Zach Wilson doesn’t believe the starting job is his yet. He believes he still has to earn it.
“That’s important, but that’s not my focus right now. My focus is to learn the offense and keep getting better every single day,” Wilson said on Day 2 of the Jets’ rookie minicamp in Florham Park. “Do what I can with the guys around me, and I think the rest takes care of itself.
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“In this position the coaches want to play the best player, and that position has to be earned. I’ve got to make sure I do what I’m supposed to do and know that’ll take care of itself.”
Jet fans will eat that quote up. But Wilson knows this is his team and that’s his job. He’s the No. 2 overall pick.
The only other quarterbacks on the roster right now are Mike White and James Morgan and neither have attempted a pass in the NFL. The Jets did bring in veteran QB Brian Hoyer, 35, for a visit in April, but have yet to decide on adding a QB in that mentor role.
If Gang Green opened Week 1 with anybody but Wilson under center, then an atrocity occurred.
In the meantime Wilson is learning his new offensive scheme under offensive coordinator Mike LeFleur. The former BYU star sees some similarities to the college game but explained that the concepts are more complex.
“The terminology is completely different. Football is really like learning a language,” Wilson said. “You’ve got to work at it every single day to put the words together, be able to think of them quick and know what’s going on. Similarities is the play action game, the inside zone, outside zone is something specific to the West Coast offense that we did at BYU. The mix of under center and gun, you know, being able to do both. Lots of shifts motions that kind of thing is very similar.
Head coach Robert Saleh has been pleased with what he’s seen of his young quarterback so far.
“He did a really nice job,” Saleh said before Saturday’s workout which was held inside due to the rain, “the ball was in his hands, very crisp. He was in rhythm, he was on time. Players were running the right routes and the balls were barely on the ground. So it was a very good first day for him. And now he’s gonna stack it up and get better every day.”
Wilson is also continuing to build chemistry with his new teammates. Corey Davis and Denzel Mims are among the veterans who have already reached out to him since he was selected by the Jets just over a week ago.
“They’ve actually reached out to me which is really cool. It shows these guys care and they want to win,” Wilson said. “I’ve even talked to some of the other guys…It’s been exciting to just get to know all of these guys, just by name and and start to find those similarities we have.”
He’ll have his first chance to hit the practice field with the veterans on May 24 when the Jets have their first scheduled OTAs of the offseason.
The rookie minicamp will wrap up with a final session behind closed doors on Sunday.
As for one of the more pressing questions of the offseason, Wilson opened up about his thinking on his new jersey number.
“Still deciding, but most likely number two,” Wilson, who wore No. 1 with BYU last season, said. “Mix it up, doing something new. I like any single digit numbers. I think it’s kind of cool that I was the second pick. I think that’s kind of a cool reason to be able to switch it up. There wasn’t really too much, you know, thought behind it. I just think it’s a cool number.”
So Gang Green fans get ready for that deuce on the jersey, hopefully you can have it for longer than you did with Sam Darnold.