There’s a palpable buzz around One Jets Drive, the optimism is high and everyone’s saying the right things.
Yes indeed, football is back.
But it’s not just the Jets with this familiar feeling, teams around the league were anxious for the start of training camp. It’s similar to baseball when pitchers and catchers report for the start of spring training.
Two weeks into their training camp, the Jets are moving at a different tempo. They’re fueled from a desire to end an eight-year playoff drought.
“The whole building you can kind of sense almost a rebirth,” said Jets first-year head coach Adam Gase at the start of camp. “As long as you have that good energy, we can win with that.”
That good energy is imperative when looking to elevate from futility to respectability. It also requires having the right pieces in place to solidify a solid foundation.
Sam Darnold is one of those pieces. The second-year quarterback is looking to build on a solid rookie season. Then there’s Jamal Adams, the third-year safety has emerged as a team leader.
Darnold and Adams are an integral piece to the foundation the Jets are building, their progression is a high priority.
That’s why the Jets, coming off a 4-12 season which cost former head coach Todd Bowles his job, made it a priority to upgrade their roster, coaching staff, and front office.
Le’Veon Bell, C.J. Mosely, and Jamison Crowder were free agents brought in to improve the Jets on both sides of the ball. They doubled-down through the draft with the additions of Quinnen Williams and Jachai Polite. This is a team, all of a sudden, full of intrigue. This time, for the right reasons.
Bell is excited about his role in the offensive game plan implemented by Gase.
“I think we have a lot of potential,” Bell said. “We got young guys, obviously a young quarterback too. I know a lot of guys have the talent, we gotta just find our little niches. I think this offense can be very exciting. We got a lot of playmakers, a lot of it is going to come from me being a leader and things like that, showing guys the ropes. And I’m looking forward to taking that role, I’m excited.”
Darnold, meanwhile, has drawn high praise from Gase for how he’s running his offense.
“He’s not the kind of quarterback you’re looking to protect,” said Gase. “You’re kind of looking at it in terms of, let him work the offense and get on the ball and use the running game to help him. There’s no limitations on him and it’s fun as a play caller.”
Mosely is expected to be the new quarterback of the defense – a unit now led by the very competitive and confrontational, yet very talented and well-respected defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams.
There’s plenty to like about the potential of this team, but until they prove it on the field that’s all it is for now.
In the meanwhile, while we all await the kickoff to a new season, Jets fans have to feel good about the morning headlines.
Teams going through rebuilds always put changing the culture at the top of their goals. The Jets, so far, appear to be a team that’s all-in on this.
The excitement is building for the Jets, it’s exactly what Gase and new general manager Joe Douglas envisioned for their first season in charge.
Football is indeed back. The talk of a fresh start is alive and well, the buzz is strong. For the Jets, it’s now time to turn their potential into results.