The Jets went into last low season with a big question as a quarterback. You can not say that they go into this knowing that they have found the answer, but Zach Wilson showed enough that the Jets could believe he can be their long-term solution to the position.
The 22-year-old had a rookie season filled with plenty of fights as well as glimpses of the skills that made him number 2 in the overall selection. He enters this offseason knowing he has plenty of work to do to improve and make progress in his second year.
“I definitely have a list of things that I want to get better at in general, and I’m actually really excited to go in and work on those things and then come back next year and try to apply them,” Wilson said. “I think it’s going to be good. We have a good group of guys that I can do that with too. I want to spend some time with those guys in the low season, just to try to build that chemistry.”
Wilson’s overall stats were not great. He was the lowest-rated passer in the NFL among qualified quarterbacks. He completed 55.6 percent of his passes in 2,334 yards, nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 13 starts. He also ran after four touchdowns.
Despite an overwhelming rookie campaign, Wilson’s belief in himself has not been shaken.
“I have a 100 percent 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,” Wilson said.
Wilson said his plan is to return to his home state of Utah and return to work soon. He wants to concentrate on getting stronger through his diet and strength training.
The Jets wisely added Wilson’s personal trainer John Beck to their coaching staff in October. Now Beck is returning to his private business and can work with Wilson. NFL coaches are not allowed to work with players after the season before mid-April. But because Beck is no longer a member of the Jets’ staff, he can. That gives Wilson and the Jets an advantage because Beck knows the team’s system and what the coaches emphasized to Wilson this season.
“I think the cool thing is that John witnessed firsthand, I think, the fights,” Wilson said, “the things I had to deal with as a rookie, the things we had to go through as a team, and so on. it It’s going to be easy for us to move on, and “Hey, those are the big focal points that we really tried to work on every single week.” We can just pin them down, and he has a really good understanding, instead of that I was trying to portray to him, maybe the feelings we had or things that were going on, he was able to witness it. ”
Wilson’s rookie season can be divided into two sections: pre-injury and post-injury. Wilson suffered a MCL sprain in October and missed four games. When he returned, his stats were not so much different, but he improved dramatically in three areas. He threw fewer interceptions and went from nine in six games to two in seven games. He relied more on his legs and rushed 163 yards and four touchdowns after returning. He only ran the ball eight times in 22 yards before the injury. Eventually, he looked more confident and calmer in his pocket and quickly got the ball out. His best game of the season was against the Buccaneers in Week 17.
“I think the progress you saw Zach take after coming back from injury and on top of that, not always being able to play with the starters at all the skill points – by wide receiver, tight end, running back – but to improve, to keep the team in battle late in these games a little understaffed, “said general manager Joe Douglas.” And on top of that, take care of football. I think those are very impressive things in the back half of the season.
“So I feel very confident that his development is moving forward.”