New York Jets Rookie Zach Wilsonwho grew up worshiping Aaron Rodgers, admittedly a star when first meeting the Green Bay Packers quarterback in a joint practice Wednesday in Green Bay. Also, the Gates team was a sophomore quarterback James Morgan, who played high school ball in Green Bay.
“James is a big fan. He was feeling a little nervous,” Wilson said with a smile to reporters after training. “I’m a huge fan too,” he continued. “We all have to pretend like we’ve been there before. We just enjoy being here and being able to talk to him.”
Wilson said he was “100%” a Rodgers fan when he was a kid, though he recently claimed Tom Brady He is the best ever because of the seven Super Bowls.
Wilson and Rodgers met on the field during the special teams period, with Rodgers giving tips on how to organize a two-minute training session.
“We’re all technically on the same level now – we’re all in the NFL – but we’re still like, ‘You know what?'” Wilson said. This is Aaron Rodgers. That’s kind of crazy.”
Wilson has drawn comparisons to Rodgers for his style of play, especially his ability to perform off-schedule plays. The Jets named him second overall, believing he has stellar potential – but there’s a huge gap between potential and being one of the all-time greats.
Wilson admitted it was “difficult” to watch Rodgers because he is so good and so smart.
“It’s like I want to do what he does, but when you have 16 years of experience, the checks and calls he makes on the field…
“The coaches, first of all, don’t want me to do these things. It’s too much for someone. There aren’t a lot of players in the league who can do what he’s doing there as far as seeing what happens and changing plays.”
Wilson said he spoke to Rodgers several times later, when the agency representing Rodgers was recruiting the former BYU star as he was leaving school to enter the draft. Wilson ended up choosing a different agency.
As the young quarterback in Corner Canyon, Utah, Wilson said he “always tried to imitate what he was doing because he did it the right way for so long. He’s just a fun player to watch.”
Wilson made mental notes watching Rodgers do a two-minute drill, noting that he seemed “calm and composed. It was like he was just kind of messing around. He’s playing football in the backyard, having a good time and making it work.”
The two teams will train again on Thursday and meet on Saturday at Lambeau Field. Wilson, who came off a successful pre-season debut against the New York Giants, is expected to play some series.
“Zach is a good kid,” Rodgers said after training. “It’s fun to see.”
Rodgers asked about Morgan, unaware that a sophomore quarterback was from the area.
“Went to Ashwabinon?” Rodgers said of the high school located 1.4 miles from Lambeau Field. “I didn’t know that. I didn’t really know that.”
Wilson, who was only 6 years old when Rodgers entered the NFL in 2005, appears to wish he could stay longer.
“If I could spend more time with him and keep asking questions, I would,” he said.
ESPN’s Rob Damofsky contributed to this report.
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