Running back Jeff Wilson Jr. had a crazy week. Sent almost as far as he could have been from San Francisco, Wilson ended up in Miami via trade. On Sunday in Chicago, he made an impressive debut, with 78 total yards from scrimmage on 12 touches, including a touchdown.
After the game, Wilson reflected on his topsy-turvy week.
“I was a little salty at first,” Wilson told PFT by phone. “That was the only place I’ve been for four and a half years. That’s all I knew. And then coming to a place you don’t know, you’re not really familiar with everybody. It was a little scary at first, but that all changed the moment I walked in the building and saw the smiles on the people’s faces. Like how my brothers, how my teammates welcomed me, man. How they were in the locker room, like I’ve been on the team since camp.”
Was he aware he’d get so much work in his first game?
“I didn’t know,” Wilson said. “Coach [Mike McDaniel] keep telling me just be ready at all times and make sure you’re studying the playbook, in and out. All I did all week was stay up extra hours in the playbook and just prepare as if I was playing the whole game or a couple plays. I mean, I was just ready for whatever. And that’s what Coach told me to do, and that’s what it was.”
The transition was easy, given that McDaniel previously served as offensive coordinator of the 49ers. Wilson said that “just a couple little terminologies” were different in the playbook.
It also helped that former 49ers running back Raheem Mostert plays for the Dolphins.
“Raheem is probably the first friend, the first friend/brother that I made coming into the league,” Wilson said. “Like this guy did not have to do this. But, just sitting in the [hotel] room, he calls me up, ‘Hey, come on, I’m gonna take you to go get breakfast.’ I’m trying to pay for it, and he tells me, ‘Nah, it’s good. I got you.’ This is the type of person he is, and he’s never changed to this day.”
Given that they play the same position, it would be tempting to compete for touches and attention and stats and glory.
“We don’t worry about that,” Wilson said. “That’s something we don’t worry about. We’ve got Salv[on Ahmed], we got Myles [Gaskin], all those guys could be starters and playing right now. It’s just a brotherhood that we have. Like we’ve been around each other, we understand it. And at the end of the day, it’s a business. We can’t control any of that. All we gotta do is be there for each other and whoever’s up or whoever’s on the field, be ready to contribute.”
Wilson made a significant contribution in his debut, with more touches and yards than any other running back on the roster.