Zach Wilson, 9.14

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Bruce Beck, WNBC: Your coach said on Tuesday you just need to be yourself; do you agree with that?

Yeah absolutely, I think that’s a good way to put it. I think that’s what we’ve all been trying to work on is being ourselves out there.


Bruce Beck, WNBC: What does being yourself mean to you on the football field?

I would say just playing my style of game, playing free, loose, trusting in what my coaches have been talking to me about, our room, and just going out there and playing ball.


Rich Cimini, Have you had any interaction with Aaron (Rodgers) this week? Has he helped you at all in terms of the x’s and o’s or the playbook? When’s the last time you talked with him?

We’ve exchanged a little bit of texting back and forth. I’ve been trying to give him his space. He’s obviously going through it, but really just showing him I love him and that we miss him being around, and that’s about it. Really just letting him handle everything that’s going on.


Rich Cimini, So, it’s a short week and you have to replace a future Hall of Fame quarterback and you’re facing a defense that pitched a shutout last week. There are easier ways of getting back in the lineup, what’s your approach this week?

Yeah, man, one step at a time, one play at a time, and I think it’s trusting the guys around me. I think they’ve shown this week how explosive and dynamic guys are, and relying on this good defense that we have. I think it’s going out there, taking it, like I said, one play at a time, trusting in my footwork, trusting in what my coaches have been talking about, and we’ll go from there.


Andy Vasquez, NJ Advance Media: How much confidence does that give you that you had basically all but four snaps in the last game and you guys were able to get that result under some pretty difficult circumstances?

Yeah, huge team win. Literally you couldn’t draw it up better. I thought the guys up front did a great job protecting, the receivers made some big time catches, we obviously ran the ball well, and then the defense was lights out all day, getting four turnovers and then to have the walk-off with special teams, it’s a good feeling. So, us as a team, we’re going to continue to grow on that and seeing how we can keep finding things on that film to just keep getting better. Finding that one thing. So, that’s the goal.


Bruce Beck, WNBC: Zach, what kind of confidence do you have in yourself?

A lot of confidence, man. I truly believe in myself, and I think that’s the first step to being in the NFL. You have to believe in yourself first, and the rest can take care of itself.


Zach Braziller, New York Post: Zach, what is it like going from what was supposed to be a reset year, and now all of a sudden, you’re the guy, and with the team depending on you, there’s a lot of expectations?

Yeah, man, I just have to go out there and do what I have to do. Help this team as much as I can, do my part, understand that I’m one of 11 on that offense and we have a lot of playmakers, so I’m excited to be out there with those guys, I’m excited about the group that we have, everyone’s very optimistic, so my job is to let those guys make plays.


Zack Rosenblatt, The Athletic: What’s your experience been like with Nathaniel Hackett so far? Describe that relationship?

Awesome. He’s goofy, he’s awesome. We have so much love, and I’ve really enjoyed working with him, and you can’t miss out on TD, Todd Downing, and Rob Calabrese, who has been with me for three years who I find very close, and we’ve grown a lot together, and our quarterback room in general. So, I’m very excited about the group that we have.


Rich Cimini, After everything that happened last year with the benchings and the whole controversy after the New England game, do you think you have to regain the confidence in this locker room?

I don’t think I need to think of it like that. I think how I can go out there and play football and I will earn that trust back from those guys. I would say I have a really good relationship with everybody in this locker room, you know we joke around, we eat lunch together, we go out for O-Line, QB dinners, and so I would always feel like the guys in this locker room have my back just like I have their back no matter what.


Al Iannazzone, Newsday: What happened this offseason in terms of you coming back, you said you were in a good place?

Just finding that love for football. This game can truly be so fun, and I’ve had more fun than I’ve ever had, and it’s been such a blast, and I think it’s the people that truly matter. I’ve enjoyed this group that we’ve had, and I’m not saying last year wasn’t, I loved the group we had last year too, but the stresses of things sometimes can make you not love it, so this year it’s been like, ‘how can I spend more time with my teammates and coaches rather than focusing on being hard on myself?’


Al Iannazzone, Newsday: Aaron, he said he spoke to you a lot obviously, is that something he helped you with?

Yeah, absolutely. Aaron does a great job at finding love in everything that we do, so I would say that’s kind of where that came from. Understanding that we’re blessed to be able to play this game, and we have to cherish every moment of it.


Rich Cimini, You went out to see him, even before all the trade talks started. You went out to his place. What prompted you to do that? 

Just big bro, little bro hanging out and just wanted to spend a little time together and really just kind of hit it off early when we first were getting to knowing each other, and we miss having him here right now.


Bruce Beck, WNBC: Do you think Rodgers has made you a better quarterback this year?

