NY Jets’ cornerback Quincy Wilson recently called being traded “one of the best days of my life.”
When speaking to reporters following Saturday’s practice, Wilson spoke about his time with the Indianapolis Colts and how he’s enjoying his new home in Florham Park.
In fact, he went as far as to call being traded “one of the happiest days of [his] life.” He elaborated by saying that “a lot of things went wrong in Indy.”
And boy did they ever.
A second-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Wilson spent the first three years of his career with the Colts. Hopes were high that the former Florida star could emerge as a key building block on defense with the organization in a bit of a transitional period.
Evidently, that never came to fruition.
Wilson was named the team’s third cornerback entering his rookie season and was thrust into the starting lineup early on following an injury to veteran Vontae Davis. Unfortunately, Wilson himself would also run into injury trouble hurting his knee the following week.
That knee injury would cost him his starting job and in a puzzling move, then-head coach Chuck Pagano opted to make Wilson a healthy scratch upon his return citing his inability to play special teams.
Wilson would play in just seven games in his rookie season starting a couple more down the stretch following more injuries in the Colts’ secondary.
After a disastrous season, Pagano was fired and the Colts’ new regime seemed to indicate that a bigger role for Wilson could be in the future. However, Indianapolis switched to a zone-heavy scheme under new defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus.
And it quickly became apparent that Wilson no longer fit the defense. He still managed to play in 13 games making five starts while earning a respectable 65.6 Pro Football Focus grade, but it was clear that Wilson wasn’t being utilized to the best of his ability.
That became even more apparent the following season where Wilson played just nine games and played perhaps the worst football of his career.
The former top-50 draft pick finished with an abysmal 30.2 PFF grade that would have ranked dead last among cornerbacks had he played enough snaps to qualify.
That offseason is when the Jets shipped a sixth-round pick to their frequent trade partners in exchange for the talented but struggling cornerback. And now with the Jets, Wilson is once again thriving.
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Quincy Wilson is excelling in the NY Jets’ defensive scheme.
The 24-year-old attributes this to the Jets’ scheme under Gregg Williams which runs significantly more man-coverage looks than Indianapolis. “They coach you to make plays, not cover grass,” Wilson said of Williams’ scheme while taking a shot at his former team.
The Jets do still run plenty of zone — more than is advertised — but Indianapolis’ Cover-2-heavy scheme under Eberflus was a poor fit for Wilson from the start.
At 6-foot-2, Wilson is much more comfortable matching up in man coverage allowing him to utilize his physical upside. Moreover, Indy’s scheme highlighted Wilson’s technical flaws especially in regard to his mental-processing.
Williams’ scheme emphasizes Wilson’s strengths as opposed to revealing his weaknesses. It’s a match made in football heaven.
Wilson will look to continue shining in training camp as he attempts to earn a regular role on defense this season.
And if he could manage to revitalize his career with the Jets, the day he was traded might very well end up as one of the best days of his life.