Losing is a hard habit to break. No one knows that better New York Jets owners Woody and Christopher Johnson. After watching their once proud franchise toil through the last three seasons with a cumulative record of 14-34, it left them scratching their heads by the end of last season.
As is often the case with astute football people, the Johnson brothers (Johnson & Johnson fame) realized the only way to change a losing culture is to change the culture in general. That’s likely one of the reasons they brought in Adam Gase to take over the head coaching duties. It wasn’t that Gase had any great success with the Miami Dolphins, failing to get them into the playoffs over the last two seasons. What he does bring to the organization is youth (41-years-old), exuberance and a good football mind. Jets fans and sports bettors using the best betting apps are likely to appreciate his approach.
This year will also represent the first time in over a decade that the team made a major free agent commitment to a single player in hopes that player, Le'Veon Bell, can play a big role in bringing the team back to glory. While injuries, a suspension and a contract dispute have kept him off the field a lot during his 6-year career, when he is on the field, there’s no one better at the running back position. That's something he clearly intends to prove during the upcoming season.
With a young, talented QB like Sam Darnold running the offense, there is reason for optimism this year. After throwing for 2,865 yards with 17 TDs and 15 interceptions in his rookie season, the upstart QB enters his second campaign with a confidence that belies his age. Remember, this is a young man that entered the draft after only two seasons of college football at USC. He’s still learning how to play the game at the highest level. By surrounding him with a solid offensive line and skill position players like Bell to help lighten the load, it’s clear the team is going to give him every chance to show he can lead this team back into the playoffs.
At this point, expectations have to be realistic. This is a team that was well on its way to becoming the league’s perennial doormat. It was a combination of talents issues and a general attitude the team wasn’t destined for success that drove the Jets to the bottom o the standings in recent years. Every team starts the season with a record of 0-0 and every reason to believe they have a shot at the Super Bowl. That inspiration lasts until the second or third game of the season when players and fans begin to realize the team might not have the goods.
This might not be the year the Jets make it back to the playoffs. With that said, that year might not be that far into the future. What team ownership has done with a couple of important decisions during the offseason was introduce the dawning of a new age.