NY Jets quarterback Zach Wilson was thrust into the unenviable position of having to replace four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers following the latter's torn Achilles suffered just four plays into the 2023 season.
Wilson was expected to take a backseat role to Rodgers while learning behind one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history — someone he was frequently compared to leading into the 2021 NFL Draft.
Instead, Wilson has been asked to fill Rodgers' hefty shoes, and despite a troublesome start to the season, the former No. 2 overall pick has turned things around and is playing some of the best football of his young career.
It's not just the fans that notice this, either. His teammates have taken notice of Wilson's progress, with some even comparing his words and actions to the individual he's been called upon to temporarily replace.
In an interview with The Jet Press this week, Jets punter Thomas Morstead praised Wilson for the progress he's made over the last couple of years while insisting that he sees shades of Rodgers in Wilson.
"I see things all the time during practice, or even sometimes during games, where I'm like 'That looks like something Aaron [Rodgers] would have done right there.' [Zach Wilson]'s learning, and I think he's up to the challenge. The guys believe in him. We're sitting in a good position right now."- Thomas Morstead
NY Jets punter Thomas Morstead sees flashes of Aaron Rodgers in Zach Wilson
While Wilson still has a long way to go before he touches Rodgers' accomplishments, the progress he's made over the last three weeks has been evident.
Wilson ranks 10th in completion percentage among all quarterbacks over the last three weeks. He's turned the ball over just twice during that time (one interception) while helping engineer wins over the Denver Broncos, Philadelphia Eagles, and nearly the Kansas City Chiefs.
Again, he's not putting up Rodgers-like numbers, but Wilson has played mostly mistake-free football. He's exceeding expectations and keeping the Jets' season alive even without Rodgers. He deserves plenty of credit for that.
Morstead, of course, knows what great quarterback play looks like. He spent the majority of his career watching Drew Brees throw touchdowns in New Orleans and obviously spent this summer watching Aaron Rodgers.
Morstead was with the Jets during Wilson's rookie season in 2021. He's been witness to Wilson's growth as a quarterback from his rookie year to this summer all the way to the present day.
Is Zach Wilson playing like Aaron Rodgers right now? Of course not. But the flashes are there, and, as Morstead says, his teammates clearly believe in him. That's about all the Jets could ask for right now.