What the Jets need to do to catch up to the Patriots
After their – season-opening loss to the Ravens, many questioned if this was the same old Jets team. However, five weeks have made a world of difference in the NFL. Not only has Gang Green won four of its last five games, but the team is in the thick of a playoff chase. “It’s a start, it’s a good start and that’s all it is,” Jets owner Woody Johnson told the Daily News’ Pat Leonard at the NFL owners’ meetings in Manhattan on Tuesday. “We are very happy. Green Bay, if you do anything at Green Bay, that’s pretty dope going to Lambeau.
In , Robert Saleh took over a Jets franchise that had recorded one winning season since . His predecessor Adam Gase had run the team into the ground and the Jets roster resembled one of an expansion team. Saleh immediately knew he had his hands full with trying to develop a winning culture.
The Jets added a good mix of veterans this offseason, including cornerback D.J. Reed, who Saleh knew from his days as a defensive coordinator of the ers. The team also signed linebacker Kwon Alexander and tackle Duane Brown after the start of training camp. Not to mention, the Jets also drafted cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, wide receiver Garrett Wilson, defensive end Jermaine Johnson and running back Breece Hall all within the first picks of the NFL Draft. This team now resembles the young ers team, with Saleh and Kyle Shanahan leading the way.
As coach, Saleh led the San Francisco ers to a – record before losing Super Bowl LIV to the Kansas City Chiefs. Despite back-to-back losing seasons in and , the ers relied on their defense, running game, and special teams to win games—much like the New York Jets are currently doing. “Our style of play is effort, technique and violence,” Saleh said. “Those are the three things that we feel as players and coaches that we have control over.
“There is no still shot. I am looking at your tape and it is dark and quiet. What am I seeing? What are you telling me with your tape? Our style of play is everything, and those are the three things we want to see jumping off the tape. We want to see guys playing with great effort, playing with precision, and obviously playing with violence. I feel like, especially the last two weeks, it feels like that part of our game is getting better and better, but still has a long way to go. It is heading in that direction.
To the players: you’re doing a great job of handling things you have control over. Throughout training camp, Saleh and the Jets players repeatedly said how much improved the team was compared to last year. After a – start, it is difficult to argue with the results thus far. The Green and White have found different ways to win games, especially late in the fourth quarter. They have relied on Hall to carry their offense in wins against the Dolphins and Packers.
What we can learn
In conclusion, it is clear that the coaching staff wants to see more effort, precision, and violence from the players. The team is heading in the right direction, but there is still a long way to go.