The first half of Jets quarterback Zach Wilson's news conference following Tuesday's training camp practice focused on the new, possibly season-ending, knee injury suffered by tackle Mekhi Becton the day before.
But as Wilson said, despite offering healing words to Becton and his teammates, "You've just got to keep going through it. We signed up to play football and that's kind of part of it."
Which led Jets reporters to ask about Wilson's progress, from the week before his pro debut in last year's preseason opener against the Giants to this week as he prepares for his second summer lidlifter, at the Eagles on Friday.
In short, he said, things are going well, thank you.
"Maybe it's just the understanding of what's expected from me every day," Wilson explained his view of his personal upward trend, then alluding to a tough offensive part of Tuesday's practice. "Like today was rough, right? Don't try to do too much, treat every play like it's the next one. It's just getting comfortable with everybody, comfortable in the offense, comfortable with my reads. I've seen the plays we're running so many times now, I can think about the reads. We can stack those days up."
Wilson had a few ideas for what would constitute the Jets' most important accomplishments at Lincoln Financial Field.
"The biggest thing is going to be clean football," he said. "We've got to go out there with no penalties. Of course there'll be some penalties, but the presnap penalties, you need to avoid. Mental errors, missed assignments. We need to look like a football team out there. We've got to execute, and if we do that, I think everything takes care of itself from there."
But knowing his big tackle won't be there for the game, and possibly won't be suiting up this season, has given Wilson just a little pause as he tries to focus on the job ahead.
"It sucks, man. You don't like dealing with that stuff but unfortunately it's kind of part of football. And it hurts even more for him because of what he's been battling back from after last year," he said. "I went and saw him in the training room. I don't think he knows exactly what's going on and everything yet. But I just wanted to show him comfort and let him know I'm there for him."
As the QB knows all too well, despite Becton's injury, it has to be next man up, full speed ahead. And Wilson is ready to take however many snaps and engineer however many drives as he's called on against the Eagles.
"I don't know if they've mentioned that yet," Wilson said of Robert Saleh and his staff's determination for how much action the first units will see Friday. "I'm approaching this like it's a game week. The preparation for the Eagles won't be crazy, we'll still be working on ourselves. But if I go out there and play the whole game, I'll be ready for it."
"I've never been more excited to play football this year," he said. "I'm excited to go into the season."
See the Green & White on the field in full pads on a scorching hot day during week three at training camp.