The Band’s Story: Zach Wilson Can’t Get Enough Movie As Jets Coaches Praise His Thirst For Knowledge
Zach Wilson may have left school, but he hasn’t stopped studying.
The Jets rookie quarterback looks at the offensive film he’ll be leading this season, trying to learn all he can and obviously can’t get enough of it.
“He’s a junkie,” said Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur. “He just wants to film the face.”
“He’s relentless in terms of lack of knowledge, in terms of education,” said head coach Robert Saleh. “It’s interesting when he watches the things he is able to pick up and recognize on tape recorded. He’s got a lot of power in his head. He’s not afraid to use it all.”
Wilson has some familiarity with the West Coast system that LaFleur brought with him from San Francisco. BYU’s offense was similar, and Wilson flourished in it. He threw 33 touchdown passes and ran 10 more last season.
But LaFleur’s system is more detailed, and the defense Wilson faces each week will be far superior to that of the college. You can’t blame the hungry young quarterback for wanting to make sure he’s ready when the Jets open the season on September 12 against their former quarterback Sam Darnold and the Carolina Panthers.
“I don’t want to let my teammates down,” Wilson said, “so I’m going to do whatever is in my control to make sure I’m ready.”
This prospect and approach are just a few reasons the Jets decided to leave Darnold and move forward with Wilson.
The Jets picked Wilson with the No.2 pick, and were only impressed with his maturity, his desire to be tall, and his thirst to absorb everything on the offense.
It features outer zone runs, lots of game action, and moving quarterback throws. Wilson’s face lights up as he talks about the attack and sees how it can unbalance the defenses.
“What do I like? I don’t know if there are a lot of things that I don’t like,” Wilson said. “We have amazing coaches who put us in great situations, very smart guys and so much detail. What I love most about attacking is that one game complements another and then another. and another that keeps the defense on their toes.
“They always think something is the same and all of a sudden we throw something else at them. It’s the ability to be confusing on defense and do a lot of things.”
The system is used by a number of teams, including the 49ers, Rams and Packers, whose head coach is Mike’s brother Matt LaFleur. Mike spoke to Matt about Wilson’s thirst to know about the offense. Matt LaFleur gave Mike a little light brotherly advice.
“He’s like, ‘You better not burn this guy down,’” said Mike LaFleur. “He takes a lot of movies with him. He’s the one who wants to watch this movie. It’s unique and it’s cool to be able to watch him being able to sit there and stay focused and process all the information that we have. let’s try to give. him. “
LaFleur said Wilson was asking questions almost immediately after arriving at the Jets facility. He wanted more and more information. LaFleur joked that he must have put the brakes on Wilson a bit.
“He wanted to ask questions that were probably two questions,” LaFleur said. “I said, ‘Let’s take this formation down. He said, “I can do it myself, I have this thing.” He wanted to do this on his own. He wanted to do things that he couldn’t learn on his own, so he wanted to hear it from us so that he could start the process. “
Wilson went through a mini rookie camp and a full first week of OTA volunteers. He looked sharp during Thursday’s open-to-media practice. Wilson had a zipper on his throws and showed good touch, especially on a fade route to Keelan Cole. Wilson also seemed to grab the offense.
Of course, there were no hits and none of the scheduled starting receivers were on the pitch: Denzel Mims and Jamison Crowder weren’t there, and Corey Davis was watching from the sideline due to a shoulder problem.
“His arm is alive,” Saleh said. “He gets the ball in and out very quickly. He’s a good decision maker and all of that good stuff. There’s going to be ebb and flow with him, but we’re excited about what he’s shown so far. “