New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson during warmups before a preseason...

New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson during warmups before a preseason game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on Aug. 14, 2021. Credit: Brad Penner

Zach Wilson grew up watching and patterning some of his game after Aaron Rodgers. Now the Jets’ rookie quarterback will get to see up close how Rodgers operates.

The Jets will have joint practices with the Packers on Wednesday and Thursday in Green Bay, leading up to Saturday’s preseason game at Lambeau Field.

It’s an opportunity for the entire team to see how a perennial playoff team and Super Bowl contender practices and for Wilson how a three-time MVP goes about his work.

"It’s going to be cool," Wilson said. "I’m excited to kind of watch how he does things. It’s going to be great for us, just as an offense to compete against that defense. I know they do some great things; it’s just going to be extra looks for us to keep learning."

To this point, Wilson, the second overall pick, has faced the Jets' defense every day in practice and the Giants' second unit on Saturday. Wilson went 6-for-9 for 63 yards and led a field-goal drive in two series in the Jets’ preseason victory.

In Green Bay, he’ll see the Packers’ starting defense in practice at least. Robert Saleh said Wilson could play three or four series on Saturday, but he views the two days of practice as "priceless" for the young quarterback.

"Part of the process of getting better is getting reps against as many different looks as possible," Saleh said Tuesday. "He’s been seeing our defense. He’s been seeing our system and it gets to the point where he needs to see something else so he can take another step in his process.

Following the Jets' preseason opener over the weekend, Jets coach Robert Saleh discussed on Tuesday the continued development of rookie quarterback Zach Wilson and how he responded to his first game action, as well as the team's plan for Wilson ahead of this week's meeting with the Packers. (Photo credit: Brad Penner; AP Photo/Corey Sipkin.) Credit: New York Jets

"Their system is different than ours. They have different fronts. They’ve got different coverages. They’ve got different people and players and how they react. They’ve got a different play-caller. So he’ll be able to go through all that, just his eyes and visually how route concepts play out to a new set of coverages is incredibly beneficial for him, to be able to see it live and go back and watch that tape, to have that recall."

The Jets have been impressed with everything Wilson has done to this point and his thirst for more knowledge. Saleh said Wilson is very curious and asks questions all the time.

"He’s so far ahead with regards to how he sees the game," Saleh said.

Veteran right guard Greg Van Roten, who grew up in Rockville Centre, said what stands out most about Wilson is his approach.

Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers before a preseason game against...

Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers before a preseason game against the Houston Texans on Aug. 14, 2021. Credit: AP/Mike Roemer

"He has a very experienced and veteran mindset for someone as young as he is," Van Roten said.

Now Wilson will get to watch an absolute technician in Rodgers, which should not only help the 22-year-old from BYU but also Saleh’s defense.

The Jets' defensive line, which has dominated training camp, face a much stiffer challenge in Green Bay with its front and Pro Bowl running back Aaron Jones. The Jets’ young, unproven cornerbacks will now try and slow down a receiving group led by Davante Adams.

"You can learn a lot," Saleh said. "This is an organization and an offense that’s Year 3 in their system. They’re efficient. They’re fast. They got a Hall of Fame quarterback, a great offensive line, a great run game. Just overall the scheme, we’re going to see a scheme that’s on point with regards to consistency.

"We’re going to be challenged in terms of precision and the value of it is to see how precise these great offenses can be. It’s going to be a tremendously valuable for everybody, not just the defense."

The Jets and Packers’ coaching staffs are very close. Saleh and Packers coach Matt LaFleur were graduate assistants together at Central Michigan. Matt’s bother Mike is the Jets’ offensive coordinator. The two sides have had numerous conversations about how they would like the practices to go.

"We can get a lot out of it," Saleh said. "It’s an opportunity to go compete against a championship roster, a new set of plays and scheme. I value these things greatly. If you go in there with the right intent to compete and not look at it like it’s a free-for-all where you’re trying to do extra, I think they’re just valuable."

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