Zach Wilson has change in mind for Jets return: ‘Play fast’

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Zach Wilson isn’t changing who he is, but he’s willing to make the necessary adjustments.

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After seeing three different quarterbacks in four games off the sideline, the rookie face of the franchise is ready to put his best foot forward and end his first season with the Jets.

He didn’t make any bold predictions on Wednesday as he addressed reporters ahead of his return against the Texans on Sunday, but the second overall pick said there’s a difference fans need to focus on when he’s back in the center: his thinking skills. Less capacity and more reaction.


“Play fast,” Wilson said. “Play with my natural experience that I was given to play within the structure of the offense, and let my playwrights make the plays.”

On October 24, Wilson suffered a second-degree posterior cruciate ligament injury to his right knee as he lost to the Patriots. He has been practicing with the Scout team for the past two weeks, and has gone through pregame workouts on the last two Sundays. Knees feel 100 percent now, he said, adding that he isn’t even thinking about it.

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“I think I can go out there and play my game and not worry about it,” said Wilson, who is likely to be backed by Josh Johnson now that Joe Flacco and Mike White are on reserve/COVID-19. -19 are on the list.

When Wilson was out, the Jets’ offense was much better than it was when he was there. Led by White, Johnson and Flacco, Wilson’s unit averaged 24.5 points in four games, compared to 13.3 points in six games he played.

Zach Wilson had a chance to see how other Jets quarterbacks handled the offense in his absence.
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Now, Wilson hopes to overtake him if other quarterbacks are left out. Before the injury, the Jets felt Wilson was making progress, even though his performance had not shown any tangible improvement. He had thrown just four touchdown passes, nine interceptions and completed only 57.5 percent of his passes. He was dismissed 19 times, and was criticized for catching the ball for too long, trying to hit home runs when it was single for him.

“Stats don’t matter. Which game has the highest percentage that will put us in the best position?” he said. “Maybe it’s second and -10, and someone gets beat, and I have to throw the ball at somebody’s feet. It’s the best game to put us in third and tenth instead of taking the sack or raising the ball.” .

“When they’re giving us those big plays those big plays should be there. My mindset should be to make them pay when they give us, but if they don’t, I wouldn’t call it boring football. Football Play the way it should be played.”

Zach Wilson runs with the team during jet practice.
bill costroun

Wilson said he learned a lot while being dismissed, especially during White’s 405-yard passing performance in the Bengals’ upset on October 31. He was impressed by how quickly White went through his strides and got rid of the ball. Receiver and running back to make plays on down routes.

“If something doesn’t look good, I need to rely on it,” Wilson said. “There are going to be opportunities here in this game where I can walk away and think, ‘Dang, I missed the bottom of the field,’ but because I was decisive, got it out of my hands, we still have it. It was a game.”

Jets coach Robert Saleh talks to Josh Johnson and Zach Wilson.
bill costroun

Still, Wilson isn’t going to suddenly become a different quarterback. He’s still going to try to make plays down the field and advance the plays with his feet. The Jets didn’t draft him to be a check-down machine. There is a happy medium to find him.

“I [have to] Play my ball,” Wilson said. “Credit to those guys, I was able to learn from their reps and everything they did, but I had to go out there and play my game and not worry about that other stuff.”


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