FLORHAM PARK, NJ ( Associated Press) — Zach Wilson already has plans for big summer hangouts.
He and his New York Jets teammates will get together somewhere—it’s a mystery for now—for a few days in mid-July to work on the football field and sharpen their collective knowledge of the playbook.
It won’t be all passes and catches though. There will also be “fun activities” the quarterback calls them. And that’s where the most valuable “work” can come from.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s going to be the route, two days of throwing is going to be the most rewarding,” Wilson said. “It’s we’re going to be stuck in a house together for three days, just getting to know each other and talking like we do.
“I think it’s going to be more important than anything.”
For a franchise that failed to make the post season the NFL-worst 11 seasons ever, maybe having a little fun now can help down the line. After all, Jets fans are accustomed to feeling disheartened, dreaming of another Super Bowl appearance—something that hasn’t happened since Joe Namath’s glory days in 1969.
Wilson, 22, represents the latest hope For the team and its fans to end those long droughts. The No. 2 pick overall a year ago struggled through a down-and-up rookie season – marked by early struggles, a knee injury and a promising end. All eyes are again on Wilson to take the next step in its growth and confirm the franchise – and all those who root for it – that it has the right man at the center for years to come.
“He doesn’t need to be Tom Brady this year,” said coach Robert Saleh. “Now if he gets that, that’s great, but don’t expect it for him.
“Hopefully he continues to climb the mountain that is quarterback playing in this league, and we all have got his back. He’s got a supporting cast that’s locking his tail and from there he’s gluing it all together.
Saleh made sure to point out that while Wilson had a rough rookie year in which he threw just nine TD passes with 11 interceptions in 13 games, he also had an equally young group that was on offense and one O. -Line who was trying to go to jail.
Making things easier for Wilson to succeed—and, in turn, helping the Jets win more after going 4-13—was a primary focus during the off-season for general manager Joe Douglas.
Tight ends CJ Uzoma and Tyler Conklin were signed to free agency, as were Lecan Tomlinson. Wide receiver Braxton Berrios and running back Tevin Coleman were re-signed. Wide receiver Garrett Wilson was drafted in the first round, and Bryce Hall was running back in the second.
Now, at least on paper, an offense that was one of the NFL’s worst past seasons has improved a lot.
“He’s done a great job,” Wilson said of Douglas and the front office. “You can tell the organization cares. You know they want to win just as badly as all of us. They’re doing everything possible to put me and everyone around me in the best shape possible.” .
“They’re just giving me the ability to say, ‘I’m going to give this guy a shot right here. I’m going to win him over and hang on and give him the ball like we prepared him to be able to do’ was.’ We definitely have those people. We definitely have people up front too. We just need to put it all together.”
But probably none more so than Wilson.
No, as Saleh said, the former BYU star doesn’t need to be Brady anymore. But he needs to be much better than before. And there are early signs that could happen when the season starts in September.
Offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur said, “What’s great about him is … his daily focus on what he’s trying to do, not trying to keep a laundry list of things every day. ” “It’s, hey, let’s focus on this one thing, these two things, whatever, and keep dialing in.”
Wilson has grown up a bit Since last year, he has adjusted his diet and workout habits while trying to be healthy and strong.
But the mental attitude has also been corrected. His understanding of what he needs to do in crime is clear. This will help with his timing and decision making and everyone else will play in front of him on the field.
“As for me, how can I just go out there and make the best decision to put my team in the best shape possible?” Wilson said. “Really, that’s all that matters. How can I just do what the coaches are asking me, and my time will be to do things off-schedule.
“It’s really playing within the offense, where I need to make the biggest jumps, just my progress, getting through them cleanly, getting the ball out of my hands, giving it to people – and letting them play.” have to give.”
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