FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Jets quarterbacks coach Rob Calabrese said that not much changes with Joe Flacco playing the position instead of Zach Wilson.
“We’re running our scheme,” Calabrese said on Friday. “Joe has his own personality. But we’re still running our offense, running our plays and executing at a high level with Zach or Joe.”
Flacco will run the offense while Wilson recovers from a torn meniscus and bone bruise in his right knee. Calabrese, a former East Islip quarterback, is confident that Wilson will use his time wisely, making sure he studies every play in practice and the preseason until he’s ready to play.
Calabrese said Wilson naturally was upset when he first was injured in last Friday’s preseason game in Philadelphia, but he quickly turned the page.
“The next day he woke up and understood what his job was now, and it’s to get healthy, get back on the field and benefit from this time off, from a learning way,” Calabrese said. “He understands how to do it in the classroom. That was the most important thing for him last year.”
Wilson missed four games last season with a sprained PCL in his right knee. When he returned, his decision-making, accuracy and overall play improved. Calabrese said Wilson was having a good camp and showing some areas of improvement before he was injured.
One thing Calabrese expects Wilson to learn from is the play that led to his injury. He was trying to run for a couple of extra yards in his second series of a meaningless preseason game. Calabrese told Wilson he needs to get down or out of bounds.
“It’s a hard lesson,” Calabrese said. “Zach had to learn the hard way. We need him out there. That rep right there, it’s going to flash back in his mind and the next time it pops up, he’ll get down and protect himself. When the game’s on the line, he’s going to do what he does and go win the game for us.”
This is Calabrese’s second year in this role. He is the main voice in the quarterbacks’ ears this season in a less crowded room. It’s just offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur and Calabrese. Senior assistant Matt Cavanaugh and John Beck, Wilson’s personal quarterback coach, did not return.
“I enjoy just being around our guys,” Calabrese said. “I wouldn’t say a much louder voice. When we’re in that room, we’re all working toward one goal and trying to execute our scheme and make sure we’re right with our reads and with our feet.
“It’s another year for me, another year of growing. I’m looking forward to getting out there this season with them.”
Hot and bothered
Tempers flared during drills between the Jets’ defensive line and the Falcons’ offensive line. Things got even more heated when Atlanta’s offense faced the Jets’ defense. Jets lineman Bradley Anae threw punches at a Falcons player. The two teams huddled separately for a few minutes before returning to practice.
“A little skirmish,” Robert Saleh said. “We settled it down and had a productive practice.”
New left tackle Duane Brown participated in individual drills but is still being held out of the team portions of practice . . . DE Vinny Curry left practice with a hamstring injury . . . DE Bryce Huff (oblique) didn’t practice. Saleh said he should be out only a couple of days.