[B]Interview with New York Jets CB Kyle Wilson[/B]
April 14th, 2011 | Author: Steve Wyremski
Kyle Wilson was drafted by the New York Jets in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft. The 29th overall pick out of Boise State was one of the top cornerback prospects in the 2010 draft. Adding Wilson to Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie is the equivalent of giving Popeye a pair of brass knuckles. The plan with the draft selection was to make a tough Jets defense even scarier. As Kyle talks about below, the 2010 season posed some challenges.
We had the opportunity to talk with Kyle about his rookie season, CBA issues, and the hopeful 2011 season.
[B]Steve Wyremski (SW): Kyle, thanks for taking the time. Howís the off-season going? What have you been up to?[/B]
Kyle Wilson (KW): Not bad, just been working out.
[B]SW: So youíre still working out with the lockout and all the CBA issues? Are you working out on a regular basis?[/B]
KW: Yeah, everybody took a vacation after the season, but itís around that time where guys start working out and staying in shape.
[B]SW: Are you just working out independently or are you meeting up with some of your Jet teammates?[/B]
KW: I work out with one of my good friends. Itís going to be his 8th year in the league. He actually went to school with one of my brothers. Itís Mike Adams of the Browns. Heís another New Jersey guy. We work out every morning and do a lot of different stuff. He kind of took me under his wing.
[B]SW: How are you feeling about the whole lockout / CBA situation right now?[/B]
KW: Itís a weird situation because obviously it directly affects me, but I donít have any control over it. Weíve been preparing for this for a long time. Iíve prepared over the last year for this time and I just hope it gets resolved soon.
[B]SW: You look back to last yearÖ you were drafted in the first round in the 2010 draft. Now you have all the CBA issues and thereís the controversy where several current NFL players donít believe that incoming rookies should be attending the draft in person. They believe they should boycott it. With it being a long-time dream for most guys to be drafted, how do you personally feel about some of the incoming rookies attending the draft?[/B]
KW: Thatís definitely a personal decision. No matter the advice given, itís their decision. To be invited to an event like that, I can only imagine [what itís like]. Regardless of the situation weíre in, itíd be hard to say, ďNo, Iím not going to goĒ.
[B]SW: I want to step back to your college years and to something that has me a little curious. When you were out at Boise State, you had an RV with all the Boise State colors and your picture all over it. Your brother seemed to be the mastermind behind that whole thing. What was the deal with that?[/B]
KW: The biggest thing behind it was that it brought a lot of my family together. They tailgated and traveled to a lot of the games. It was really to show a lot of support to me and the university, but mainly it was a tool to bring our family together and enjoy my last year of college.
[B]SW: So whereís the RV now?[/B]
KW: Itís out in California stripped down. My brother has the wrap. He had it peeled off and has it with him out there.
[B]SW: Theyíre not taking it to any Jets games?[/B]
KW: No, itís a good idea though. Iím sure my brother has something up his sleeve. Iím not sure how heís going to translate it to the situation now, but Iím sure thereís something in the works.
[B]SW: Like a lot of rookie corners, there were periods during the year where you struggled (particularly early on). What to you is/was the most difficult part of the transition from the college game to the NFL?[/B]
KW: Itís everything. Itís a step up from college in every aspect. Itís still football, but you have to learn a lot of different things. You have to learn the playbook, you move to a new cityÖ everything is new and itís all thrown at you. It takes a while for things to slow down and to grasp everything, but once you do you can get back to the game of football youíve been playing your whole life.
[B]SW: You really didnít have much time to transition with the Revis holdout and his injury early on in the year. Youíre playing time stepped up and looking at the first four gamesÖ in three of those four you played over 80% of the teams snaps. How hard was it as a rookie to jump right into the starting lineup on a defense with a pretty complex scheme where corners are often left in one on one man to man coverage?[/B]
KW: It comes with the territory. Itís a great problem to be in. As a rookie, you want to be out there playing with your teammates. You have to know multiple positions and do more homework, but most people arenít going to come in and have things go as they planned; youíre going to struggle and have some missteps. Ultimately, as long as you learn from the situations youíve been in, itís going to make you a better player later on.
