The New York Jets and Aaron Rodgers partnership is fully underway. After the Jets and Packers finalized their deal to send the four-time MVP out east just days before the 2023 NFL Draft, many have speculated what the ceiling for this 2023 Jets team is. Super Bowl or bust? Lucky to make the playoffs for the first time since 2010? A complete failure? No matter the outcome, the New York Jets are asking Zach Wilson to “be ready” after what they have seen out of Aaron Rodgers so far.
Why Are The New York Jets Asking Zach Wilson To “Be Ready?”
In an article by Brian Costello of The New York Post:
Zach Wilson looks lighter. It is possible the quarterback has dropped a few pounds but it also may be just the weight of the Jets world being lifted off his shoulders.
“I’m having a ton of fun — more fun than I’ve had,” an upbeat Wilson said, “and I think that’s just the QB room, being with Aaron. I think it’s feeling like every single day there’s so much to, like, learn.”
Aaron, of course, is Aaron Rodgers, the man who took Wilson’s job as starting quarterback and now is the center of the entire Jets universe.
The Jets will go as Rodgers goes in 2023. That means for many Jets fans that Wilson is now an afterthought.
But, like it or not, Wilson is the second-most-important player on the team. The man with jersey No. 2 is also the No. 2 quarterback and with a 39-year-old quarterback, the Jets are likely going to need Wilson at some point. Rodgers already has dealt with a calf injury this spring.
The Jets may need Wilson out of the bullpen for a play, a series, a game or a stretch of games. That might cause panic with Jets fans, but Wilson has had a good spring after losing his job.
Wilson seemed different on Friday in his session with the media. He seemed humbled. Wilson is no longer the face of the franchise, the man picked second overall to save the team. Poor play over his first two years has now relegated him to backup status.
“I can’t be bitter with the situation,” Wilson said of losing his job. “I didn’t perform well.”
You may remember this is the player who said the offense did not let down the defense after putting up three points in New England last November, helping Wilson lose his grip on the starting job.
Everyone has heaped praise on Wilson this spring. ’Tis the season for optimism and happy talk around the NFL, so everything should be taken with some perspective, but the Jets can’t say enough good things about how Wilson has handled his demotion.
“I give him a ton of credit because it’s hard to do what he’s been asked to do,” Jets coach Robert Saleh said. “To be the second-overall pick, to have two years of playing a lot of football, then being asked to take a back seat to allow another man, to watch and learn from another man. So, from a personal standpoint, it’s very humbling to be in his shoes right now, but at the same time, the way he’s attacked it, his demeanor, his personality, the attitude at which he’s done it, he’s been very positive through this whole thing.”
Wilson and Rodgers have a prior relationship and that has helped the two build a working relationship with the Jets.
The two spent time together in California back in January before it became clear they would be teammates. Wilson called Rodgers “the greatest quarterback of all time.”
“At first, you’re not always happy about that,” Wilson said of losing his job, “but I’m extremely psyched that out of any quarterback we could have brought in, it was him.”
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