The Jet Press
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Selling hope for a brighter future

By Hillary Garza
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Sam Darnold of USC gestures after being picked #3 overall by the New York Jets during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Sam Darnold of USC gestures after being picked #3 overall by the New York Jets during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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The New York Jets have a lot of work to do if they’re to become contenders again. It’s best to remain cautiously optimistic until they prove they can play competitive football consistently in 2018.

The last few years have been a debacle for the New York Jets. That may seem like a harsh criticism but the only “success” one could point to last year was that the Jets avoided going 0-16. That’s not comforting at all.

But a new season is already here and while there is uncertainty about what the 2018 New York Jets version has in store for us, a fresh beginning brings with it a surge of excitement, and of course, hope. For the Jets, hope is what is now being sold to an anxious and impatient fan base, so desperate to finally see a consistent winner.

Hope begins with the anticipation that this year will be different from the last few ones. Hope also begins with the drafting of the latest golden boy quarterback from USC to lead the Jets, Sam Darnold.

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No doubt, there are reasons for optimism at this time. But as many of you know, teams unravel quickly. And while some may dismiss the preseason as unnecessary and not a true barometer of future success, I maintain that we’ll know immediately if the Jets are ready to put the rough past behind them.

Bottom line is the Jets need to start playing fundamentally sound, smart, and tough football right from the first minute of the preseason.

The first sign I’ll be looking for is penalties. Last year the Jets were the eighth-most penalized team in the NFL. That is unacceptable for a team with a lack of depth and talent. Already there’s been reports that penalties continue to be an issue during practice—a cautionary indication of an unfocused team. And whatever good vibes brought to the Jets via the drafting of Darnold can quickly disappear if the rest of the team isn’t up to snuff.

So yes Jets fans, we’re being sold hope, but I’ll remain cautiously optimistic until the results are proven on the field.

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