Zach Wilson, 4.27
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Rich Cimini, ESPN: Hey Zach, long time no speak. Maybe you can just catch us up since January on what your offseason has been like just in terms of football wise. Where you’ve worked out, obviously you did some traveling, working out, and just how you think you’ve benefitted from what you’ve done.
A lot of time to reflect. I think that was good to be able to watch kind of just everything we’ve gone through the past year, be able to rest, kind of re-establish what we feel like was the best way for us to head into this next season. So, I enjoyed the months we had to regroup, get back into lifting, getting back into shape, just kind of being more efficient with scheduling and finding out what I think is the best way for me to get after it and this team as well. I’m excited to be back, it really is good to be back.
Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: Hey Zach, you’re only a year removed from being drafted. What’s your excitement level for what Joe (Douglas) and company will bring in in the next few days, particularly on offense for you? What’s kind of your anticipation? Obviously, you have no say in who comes, but what’s your anticipating and excitement level about how much you guys may improve?
I’m extremely excited about the plan, I feel like the organization as a whole, everybody is very tied together as far as being on the same page with everything. I know my trust with the ownership and Joe D as well and what they’re doing, I feel like they have a really good plan. I’m excited for what they’re going to bring in for us, I can’t wait to see draft day, some more free agency stuff, whatever it is. But I have full trust in everything they’re doing, so I’m excited for it.
Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: When you say the plan, kind of what are the things that excite you about it specifically? Without giving up any trade secrets so to speak.
I really think it’s within the detail, the years of establishment, them finding out what we need, them saying, “Hey, how can we grow? What do we need this year, what do we need down the road? How can we just build those pieces, lay a brick at a time?” Those guys do a good job of really being able to put it all into place. Now, going onto year two and year two with this coaching staff as well, I feel like they are right on schedule of kind of putting everything together like we need to.
Connor Hughes, The Athletic: Zach, how much different is this for you in this point in time compared to last year when you were getting ready for the draft compared to now where you’ve kind of had a full offseason with this playbook knowing what you need to do?
I’m not out here necessarily learning the very basics of the offense anymore, now we’re expanding trying to take it a little bit further and how can we make those corrections. The best part is I have that film of the good plays, but also the bad ones. The bad ones are the best ones to watch. How can we correct those and how can I be better, how can we be more efficient? The coaches have a lot of things they’re changing as well that we think can be better for us next year, just adapting to the roster that we have. So, I really think these weeks coming up, of just being able to watch some tape, practice some stuff on the field, still take care of our bodies and then just being around the guys is definitely needed, for sure.
Rich Cimini, ESPN: One of the themes from this offseason, every time we spoke to Robert (Saleh) or Joe, they would say they’re going to try to do everything they can to surround you with as much talent as possible. When you hear that, what’s your reaction?
I appreciate their confidence in me, and I think they understand that quarterback efficiency in this league, overall, not even just in my standpoint, it’s how you win games, it’s how you be explosive on offense. So, I need to do my part, I need to get better, I need to let the guys around me make the plays that they were brought in for. I’m excited that we’re in that process of building it together and we all get to kind of ride the wave together as well.
Rich Cimini, ESPN: What do you think of your two new tight ends? Last year, really, tight end wasn’t a huge part of the offense in terms of the passing game, but now you’ve got two guys who have been productive in the league in Tyler (Conklin) and C.J. (Uzomah). What are your thoughts on maybe more tight end efficiency this year in the offense?
I think we got some ballers, some really good players between those two coming in. I’m excited, they’re very high character guys, I feel like they’re easy to talk to. They want to be great, they’ve done it for a while now, so what a great addition to our locker room. Personally, they were the guys I wished, when we were talking about tight ends and such, those were the guys I wanted to bring in as well. So, I’m glad we made that happen. They did a great job with that. I think it’s just going to take our offense to the next level.
Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: Zach, what do you remember most about a year ago and the anticipating of getting picked? What are your biggest memories that stand out as that night approached?
It was awesome, it was really such a cool experience. From where I was a year before that to coming in and now hearing talks of being a top 10 pick or whatever it is and you’re excited to see what’s going to happen, you have that doubt if you really are going to be. It’s an exciting moment, it really is. So, you kind of just want to absorb all of that and really soak it in because it was an awesome moment, but that year really flew by. You look over this past year and things that I’ve learned and went through, it was really a good time though to be honest.
Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: As you reflect on the things you’ve probably thought about and worked on this offseason, what are some of those things and how much better do you believe you’ll be this year as you referred to at the start of this thing? You’re not really looking for remedial stuff in the offense, your kind of in the advance mode now.
