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Jets' Garrett Wilson: Joe Flacco's WR-Friendly Passes Different Than Zach Wilson

Doric SamAugust 16, 2022

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Veteran quarterback Joe Flacco is taking first-team reps for the New York Jets in the wake of Zach Wilson's knee surgery, and the team's receivers are noticing a difference in their styles.

Jets rookie Garrett Wilson explained how he feels Flacco's passes are more catered to the wideouts.

"There's definitely a difference," Wilson told reporters Monday. "It's a lot of experience right there with Flacco. I feel like everything with him, he takes some pace off, puts some pace on the ball. He does a good job of making the passes receiver-friendly. That's the best way I can put it into words."

The Ohio State product's assessment of Flacco's passes wasn't an indictment on Wilson, but it appears that the veteran's ability to adjust the velocity of his throws has stood out so far.

"They're pretty easy to catch," the 22-year-old wideout continued. "Takes some off the ball when you're running a slant route versus an out route, put some zip on it because it's gotta be. Things like that."

Wilson, who was selected 10th overall in this year's draft, is a part of New York's revamped passing attack. The team added veteran tight ends C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Conklin in free agency, and second-year wideout Elijah Moore is poised for a breakout year if he can stay healthy.

On Tuesday, Zach Wilson underwent successful surgery on his right knee after he suffered a meniscus tear and bone bruise in Friday's preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles. The 2021 No. 2 pick is expected to miss two to four weeks, likely ruling him out for Week 1's home game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Flacco had spent the first 11 seasons of his career in Baltimore, leading the team to victory in Super Bowl XLVII and earning the game's MVP. The 37-year-old has not won the starting position since 2019, but he has performed well in training camp.

ESPN's Rich Cimini reported that Flacco went 14-of-17 in Tuesday's practice, including a stretch of 10 straight completions. Flacco has also inspired confidence in his abilities to lead the team while Wilson is out.

"Joe's a pro. He's been there, he's done that. He's been a Super Bowl MVP, a world champion. He's gotten the big contracts. He checks about all the boxes you can check," Jets head coach Robert Saleh said Sunday. "I think he's going to be fine, especially for the remainder of the preseason. We'll see everything else with Zach's knee, but we have all the faith in the world in Joe."

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