Nov 9, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Fans of the New York Jets celebrate during the first half of the New York Jets game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
It’s another new time of new beginnings for the New York Jets. Things are looking good with a new general manager, new head coach and revamped roster. The team’s latest marketing campaign “stronger, faster, greener” is more accurate than they likely intended, as less than 40 players remain from the previous regime on the current 90-man training camp roster.
The return to NFL respectability can come quickly, so despite all the staggering controversies there are promising signs for this upcoming season. Should fans be optimistic that the Jets can indeed turn things around for a brighter season this time around?
Here are the top 5 reasons for optimism on the Jets heading into the upcoming season!
Next: 5. Adults in charge
Aug 13, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles after a preseason NFL football game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
5. Adults in charge
When it came time to replace general manager John Idzik and head coach Rex Ryan this off-season, it was to save Woody Johnson from himself; the owner personally selected Idzik, who pretty much ran the franchise into the ground with his talent and character evaluations.
Under new general manager Mike Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles, it seems safe to assume Johnson will keep his distance and let his new hires take care of things as they should. Every new positional coach is established and respected. Recent draft and free agent signings all make sense. No more pretenders when it comes to this new leadership regime, this is all about football.
Immediately off the bat fans can tell that both Maccagnan and Bowles mean business as they want to breed a new culture of hard work, preparation and overcoming any obstacles standing in their way from winning plenty of football games.
Next: 4. Some of the best cornerbacks playing today
August 11, 2015; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets defensive backs Antonio Cromartie (31) and Darrelle Revis (24) during practice at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: John Munson/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports
4. Some of the best cornerbacks playing today
It’s not my money, but in today’s sports market, three-years, $39 million is not outrageous for arguably the greatest cornerback and the greatest Jet of modern history. Darrelle Revis establishes a level of leadership that will let flourish returning-but-quickly-aging Antonio Cromartie and ex-Brown nickelback Buster Skrine.
He’s also inspires young hopefuls Marcus Williams, Dexter McDougle and the injury machine Dee Milliner. Former Charger free safety Marcus Gilchrist and underwhelming sophomore strong safety Calvin Pryor can now just do their thing.
The Jets’ defensive secondary should be one of the best playing this upcoming season as it has the potential to shut down anything and anyone coming its way. The Jets should definitely yield many more turnovers from their secondary unlike last season.
Next: 3. Future stars in the making
Apr 30, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Leonard Williams (Southern California) poses for a photo after being selected as the number sixth overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
3. Future stars in the making
When it comes to Leonard Williams and Lorenzo Mauldin you get the feeling you’re looking at the front-seven’s future. Don’t expect either to explode as opening-day stars but understand their potential to be something really special.
Williams, the top-rated player in the 2015 Draft — forced into action with Mo Wilkerson‘s hamstring and Sheldon Richardson‘s issues — has the makings of a future Pro Bowler. Third-rounder Mauldin has much to learn with a new position, but never underestimate a kid who survived 16 foster families. Both will be future cornerstones on defense.
The best teams in the NFL build through the draft as the Jets are following that process to build a great foundation for the future. Maccagnan got rave reviews for having one of the best draft classes this off-season.
Next: 2. Top talent across the team
Aug 28, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Jets running back Daryl Richardson (35) is tackled by Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Jaylen Watkins (37) at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
2. Top talent across the team
Trading for the mercurial veteran Brandon Marshall to join Eric Decker gives the Jets their strongest wide receiver tandem in years. New offensive coordinator Chan Gailey will limit the roles of underachieving tight ends Jace Amaro and Jeff Cumberland; practice squad-bound undrafted free agent Wes Saxton, Jr. may have more upside than them all.
Chris Ivory leads a hard-hitting running back corps with draft-day acquisition Zac Stacy and the elusive Bilal Powell. Injured Patriots star Stevan Ridley may not start the season but could be a hidden gem in the making.
Since the Jets will launch a potent rushing attack, don’t sleep on early camp sensation Daryl Richardson. Plus, Gailey has supreme confidence in his Harvard-schooled former Buffalo Bills flamethrower Ryan Fitzpatrick — a quarterback who commands respect.
Next: 1. Deepest roster in years
Jan 21, 2015; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets new general manager Mike Maccagnan (left), owner Woody Johnson (center), and new head coach Todd Bowles (right) pose for a photo during a press conference at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/NJ Advance Media for NJ.com via USA TODAY Sports
1. Deepest Roster in Years
Past general managers Mike Tannenbaum and Idzik were money managers masquerading as talent evaluators. Both preached competition but anointed their own acquisitions before any meaningful competition. Needless to say, it yielded terrible results and it shows due to their departures.
Despite all the punch-lines and noisy distractions, Maccagnan has within months created an unseen Jets situation, where many on their roster cuts will sign with other teams and the final practice squad will get raided for talent. It’s called quietly building a winner.
If everything comes together as it should, the Jets could very well be the team that turns from pretenders to contenders seemingly overnight. Fans should feel very optimistic since there is a chance this built winner could go the distance this upcoming season.