Skip to main content
Raider Nation, Stand Up - View Schedule - Presented by Allegiant

How Tyree Wilson is minimizing distractions and limitations this offseason

This exact same time last season, Tyree Wilson was still working his way back into cleats, let alone practicing on a football field.

During rookie minicamp and OTAs, the 2023 first-round pick was taking mental reps instead of physical as he was still recovering from a foot injury he suffered in his last season at Texas Tech, with his new NFL team having no desire to rush him back on the field until he was at full health.

But with the missed time came obvious growing pains in his rookie campaign. He wasn't cleared to fully participate in practice until the final week of Training Camp, and was confined to playing 50 percent or less of all defensive snaps in games until Week 9.

"I was definitely playing catch up," Wilson said, reflecting on his rookie season. "I was still limited in the movement just because of the foot. At the beginning, [it] was frustrating because you're coming in from college being that guy, and then you're back at the bottom and you've got to work your way back up. But as the season went on, you don't have time to really think because the season keeps moving on and you've just got to come to work and get better."

He eventually gained his footing (no pun intended) at the 3-technique as an interior lineman, picking up 11 of his 16 solo tackles on the year in the second half of the season.

"The moving the defensive end inside, that's always been a part for any rookie edge rusher, both for myself and for [defensive line coach] Robbie Leonard," said defensive coordinator Patrick Graham. "It teaches them to use their hands, because they're dealing with the more immediate block from the guard or the center, so I thought that was really critical to Tyree's development that's going to help him out on the edge."

Now in his first full NFL offseason, there's no limitations for Wilson in practice. He's also noticeable "leaned up" in the spring. He stressed the importance of being able to go back home to Texas and get aligned with a proper nutrition plan to be equipped for the physical demands of the upcoming season.

"I feel like it starts off the field," Wilson said. "You've got to have good weight, good eating habits, sleeping habits to be the best on the field. I learned that from a leader in the room, Maxx Crosby. I tried to work with him all offseason to improve my game on the field. He just pushed me to be better. He'd always asked me like, 'What are you eating? Who's your nutritionist? How are you stretching?' Just stuff that makes me better, like he does."

It's no surprise Crosby has taken on a mentorship role for Tyree, as Crosby's aim is to not only make himself one percent better every day, but his teammates as well.

"I'm always on him because I want what's best for him," said Crosby. "At the end of the day, when you're a rookie, you don't truly know anything. You're just trying to learn and absorb as much information as you possibly can and put yourself in the best position to succeed, and if you don't have a blueprint, you're lost. ... And a guy like Tyree, he's got all the tools and intangibles and everything like that. But for him, it's just about being consistent."

Now more than a year past from the foot injury, Wilson is not only physically, but mentally prepared for what's to come in 2024. The biggest improvement he believes he's made has less to do with anything in his repertoire, but everything to do with adjusting to the speed of an always evolving game.

"The season doesn't stop, so you really don't have time to process," he said. "They can coach you up, but you've got to forget that game and move on to the next game. That's what's the offseason is for. You can reflect back on the season, watch the tape, break down the bits and pieces of techniques that you need to fix during the offseason."

Head inside Intermountain Health Performance Center to view photos from day two of OTAs.

Latest Content