Absolutely. Absolutely. I feel like I’ve been trying to copy every little thing he’s doing, from his footwork to the coaching tips he’s given us. He does an amazing job, more than we could ask for as quarterbacks.


Bruce Beck, WNBC: How do you temper your thinking of running because you’ve got feet, and you’ve got speed, but the fact that it might not be the sensible thing to race out of the pocket and make a play?
Yeah, I think the goal is to get through my reads and if something’s not there, if I feel a lane, I think it comes down to reacting when you have to get out of the pocket. Now, taking the hits, that’s a whole other thing. I think I need to try and avoid taking hits and slide when I can get down.


Rich Cimini, What’s your take on Micah Parsons?

He’s a stud, man. This defense in general is going to be a good challenge for us as an offense. Obviously, a good front, a good linebacking core, and some good secondary players as well, so I’m excited, it’s going to be a good challenge. I think Micah was in my same draft class, so really cool, I’ll get to see him again.


Zach Braziller, New York Post: How do you feel like you’re different now than you were a year ago? A lot of coaches have been saying you’re very different. How do you feel like you’re different right now, as a player?

I’m just having tons of fun. I’d say that’s more than anything. The belief in the guys around me and being able to go out there and know that every single day is going to be a blast, no matter what happens, and you make a mistake, you fail, you’re able to learn from those and you understand you’re going to keep working to get better, and that’s all you can do.


Andy Vasquez, NJ Advance Media: After the interception, did you feel you approached it differently than you would have last year, and how so?

Of course, interceptions are frustrating, but they happen, and I need to learn from that. I still wish I didn’t throw that; I still think I shouldn’t have because it wasn’t a good decision, whatever, but they happen, and that’s the first thing you have to realize. You have to be able to say ‘okay, I made a mistake, now what?’ I have to move on, and the team’s relying on me to do my part.


Bruce Beck, WNBC: How would you describe the opportunity that’s in front of you right now?

Yeah, it’s a special opportunity. I’m excited to be a part of this team, man. These guys are very special, so doing my job and allowing the guys around me to do theirs.


Al Iannazzone, Newsday: Zach, what did it mean to you that Robert (Saleh) said this is Zach’s team, there’s not going to be a quarterback competition if we bring somebody in. After everything happened last year, to hear him say that, what did that mean?

It’s good to know he’s got a lot of trust in me. As a quarterback, when you’re stepping in and you feel the belief of the guys around you, it makes you want to go out there and do everything that you can for them, and I think that’s what’s so special about this team. We’re very tight right now, and everything’s been rolling smoothly.


Connor Hughes, SNY: Zach, I know for you to play, Aaron had to go down. Separating the injury from it, is there an excitement for you? Because this was supposed to be the sit back year, the not play year. You’re a player, you want to play, and now you do have a chance to go out on the field and lead the team that has Super Bowl aspirations?

Absolutely, I’d definitely say I’m very excited to be on the field. Of course, the way that it all happened, and everything isn’t exciting. If I could have him not get injured, I definitely would, but at the same time, I’m excited to be on the field. You only get to do this for so many years in our life, and we’re very blessed to be able to step on the field, so I’m extremely excited.


Rich Cimini, Is it motivating or annoying at all that there’s an outside perception that ‘oh, they just lost a four-time MVP, there goes the Super Bowl.’ Does that motivate you at all? What’s your reaction?

Yeah, I kind of don’t pay attention to it. For me, I know what I’m capable of, and I feel like I have the belief of the guys in this locker room, so how can we go out there every single day and piece it together one by one. Aaron’s a hell of a player, man, but I need to just try and do my job and keep this team going.


Oliver Beckmeier, RTL: Is there a lot of pressure right now? And how have you been dealing with the pressure?

Yeah, I wouldn’t say there’s a lot of pressure, just because the guys in the locker room do a good job showing that they always have my back and leaning on each other and keeping our circle tight. At the end of the day, like I said, we get to play football for a living, so we have to have fun with it.


Oliver Beckmeier, RTL: Do your goals for the season change now? 

No matter what, my goals were to learn and improve and get better, whether that’s stepping on the field or sitting back and watching, so no matter what, my goal stays the same of doing everything I can to help this team win.


Connor Hughes, SNY: I know you said the interception was bad, you didn’t want to throw the interception, but you also said mistakes are going to happen. Is that freedom of playing that way different than last year where maybe you were harping so much on ‘don’t make the mistake’, where now playing free is actually going to help you play better?

Yeah, I think you’re always trying to be perfect as an athlete, especially as a quarterback, and I think you have to understand mistakes are going to happen, and it’s almost how you bounce back rather than the mistake you actually made. So, it’s having that short term memory, and just keep going, one play at a time.