Sheldon Rankins: NY Jets are building 'something special'

NY Jets, Sheldon Rankins
NY Jets, Sheldon Rankins / Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The NY Jets have inhabited the NFL's basement for the better part of the past decade, and they sunk to new lows under former head coach Adam Gase. But according to new defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins, the tides might be turning in Florham Park.

Rankins spoke about new head coach Robert Saleh and the state of the Jets as an organization in a recent interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio. He spoke glowingly of his new coach and detailed how the Jets are building "something special."

Of course, Rankins is coming over from the New Orleans Saints — a franchise that has been widely praised for its "culture" over the last decade or so.

Rankins believes the Jets are on their way to building something similar in New York, and a lot of that has to do with the man running the show in the locker room, Saleh.

Sheldon Rankins believes the NY Jets are building "something special."

"I’ve watched it grow. I’ve watched guys get more comfortable — offensively, defensively, special teams. I’ve watched competition. And I’ve watched what he’s really trying to breed, and it’s something special. Everyone’s buying in. Everyone’s coming in every day with the mindset of, we’re not just here to [say], ‘Maybe we’ll do alright this year.’ No, guys are coming in ready to compete and really take this league by storm. And we’re hoping we can do so."

Sheldon Rankins

The Jets are coming off one of the worst seasons in franchise history in which they started the year 0-13 before surprisingly winning two of their final three games.

Following two abysmal seasons under Gase, the Jets opted to make the switch this offseason and they hired Saleh in an attempt to right the wrongs of the previous regime.

The early signs this spring have been encouraging with numerous players echoing Rankins' sentiment. There's a new vibe in Florham Park. Call it a renewed sense of optimism.

"One thing about us, I know we’re going to compete. There’s never going to be a game we go into where people are going to cut that game on and be like, ‘Oh they’re just there. They’re just out there. They’re just out there for a check.’ That’s never going to be a thing with us."

Sheldon Rankins

The Jets still have a long way to go before they can truly compete in a top-heavy AFC. They remain a work in progress, but the hope is that the Jets can be much improved from where they were under Gase.

Yes, the Jets have been here before. With every new coach (perhaps with the exception of Gase), there's always that initial grace period where optimism shines through.

The vibe changes. Optimism grows. And then it all comes collapsing down again.

But it just feels different this time. Is that the optimism blinding the fan base with hope or are things actually different? It's too early to say for sure.

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What we do know, however, is that the players are buying into Robert Saleh. The culture has seemingly changed. Now, it's all about seeing the results on the field.