Eagles Give Honest Scouting Report on ‘Chirping’ Jets QB

Zach Wilson

Getty New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson during pregame warm ups on August 21, 2021.

Zach Wilson had a lot to say when the Eagles and Jets scrimmaged back in August. The rookie quarterback was likely goaded into some light trash talking by Pro Bowl defensive end Brandon Graham during that hot, hazy summer month.

Wilson’s emotions boiled over following a shoving match between Javon Hargrave and the Jets’ offensive line. Hey, that’s football and those things are going to happen. The Eagles were the more dominant team during those training camp battles, so frustration was bound to set in. Now the two squads will renew the rivalry in the regular season, in a Week 13 matchup at MetLife Stadium in The Meadowlands. Expect some competitive chirping to resume.

“Obviously the chirping was competing,” Fletcher Cox told reporters. “Everybody’s gonna chirp when they’re competing and having fun and being smart. And, at the same time, it was training camp – you know, everybody’s protecting their quarterbacks, but I think it’ll be a competitive game and there might be some chirping from both sides.”

The Eagles and Jets tied 31-31 in the final preseason game, although no starters saw the field in that one. Both teams enter Sunday’s contest with a clean slate and plenty to prove. Philadelphia (5-7) is fighting for a playoff spot, while New York (3-8) just wants to show improvement and exit the AFC East’s basement.

“At the end of the day, you gotta respect them,” Cox said. “They’re coming off a big win. We’re coming off a tough loss. So it’s just going to be who wants it the most.”

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High Praise for Jets Rookie QB

If there was any lingering animosity over Wilson’s summer antics, no one was admitting it. Multiple Eagles players painted the picture of an impressive young quarterback who knows how to move the pocket and showcase his cannon for an arm. Both Anthony Harris and Darius Slay spoke glowingly of him.

“I think his ability to make all the throws,” Harris said about what flashed on Wilson’s film. “Whether it’s on the move or in the pocket, throwing from different angles – I think that ability pops out right away, and that’s what I saw on film and what I saw from the time we spent in training camp with him.”

“He’s a guy I feel can make all the throws,” Slay said. “You can see it out there on film. Strong arm, got a lot of swag about him. Just like every young quarterback, he’s learning and he’s doing a great job over there.”

Fresh off an injury scare – Wilson tweaked his right knee in Week 12, the same one that caused him to miss four games – the rookie is looking to show why the Jets made him the second overall pick in the 2021 draft.

It hasn’t gone according to plan through his first seven starts. Wilson has four touchdowns and 10 interceptions while throwing for 1,313 yards. His QBR is 23.5 and the Jets are 2-5 when he’s under center. Backup Joe Flacco is waiting in the wings, too.

‘Not Always Sunny’ in Philadelphia?

Cox made an unintentional pop culture reference on Thursday while discussing Milton Williams. The veteran defensive leader paid homage to “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” then preached patience with the rookie defensive tackle. He’s been getting in his ear about “moping” around.

“You kind of see him day to day, kind of moping around a little bit,” Cox said. “That’s why I’m here, to pick him up and let him know it’s a long season. Just keep your head up and know again that the season has ups and downs.

“It’s not always sunny, you know there’s some rainy days, snowy days – there are some days where the sun don’t shine at all. But you got to be able to put yourself through it and Milton’s been doing that.”

The third-rounder out of Louisiana Tech has seen his snaps decrease slightly ever since his breakout game in Week 8. Williams notched his first career sack against Detroit and has 21 total tackles (two for loss), plus three quarterback hits in 12 games.

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