Zach Wilson does not care that his every move is being dissected by fans and media every day. In fact, the New York Jets quarterback said he has no idea what is being said about him because he unplugs from social media before training camp begins and doesn’t log back on until he gets bored in the offseason.
ZW: “For me, it just comes down to limiting what voices I really need to hear and, right now, it’s here, hearing what my coaches have to say, what the other QBs have to say, and what my teammates are thinking on every single play. Even parents sometimes can be a distraction.”
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) August 2, 2022
The insight into his social media habits came to light Tuesday when a reporter asked how he handles the “daily scrutiny” of his play.
“Who’s scrutinizing? I mean, I’m sorry, I don’t read any of your guys’ stuff,” Zach Wilson said with a smile.
“I’m not a big social media guy. I don’t have access to that kind of stuff. So, I keep my mind here with the guys, in the playbook and with the coaches, and learn from what those guys are telling me.”
It’s not a new game plan for Wilson. He explained that unplugging to limit distractions began when he played college ball at BYU and continued last season when he was a Jets rookie.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) August 2, 2022
Wilson said he has a social media team that helps him publish photos and posts that are positive in their message, that “show off” teammates, for example.
But you’ll never catch him reading anything on social media.
“Really what it comes down to is reading things,” Zach Wilson said. “I don’t ever get into that stuff. I don’t ever just scroll down social media.”
That’s probably a good decision. Wilson’s every decision and every pass from OTAs to minicamp to training camp and during games is dissected up, down and sideways. And the critiques have tended to lean negative, especially after Wilson’s disappointing rookie season when he completed 55.6 percent of his passes and threw 11 interceptions to nine touchdowns.
Though teammates and Jets coach Robert Saleh have praised Wilson for his growth so far in Year 2, he is still searching for consistency in his game. On Monday, he opened practice with a gorgeous 80-yard touchdown pass to Elijah Moore but then missed several throws and led a pair of three-and-outs during 11-on-11 play, eliciting groans on social media.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) August 1, 2022
“You want everyone to play at a Hall of Fame level, right? That’s what we all want,” Saleh said Tuesday, “But we also understand the progress at which he’s developing and how hard it is to play the quarterback position. What I can say is that he’s definitely better than he was last year at this point.”
This isn’t the first time Wilson claimed ignorance on what was being said about him on social media. Last month, while the soon-to-be 23-year-old was in Idaho with several teammates, Wilson’s ex-girlfriend made salacious claims about him on Instagram. Several days later when Wilson emerged from the team-bonding trip, he dropped a “What I miss?” message on his Instagram account.
His handling of that situation and his critics is extremely smooth. Now Zach Wilson needs to be equally as smooth transitioning into the top-flight quarterback the Jets expect him to be.