Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, at the end of minicamp practices late Wednesday, got his share of Zach Wilson questions. LaFleur's observations of his rookie quarterback were very positive:
"It's been a learning curve for him. ... I thought these last two weeks have been awesome for him. ... He learns and he's eager."
But Wilson wasn't the only Green & White rookie to jump out from OTAs and this week of camp. Second-round WR Elijah Moore also caught the OC's eye — as well as the eyes of Jets reporters who asked LaFleur about him.
"You've been here quite a bit and seen him make plays," LaFleur said. "You can't hide that."
Wilson's noticed it, too, especially on those rare less-than-laser-accurate throws.
"Every once in a while you catch those glimpses of you throw a ball at his knees or above his head and he catches it so well and is able to transition up the field," the QB said. "It's so natural for him, his ability to catch the ball and get up the field. Very smooth player."
Equal to his receiving skills and YAC dimension is Moore's drive to thrive. Both the coach and the quarterback have noticed.
"This guy wants to be really, really good in this league. He wants to make a name for himself. He's so internally motivated and driven," LaFleur said. "It's always the next play, what can I do better? ... You can see it with some rookies that come into this league — 'Give me a year and I'll figure this game out.' He doesn't want to wait a year. He wants it now."
"Elijah wants to be great," Wilson said. "I spend a lot of time with him. He's someone I want to be around because he wants to be great. He's definitely a motivating person and we're going to have a good time doing this thing together because he's going to be a good player."
Finally, all the skills and the drive can fall by the NFL wayside if not for a great work ethic. And Moore appears to have that as well.
"The cool part about Elijah is that this guy just works," LaFleur said. "I know a lot of people say that, but he puts in a lot of time, whether it be 7 in the morning, on the JUGS in the indoor, taking it to the meetings or being prepared with the scripted plays. It's really tough on rookie receivers with the moving parts in our system. I think it takes some time."
But Moore, he said, "has embraced it and goes after it."
There's still much more work that needs to be done, during the 40 dark days of June and July, then training camp, then preseason games, then 17 (!) regular-season games. Moore will have to prove himself. Yet Work + Drive + Playmaking. Sounds reads like a winning equation for this still new NFL wide receiver.
"Elijah's a fun dude to coach," LaFleur said. "And whatever success he has he's going to earn it."
See the Top Images of the Jets on the Field During the Second Practice of Minicamp