There’s a lot of buzz around the New York Jets as usual around the beginning of the NFL season, especially from players and their fans.
Dec 27, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) being interviewed after the game against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. New York Jets defeat the New England Patriots 26-20 in OT. Mandatory Credit: Jim O
Heading into Week 1 of the NFL season, the New York Jets are ready for taking off against the Cincinnati Bengals. It’ll be a real first test for the team.
The Jets come as they did last year with playoff expectations. They fell just short last season by losing to the Buffalo Bills in Week 17.
That loss has left a lot of people wondering if the Jets have what it takes this year to finally make it over the hurdle for the first time since 2010. Players and alumni alike seem especially optimistic this season.
Here’s what is being said throughout Jets Nation as these are the top five quotes from players heading into Week 1.
Next: 5. Buster Skrine just wants to compete
Sep 13, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) is hit by New York Jets cornerback Buster Skrine (41) during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports
5. “I just want to compete” – Buster Skrine
No stranger to the outside, Skrine seems ready to take on the new role with the Jets, drawing on his experience on the outside during his time with the Cleveland Browns. Heading into his second season in Green, this is a big step up in responsibility for the 6th year veteran.
Skrine also said during the same interview, “Last time I played corner, I feel like I was top four two-years in a row.” In a league with more than a few impressive cornerback stalwarts, the Jets would sure love if that were the case this year.
Next: 4. Brandon Marshall chimes in on Kaepernick
4. “This guy, he’s one of the biggest patriots out there” – Brandon Marshall
Each season comes with an off the field storyline, for better or worse in the NFL. This year’s story is probably one of the most interesting when it comes to showing your patriotism. As per Rich Cimini of ESPN, Brandon Marshall is adding his two cents to the national conversation following Colin Kaepernick‘s preseason National Anthem protest.
Kaepernick chose to sit during the National Anthem in one week, then kneel during its rendition next week. Kaepernick cites what he believes to be continued racial injustice as reasoning for his protests. Players around the league and in other sports have followed his lead, sitting or kneeling during the anthem before games or events.
Wide receiver Brandon Marshall believes Kaepernick is showing true patriotism by standing up for human rights. Marshall himself says he will be standing during the National Anthem during the Jets first game.
Although this isn’t necessarily football related, it will be one of the most observed moments aside from the coin toss, before kickoff. The anthem holds a special significance this week as games will be played on the 15th anniversary of 9/11.
Next: 3. Darrelle Revis sees a playoff run
Aug 19, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) looks on from the sidelines against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
3. “We feel like we are a playoff team” – Darrelle Revis
The Jets will be tested on that very sentiment from Darrelle Revis quickly in that article written by Rich Cimini of ESPN. Gang Green goes up against five 2015 playoff teams in the first six weeks of the season.
Revis himself will be a huge factor in whether or not the Jets can finally make the playoffs for the first time since 2010. He’s coming off a down year for a player with his standards, including offseason wrist surgery.
The team certainly has playoff expectations, both within and externally following a roller coaster 2015 season. Although the offense had a record-setting season for the Jets, the team fell just short of the playoffs by losing in the season’s final week to the Buffalo Bills.
One silver lining from last year is that the Jets were able to control their fate last season. That allows them to take a hard look at what they need to improve this season.
Next: 2. Curtis Martin sees major potential in the Jets
Oct 3, 2015; London, United Kingdom; New York Jets former running back Curtis Martin speaks at the 2015 NFL International Series Fan Rally at Trafalgar Square. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
2. “I think they have all the pieces in place” – Curtis Martin
Pro Football Hall of Famer and Jets’ Ring of Honor member running back Curtis Martin believes the Jets will have a really good season. In an exclusive interview with Hillary Garza of The Jet Press, Martin shares his best memories and optimism for this season.
Martin feels the Jets have all the pieces in place coming into the 2016 season. He’s a believer in what the Jets have to offer, especially when it comes to personnel.
Of the many reasons for optimism, Martin cited Bowles as the most important piece to the overall puzzle. He feels Bowles has become an exceptional leader who has acquired the necessary level of respect and commitment from the team.
Martin went on to praise the rest of the Jets personnel as one of the best he’s ever seen, especially since his own playing days. Martin is no stranger to getting it done on the field, and the team certainly hopes his assessment is spot on.
Next: 1. Ryan Fitzpatrick feels he's gotten better
Aug 27, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) warms up before a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
1. “I am a better player than I was last year” – Ryan Fitzpatrick
Ryan Fitzpatrick believes he’s an even better player than his record-setting version in an article written by Rich Cimini of ESPN. After a contract fiasco taken to the brink, Fitzpatrick is ready to lead the Jets’ offense for the second year.
Fitzpatrick set the Jets’ single-season touchdown record with 30 in his first season with the team. Buoyed by receivers Marshall and Eric Decker, the record-setting season was something Jets fans were not expecting from the NFL journeyman.
Sharing Martin’s optimism, Fitzpatrick believes the Jets have all the “right guys” to make the playoff run. He has “no doubt” that the Jets are playoff-caliber ready.
If Fitzpatrick truly is better than last year, the Jets are going to need him to make the most out of a very tough 2016 schedule. For most of the first half of the season the Jets are on the road, so here’s hoping he can successfully take the show on the road.