Most people give up cookies and cakes when trying to lose weight. Zach Wilson passed on sweets to gain weight.
The Jets quarterback said he focused this offseason on nutrition as well as strength training. He wanted to add weight and he did. Wilson weighs 221 pounds after finishing last season at 208. He said he knows he will lose weight in training camp and hopes to play this season at 218.
“I feel better for sure,” Wilson said Tuesday after the Jets’ second organized team activity practice. “The energy, the ability to have that stamina throughout training, I think that’s better. I just think in the long run, once we get into a game where we get hit and tackles, having a little more size on me will help.
Wilson said he met with the Jets nutritionist at the end of the season to formulate a strategy. He then had someone prepare a meal plan for him and hired a personal chef to prepare his food.
“I think this is probably the first time in my life that I’ve taken a broader approach on the nutrition side rather than just lifting,” Wilson said. “Of course, every year you do your typical strength training, lift and run. Typically, you’re just trying to eat healthy. But I actually had a written plan of how much to eat, when to eat, tracking everything down to the macro. I had someone helping me with all of this. This is probably the biggest difference when it comes to the ability to gain weight. »
Wilson looks noticeably taller, especially in his legs. Jets head coach Robert Saleh said there were clear differences as Wilson enters his second season, both physically and in his confidence.
“He’s thick,” Saleh said. “He looks good. He looks confident. The shoulders are back, he didn’t give in. He’s smiling. He’s vocal. I’ve said it before, you can always tell the level of confidence and their understanding of what they are being asked to do by the volume of their voice and it becomes quite loud.
Wilson said he felt more comfortable this spring, both with his command of the offense and his ability to lead the team.
“I think it’s necessary, especially from a quarterback: someone who can get everyone on the same page,” Wilson said. “I’ve never been the super vocal type, the guy who gets up in front of the team, but sometimes it’s necessary. I think it means more when it comes.
The Jets have made it clear that their main focus this offseason will be to build around Wilson. They added talent at the short end, wide receiver, running back and on the offensive line to help Wilson progress.
“Now I have to do my job to get those playmakers the ball,” Wilson said.
The Jets went 4-13 in Wilson’s first season with the team and the 2021 No. 2 overall pick has struggled at times. He showed improvement late last season and will need to take a bigger leap in 2022 for the Jets to go from doormats to contenders.
The Jets have more talent on their roster than last year, but there’s a lot to do for Wilson to enter this season.
“We’re definitely going to be better,” Wilson said. “I don’t think we’ll be able to tell until the first game, of course, but you can tell the improvement is there. We’ve got the talent. We’ve got the guys. Now it’s: Can we tie it all together together and be able to put something together?”
Wilson has spent time this offseason visiting and working with teammates in Nashville, Miami and Phoenix. He said the plan is to get the skillful Jets players together in July before training camp begins to keep working.
His teammates shouldn’t expect dessert at team dinners, though.
“I have a pretty bad sweet tooth,” Wilson said of her dietary restrictions. “That’s been the challenge: cookies and cakes and that kind of stuff.”