Zach Wilson may no longer be the starting quarterback in New York, but the first-round draft pick has an opportunity to learn from one of the best to ever play the position.
Wilson appeared at his first press session since the New York Jets traded for Aaron Rodgers, and Wilson was highly complimentary of the four-time MVP.
“Of course, I would like to be the guy. So, at first, you're not always happy about that. But I'm extremely psyched that, out of any quarterback we could've brought in, it was him,” Wilson said Friday when asked about his reaction when he first heard news of the trade. “I had been talking with him this offseason. I was with him early in the offseason before any of this was even getting talked about. So, we got to spend some time together. It was really cool to kind of see how it all went together.
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“I have to look at kind of where I'm at as a quarterback and how I can look to be the best I can be. And I do think this could be a big part of it. What he brings to the table, what coach [Nathaniel] Hack[ett] and [Todd] Downing bring to the table could be really good for me and my development. And then this offense, of course, too.”
The Jets entered this offseason in desperate need of an upgrade at quarterback after Wilson took a major step back in his second season.
The second overall pick of the 2021 draft was benched twice during a year in which the Jets had a chance to make the playoffs for the first time since 2010.
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The move for Rodgers, while huge for an organization that hasn't been to the Super Bowl since 1968, puts Wilson in the backup role as he looks to reset his career.
“It’s interesting, right? Of course, I wish things would have gone differently in the past two years and I would have played amazing,” Wilson said of being the backup with Rodgers in New York. “But I truly believe everything happens for a reason. And Aaron knows this, but he’s someone I’ve looked up to since I can remember playing football.
“I’m very appreciative of him and how much he is willing to help me. Because he doesn’t really need to be that vocal. But he honestly truly is an amazing friend. And obviously such an amazing quarterback. And, so, I am learning a lot of football.”
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The Jets held their final OTA practice Friday and now have a six-week break before the start of training camp.
“The last six weeks have been about the most fun I've had in a while,” Rodgers said Friday after practice, according to ESPN.