Jets coaches happy with Zach Wilson’s first minicamp

As Zach Wilson’s first minicamp came to an end Wednesday afternoon, Michael Carter approached Wilson while the pair left the practice field.

The rookie running back had a message for his rookie quarterback.

“[Carter] said to me after practice today, ‘You know what, it’s hard to know sometimes if it was a good or a bad day,’ ” Wilson said. “And it’s really because there’s so many learning experiences, and the frustrating things are good to learn from.”

Using that logic, Wilson couldn’t offer a specific grade for his performance this week. He insisted that the hiccups helped him become a better player.

Over the past two days, though, those frustrating moments were largely few and far between. Grasping a new system and acclimating to NFL coverage schemes are often the most daunting tasks facing a rookie quarterback. So far, Wilson, taken No. 2 overall in this spring’s draft, seems to be ahead of the curve — even if the reps have come in shorts, not pads.

Zach Wilson
Zach Wilson
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“He’s a fast study,” passing game specialist Greg Knapp said. “He has done a good job of minimizing mistakes. You’ve got to expect mistakes from anyone starting the first time in any profession. I’ve seen very minimal same mistakes twice. He learns quickly from mistakes, and that is impressive to see from a young guy.”

Added offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur: “We’ve thrown a ton at him. … I thought these last two weeks have been awesome for him.”

Wilson likened the process to learning a foreign language. Though each practice consists of the same cycle of plays, nothing else stays the same. Wilson’s days are filled with different reps, looks and defensive coverages.

In college, that wasn’t the case. Across three seasons at BYU, Wilson mastered the offense. Now, that familiarity is uprooted.

“Out here, you’re always just a step slow at first,” Wilson said. “It’s just how fast can I get through my progressions to where I don’t even have to think about it. Something’s covered, I instantly know how to move on. I think that’s the key.”

Wilson’s on-field growth inevitably starts off the field. He has spent swaths of free time in the film room. Soon, he plans to organize throwing sessions with his receivers to get their timing and route running on the same page.

The Jets won’t take the field as a team again until training camp in late July. For Wilson, the break will provide plenty of time to continue his acclimation.

“There’s always something new to prepare for and get better at,” Wilson said. “I’m just gonna make sure I’m doing everything that I can to be ready once training camp runs around.”