The New York Jets expect to see bigger and better Zach Wilson In 2022. He has already checked the “biggest” box.
After finishing last season at 208 pounds, the sophomore quarterback reported this week’s OTA practices at 221 pounds — a weight gain engineered with the help of a nutritionist and chef. And some serious willpower.
“I have a really bad sweet tooth, so this was a challenge,” Wilson told reporters Tuesday after the first open-air practice.
Listed at 6-foot-2, Wilson has eliminated cookies, cake, and other sugary temptations from his carefully written diet. The keys, he said, were managing proportions and eating on time which resulted in what he called “good weight”.
“I definitely feel better,” he said. “Energy and stamina during the whole training is better. In the long run, once we’re in a game when we’re being hit and interfered, having more volume will help me.”
One of Wilson’s best attributes is his speed in the pocket. He doesn’t think a 13-pound weight gain will impair his ability to dodge rushers. By the start of the season, he wants his game weight to be 218.
“I just feel like I’m a better athlete with more weight for some reason,” he said.
Coach Robert Saleh, in describing Wilson’s body, used the word “thick.” The Jets, who penned Wilson second in 2021, expect to grow mentally in the second year.
“He looks good, he’s confident, he’s smiling, he’s my voice,” Saleh said. “I’ve said before that you can always tell their confidence level and their understanding of what they’re being asked to do by the volume of their voice, and it gets really loud.”
Wilson’s junior season was a struggle. He ranked 30th out of 31 eligible passersby in a total QBR (28.2). He went 3-10 as a rookie, with 2,334 yards, nine touchdowns, 11 interceptions and a 55.6% completion rate.
The front desk has beefed up their support this season, signing tight ends CJ Ozuma And Tyler Conklin In free agency and extensive formulation reception Garrett Wilson (first round) and back Press Hall (Second round).
The pressure will be on Wilson to motivate his talented supporting team of youngsters.
“I feel like all the staff, from the GM to the ownership and even down, these guys did an amazing job getting the pieces we needed,” he said. “I think it’s up to my job. Now I have to do my job of getting the ball for these playmakers. How do I get these big tight ends, these really good receivers, and this run that puts the ball back in space and do what we brought them here to do?”
The Jets are expected to win just 5.5 games, according to Caesars Sportsbook, but there is plenty of optimism about the team after its strong draft.
“Yeah, sure,” Wilson said, “we’d definitely be better.” “I don’t think we’ll be able to figure that out until the first game, but the improvement is there. We have the talent, we have the players. Now can we tie everything together and put something together?”
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