Are the New York Jets on the Rebound?

The team’s new look, vibe, and culture is inspiring

Fans of the New York Jets haven’t been this excited in years. Engaged with the team’s process and off-season directives. From the hiring of a new head coach, the NFL Draft, and the OTAs. There’s something brewing at One Jets Drive in Florham Park NJ, the Jets’ HQ, and training facility.

From the sportswriters, podcasts, and social media platforms, there’s a buzz that’s gaining traction and momentum. It feels and looks as if the Jets could be taking their first steps to be a prominent NFL franchise.

All of this on the heels of the 2020 NFL Season — one of the worst and most futile in franchise history. Heading into 2020, the Jets were picked by many talking heads, experts, and various pundits to be among the worst teams in the NFL.

Entering game 13, the Jets remained winless while competing in the Trevor Lawrence sweepstakes. Statistically, the ’20 Jets were one of the worst teams since the expansion era Tampa Bay Buccanneers. To the team’s credit, the Jets finished stronger than when they started, posting a 2–14 final record.

What happened? What took place at One Jets Drive in only the last four months? The vision and process of Joe Douglas, the Jets’ GM has transformed all of the previous negative energy into optimism.

The culture is changing. There’s an obvious shift in attitude and presence. The fans, the league, and the media have all taken notice. Many in the media, skeptical by nature, are sounding positive when talking about the Jets.

A deeper dive into championship teams in all pro sports reveal a strong culture at their core. The teams with the best players and coaches will always win. In this context, it’s about perennial winners and franchises that aren’t successful for a few seasons before collapsing and starting a rebuild.

Despite the optimism, the current Jets are still a 2–14 team until they could prove otherwise. The belief and hope are that they will.

The new culture has gotten kudos from the media as well. Many in NFL circles agree and endorse the Jets’ decision to hire Robert Saleh. Coach Saleh has been making a name for himself for quite some time.

What’s known as Black Monday — the conclusion of the NFL season, where head coaches are often dismissed. This past January, Robert Saleh’s name shot to the front of the lists looking to fill the newfound vacancies.

On the tangible side, the current roster is beginning to take shape. In the recent 2021 NFL Draft, the Jets received high marks from a consensus field of draft experts.

The first three players the Jets selected were on their top-ten draft board. Add in the values of players selected in various rounds of this and last year’s draft, the Jets have begun to stock their roster with premium talent. Of course, the jury is out — the players selected still have to make the team and contribute.

The Jets appear to have an overall plan. A mission statement and direction. A value system with the front office, coaching staff, and players all on the same page. The vibe also suggests that they’re more than just in sync — as a whole, the entire organization is all in.

This is the most invigorating aspect of the Jets’ current state. The media types attending minicamps and OTAs are reporting a positive environment. A new and improved climate. Direction and commitment.

Coupled with this attitude and promising talent, the new-look Jets appear to be a revamped and improved team already. They’re practicing like a squad that’s instep, confident, and eager to play.

Between the white lines on Any Given Sunday is where it counts and always will. All 32 NFL teams are in it for the Vince Lombardi Trophy and nothing else. In the words of the new head coach, Robert Saleh, Let’s go, man!

Fiction and nonfiction: http://www.phil-rossi.com/home.html Background actor and day player: https://www.backstage.com/u/phil-rossi/

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