[B]SW: If you look at some of the guys on the team this year, whether it be Revis or Cromartie, how have those guys mentored you or given you advice over the last year?[/B]
KW: Yeah, those guys are always offering when they can. They do a good job of leading by example. The thing is, everybody is different, we had a lot of vets on the team last year and one thing I try to do is pay attention to everything. Everyday watch how those guys work and pay attention to the little stuff [like] seeing how those guys are in meetings, approaching practice/mini-camps and ultimately go through the season. You watch how those guys take care of their body, study habitsÖ everything you can think ofÖ whether it be at the facility or not, I made it my business to pay attention to everything.
[B]SW: Going back to the first four games of the season, like I said earlier you played a majority of the snaps, but after that and until week 17 you were used more situationally. Does that mess with a playerís confidence as a rookie?[/B]
KW: It can, but thatís only if you let it. I know Iím pretty good and I know I can play anywhere. It just gave me a chance to step back [and] slow things down a little bit. It was ultimately a good thing and it could have been a bad thing depending on how you take it, but ultimately I wasnít going to let that bother me in a negative way.
[B]SW: Looking at some of the receiversí catch percentage against you in 2010, the percentage was only 50%, which ranked you #11 among cornerbacks. Thatís a pretty impressive stat. It also improved greatly after those first few games. What changed after those first few games that allowed you to be more effective?[/B]
KW: Itís definitely an attitude thing. You know youíre at the best level there is and guys on the other side of the ball are getting paid to catch the ball. You donít want them to catch anything. Itís that attitude when you watch Revis go out there and you see what he does with or without help. He doesnít complain; he doesnít blink an eye. He goes out there and tries to destroy somebody every play. You watch that and it comes down to Ė ďwhy canít I do that; I see it right in front of meÖ itís not impossible and thatís what I want to doĒ. Thatís one thing I learned from him. Heís got that killer instinct. When you see it every day, it rubs off on you. Youíre not going to come into the league and be the best corner in the NFL, but you can take strides to want to be there and want to be better.
[B]SW: [Explains what Pro Football Focus is about and the rating system]. Our ratings have week 1 of the season against the Ravens as your toughest game and week 17 as your best game. Do you agree with that?[/B]
KW: I think thatís somewhat true. The first game, I was definitely a little nervous and it was battle mode out there against Baltimore. Over the year, there were plenty of ups and downs, but overall I know Iíve learned a lot and have gotten a lot better. I definitely think that showed in week 17 where I know I gave it my all and played a lot better. I was definitely happy with my performance.
[B]SW: Definitely, you only gave up 1 reception for 7 yards that game. Pretty solid.[/B]
KW: That was the second time we played Buffalo. I gave up my first touchdown the first time we played them. It was definitely a measuring stick the second time around against those guys to see how much better I got.
[B]SW: How do you take the week 17 success and translate it into the 2011 season.[/B]
KW: I want to use that week 17 game as a springboard. After the season, I had some time away and took a nice vacation. When you come back, you really start building that foundation for the following year. I know this year is a little bit different than most other years, but you want to build that foundation. Really, its just staying mentally sharp. Iím just excited to do everything I did last year and do it all over again actually knowing what to expect. You know how the off-season works, preseason, mini-camps, and youíve worked with a good core of your teammates. You get to do the same thing again and Iím really excited for that.
[B]SW: Iím not going to ask you to speculate here, but assuming that Cromartie is gone, which many believe to be likely, the obvious candidate to start in his place is you. How ready do you feel for that opportunity?[/B]
KW: Iím excited for the opportunity. Iím really just excited to get on the field and play. I was watching these spring games on TV and I just got the urge to go hit somebody. Football season is definitely getting underway. I hope things come sooner rather than later. [Iím looking forward to] the overall opportunity to get out there and practice with my teammates to get better. Iím really looking forward to camp to show what Iíve been working on this whole off-season as far as my foundation, my technique, how Iíve been taking care of my body, and how Iíve been working on my fundamentals. Little stuff like that. Iím just excited to get out there and challenge myself into my second year in the NFL.
