All work and no play might make Jack a dull boy, but it’ll make Zach a better-prepared quarterback.
A viral photo from Wilson’s vacation showed the quarterback sitting at a family poker game next to his father, only Zach wasn’t playing the card game with the rest of the gang. Instead, the rookie appeared to be studying film with his face buried in his tablet. Take a look.
Based on everything we’ve been told about Wilson throughout OTAs and minicamp, would it really surprise anyone if the young man was watching film while his family enjoyed a round of poker?
It’s the crucial factor that separates the Jets prospect from many others, one that could be a very good sign of things to come.
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Wilson Wants to Be Great
During spring, Wilson told reporters that he wants to be around Elijah Moore because the rookie wide receiver “wants to be great.” It’s becoming evidently clear that the Utah native wants the same thing.
Although it may seem obvious, not every athlete has this special trait, but the legendary ones always do. That obsessive hard-working nature where there’s always something more to learn and there’s always some way to improve your craft.
Former NFL quarterback and WFAN radio show host Boomer Esiason noted that this was a major attractor for the Jets when they first drafted Wilson: “One of the things that he brings that nobody’s really talking about is an inner confidence that he has that basically has struck Joe Douglas, Robert Saleh and everybody else covering this kid over the last two months, [who] found out just how committed he is to playing quarterback in the NFL.”
From everything we’ve heard from Jets coaches since, Esiason seems to have hit the nail on the head.
It didn’t stop there.
Quarterbacks coach and pass-game coordinator Greg Knapp shared a similar first impression when asked about the rookie: “Fast study. He’s done a good job of minimizing mistakes… So he learns quickly from his mistakes and that’s impressive to see from a young guy.”
Knapp even added that “[Wilson’s] a big-time student of the game.”
In general, the staff has raved about his eagerness and his thirst for knowledge since the moment Wilson checked into Florham Park.
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Wilson Draws Comparisons to Jets Killer
We’ve all heard the Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes arm-angle comparisons that Wilson received during the draft process, but this intensity in the film room reminds me of another quarterback: Tom Brady.
Hear me out. The infamous New England Patriots signal-caller always had one annoying trait that led to him becoming one of the winningest QBs of all time, ambition.
Brady was never the most physically gifted athlete but that unwavering drive turned him into one of the most intelligent and well-prepared football players to ever take the field. Wilson has a bit of that persona within him and that’s an excellent omen for the Jets.
The BYU star was a much bigger prospect than Brady — a sixth-round pick — but he was also a late-bloomer that only really picked up steam during his junior campaign in 2020. I don’t believe that breakout performance is due to the schedule Wilson faced, I believe it’s due to his ability to learn and grow as a player.
Peyton Manning was another example of this, as well as Drew Brees or Joe Montana who were all dedicated students of the game.
I’m not saying Wilson will automatically join this legendary circle because he loves watching film, but it is encouraging company for the rookie to keep. Above all else, these characteristics are found in winners, and this franchise could sure use one of those.