Jets want to prove they’re for real vs. Patriots

Jets rookie receiver Garrett Wilson, who caught six passes for 115 yards in Gang Green’s loss to the Patriots on Oct. 30, goes deep for some Q&A from Post columnist Steve Serby ahead of the rematch.

Q: How would you describe the mindset of your team before the Patriots rematch?

A: Let’s go prove the world that we are who we know we are in the facility, but let’s go prove it to the world, that’s the mindset. We’re all a bunch of young guys, and a lot of us got something to prove in this league. We know we’re great players, but we don’t feel like we’re getting the respect we deserve and we want to gain that. This will be a good one to go get. I think it’ll be the right step towards proving the world that we’re for real.

Q: Your thoughts on the Jets losing 13 straight times to the Patriots?

A: I’ve been brought into this rivalry that the Jets and Patriots have, it’s been lopsided obviously for the last few years, but I was brought here along with a lot of other people to make that change, and that’s what I plan to do. None of the 13 games are gonna have any affect on tomorrow.

Q: What tells you that Zach Wilson is ready for Bill Belichick?

A: The way we practiced, we were really crisp in our practice, and Zach was the main component of that on the offensive side. He had a really good week of practice, and just his mindset, he’s not thinking about whatever happened, he’s just ready to go.

Q: What’s the biggest obstacle or adversity you’ve had to overcome?

A: I fight my battles every day, man … and go through things internally and stuff like that every day that I gotta push through.

Q: Are you talking about mentally, physically, emotionally? What kind of internal battles?

A: Yeah, just mentally. There’s a lot personally that I go through. Football is great, don’t get me wrong. I’m just saying there’s things I go through that we all fight our own battles, but personally I can’t pinpoint exactly one thing for you, I’m sorry.

Garrett Wilson
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Q: Did you go through those same things playing basketball?

A: I did, yeah. It’s a lot that comes with the things that we’re blessed to do.

Q: Is chasing perfection part of the struggle?

A: Most definitely. Most definitely. Everyone kinda puts an expectation on you, a tag on you, and they pay you to do certain things and you gotta do it perfectly.

Q: Is part of it being a first-round pick and do you wish maybe you were not a first-round pick because of that?

A: Oh, no … I mean, like I said, it is a lot of expectation and stuff that comes with it and personally, initially I struggled. I know I struggled, on a surface level it might not look like I struggled, but I know I was. And yeah, man, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I feel like everything happens for a reason and I needed to go through that to get to where I’m at and eventually going to be. I wouldn’t have it any other way, but like I said, that is a real thing, and a lot of other things as well. You put a lot of pressure on yourself early. Honestly, no one puts more pressure on me than me. A lot of that was internal. I had to work on that.

Q: Why have you guys been so successful on the road?

A: Because we’re a young group and we go out there and just play like there’s nothing to lose.

Q: What drives you?

A: Just my love for the game and want to be the best to do it. My love for football and competition specifically, it’s been that way since I was a young kid. I always wanted to be the best at what I do, and as I’ve grown up, that hasn’t really changed.

Q: Do you visualize greatness?

A: Yeah man, I often just think about football all day, even once I leave, if I messed up a play or if I did something wrong, that stuff haunts me. When we play on Sundays, I visualize what I want to do in the game. I don’t know if it’s greatness, but I try and visualize the plays and things that are gonna happen and try to get a look at it before it actually happens, stuff like that.

Q: But you believe you can become a great NFL player?

A: Yes, I do believe that. There’s a lot of work to do, and a lot of learning that I have ahead of me, but eventually I do think that I could get to that point.

Jets
Garrett Wilson escapes the Patriots defense.
USA TODAY Sports

Q: Why do you love big games so much?

A: Because this is the opportunity I’ve dreamed of since I was a young kid. And the big games are the ones that I watched growing up and that I wanted to have an impact in, and I’m blessed to be able to be a part of them now. With us winning some games and the division being really good, this is a big one this weekend, and these are the ones that you need to make plays in if you want to be considered that great player, and that’s what I want to do.