[B]SW: You mentioned working on fundamentals and technique. Is there anything in particular that youíve really focused on?[/B]
KW: The big thing was that playing multiple positions, youíre going to have multiple jobs. You can play corner, nickel, dime and youíre going to be matched up on different players (running backs, receivers, tight ends) and have different job requirements as far as technique playing those different positions. Last year, I took a lot of notes and I have everything on the different techniques and defenses weíll be running. I think itís great to have those notes and know what Iíll be doing for the next year and it will benefit me now.
[B]SW: In 2010, 58% of your snaps were in the slot as opposed to outside. Where did you feel the most comfortable Ė inside or outside?[/B]
KW: Iím more comfortable outside, but I definitely like inside too. You can do multiple things from inside. Playing inside is tougher, but I just love challenges. Wherever it was, it really didnít matter to me. Itís still covering up at the end of the day. Itís just using different techniques. I played a lot more outside in college, so Iím more comfortable there, but I love the multiple techniques inside; you can get after the quarterback, you can move around, and youíre a little closer to the quarterback.
[B]SW: If you could take one thing from Revisís game, what would it be?[/B]
KW: I would take his press technique. Itís very hard to get him off his base. Thatís something he works very hard at and you see it. Heís always getting his hands on receivers [and] his hips are always square. Heís always using his technique to his advantage.
[B]SW: If I were to have this discussion 2 years from now with a 2nd year corner and ask them, ďif you could take one thing from Kyle Wilsonís game, what would it beĒ what do you think he would/will say?[/B]
KW: I think theyíd take my attitude and work ethic. Those two have gotten me to where I am right now and theyíre going to take me to where I want to get to in the future.
[B]SW: Thatís all I got, Kyle. Thanks very much for taking the time. I wish you the best of luck in 2011. Iím looking forward to seeing you out there this season.[/B]
KW: Thanks very much, I appreciate it.
Wilson is certainly set up to get a shot at the starting gig for the Jets in 2011 and it sounds like heís put a lot of work and effort into continued improvement this off-season. Heís certainly a guy to keep a close eye on as we head into 2011.
[QUOTE=C Mart;4001981]Great interview and read! Thanks for posting![/QUOTE]
Yeah, I thought he gave a good interview too. I'm looking forward to seeing how he plays this year. I still would like to see cromartie back though. If wilson can nail the nickel our secondary could be nasty.
[B][SIZE="5"][COLOR="DarkRed"]... :clapper: ... EXCELLENT!!! ... this is the type of info i love coming to this site for :yes: ... :clapper: ...[/COLOR][/SIZE][/B]
... i hope those notes k-dub took, he has also studied ad-nausem to the point where they are just so ingrained in his brain now that it's second nature to him ...
... the switch back and forth from inside to outside to inside ... impacted him greatly from revis holding out ... at cb (esp. in rex's scheme's) confidence is so important ... it sounds like he still has his intact ... which is very important ...
... his also saying revis & cro led by example ... i'm sure it's nice to be able to get some pointers from those guys ... but for revis to be THE MAN on D ... he will have to take a much more active role in mentoring kyle ...
... kyle & vlad ducasse are two guys that this lockout can really hurt if it drags out ... they need to be immersed in the team ... have kyle & dennis thurmon eating,sleeping,&breathing together ... vlad needs callahan to be all over him every day as well ... get this legal bs taken care off fella's! ...
... k-dub was hurt by the revis holdout last year ... let's not screw him over again this year with this lockout:mad: ...
I have high hopes for Wilson. He gained plenty of rookie experience as a rook last year so I'm hopeful that he'll have a strong season for us this year. I'd love to have Cromartie back with Wilson as our Nickel. We just need an improved outside pass rush to make our secondary truly elite.
[QUOTE]SW: Looking at some of the receiversí catch percentage against you in 2010, the percentage was only 50%, which ranked you #11 among cornerbacks. Thatís a pretty impressive stat.[/QUOTE]
[QUOTE=Bearded_Achilles;4002355]i hope wilson proves me wrong but he looked dreadful last year.[/QUOTE]
I agree with Achilles that he didn't exactly look inspiring out there. That's why the above stat confuses me. I'd like if the article explained that statistic explained a little better (is the ranking weighted against quality of opposing receiver? Adjusted for drops and mis-throws? Probably not on both, so it means very little)
I have high expectations for Wilson and think he will eventually be a good pro, but I question any stat that imples he was the 11th best CB in the entire NFL last year.