Jets’ Zach Wilson Reveals How He’d Like to Emulate Tom Brady

Zach Wilson

Getty New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson at training camp on July 30, 2021.

For New York Jets fans, Tom Brady is a bitter reminder of a 20-year period we’d prefer to leave dead and buried.

As an NYJ fan who went to college in New England, I understand that more than most, believe me. Maybe it wasn’t all bad though. Perhaps in some karmic way, Brady unintentionally helped teach a player that can save this New York franchise.

Born 22 years after Brady to the day was Zach Wilson, on August 3, 1999. “I mean it’s pretty dang cool,” the Jets quarterback replied when asked what it’s like to share a birthday with the legendary NFL figure. “One of the craziest parts is I think I was one in his first year in the NFL so, pretty crazy to think about,” added the rookie.


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Wilson Admires Brady’s Ability to Win


"We're Doing A Good Job & Getting There" | QB Zach Wilson Media Availability | The New York JetsQB Zach Wilson speaks to the media following training camp practice on Tuesday, August 3, 2021. Subscribe to the New York Jets YT Channel: bit.ly/2KRtBJd For more Jets NFL Action: bit.ly/2rkCbal #NewYorkJets #Jets #NFL For more Jets action: newyorkjets.com/2021-08-03T18:22:58Z

On a follow-up from ESPN beat reporter Rich Cimini, Wilson noted what he respects most about Brady’s game.

“Brady, in my opinion, is the greatest of all time, I mean I don’t think you can argue that. Wherever he’s at, they’re winning… I’ve always been a [Aaron] Rodgers guy because of the flashiness but the thing that’s important in the game is winning, right? This is a team sport and it’s all about winning. It’s not how cool a throw looks or anything like that, so he’s definitely been a favorite to watch growing up and I think that’s just because of the way he does it. The way he’s found a system, a process, that works for him as far as just offseason conditioning,” he stated.

This wasn’t the first time the BYU product mentioned Brady as someone he admired growing up. During an interview with Craig Carton and Evan Roberts on WFAN, Wilson talked about the quarterbacks that influenced him as he fell in love with the game.

“Well the crazy thing is there’s nothing super-flashy about Tom, but he wins, and it’s so impressive what he does and I really think it translates to what he does off the field. I think he’s always been one of my favorites to watch just because we all play this game to win, we all play this game to win Super Bowls, and that dude’s done it better than anybody,” Wilson told the radio show hosts.

I saw the off-the-field commonalities to Brady almost instantly, and the recent birthday realization was actually a bit spooky for me, being that I had just compared the two signal-callers days before in our week four roundtable discussion.

Everyone always talks about Wilson’s physical similarities to Patrick Mahomes and Rodgers based on the creativity, rare arm-angled throws, off-balance arm strength, and escapability in the pocket. To me though, both his personality and leadership characteristics are a carbon copy of the former New England Patriots QB.

The obsessive way they train and study film, the high football IQ that seems to come naturally, the strides they make to build team comradery, the irrational hatred from everyone who isn’t a supporter of their franchise, the poster-boy look and west coast vibe in press conferences, and most of all, the deadly ambition and compulsive addiction to winning.

These two dedicated athletes truly worship football like a religion, and that’s what it takes to earn a nickname like “the GOAT.”

Wilson understands that and no matter how much you hate Brady, remember that the lessons he’s learned from the all-time great could pay dividends for the rookie’s career as a Jet.


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Wilson Processes First Training Camp

Although the positive moments have often been spectacular, it’s been an up-and-down training camp for the number two overall pick.

Wilson spoke on the learning adjustment of a new playbook and level of competition, saying; “Yeah it’s applying it every day, just trying to slow the game down as much as I can, going out there and just trying to say to myself, okay what am I looking for, what’s my read, what’s my drop here and with time… you know you’re starting to get a little bit faster in how you can develop and go through those.”

In a previous press conference, the BYU product talked about how he had basically memorized his college playbook by his breakout junior campaign.

“One thing I can say about college is it was my third year in that offense. I knew that thing like the back of my hand and I felt like kind of anything we were doing, I knew it so well. Out here it’s still, how quickly can I develop these plays,” Wilson told reporters.

The late Greg Knapp once called the rookie a “fast study,” and the long-time coach might have been able to read quarterbacks better than anyone.

Wilson is learning, processing and getting better every day and as Knapp noted himself, the Jets QB1 “learns quickly from his mistakes.”


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