Zach Wilson’s introduction to the NFL was not easy – by no means. He threw 11 interceptions in his first eight games, including a four-pick clunker against the Patriots in Week 2. He missed four games with a knee injury and even got people in a moment wondering if Mike White was a better option.
For most of the season, there was one question: If this is the Jets’ quarterback of the future, is the future so bleak?
Such a thing can shake anyone’s confidence, but for Wilson, who played the last five games without wicket and kept the Jets alive in close losses to the Buccaneers and Bills (at least through three quarters), it’s just part of a growth process, he believe in will make him a better player next season.
“I have 100% confidence in myself that I can play in this league and that I can play well and that I can help lead this team to do some special things and that should be the focus,” he said. he Monday.
“I think it’s an area that can always be improved, it’s just that management aspect. How can I bring guys in and how can I lift the guys around me and show them how much I love them, how much they care about me and as a unit can we just be so connected in every way? it’s something i just want to keep working on this offseason is how can i just keep gathering everyone and just be in able to keep improving myself as a team. ”
His process will be diverse, he said. He continues to train – he does not like how the muscle he put on in the preseason evaporated as the fights ticked by, and he hopes to at least partially counteract it, while also strengthening the muscles around his knees.
He will take a short break from football, as Robert Saleh suggested, but will keep his arm active. He will also work with John Beck, the personal trainer that the Jets brought to the payroll this year. And while they are still figuring out the details, he plans to train with his teammates in the low season to help build team chemistry.
“I would say it’s huge to trust the guys around you,” he said. “I think guys rose up this year and I have to have the full confidence to understand that they have my back and I’ve always got theirs. I think the connection with the guys around you are huge. Guys fought all year and I think the more I can trust them, the better I can become. ”
But even though the Jets have a long way to go, the truth is that 2021 should always be about Wilson’s learning and maturation in his first year in the league. Next season will be the true test for both him and Saleh, and the last few games, including the improvement he showed after returning from his knee injury on November 28, point to optimism. The lack of eavesdropping was a reason for encouragement.
It was “the guys who stepped up around me,” Wilson said of the change. “The receivers did a great job of just getting down on some crucial catches. Many times the ball is not even right there. I have to be more precise with it, but I think the guys did a great job of getting me out of certain situations.
“And I just also think that as a team, as a unit, you say, ‘Hey, if we turn the ball around, we don’t win very many games.’
“And so that was a big weight for me – how can you get rid of the boneheads? There will always be turnovers, there will always be wiretaps. How can you get rid of those that are just never, never meant to happen? ”
Wilson stopped by saying a place in the playoffs is possible next year, but it is clear he expects to make significant progress.
“I’m really excited to say, you know what, those are the things I felt really comfortable with, and those are the things I really need to work on and improve on,” he said. “And that’s what makes the game so exciting when you get to work on something like that, and then you can try to apply it when you get back.”