It's been a rocky start to New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson's career.
The rookie has been beaten up through his first five games. At times Wilson looks overwhelmed, rushing through his reads to skip a wormburner at a receiver's feet. There are glimpses of the dynamic arm and the ability to make plays on the move. But those fleeting moments have been few and far between in the Jets' 1-4 start to the season.
With the Jets reaching their bye, Wilson said Tuesday he hopes to recharge and get back to simply playing football.
"Yeah, I would just say overthinking them," Wilson said of missing some easy throws. "I would just say, to an extent, aiming the throw rather than just throwing it, like I've always done my whole life. Just reacting to what a defense is giving me and just throwing it, rather than putting too much thought into it. Obviously, I 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 bit 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, I'm just reacting. Throwing it to where I feel like my receiver is at, and how they're coming out of things, rather than just trying to put it to a spot."
Jets coach Robert Saleh defended Wilson's play this week, noting that it took time for Josh Allen to become an MVP candidate in Buffalo. The coach also noted that being a rookie QB is a rough process.
Rookie QBs drafted high have a particular challenge in that they're generally selected by awful teams. Sitting inside a house constantly on fire is not exactly the ideal condition to grow and develop a talent.
Wilson's natural ability gives him a chance to succeed where other highly selected Jets QBs have failed. But through the first quarter of the season, it's been a rough showing for Gang Green's latest savior.
Wilson leads the NFL with nine interceptions and has the second-lowest completion percentage over expected (-7.3) in the NFL, per Next Gen Stats.