Zach Wilson Discusses Taking Over As New York Jets’ Starting QB

Sep 14, 2023, 5:33 PM | Updated: 5:42 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – Former BYU Cougars star Zach Wilson talked about taking over as the New York Jets‘ starting quarterback once again following Aaron Rodgers’ Achilles injury in Week 1 of the 2023 NFL season.

Zach Wilson talks replacing Aaron Rodgers as Jets’ QB1

Wilson and the Jets opened their 2023 regular season against the Buffalo Bills on Monday, September 11. During New York’s first drive on offense, Rodgers suffered a season-ending Achilles injury and Wilson entered the game.

The former BYU quarterback threw a touchdown pass in New York’s 22-16 overtime win over the Bills.

Wilson finished the game 14/21 passing for 140 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. He also ran the ball four times for six yards. Wilson was sacked twice and posted a rating of 81.4.

The following day, Rodgers’ injury was confirmed and the veteran signal-caller was ruled out for the rest of the season and placed on New York’s injured reserve list. Jets head coach Robert Saleh announced that Wilson would be the team’s starting quarterback moving forward.

A few days later, Wilson spoke with the media and discussed regaining the starting role after a rocky two seasons to begin his NFL career. The former BYU star stated that he still has “a lot of confidence” and “truly” believes in himself as an NFL player.

Wilson talked about regaining the confidence of his teammates after struggling in 2021 and 2022.

“I don’t think I need to think of it like that,” the former Corner Canyon and BYU standout said. “I think how I can go out there and play football will earn that trust back from those guys. I would say I have a very good relationship with everybody in this locker room.”

Wilson said that he’s “absolutely” a better quarterback thanks to Rodgers‘ mentorship.

“I feel like I’ve been trying to copy every little thing he’s doing, from his footwork to the coaching tips he has given us,” Wilson said of his role model. “He’s done an amazing job, more than we could ask for as quarterbacks.”

The third-year quarterback also talked about how much fun he’s having now.

“This year, it’s been: How can I spend more time with my teammates and coaches rather than focusing on being hard on myself?” Wilson said. “I’m just having tons of fun.”

Jets offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett also voiced his confidence in Wilson and looked past the quarterback’s early career struggles.

Star players Garrett Wilson and Breece Hall have also expressed support for their former/new starting quarterback.

Wilson and the Jets will look to improve to a 2-0 record when they play on the road in Week 2. New York’s next game is against the Dallas Cowboys in Texas on Sunday, September 17 at 2:25 p.m. (MDT) on CBS.

About Zach Wilson

Before his time in the NFL, the Corner Canyon High School product had a standout career at BYU. Wilson helped the Cougars to an 11-1 record during his final season in Provo.

Following his college career, the Jets selected Wilson with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

During the quarterback’s rookie season, Wilson missed four games due to a knee injury. He finished the year throwing for 2,334 yards, nine touchdowns, and 11 interceptions with a 55.6 completion rate.

Before his second season, the former BYU star underwent surgery after suffering a knee injury in New York’s preseason opener. Without Wilson, the Jets opened the 2022 season with a 1-2 record. After returning, the Jets posted a 5-2 record before Wilson was benched for the first time. After a month on the sidelines, Wilson returned to action for a couple of contests before he was benched again.

Last season, the Jets posted a 7-10 record and missed the NFL Playoffs.

RELATED: QB Aaron Rodgers Tears Left Achilles Tendon In First Drive With New York Jets

Wilson finished the 2022 season having thrown for 1,688 yards, six touchdowns, and seven interceptions with a 54.5 percent completion rate. He has a rating of 72.9 and a QBR of 37.1. The Jets missed the playoffs with a 7-10 record.

During his first two seasons in the league, Wilson passed for 4,022 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 18 interceptions. He also ran for 287 yards and five touchdowns.

Kyle Ireland is a Sports Producer and Locals in the NFL Insider for KSLSports.com. He’s also co-host of the Yards After College Podcast. Follow him on X/Twitter (@kyleireland), Instagram (@kyleirelandksl), and Threads (@kyleirelandksl).

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Zach Wilson Discusses Taking Over As New York Jets’ Starting QB