The New York Jets have a new quarterback on defense, and veteran linebacker C.J. Mosley isn’t missing a beat in his new surroundings.
Few expected four-time Pro Bowler C.J. Mosley to hit the open market this offseason, but when he did, the New York Jets wisely snatched him up.
After missing out on another talented linebacker in free agency, Anthony Barr, the Jets broke the bank for Mosley, a former first-round pick who had been an unquestioned leader and a tackling machine for the Baltimore Ravens since he set foot in the NFL.
Mosley is now taking on the role of veteran leader for the Jets defense, as well as the play-caller for new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and his aggressive attacking scheme.
It’s a role Mosley is absolutely prepared for, and his teammates are already responding to his presence (via team reporter Olivia Landis):
I think it’s been going well. Once you get the call and relay it, at the end of the day, that’s the hardest job. Making sure everybody gets the call. After that, it’s figuring out what are we best at, what guys can do what, and just helping each other out, making sure we’re all lined up in the right spot. That’s the main key.
When it comes to the biggest challenges of adjusting to a new team and defense, Mosley says his experience helps mitigate the most difficult part of the transition:
I think once you get the verbiage down. That’s the hardest challenge, coming into a new defense, a new system. So, I think once I got that part down, the rest is just football. Since I’ve been in the league, I kind of know how it goes. If I was a rookie, it’d be a whole other story, if I was trying to learn everything new.
Mosley’s combination of experience, leadership and playmaking ability could be a big part of what vaults the Jets defense into the top tier of units across the entire league. With Pro Bowl safety Jamal Adams, veteran defensive lineman Leonard Williams, and No. 3 overall pick Quinnen Williams also in the mix, this group could be among the NFL’s most improved in 2019.
The offseason seems to be going well for this group, but time will tell if these gains translate into on-field success when it really matters this fall.