Robert Saleh has praised how Zach Wilson’s mental acumen has grown in his second year in the Jets offense, and it showed on Wednesday’s practice from One Jets Drive.
“I think he’s a lot more comfortable in the offense,” Saleh said on Wednesday, prior to OTA practice. “I think he’s committed to the process of taking the snap and going through progression, understanding exactly where his eyes need to go on every snap.”
And Wilson looked exactly how his coach described his growth: comfortable.
The former No. 2 overall pick looked sharp when he went through his reads. There was a decisiveness and a solid command of where his eyes should be also, which explains why the ball was getting out so quickly.
An area of Wilson’s game Jets Mike LaFleur offensive coordinator explained last week.
“That’s why the walk throughs are so important just for a quarterback to train his eyes to hear the play call, go back to what you learned in the film room, even without the film, the board work and go through that process of getting my eyes in the right spot,” LaFleur said last Wednesday following an OTA practice. “If I’m not throwing a ball over 10 yards, why do I care where the safeties are? You don’t, you just look at number one. If one is open within the timing of what we’ve taught in our footwork and those routes, you throw it to him. If not, you progress the two, and then decide as I’m getting down to a check down.”
The Jets started competition periods with third down, 11-on-11 drills. And Wilson was 6-8 with a highlight throw going to receiver D.J Montgomery who beat the No. 4 overall pick Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner deep down the field.
All of Wilson’s competition’s were for first downs.
Most of Wilson’s passes were basically, one, two, three, throw.
There wasn’t much hesitation with the young QB when he went through his progression and he was getting the ball out fast, something that he struggled with in his first year. He had the second-highest time to throw in the NFL at 3.00 seconds according to Next Gen Stats.
Not being able to read defenses quick enough were part of the reasons for those struggles, which are normal for rookies.
But other times he attempted to do too much and ran around to create a play out of nothing, which explains why his time to sack was second highest in the NFL at 5.07.
So there’s clear growth within that department of his game. How much? Hard to tell but the improvement is evident enough.
OTHER OTA OBSERVATIONS
- Garrett Wilson mossed Justin Hardee for a touchdown during red zone 7-on-7s. Wilson did limp off the field after that play, but there’s no indication it was anything serious. Wilson also flashed elite quickness on his release at the line of scrimmage on another play while being guarded by Gardner. Zach Wilson threw an errant pass that fell incomplete, but Garrett Wilson’s twitchiness stands out.
- Through the first few practices made available to the media, Montgomery has made a plethora of dynamic plays through the passing game.
- Ashtyn Davis caught an interception off of Joe Flacco during team 11-on-11.
- Linebacker Javin White caught an interception from a Wilson pass to end practice.
- D.J. Reed, Denzel Mims, Mekhi Becton, George Fant and LaMarcus Joyner were notably absent during voluntary practices.