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Jets QB Zach Wilson using tough NFL debut to improve: 'I'm going to continue to get better'

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New York Jets rookie Zach Wilson had a tough NFL debut on Sunday. He got sacked six times and took some big hits, and felt the squeeze of being constantly under pressure as soon as the ball was snapped. 

He also had some good moments — he nearly led the Jets to a comeback win over the Carolina Panthers — but the team's limitations were too much to overcome in the 19-14 loss.

Despite taking a beating in his first pro start, Wilson was only a little worse for wear. He acknowledged that getting run over by enormous football players isn't just part of the job, it's also how he'll improve in the future.

"Yeah, neck's a little sore," Wilson said via USA Today. "A little whiplash. But I'll be alright. ... It's tough but it's part of the job, right? It's why we sign up to play quarterback. I feel like I'm getting better, experiencing having stuff in your face, you've got to be able to play. You can't just say, 'Uhhh, there's pressure, I can't do my job.' That's why quarterback is a tough position to come by. So it's good for me and I'm going to continue to get better at that."

That's an unexpectedly pragmatic and optimistic approach from a quarterback who got the stuffing knocked out of him several times in his first NFL start. He even mentioned one specific sack in the second half as being particularly punishing.

"I felt like I got hit by a truck for a second," Wilson said. "Just sometimes you've got to catch your breath, take a deep breath and understand we're still in it. You've just got to stand up and keep going. So I was fine, just got the wind knocked out of me a little bit and then we were able to go down and execute."

Despite feeling like he'd been hit by a truck, Wilson was able to rebound quickly. Just a few plays after that sack, Wilson threw his second touchdown of the day. 

If there's one thing everyone learned from Wilson's first NFL start, it's that the guy can definitely take a hit. Hopefully in Week 2 he won't have to take as many.

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