Q: Your on-field mentality?

A: I want to have fun while I’m out there. I always want to make sure that I’m putting my best foot forward, and for me, that’s making sure that I’m not thinking about too much and just going out there and doing what I love and playing.

Q: What is Sauce Gardner’s special sauce?

A: His love for the game. It’s easy to wake up and do it when you love it, and you can tell that he brings the same energy every day, he’s the same person every day.

Q: What is his special sauce on the field?

A: His length. Even if you do got a step on him, it’s hard to make a play on him with his arms’ ready and his ability to see the ball and play the ball through receivers’ hands. He’s a really great player. Everything that everyone’s seeing I’ve known since I met him.

Q: Same question: D.J. Reed?

A: D.J. is super twitch, man, he’s really quick, and he studies the game like a legendary player, he knows his opponent going into each week and it shows on Sunday.

Q: What is your special sauce on the field?

A: I think it is my passion for the game, and that I’m not afraid to show it while I’m playing. I feel like it exudes out of me, and I have fun out there and that’s my special sauce. I was given ability from God and to play and I’m blessed and I love doing it.

Q: You can go 1-on-1 with any cornerback?

A: We got a real good one here in New York with Sauce and getting to go against him often, that’s always good for him. But I feel like Jalen Ramsey has that effect on the media, at least to where he’s the No. 1 corner, so it’d be nice to go up against Jalen Ramsey.

Q: How about further back in time?

A: It’s gotta be [Darrelle] Revis, man. I feel like he’s the all-time GOAT.

Q: If you could pick the brain of any cornerback in NFL history?

A: Deion [Sanders]. I feel like he’s got a lot of knowledge and now going into coaching. Deion was a special talent when he played, and playing baseball and football, and still got the best out of himself.

Q: If you could pick the brain of any wide receiver in NFL history?

A: Definitely Randy Moss. His plan in attacking DBs and what he thought about while he was out on the field. I watch him on TV a lot, he’s very intuitive.

Jets
Garrett Wilson hugs Zach Wilson after the Jets’ win over the Bills.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

Q: What are you thankful for on this Thanksgiving?

A: I’m thankful for a lot of things, man. The best for my family, my loved ones that support me and got me to this point. It took a village to raise me and I’m really grateful for my upbringing and the people around me that I grew up with. Obviously, the ability and the opportunity to play this game that I love and do it for a career, I’m blessed, and I know that.

Q: Your favorite childhood Thanksgiving?

A: Cam Newton beat Alabama in the [2010] Iron Bowl, I think the day after, or two or three days after Thanksgiving, whatever year Cam Newton threw the touchdown to the tight end [Philip Lutzenkirchen], and they beat ’em 28-27, they were down whatever, came back.

Q: You used to be a quarterback?

A: Exactly, exactly. And I kinda tried to model my game after Cam Newton.

Q: Three dinner guests?

A: Martin Luther King; Biggie Smalls; Alexander The Great.

Q: Why Alexander The Great?

A: He was so young conquering the world, I feel like it would be cool to hear his lingo. He was a young dude conquering the world. He’s definitely got some stuff to say.

Q: Well, you’re a young dude conquering the world.

A: (Laugh) I’d never make that comparison … that’s hilarious.

Q: Favorite movie?

A: “Interstellar.”

Q: Favorite actor?

A: [Matthew] McConnaughey.

Q: Favorite actress?

A: Jennifer Lawrence.

Q: Favorite singer/rapper/entertainer?

A: Dave Chappelle.

Q: Favorite meal?

A: My mama’s sweet potato casserole. She’s gonna make it on Thanksgiving this year.

Q: What will it be like for you going up against your Ohio State buddy Justin Fields next week?

A: Yeah, I can’t wait for that. Obviously he’s having a great season — it doesn’t surprise me at all to see him doing all that, man, that boy is a different breed back there, he can make either way, whatever the defense gives him, he’ll make that play. I’m really excited to play against Justin.

Q: And the best is yet to come for Garrett Wilson?

A: It is. It is. God willing, it is.