Zach Wilson shows true colours with "very confident" New York Jets admission

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Zach Wilson is feeling confident despite all of the offseason noise (Image: 2021 Getty Images)
Zach Wilson is feeling confident despite all of the offseason noise (Image: 2021 Getty Images)

The New York Jets gear up for their first pre-season game on Thursday, as they face the Cleveland Browns in the Hall of Fame game.

It's the first pre-season game across the NFL, but fans will have to wait to watch Aaron Rodgers after head coach Robert Saleh confirmed that Zach Wilson would be playing for the Jets. It's been a tough 2023 for Wilson, as he played his last Jets game in December before seeing his starting spot taken off him by Rodgers ahead of this season.

But Saleh has put his trust in Wilson for pre-season, after admitting that Wilson was feeling great about himself this summer. Wilson has avoided all media outlets to focus on football this offseason, and Saleh has noticed a difference in his attitude.

"I feel that he’s very confident right now, like he’s gained confidence and not necessarily in his ability to go out there and play," Saleh said. "Just in his decision making and what he’s doing, play in and play out. You just feel that from him.

"You can see it in him, just how decisive he is with a football in his hands. It’s not where we think he can, but he definitely looks confident, he looks comfortable and he’s definitely moving in the right direction."

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After being drafted second overall in 2021, Wilson was seen as the franchise quarterback for years to come but struggled in his second year. Rodgers has been brought in as the short-term option, with plans in mind for the veteran to mentor Wilson.

Wilson continues to look good in training camp, and has always looked dominant without pads. Rodgers has been very attentive to the 24-year-old during camp, going out of his way to give pointers and help the 24-year-old improve his craft.

Zach Wilson shows true colours with "very confident" New York Jets admissionWilson and Rodgers have been inseparable in training camp (2023 Getty Images)

Rodgers has been impressed by Wilson's mindset for a young quarterback, and heavily praised the Jets back-up ahead of their game against the Browns. "I think definitely some maturity, for sure," Rodgers said when asked what he has seen from Wilson.

"As much as anything, I hope that this time for him is like a deep inhale and exhale. That he can really like to take a breath and pause and sit with the disappointment of last year and the frustration and then channel it.

"I feel like he has, but just reach in and channel it to a positive and focus on the opportunity in front of him. To learn with a guy who loves him and cares about him and wants him to be great and wants him to do incredible things every day and to get better. Then just go be himself and look at this as a chance to reset. I think he’s done it."

Zach Wilson shows true colours with "very confident" New York Jets admissionWilson is aware he won't play this season, but hasn't given up on his dream (Getty Images)

Rodgers is aware of the awkward position that he finds himself in, instantly becoming the main man and taking the spotlight away from Wilson. The attention may have been negative last season for Wilson, but it's still a confidence knock for a young player to go from being No. 1 to No. 2.

"It’s a tough position," Rodgers added when speaking about what Wilson is dealing with. "You’re the guy, you dealt with all the stuff last year.

"His play on the field, the frustration, some of the stuff that he said, and the stuff that was said about him, which is probably the most difficult by his teammates and by some of you all, and now he’s got a chance to kind of reset that whole thing, take back the narrative. I think he’s done a great job. He’s played really, really well in camp."

Joseph McBride

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