Zach Wilson is getting used to life as the Jets quarterback.
Since being drafted No. 2 overall a month ago, Wilson has had to make some adjustments … including to driving in New Jersey.
“There’s definitely some aggressive drivers here. That’s for sure,” Wilson said Thursday. “Getting used to that, getting cut off about everywhere you go.”
The adjustment is not just getting used to jughandles and Route 80 at rush hour, though. Wilson is spending most of his time learning the Jets offense. He earned the praise of his coaches Thursday for how studious he has been. On the field during the first OTA practice open to the media, Wilson did not look overwhelmed and was decisive.
“He’s relentless in terms of his want for knowledge and in terms of studying,” Jets coach Robert Saleh said. “It is interesting when he’s watching tape, the things that he’s able to pick up and recognize on tape. He’s already trying to get himself into that [Ph.D level]. It’s almost like let’s scale back, let’s keep on learning. He’s got a lot of horsepower in his mind and he’s not afraid to use all of it.”
Wilson’s arm strength is evident when you watch him for a few minutes. The ball comes out of his hand fast and with great velocity. The biggest challenge for Wilson now is understanding an NFL offense to the point where he can react without thinking. He said Saleh compared it to watching TV and eating a bowl of cereal.
“You’re not really sitting there thinking about lifting the spoon up to your mouth and chewing. It just naturally happens,” Wilson said. “For me, it’s working on understanding the formations so it’s super quick, understanding the alignments of where the receivers should be and then you start to pick up certain things and certain coverages and how guys run certain routes. It’s going to be a process.”
Wilson attended an Islanders playoff game at Nassau Coliseum recently with several offensive linemen. Wilson’s out-of-towner status was evident when he said they went to a lineman’s house “in Long Island” instead of “on” and he was surprised to see a beach on Long Island.
“I don’t always think of a beach when I think of New York, but it was cool to see there was a nice beach up there,” Wilson said.
Wait until he sees beach traffic in the summer.
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