For me, it’s just how efficient can I be, how can I get the ball out of my hands quickly, how can I help out our o-line with my pocket presence, my ability to step up and get the ball out of my hands to our running backs, go down the field to our receivers and let those guys make plays. How can I just be confident within the pocket, be accurate? I think everything takes care of itself once everyone starts doing their own job, I think it’s perfect.
Brian Costello, New York Post: Zach, what was the thinking behind your tour across America to work out with the guys and what do you think you got out of those sessions?
Really, I was in Utah with my family, hanging out. I was throwing with most of the BYU guys so I can have some live receivers. I felt like one thing I kind of missed out on last year was just getting as many live reps as I could, especially before this season and just routes versus air with our guys. So, I kind of just reached out. I was going to an event, a concert out in Nashville so I was like, ‘You know what, this is perfect timing to go get some work in with Corey (Davis),’ he was always down. So, we got to put something together there. I was out for Arizona for a little golf tournament, I think we had four guys there. Miami there was a bunch of guys there, so I kind of got to make my trips around. You still got to have that fun time of being able to experience and enjoy the offseason, but also, we got some great work in, I thought it was very efficient. I think that stuff kind of goes a long way. These receivers, they want to be great. My job is to let them be great and to get the ball into their hands.
Connor Hughes, The Athletic: Zach, there’s obviously been a lot of public talk, I would say, about you guys potentially going out there and making a trade for Deebo Samuel, who obviously wants to be out of San Francisco. Do you pay any mind, do you pay any attention to that? Will you go talk to Joe or talk to Robert about how much he could potentially mean to the offense or do you kind of stay away from that talk?
I’ll give my input if they ask. Obviously, the situation that it is, the media always says one story when you know behind the media there’s always something else. You never know what’s going on with trade talks and money and everyone else involved. Really, you see the stuff on social media, but you never know how true it is until something was to really happen. You get to see really all of it, not even just Deebo, you see everyone within the rumor talks. If we pull one out at the end of the day, then I think that’s the right decision for us.
Rich Cimini, ESPN: How would you feel about (Samuel) joining the team?
Obviously, Deebo is a great player. There’s definitely no hesitation there. Of course, anyone I think those guys are going to bring in that free agency market would be, obviously a benefit for us, depending on what we’d have to give up or whatever, that’s not up to me. I guess all I can say is I really just trust what Joe D and those guys are thinking about. Whatever decision they happen to make there I’m going to be happy with it.
Al Iannazzone, Newsday: Zach, what did you think or what were you thinking when the Jets were in play for Tyreek Hill, too? That would have obviously helped you tremendously.
Obviously, I think it just shows this organization cares and those guys are trying to go above and behind and help flip this organization around. I thought it was a really cool push by us and they’re trying to do everything they can and unfortunately, we didn’t get that one, but that’s part of it and we’re going to really work to get the next one, I’m sure.
Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: Have you had much, if any, contact with Mekhi (Becton) this offseason? Where do you feel like he’s at right now?
He’s been working, I’ve been able to text him a little bit throughout the offseason just checking up on him, seeing how he’s doing. I think he’s in that full, grind move, head down and just go to work. I’m excited for when he gets back here and he’s able to just show everybody what he’s been working on.
Brian Costello, New York Post: Zach, what were your main goals for the portion of the offseason when you were working by yourself in Utah, what were the things you were trying to do? Were you trying to add weight, lose weight? Were you doing specific stuff? Was it footwork stuff, what were you trying to work on during those few months away from the team?
Really putting weight on, I think the right way. I think in the past, I would kind of shoot up to around 218 and I don’t know if it feels the best or if I feel the best personally from an athletic standpoint. I have years as far as being able to put weight on, so I want to do it the right way, eat healthy and slowly build there rather than try to do it all at once. And then how can I maintain throughout the season is a big goal for me as well. I did some of that stuff, a lot of mobility stuff, try to keep some of my range. Obviously throwing, I think that was good for me to be in Utah because I had the access to a lot of BYU guys. Early in the year, a lot of NFL guys aren’t running routes. They have to take care of their bodies and relax, and so I think it was a good thing for me to have some live receivers that were easy access for me down in Provo.
Brian Costello, New York Post: How do you feel like it benefitted having John (Beck) be with the team for the last few months last season? And then, what were you guys able to do in the offseason with that?
It was huge, I think he was a huge help. It’s almost been another ear in there as a quarterback, not necessarily as a coach. He wasn’t just giving his input just like the other coaches were, he was almost trying to look at it from my perspective and how he can absorb that and then help me out on the field, just having somebody you’re comfortable with that you can through stuff with was always good. So, the offseason was definitely good because we were able to obviously work some of those plays and whatever it is. We’ll get to see how it plays out here going forward.