Zach Wilson off to a good start as Jets hit the practice field for OTAs
Zach Wilson was accurate, decisive and his velocity was apparent during the Jets’ OTA workout Thursday. With each passing day his grasp of the offense is strengthening.
“It’s a day at a time, it’s Day 3 compared to Day 1 I feel like. Not just me, but everybody’s playing faster,” Wilson said. “Being able to react more and not necessarily thinking so much, I think that’s the hardest thing when you’re installing offenses… We’re able to play a little bit faster and I think that’s just to make it more comfortable for everybody.”
Wilson’s early performance confirms how head coach Robert Saleh has described how his new quarterback has looked during offseason workouts.
“He looks good, his arm is live,” Saleh said. “Gets the ball in and out of his hands pretty quickly. He’s a good decision maker and all that good stuff. There’s gonna be ebbs and flows with him but we’re really excited about what he’s shown so far. He’s seeing an NFL defense for the first time and the windows, how tight they are. So you just really want to see him get better and focus on getting better every day, learning the system and getting it to the point where it’s second nature for him.”
Saleh says Wilson has been relentless in trying to learn the offense as his quarterback is trying to be as committed as possible.
Wilson obviously took that as a compliment.
“That’s nice of him, of course,” Wilson said with a smile. “I really just have a strong passion for this game and I don’t want to let my teammates down. So I’m just gonna make sure I can do everything in my control to make sure I’m prepared.”
Some of that preparation showed today. The unofficial stats say Wilson was 11-for-14 through both 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 drills. There was a mix of short, intermediate and long passes. He never looked overwhelmed or confused. He knew where his reads were on the majority of his dropbacks.
Overall, a solid showing for Wilson.
As the day progressed, a connection most didn’t expect was Keelan Cole and Wilson.
On the third play of 11-on-11, Wilson fired a dart to Cole over the middle in traffic but Cole showed strong hands. Then Wilson floated a perfect deep back shoulder pass to Cole over Bless Austin who had tight coverage. The duo connected a few more times throughout practice.
Jamison Crowder, Corey Davis and Denzel Mims weren’t present at OTAs. So, Cole took advantage of the extra reps. Other players not present at OTAs: Carl Lawson, Chuma Edoga, Marcus Maye, Mekhi Becton and Alex Lewis.
THE RETURN OF C.J. MOSLEY
Linebacker C.J. Mosley missed the majority of the 2019 season with a groin injury and opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns.
“It was a tough decision. I talked about it with my family multiple times,” Mosley said. “I’ve talked to my brother. I talked to coach [Adam] Gase at the time. I talked to other coaches. We have a psychiatrist that was on staff, I had multiple talks to her so it was just the best decision for me and my family. It was just more of a family decision.”
As a result his name floated around NFL circles in possible trade talks but nothing materialized. Mosley is happy to be back on the field and is ready to be a leader for the Jets.
“With the two-year hiatus, just excited to be on the field,” Mosley said. “Excited to get some sunlight while I’m running around, excited to be in a locker room making new friends with my teammates and building a relationship with the coaches.”
With a new coaching staff, there’s always going to be an adjustment to a new defense. But Mosley feels the new scheme is a good fit for him due to his versatility.
“Depends on the call, it depends on information, I can be at any spot,” Mosley said. “So I’m pretty comfortable with where I am.”
Mosley wants people to remember who he really is.
“When I get back on the field I definitely want to make sure [the fans] all respect the name again,” Mosley said.
WILSON DOESN’T TAKE THE BAIT
When Wilson was asked about the Jets’ matchup against the Carolina Panthers in Week 1 of the NFL season, he deflected from the idea that it will be Sam Darnold versus him. But he’s excited for the showdown.
“Just typical NFL right,” Wilson said. “I love it. What an exciting matchup it’s going to be for us. I’ve talked to Sam before, he’s a great guy. But it’s not I’m so pumped because it’s Sam. I’m excited because the Panthers are a great team and it’s a great challenge for us. It has nothing to do with him. He’s a great player and he’s got to handle his own. But it has nothing to do with the fact that he was here in New York and now he’s there.”