After all the fawning and gushing over Zach Wilson that you simply heard from the Jets as minicamp ended on Thursday, you might need anticipated Joe Namath to select him up in a limo and take him on to Canton.
It is a ceremony of spring and summer season, of course, particularly earlier than a single recreation is performed — a franchise rallying round its new franchise quarterback as a result of he, greater than anybody, represents a brand new hope for a greater tomorrow.
Because Wilson was the second-overall choose, proper behind Trevor Lawrence, he’ll bask within the sunshine of a passionate honeymoon — at the least till his first interception, or till he’s overheard on a sizzling mic saying he sees ghosts.
Bill Parcells used to remind everybody that you simply don’t actually discover out about your quarterback till he’s battered and bloodied and will get off the canvas and by no means stops being the battlefield commander.
But you solely get one likelihood to make a first impression, and Zach Wilson has made such a boffo first impression that nobody, not GM Joe Douglas, not head coach Robert Saleh, not long-suffering Jets followers, ought to fear concerning the child getting thrown to the wolves, or the Panthers, within the Sept. 12 opener in Charlotte, N.C.
And right here’s why:
It isn’t merely the eye-opening arm expertise that seduced the Jets decision-makers, though of course with out it, Wilson wouldn’t be the brand new franchise quarterback.
JaMarcus Russell had eye-opening arm expertise, too. As did Jeff George. As did Browning Nagle.
Douglas, by his due diligence, fell head over heels for Wilson for his head and his coronary heart along with his arm. There has by no means been a terrific quarterback who lacked intangibles. And Wilson oozes intangibles.
The child clearly has a ardour for the sport, and he seems born to play quarterback. New York doesn’t scares him within the least. To him, it’s only a place to play soccer and relentlessly hone his craft. He is snug in his personal pores and skin. You noticed him laughing together with beer-chugging guard Dan Feeney cheering for the Islanders on the Barn. Sam Darnold was one of the blokes throughout his three years as a Jet. Wilson is one of the blokes now. You wouldn’t need your quarterback to not be.
If your quarterback isn’t a health club rat, you’ve got the unsuitable quarterback. Wilson is a movie junkie. The recreation is his obsession. He will know the playbook in and out. And in his phrases: course of in chaos.
Now, he doesn’t have the identical crew round him that Ken O’Brien or Chad Pennington or Mark Sanchez did, however he may have extra playmakers and protectors than Darnold did.
And don’t underestimate what it’s going to imply for him to have offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur by his aspect and in his ear. LaFleur will preserve issues easy sufficient so Wilson can play as freely as attainable. They can be one thoughts in two our bodies. It is the type of profit that Darnold was speculated to have with Adam Gase.
Wilson’s playmaking instincts would possibly really compel some to recall the Robert F. Kennedy quote: “Some men see things as they are and ask, ‘Why?’ I dream things that never were and ask, ‘Why not?’ ” There will undoubtedly be events when his fearless athletic vanity will get him in hassle. There can be different events when the improvisational timing of his footwork and gunslinging accuracy would possibly transfer Patrick Mahomes to ship out a congratulatory tweet.
Here’s a profit to beginning the clock instantly on the Wilson Era: He can get a leg up in expertise on fellow No. 1 draft Mac Jones if Bill Belichick goes with Cam Newton early in New England. Tua Tagovailoa began 9 video games as a rookie in Miami final season. Josh Allen is the GOAT of the AFC East, and the earlier Wilson can shut the hole on him, the higher for the Jets.
And then there’s this: When all of it begins for actual, the stress gained’t be on Wilson as a lot as it will likely be on Darnold, at residence towards the group that discarded him. Then once more, from each early indication, Wilson embraces stress, desires the ball in his fingers on the finish of the sport.
It’s too early to verify the important bodily and psychological toughness containers, and within the meantime, search for the Jets to discover the Nick Foles backup quarterback choice for veteran insurance coverage behind Wilson.
Something Wilson mentioned Wednesday about precocious rookie broad reciever Elijah Moore spoke volumes about his personal mindset and his personal drive.
“He’s someone I want to be around because he wants to be great,” Wilson mentioned.
They’re all saying the identical precise factor about him.
In Zach Jets Trust.