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Jets QB Zach Wilson 'Controlling What I Can Control' as Rehab Continues

With Knee 'Definitely Not 100% Still,' He's Working with Scout Team, Rooting On Mike White in Starter's Role


Zach Wilson, being a social cat, is well aware of the yowling in certain corners of the Internet regarding the Jets' quarterback situation. And if he missed any of the talk, he can get the rundown from reporters at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center.

"I knew it was going to be tough and that's part of the process," Wilson said after Thursday's practice in his first media availability this month. "That's what makes football so fun. So my time's going to come."

In fact, Wilson is still biding his time since he said his knee, twisted in the second quarter at New England on Oct. 24, is "definitely not 100 percent still."

"That's why I'm going through this practice to just try and get back to feeling normal," he said. "When you take a couple of weeks off and you don't run, even this week is a big feel week for me as far as just having the knee feel like normal. A little bit of scrambling and moving around, it doesn't feel 100 percent there and that's why we're doing a lot of this."

But as far as regaining his starting job when he does feel fine or sitting and continuing to watch Mike White operate the offense vs. the Bills and beyond, Wilson is letting all things take their course.

"I handle it the only way I can, controlling what I can control, doing what I can every day in practice," he said. "My time will come. I just have to work on just keep getting healthy and taking my practice reps very seriously and how I can just get back to the groove of playing."

Wilson responded to a question about whether he's concerned that in some quarters there's uncertainty about Wilson as the Jets starter for the first time since arriving from BYU as the second overall selection of April's NFL Draft.

"No, definitely not, and the reason is I've only played five games. I just got here," Wilson said. "I'm supposed to be a senior in college right now, you know. You've got to understand it's going to be hard and I'm not making any excuses but that's where growth comes.

"I look back at my college career, and the year before I got there we were 4-9. We went 7-6 twice and then we had an 11-1 season. That's how football goes. You have to go through adversity to get where you want to go. I definitely didn't come here thinking this is going to be the greatest thing ever and we're going to go undefeated."

Instead, the Jets were 1-5 through the Patriots game before going 1-1 with White and Josh Johnson combining to put up intriguing point and yardage figures. And while Wilson keeps working on his own game, he remains close to White. He texted the Jets' backup-turned-starter during and after the Bengals win and revels in seeing his development under center.

"I'd probably say I'm closer to him than anyone else on the team," Wilson said. "We have a really good relationship, so I feel like I can take advantage of that opportunity, being able to learn from the reps that he's going through and things that he's seeing and doing."

Wilson even says his internalizing White's ability to not feel he has to force things will benefit his own game.

"I would say my style of play needs to get more like that," he said. "It was the same thing in college. Maybe I forced things a little bit too much my freshman, sophomore years. But I found that balance my junior year, I found what risks were worth it and I was still able to have those big explosive plays, but I took care of the ball."

So Wilson said he'll continue to play the long game, working on his knee and on his game while running the scout team in practice and on the sidelines during games and cheering on White and the Jets.

"I really do hope Mike does well and I hope the team wins," he said. "And it's just because of the business of it all and the way that Mike treated me when he was the backup. He deserves to do well — he's been working his butt off. The whole situation, it's been a lot smoother than you would think it would be, right? And so I think it's only going to be beneficial for me in the long run."

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