Two days after his and the Jets' fourth loss in their first five games, QB Zach Wilson is getting ready to head west, young man, and spend his bye week down time back in Utah with his family. But before departing One Jets Drive, he answered a few more questions from reporters asking him about the bumpy start to his pro career and gave every impression that the turbulence was temporary.
"I understand that every single week is just a steppingstone for what we're trying to get," Wilson told reporters Tuesday. "I just need to keep learning and take some of the plays I'm not happy with or situations in games with the right mindset and be able to keep learning from those and getting better each and every week."
Wilson notes the many teammates and coaches he leans on around the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center to help his transition process from college to the pros. And outside the facility, he includes his parents and family as his touchstones, not to mention a few BYU legend QBs that he talks to in Steve Young and John Beck.
But he made it clear he's not returning to his roots this week to forget about football.
"I'm going home and see my family — I haven't seen them in a while," he said. "And I'm going to go work with my quarterback coach, John Beck, that I train with. He's super close with our staff as well, so I'm excited to go and just work on some of the things I feel like I can clean up. I'm going to watch the first five games, see what I really want to put an emphasis on, and how can I just clear my mind and spend a little time with the family and then be ready to come back and get after it this next week."
Many Green & White followers outside the building want to help Wilson over all those issues he's been dealing with, such as the slow-starting offense, early off-target passes and interceptions. He appreciates the help but adds that his "insiders" have those trouble spots covered and they're all hard at work to fix things.
Take his footwork.
"A lot of people always have comments on how my footwork should be different or should be one way or the other," he said. "The hard thing I don't think people realize is how much time and effort we put into the footwork, whether it's Coach LaFleur talking about the fundamentals of the play and how my feet need to take me through my progressions, or Coach Cavanaugh and Coach Calabrese walking us through it. And every single day in practice, every drill that we do is all dedicated to footwork and timing and how I can get the ball out.
"We spend a lot of time on the footwork," he said. "I wouldn't say it was that."
He did agree that he needs to find his big-name wide receivers more. One that fans want to see break loose is second-round rookie Elijah Moore, who's been held to eight catches for 66 yards and no TDs so far.
"Elijah's a baller and his time is coming, just like the rest of us," Wilson said. "I wish I could get him the ball more. I know that's part of my job. I know he's a dominant player and I need to get him the ball more. Really, I think it's just buying into the process and understanding it's going to take time."
Wilson did have an interesting theory of his own about why it took him some time in-game to get some of his early off-target throws back on the money.
"I would just say overthinking them to an extent, aiming the throw rather than just throwing it, like I've always done my whole life," he said. "Reacting to what the defense is giving me and just throwing it, rather than putting too much thought into it. I've got a lot I'm learning every single week and I'm always putting my mind on new things I need to learn. And with that sometimes comes being a little robotic, and I think sometimes that's how those throws come out. I'm aiming them. I have to just throw it and rip it, kind of how I do in the second half when we have some of those big plays down the field and I'm just reacting."
Wilson remains his own harshest critic yet retains belief in smoother sailing ahead, for himself, the Jets and their fans.
"My expectation for myself is to do better than this. My expectation for the team is to have won every single game, just because I know that we can and we have the ability to do that," he said. "But we also know this is a process. We're getting better each and every week, so that's not something we can worry about or get down on ourselves for.
"We have a lot to look forward to. I'm very hopeful as far as just what we've shown on film and what we know we can do and how close we are to getting it done. We need to just be able to keep going with it."