Tuesday was day six of practices at Jets training camp, the first day of full pads. And you might think fans are getting tired of hearing about Zach Wilson playing pitch-and-catch with Elijah Moore.
This week began the latest chapter in the textbook being written about Wilson, the Jets' first-round rookie quarterback, and his growing relationship with Moore, their second-round rookie receiver.
"Part of it is him just being in the right spot," Wilson told reporters after the practice of why the ball is often going from No. 2 to No. 8 during drills. "Right now, in the stage that I'm at, as far as processing goes, I'm not really to the point of 'Where's Elijah? Where's Corey? Where's Keelan? Where's so-and-so?' to find guys. But I'm necessarily at 'What's my read on this play? Where's my 1-2-3 [reads]?' Elijah is just taking advantage of winning out his routes and getting open, and that's why we're finding each other. When he knows what is going on, he is hard to stop."
And if Moore is stopped on one play, the duo took their chemistry lesson to the next step Tuesday after a short-hopped connection between the two. Wilson recalled the exchange:
ZW: Hey, I've got to get that out there for you,
EM: Let's get it again.
ZW: Yup, I agree, let's get it again.
A handful of reps later, they got it again and this time connected.
"That's what that drill is for, even just throwing routes versus air," Wilson said. "The timing of having a guy, bumping him at the line, he's got to work him a little bit, how long it takes to restack and get back outside, it throws my timing off a little bit. And then his speed — I've got to be able to adjust to how fast he's running and that's what practice is for. That's why we do those kinds of drills is for me and him to get on the same page. Now, next time I throw that ball I'm like, 'You know what? We just worked on this in one-on-ones,' and I know what that's going to feel like."
Needless to say, Wilson's continuing education is not just about finding Moore but all his receivers, and that's proceeding as well. In the first two practices this week he's dished to WRs Jamison Crowder, Corey Davis, Keelan Cole and Denzel Mims and TE Chris Herndon.
"Every day, we're making sure we're getting all these reps together, that I'm getting certain routes with certain guys so we can work on that timing," he said. "Every single day in team, in one-on-ones, routes were there, it's all going apply, all of those. That connection I have with them is a little different for me because these guys are fast. They're fast so I can trust that I can throw the ball out there and they're going to get it."
So young and so much to learn. On the one hand, it might help Wilson to know that today he turned not only a day older but a year older as well as he celebrates his 22nd birthday. On the other hand, he only has that many more years to try to match what's been accomplished by Tom Brady, who just happens to turn 44 today.
"One of the craziest parts is I think I was 1 [year old] in his first year in the NFL," Wilson said when reminded that he's also spoken of his admiration for Packers QB Aaron Rodgers "Brady in my opinion is the greatest of all time and I don't think you can argue that. It's wherever he's at, they're winning and it's whatever he's doing there.
"I've always been a Rodgers guy because of the flashiness, but the thing that's important in the game is winning. It's a team sport and it's all about winning. It's not about how cool a throw looks or anything like that, so he's definitely been a favorite to watch growing up and I think that's because of the way he does it, the way he has found a system, a process that works for him."
Wilson continues to search for a process to call his own now that he's moved into his "post-grad" studies with the Jets and the NFL.
See the Best Images from Tuesday's Padded Practice at Jets Training Camp