Zach Wilson rubs shoulder (pads) with Aaron Rodgers at Jets-Packers joint practice
The former BYU quarterback shares what it was like meeting with the reigning NFL MVP in the practice setting
Zach Wilson admitted it was fun being a “fan boy” for a moment when he and the rest of the New York Jets quarterbacks talked with Green Bay Packers legend Aaron Rodgers during the two teams’ joint practice Wednesday.
“We all got to pretend like we’ve been there before but we all just enjoy being out here and being able to talk with him,” the former BYU quarterback told reporters after practice.
“[Aaron Rodgers] has always been someone I’ve modeled by game after. He’s fun to watch & plays the game the right way. We enjoy being out here & being able to talk to him. I wasn’t a GB fan but I was a Rodgers fan. He was always the game I wanted to watch on Sunday.”#Jets pic.twitter.com/to4epTGVh9— Harrison Glaser (@NYJetsTFMedia) August 18, 2021
Wilson and the Jets are preparing for a preseason matchup against the Packers this Saturday, and this was the first of two joint practices between the two NFL franchises in preparation for that game.
News of Wilson, the rookie and No. 2 overall pick in this year’s NFL draft, and Rodgers, the reigning NFL MVP and Super Bowl champ, meeting together was one of the more talked-about storylines coming out of the day. A video of the two quarterbacks chatting went viral on Twitter.
“He’s a cool guy. He came up to me and I’ve talked to him,” Wilson told reporters about his time chatting with Rodgers. “He’s got a lot of knowledge, he’s a smart dude. He knows what’s going on out there. It’s cool to ask him about footwork, what’s going on on the field and what he’s seeing.
“If I could spend more time with him and just keep asking him questions, I would.”
It wasn’t a great day statistically for Wilson practicing against the Packers, as he was 12 of 23 passing and was sacked seven times, per The Athletic’s Connor Hughes. The experience, though, was worth it.
“He’s someone I’ve modeled my game after, tried to copy what he’s doing because he’s done it the right way for such a long time,” Wilson said, per the team’s website. “I wouldn’t necessarily say I was a Green Bay fan growing up but just a Rodgers fan. I always made sure I was watching him when he was on TV, watching his whole game, seeing what he was doing.”
Rodgers, too, was complimentary of meeting with the rookie Wilson, and being able to chat with all the Jets’ quarterbacks.
“Zach’s a good kid. I got to talk to him various times throughout the offseason,” Rodgers said during his press conference Wednesday. Later, while talking about meeting with all the New York quarterbacks, he said, “That’s the best part about this is just getting to see other guys you know about or get to meet and talk ball with during that time. It’s fun.”
Wilson shared what he learned from being at the same practice as Rodgers.
“The biggest thing I picked up was the two-minute drill, how cool and calm he is, like he’s just messing around, playing backyard football. He just makes it work,” Wilson said. “The way he understands the game, what’s going on, the way he’s able to change things, pick things up and still stay calm is pretty impressive.”