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Garrett Wilson Provides a Boost to Jets Offense from Last Week to This Week

Wideout, Back from Ankle Sprain, Reconnects with QB Aaron Rodgers: 'He Makes Difficult Things Look Easy'


Many see the Jets sailing along Route XLVIII on into the regular season, into the playoffs and all the way to the NFL championship game. But reality can be a lot different. Things change from week to week, bumps rise and fall in the road. And the Jets have some key stretches to smooth out before Sept. 11 and beyond.

In that regard, QB Aaron Rodgers said there was one big development between the single joint practices last week and this week: "The biggest difference, going against Carolina and against Tampa, was him being on the field,"

Him in this case being Garrett Wilson, who finally got back on the field after two-plus weeks rehabbing a low ankle sprain.

"It was like the longest two weeks of my life," Wilson said after Wednesday's single joint practice against Tampa Bay at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. "But I try to have the right approach from it and see the game through a different lens. I haven't really been able to sit back and watch the day-to-day stuff, so for me, those first five days when I was strictly off my feet a lot, I just wanted to watch, see how the operation was going down, see how Aaron went about things with the receiver group. And I feel it was beneficial for me."

Chemistry is always in the forefront for players, coaches, fans and media at this time of year, and with the way some of those day-to-day things have been going for the Green & White, more than a few fans fret about an accident in the chem lab once the season starts.

But neither Wilson nor Rodgers sees that regarding their connection on the field or for the offense at large.

"It's pretty good, man. We're still building," Wilson said of syncing up with Rodgers. "We're still building. Every day we get better and that's all we can do. With him, he makes it easy on me, man. It's really just do your job and be in a spot. I'm confident he can throw to anyone."

And Rodgers' initial assessments of Wilson, when he likened Wilson's skills to those of his favorite NFL wideout in Davante Adams, haven't changed.

"The talent is really impressive," Rodgers said. "He makes difficult things look easy. It's the person that he is, too. Receivers are an interesting personality. They're usually the most talented guys on the team athletically. Everybody wants the football, everybody wants to be on the field, everybody thinks they're open all the time. I've had some great ones over the years that were great people as well. Garrett's the same way."

So having No. 17 back in the lineup with No. 8 has filled one or two of the potholes the offense may have encountered. Now getting newly signed RB Dalvin Cook integrated into the flow, no sooner than next week, and determining "the best five" offensive linemen, those are ongoing construction projects.

But as Rodgers said, "I don't have a lot of stress, a lot of concern about some things that are out of my control and I don't have a lot of input on."

See the best photos of the Jets during Wednesday's joint practice with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

In a similar vein, Wilson speaks like a second-decade vet instead of a second-year man when he says the offense is not now where it will be.

"We're far, far away from where we want be at, but we're in a good spot," he said. "When we were installing a new offense a few months ago and the whole wide receivers room looked different, you've got to go through some growing pains. We feel we got that out of the way. And today I feel like we went out there and put it on the field, put it on film, had another team across from us to do it against. We've been in a good spot. I think those boys are ready and I know I'm ready. I think we're all excited."

And what will the excitement do to lift Wilson to new heights after he caught 83 passes for 1,103 yards, four receiving touchdowns, 56 first downs and 18 third-down conversions? All team highs, by the way. Wilson advised that the highway will smooth out and for his encore, he's just going to enjoy the ride.

"I don't want to overcomplicate it," he said. "I feel like we've got a special group, a great play-caller, a great quarterback. All the pieces are in place. So for me it's just do my job, and when February or January comes, I can watch the film and said I did my job. I'll be in a good place."

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