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Jets WR Wilson is taking 'a hard look' at himself to improve ball security

Garrett Wilson New York Jets Rasul Douglas Buffalo Bills Garrett Wilson and Rasul Douglas - The Canadian Press

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Garrett Wilson quickly established a reputation in the NFL for making dazzling catches and being a primary playmaker for the New York Jets.

The second-year wide receiver doesn't want a few fumbles and drops the last few weeks to tarnish what he has accomplished. Wilson also doesn't it want to become a trend.

“Yeah, man, I've never been one to put it on the ground often,” last season's AP Offensive Rookie of the Year said Wednesday. “With the things happening these last few weeks, it makes me take a hard look in the mirror.”

Wilson had his worst game of the season last Sunday at Buffalo, where he caught just two passes for 9 yards, lost a fumble and had a drop in the Jets' 32-6 loss. He also dropped a pass two weeks ago at Las Vegas, and lost another fumble in the previous game against the Los Angeles Chargers.

In all, Wilson has four drops after having five his entire rookie season. His two fumbles match how many he had last year, when only one resulted in a turnover.

“I’ve got to have better ball security,” Wilson acknowledged. “I know I’ve probably been lax with it in my career so far. And luckily, it’s still early and I could fix it. You know, I can fix it. But I feel like the book is out on me and they’re not worrying about tackling me as much. They’re more worried about tackling the ball, and they do a good job with it."

Wilson pointed out he nearly had another fumble against the Raiders.

“As far as my habits out at practice and how I’m going about that, I've got to start really paying attention to that because it’s leaking into Sunday,” Wilson said. “The best way you can go about it is making sure your ball security is good during the week, when you're going through walkthroughs.”

Wilson also mentioned being more vigilant when playing teams that have shown on film a tendency to try to punch the ball out of the hands of receivers and running backs, such as the Bills.

“I've got to know that if I'm going to cross back into the middle of the field, that's what they're going to be going for,” he said. “The ball was loose, down low, so that's how they're going to make you pay for that.”

Wilson, who has been dealing with an elbow injury the past two games, didn't think some of the mistakes were the result of him pressing to make plays for an offense that has struggled mightily this season.

“No, I don't think it was trying too (much),” Wilson said before pausing. “I don't know. Maybe.”

Wilson pointed to just taking better care of the ball, but offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett said it's not just the wide receiver perhaps looking to make a play to spark a unit that has scored only nine touchdowns in 10 games.

“It’s everyone,” Hackett said. "Everyone wants to score, everyone wants to make the big play, and I think that you have to always sit back and refocus and understand those things will come, but you have to move the chains, you have to get more opportunities.

“And instead of thinking you’re going to hit a home run every time, sometimes that extra 2 to 3 yards is going to give you another set of downs.”

Wilson, who leads the Jets with 57 catches for 651 yards and two touchdowns, will try to bounce back Friday when he faces Miami's cornerbacks duo of Jalen Ramsey and Xavien Howard.

“It’s exciting for me,” Wilson said. “I get to go see how I stack up and have an opportunity to make some plays. It's one of those that when you were a kid, you looked forward to. You look forward to that opportunity.”

NOTES: CB Michael Carter II (hamstring) didn't practice and appears unlikely to play. ... LT Mekhi Becton (ankle/knee) and LB Samuel Eguavoen (hip) were limited. ... OT Dennis Kelly was released. ... DT Tanzel Smart was re-signed to the practice squad.