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NY Jets: Zach Wilson earning rave reviews from coaches

May 28, 2021, 10:00 AM EDT
NY Jets, Zach Wilson
NY Jets, Zach Wilson / Mark Brown/Getty Images
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NY Jets quarterback Zach Wilson has expectedly been the talk of OTAs thus far, and not just from the fans and the media who were in attendance for Thursday's practice.

His new coaching staff has wasted little time singing his praises as well.

New head coach Robert Saleh called Wilson "relentless" and praised the young signal-caller for his willingness to learn and improve. “He’s got a lot of horsepower in his mind. And he’s not afraid to use all of it," Saleh remarked.

Offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur shared a similar sentiment praising Wilson's physical attributes before shifting into a conversation about his mentality and insatiable desire to watch film.

"He’s a junkie. I mean, he just wants film to the face. I'll talk to my brother (Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur) and he’s like, ‘You better not burn this guy out. You’re taking a lot of film with him.’ And it’s like, he’s the one that wants to watch this film, you know? So it’s unique and it’s cool for us to watch him be able to sit there and stay focused and process all the information we’re trying to give him."

Mike LaFleur

The NY Jets can't help but rave about Zach Wilson

It's encouraging to not only hear the coaches praise him for his physicals gifts, but rave about his intellect and desire to get better as well. Wilson seems to have the mentality that teams look for in a franchise quarterback.

LaFleur continued to detail Wilson's eagerness upon arriving to camp.

"When [Wilson] first got here, he wanted to ask questions that were probably two questions away. And I said, ‘Well, let’s get that formation down.’ And he was like, 'Oh, no, I can do that on my own. I’ve got that stuff down.'"

Mike LaFleur

Per Dennis Waszak Jr. of the Associated Press, Wilson has created a checklist of things he wants to accomplish in OTAs and minicamp. It's that mentality and level of preparedness that has the Jets coaching staff excited about his future.

On the field, Wilson was especially sharp on Thursday. Of course, it's only OTAs and the Jets ran mostly 7-on-7 drills, but Wilson still found ways to show off his arm talent.

The highlight of the afternoon came when Wilson lofted a tight-window throw to wide receiver Keelan Cole, narrowly beating cornerback Blessuan Austin who blanketed his teammate.

Connor Hughes of The Athletic described the beautiful pass in thorough detail.

"[Cole] wasn’t open — at least he didn’t appear to be. But Wilson saw a window. So the 21-year-old lofted a perfectly placed touch pass over Austin’s head, before the closing safety, and into the spinning arms of Cole, who made the grab, stayed in bounds, then cut up the field while clenching the ball with one hand."

Connor Hughes, on Zach Wilson's throw

There was no pass rush, no pads, and no tackling. In reality, it was a late-May pass that will soon be forgotten.

But Zach Wilson made a statement. Not just with that throw, but with his attitude. The man is here to stay — he's eager to learn and yearning to take the field for an actual game.

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And because of that, the Jets coaching staff is already falling in love with their rookie quarterback.

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