Zach Wilson is still on cloud nine.
The achievement of becoming the Jets quarterback hasn’t fully sunk in.
“My girlfriend actually said to me last night, ‘I feel like we’re going to wake up and all of this is going to be a dream,’” he said during his press conference. “It’s so cool to be in this position and all I can really take away from it is just gratitude and how thankful I am to even be in the situation.”
It’s not a dream. This is your new reality as the new face of the franchise.
Head coach Robert Saleh told him that “This organization is going to lift you not the other way around.”
That’s exactly what the Jets need to do with their new quarterback: provide a stable infrastructure that will breed the best version of him. One thing that’s apparent is Wilson believes in the team’s plan.
“That’s why I like Coach Saleh so much. He genuinely understands that football is such a team game. There’s a 53-man roster and it takes every single piece to make this thing go around,” Wilson said. “One guy is not going to do it on his own. And that’s what’s so special about this team: They have put together such a great plan and I can rely on all the dudes around me. I can’t wait to get to know them and everything that they have.”
The Jets didn’t waste time by trading up with the Vikings to get USC offensive tackle Alijah Vera-Tucker. Wilson loved that move.
“That’s awesome and these guys got a plan,” Wilson said. “I don’t know exactly what it is but what we’re gonna find out soon, but I love some of the decisions that they’ve made so far because O-line is where a team starts from.”
The future is bright with Wilson and there is optimism surrounding the organization. But the road to prosperity won’t be easy.
Wilson is familiar with adversity. At BYU, he dealt with a shoulder injury his sophomore year and wasn’t named the starting quarterback until after camp that year. He explained how he deals with challenges like that Friday.
“It’s finding those that matter in your circle. The biggest thing is being able to rely on those that truly want the best for you in your coaches, your teammates, and just getting better,” Wilson said. “Every single time there’s bumps in the road, you’re going through adversity, that’s a learning experience. Every single thing that I’ve gone through, the lowest of lows of injuries and losing last second games … Honestly, it’s part of the reason why I’m here today, because of how many things I’ve learned from that. It’s keeping that circle tight and being able to just rely on those that truly have your back.”
One reason why people love Wilson’s ability is because he reminds them of Aaron Rodgers, who Wilson says was his favorite player growing up and who he modeled his game after.
“I was such a big Aaron Rodgers just from day one as a young kid just watching the plays that he made the way that he did it. That’s why that was someone I push to try and be,” Wilson said. “Obviously now at this stage, it’s really finding my own style, who I am as a quarterback and how I can be my own player. No more trying to be like other guys. Now I’m going to be the quarterback I am and give it my all and it’s going to work itself out.”
As the new face of the Jets, if Wilson can come close to Rodgers, the Jets will be happy to deal with whatever problems come 15 years down the road.