Two weeks before the start of the training camp During a round of golf with Robert SalehWe talked about golf, family, and of course soccer.
When the topic of his team and upcoming season came up, there was a common theme that the Jets coach kept coming back to. Saleh was enthusiastic, energetic and curious to see who among his young players would emerge as the “superstars” who would take charge of matches in the fourth quarter.
Saleh played in season two with the Jets, and it looks like he’s found at least one of those players: Garrett Wilson.
The rookie recipient from Ohio State, the 10th overall pick in the draft, was a story in his first NFL game for not being used early and more in Sunday’s unlikely victory over the Browns in Cleveland. where caught Eight passes for 102 yards and two touchdowns.
The second landing, a quick 15-yard jump with 22 seconds left, provided winning points in a match the Jets seemed almost certain to lose.
The offensive skill site has been a jet black hole for a long time, with no players with the kind of dynamic talent that would raise the eyebrows of opposing defense players and coordinators.
It’s the beginning of his career, but there are already signs that Wilson, for whom moments of playing and pressure weren’t great, is a rising star.
It doesn’t seem like a coincidence that in the first week, when Wilson was It was used in moderation early on In the match against the Ravens, the Jets trailed early and lost, and in Week 2, when Wilson appeared in a passing game, the Jets won.
One of the people who noticed this was Keyshawn Johnson, a former recipient of the Jets, a 1996 #1 choice who is now a radio and TV personality on ESPN.
Johnson’s message to Saleh and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, during a phone call with The Post on Tuesday, was simple: “Throw the damn ball.”
When I mentioned to Johnson that Wilson probably wouldn’t utter those words in public because he has a much lower personality than him, said Kishon, who is best known for authoring a book called Just Give Me The Damn Ball! “That’s fine. Everyone fits differently. I’ll tell the planes to give him the football. He doesn’t need to tell them. I’ll do the dirty work for him.”
Johnson, who has done his best to praise Jets general manager Joe Douglas for the way he’s building this team, said he views Wilson as a “Pro Bowler… as long as the Jets don’t spoil him.”
Asked for more details, Johnson said: “By not including him in the game plan and trying to treat football nicely.”
“As long as they don’t play games and are focused on getting him football and letting him shine, they will be fine. You just have to get him the ball.
“[The Raiders’] Davante Adams got the football, [the Saints’] Michael Thomas gets the football, [the Bills’] Stefon Diggs gets the football.
“Give [Wilson] the ball. That’s what you do with receivers that you format highly. You give them a f-king ball. Otherwise why would you craft it? Throw a f-king ball and let him do his work. I think they got a nice idea and they better not spoil it. ”
Johnson said he met Wilson in the spring after enlisting at an event and left very impressed.
“Only from a conversation with him, I can see that he understands,” Johnson said. ‘When you have a little receiver who understands what it means to be a professional, you have a good receiver. That’s where he is now – even as he’s still learning. He’s a worker who’s willing to share and wants to learn. As long as they don’t screw him up, they hit him’ .
“I see the explosion, I see the good hands, the beautiful road going, the ability to change direction,” Johnson said on the field.
That’s what Wilson’s colleagues have been seeing since small camps in the spring and through the summer – and it got them excited. Sunday in Cleveland simply introduced early validation.
“Garrett is a playmaker, man,” quarterback CJ Mosley said. “When the ball is in his hands you don’t know what will happen. You know he will do something.”
Tackle George Fant predicted Wilson “will be a good player for a long time,” and added, “I’m excited to watch him grow as a player.”
Kishon Johnson, of course, is eager to see Wilson get the damn ball as much as possible.
“They’d be fine, if they let it shine,” Johnson said.