Zach Wilson wouldn’t take the bait to discuss a recent social media circus that featured salacious rumors about his personal life. But the quarterback instead deftly pivoted the conversation to his growing leadership role with the New York Jets on the first day of training camp Wednesday.

When asked about accusations allegedly made on Instagram by his former girlfriend that he’s a “homie hopper” who had a relationship with his mother’s friend, Wilson appeared calm and cool.

“It is what it is,” Wilson said. “It comes with the position so really it’s just handling my business, handling what matters, keeping my family tight and we’re all good. So, I’m excited to be here and just focus on football. I’ve never felt mentally that I’ve ever been in a better spot.”

Wilson was much more forthcoming discussing a trip to an Idaho ranch he organized for Jets quarterbacks, receivers, running backs and tight ends earlier in July. The second-year QB was joined by more than 10 teammates for several days of off-field bonding and on-field workouts.

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“I was trying to find something they’d never done before,” Wilson explained. “We flew guys [to Idaho] and a lot of guys were like, ‘We’re going to Canada? Where are we going?’ But they had quite the trip out there. … we worked on a lot of stuff … more than anything it was a good bonding moment for all of us. Just sit by the fire at night and talk. It was a really cool trip. We had a blast together.”

The Jets skill players went boating, played golf and were taught how to wake surf by Wilson. They also were invited to the home of hockey legend Wayne Gretzky, where backyard water slides were among the highlights.

“It’s like I need to have that personal connection with guys,” Wilson said. “That’s really what the Idaho trip was for. It was for us to spend time together, for me to show I care about them and I want to get to know about them, the little details about their life. Then they can trust me on the field that I’m going to do everything I can to get them the ball.”

Zach Wilson completed 55.6 percent of his passes and threw 11 interceptions to nine touchdowns as a rookie last season. He’s added 13 pounds of muscle to his frame this offseason and has received praise from teammates and coach Robert Saleh for his improved command of the playbook.

All eyes will be on Wilson this season to see how much he’s improved. The belief is that the Jets will go only as far as their young quarterback will take them after a 4-13 record last season.

Certainly, he’s taken a step as a popular team leader this offseason, another important area of his development. Tight end C.J. Uzomah even showed up to training camp Tuesday wearing a t-shirt with Wilson's image on a magazine cover promoting him as TIME Person of the Year.

“Coaches yell enough. I think players are there to encourage each other and bring them up,” Wilson said of his leadership style. “It’s easier when you really get to know [your teammates].”

Of course, while getting to know his teammates better in Idaho, the social media circus surrounding his personal life exploded. After the trip Wilson coolly sent out an Instagram post about his Idaho adventure with a message asking, “What I miss?”

Well played Zach. Well played.

Now if he can handle opposing defenses as smoothly as budding off-field controversies, the Jets should be in good hands this season.