when he threw multiple interceptions and struggled mightily to get the offense moving.

Let’s get into some highlights.

Wilson throws a dart to Braxton Berrios on a curl route from the opposite hash. Berrios is blanketed by slot cornerback Michael Carter II, but Wilson puts it in the perfect spot with exquisite timing.

From an overall team perspective, there is no better sight to see in practice than reps like that one, where the coverage is great but the pass and catch are even better.

Next, Wilson rolls out and makes the correct decision to target Jeff Smith, who is the deepest of three options on Wilson’s side. Wilson puts it on the numbers but Smith drops it. (Maybe it’s a tad behind, although that feels like nitpicking, especially with the receiver bearing down on the sideline. Catch the ball.)

Tyler Conklin was arguably the best player of the night on either side of the ball. He made one catch after the next, flaunting his smooth route-running and soft hands. Here, Conklin lines up in the slot and beats Jordan Whitehead man-to-man on a quick slant. Wilson threads the needle for a touchdown.

This time, Wilson hits Conklin up the seam.

In a two-minute drill, Wilson first hit Corey Davis over the middle for a nice gain to get things going. Wilson then tried to hit Davis over the middle once more, placing the ball nicely between a crowd of zone defenders, but Davis dropped it.

That pass might look like it was a bit behind Davis. In actuality, it’s great placement by the QB, as described by Jets X-Factor’s Robby Sabo (who had a view from the press box at MetLife).

The low point of Wilson’s night was an interception to Del’Shawn Phillips. Wilson tries to hit C.J. Uzomah on an out route from the opposite hash but fails to recognize Phillips dropping from the A-gap into a hook/curl zone.

This one falls incomplete, but Wilson nearly connects with Garrett Wilson on a deep bomb. Sauce Gardner‘s lengthy frame makes it too tight of a window for the Wilsons to notch the completion.

Gardner flashed multiple times with exciting reps in coverage. On this rep, Gardner hangs with Elijah Moore on a deep route, forcing an incompletion.

There are not many 6-foot-3 corners who can stick with a 5-foot-10 wide receiver like that.

The Jets closed things out on a high note as they welcomed 7-year-old fan AJ onto the field to run a play. AJ took a red-zone handoff from Zach Wilson out of the shotgun and showed outstanding patience and power as he let the blocks develop before bulldozing his way into the end zone for a game-winning touchdown. Tyler Conklin’s block led the way.

Speaking to the media after the game, head coach Robert Saleh was impressed with Wilson’s performance.

“I really thought he was really good,” Saleh said. “He dropped a dime over a buzz defender’s head … had a really good strike there in the two-minute drive, I think it was to Corey [Davis]. He moved around in the pocket, found some open lanes to run in, buy some time. He was really good in the huddle; [I was] just standing back there and listening to him. Good with cadence, because he was changing up his cadence. So I thought he was really good.”

In other news, free-agent offensive tackle Duane Brown was in attendance, seen here speaking with Jets general manager Joe Douglas.

When asked about Brown, Saleh said there is “interest on both sides” and that Douglas has been working on Brown for a while.

Coincidentally, backup offensive tackle Conor McDermott left practice with an ankle injury, which could make the need for Brown even greater. Saleh says the team will know more about McDermott’s status on Sunday.

The Jets have Sunday off and will return to practice on Monday. It’s officially the first Jets game week of the 2022 season, as the preseason opener in Philadelphia looms on Friday night (7:30 p.m. ET).

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1 year ago

Been reading a lot about Lawson and a bit about Huff. Not too much about JJ, and even less about Clemons. Have you seen anything from the two rookie edges?