When people speak on the condition of anonymity they feel a little bit more free to let things loose.
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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
One of the most brutal, yet honest takes came from an AFC player who said:
“[Zach Wilson] has some dudes now around him and has talent, some of those turnovers were ugly as f***, but he seems to get it, we will see though.”
The then-rookie quarterback tossed 11 interceptions and fumbled five times in his rookie campaign. One of the most egregious mistakes came in the Week 12 matchup versus the Houston Texans.
Some people would argue the reason why Wilson struggled as much as he did in 2021 was because of the lack of assistance from the team. That is exactly what an AFC defensive player told Parkinson this offseason:
“I think Zach will be much better this year, the Jets didn’t help him last year and I’m not shocked he struggled, he should be fine though in 2022.”
The good news is the green and white did a much better job of surrounding him with capable talent this offseason. One AFC scout lauded the talented passer for his work ethic and ability to adapt:
“Wilson is the perfect fit for what the Jets want to do, he is one of the smartest kids in this class and should adjust fine to that market.”
A Season Full of Questions
One more nugget from an AFC executive should get a lot of fans buzzing this offseason from Parkinson’s conversations via Badlands:
“Kid has elite-level talent, if [Wilson] can figure it out mentally and keep his footwork intact the Jets may have gotten a star, he has to speed up his game though.”
No one has ever questioned the talent level of Wilson, but it is everything else that is still very much TBD.
Two of the big issues last year were processing and footwork.
The former BYU passer struggled with short accuracy and that isn’t because he forgot how to throw a football, it is about going through the same routine on every dropback.
Instead of relying solely on arm talent, Wilson needs to do the proper footwork for each rep.
The other criticism which should naturally get better as Wilson gets more reps is processing. Wilson needs to trust what he sees and having the knowledge of the playbook and having some experience with different schemes is going to clear the mechanism.
If both of those boxes are checked heading into 2022, Wilson can be as good as he wants to be.