For New York Jets rookies like Zach Wilson and Elijah Moore, year one of their NFL careers is in the books.
Although there were ups and downs for both prospects, you could see the raw talent as the year went on — and the reasons Joe Douglas and Robert Saleh drafted the pair with top picks in the first and second rounds became evident.
Moore provided a similar sentiment during his end-of-year interview on January 26.
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Moore: ‘I Got All the Confidence in the World’ in Wilson
Team reporter Ethan Greenberg interviewed Moore, asking him how much better the two can be together after another offseason of training and developing chemistry.
“Man, exceptionally better,” the wide-out began. “You hear Zach [say] interview after interview, it’s super cool that he’s learning, it’s super cool that he’s seeing the picture, super cool that he’s seeing what he can do and what he cannot do. It’s a full year of learning for him and he gets scrutinized and he gets the ups and downs but like I always say too in every interview — that dude is different, in how he works and how he approaches everything, I got all the confidence in the world that he’s gonna be past what everyone thinks. I’m definitely grateful that I came in with him and we get to learn together. Overall, it’s just a blessing.”
The rookie QB was criticized for “playing hero-ball” early on in 2021 but after his injury, he settled into the system well. There were less spectacular moments but the BYU product was also more consistent, transitioning from a turnover machine to a five-game streak without an interception to close out the year.
Like Moore said, Wilson proved to fans, coaches and teammates that he was willing to learn — and that’s all most people really wanted at the end of the day. It wasn’t about winning a Super Bowl or even making the playoffs in year one, it was about playing competitive games and getting better as the weeks went by.
The first-year signal-caller told Eric Allen that he and offensive assistant John Beck got to go back and watch every early-season snap after his injury. “Watching Joe [Flacco] and Mike [White] and Josh [Johnson] all play, I got to put myself in their shoes like — what things did they do well, what things could they have done better, how did they approach these different things? In the long run I felt like it just helped me approach it from a different perspective and kind of settle in and say, you know what? This is how I can kind of rewrite my process of how I look at things,” Wilson voiced.
All of that change and development for both rising stars goes back to mindset and work effort. We heard it back during OTAs and minicamp — from Moore’s list of names to Wilson being a “film junkie” — both these guys are “different,” and they will stop at nothing to do what it takes to reach their potential.
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‘Moore Litness’ in Year 2
As for the Ole Miss WR, Moore admitted that the “mental aspect” of the rookie transition was the most challenging part.
“The more games you’re out there, the more comfortable you get — seeing the pictures, seeing the defenses, knowing what they’re going to do. Week in and week out, studying defenses, knowing you know what they’re thinking about too, and then just getting more comfortable with Zach and every other quarterback,” Moore stated.
When asked about his long touchdown against the Miami Dolphins, he told Greenberg that you never know if you’re going to score in the NFL, but that his mindset is — “every time I touch the ball, it could be a possible touchdown.”
For 2022, Moore said he hopes he can bring fans more of those explosive moments. “That feeling is unmatched. When the fans are going crazy, they’re just happy and excited and having a good time, that’s all everybody in the stadium wants. More eyes, more litness.”