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The New York Jets expect to see a bigger and better Zach Wilson in 2022. He has already ticked the “bigger” box.
After finishing last season at £ 208, the second-year quarterback reported to OTA practice this week at £ 221 – a designed weight gain that happened with the help of a nutritionist and a chef. And some serious willpower.
“I have a pretty bad sweet tooth, so that’s been a challenge,” Wilson told reporters Tuesday after the Jets’ first open training session.
Listed on 6-foot-2, Wilson has eliminated cookies, cakes and other sugary temptations from his carefully scripted diet. He said the keys are proportion control and eating at the right time, resulting in what he called “good weight.”
“I definitely feel better,” he said. “The energy, the ability to have that endurance throughout the training, is better. In the long run, once we get into a fight where we’ve actually been hit and tackled, it will help to have more size on me. “
One of Wilson’s best qualities is his speed in his pocket. He does not believe the 13-pound weight gain will compromise his ability to dodge pass-rushers. At the start of the season, he wants his playing weight to be 218.
“I just feel like I’m a better athlete with more emphasis on, for some reason,” he said.
Coach Robert Saleh, who described Wilson’s physique, used the word “thick.” The Jets, who drafted Wilson as number two overall in 2021, also expect him to grow mentally in Year 2.
“He looks good, he’s confident, he’s smiling, he’s vocal,” Saleh said. “I’ve said it before that one can always tell the level of confidence and their understanding of what they are being asked to do by the volume of their voice and he gets pretty loud.”
Wilson’s rookie season was a struggle. I have become number 30 out of 31 qualified passers in Total QBR (28.2). He went 3-10 starting with 2,334 yards, nine touchdowns, 11 interceptions and a 55.6% completion rate.
Front office strengthened his supporting cast this offseason, signing tight-ends CJ Uzomah and Tyler Conklin in free agency and drafting wide receiver Garrett Wilson (first round) and running back Breece Hall (second round).
The pressure will be on Wilson to encourage his young, talented supporting role.
“I feel like the whole staff, from GM to ownership and down, those guys have done a great deal to get the pieces we need,” he said. “I think it’s coming back to my job. Now I’m going to do my job to get these playmakers to the ball. How can I get these big close ends, these really good receivers and these running backs the ball in space and do what we brought them here to do?
The Jets are only expected to win 5.5 games, according to Caesars Sportsbook over-under, but there is a lot of optimism around the team after its strong draft.
“Yes, absolutely, we will definitely get better,” Wilson said. “I do not think we can say it before the first match, but the improvement is there. We have the talent, we have the boys. Can we now tie it all together and put something together?”