The past few days I have been thinking about the Jets season, as improbable as it may have been to some. I have been thinking about Mark Sanchez as a rookie QB leading the team. Darelle Revis coming into his own as CB, being the shadow of many great Wide Receivers and shutting them down. Three great running backs in Thomas Jones, Shonn Greene, and Leon Washington when healthy. All three of these guys are capable of 100 yard games when they step out onto the field. Nick Mangold and the offensive line have given Sanchez time to throw and opened holes for the running game. The Defense, ranked Number One in the NFL, has been a stand out all year thanks to Rex Ryan. Braylon Edwards is due for a breakout year. The Jets have the right pieces and the puzzle finally came together at the end of the season. I am only 35 and I saw a different Jets team than I ever have. This is no longer my father’s Jets. They are no longer the team that plays second fiddle to the Giants in the New York market. The Jets have finally got their due and respect.
I have sat in the stand and even at home listened to my father say “same old Jets” everytime a game or play would not go their way. When the Jets would fall behind or not even make the playoffs every Jets fan was used to that. For so long we put up with losing seasons, injured players, bad coaching, etc. Yes, bad coaching. From Bruce Coslet, Joe Walton, Rich Kotite, Lou Holtz, former USC and now Seahawks’ Pete Carroll, Mangini, Charley Winner, and hell, even Lou Holtz! Bill Parcells, Al Groh, and Rex Ryan are the only coaches in New York Jets and Titans history with winning records. Even the great Weeb Ewbank had a 71-77-6 records while coaching the Jets. Rex Ryan has given new life to a team that had to escape its own stigma of losing.
Woody Johnson has spent enough money on this team, including the $12 million on Brett Favre, to create a team worth watching. It took years to find a QB that was right at the helm. It took time to get a balanced receiving core & land a potential star in Edwards. Even Dustin Keller hs shown the Jets can have an outstanding Tight End. The pieces are coming together and the Jets just need to complete the puzzle. The draft has been key the pst few years as the young guys are the ones making the team better than it has been. For the first time I look at the Jets and see a team that doe not resemble the teams I saw when I was growing up. The teams in 1998 and 1982 that made the AFC Championship though gave the Jets fans hope that their team would not just been seen differently, but play differently from now on. They didn’t after those seasons. I think this might be the first year the team we saw play the Colts will be the same team that starts the 2010 season.
I guess what I am trying to say is I am finally looking forward to a Jets season where we all know they can win and have a true shot at making the Super Bowl. This past year though has been tough because of the documentary. As a Jets fan I was hoping they would beat the Colts. My heart was pojnding during the game hoping they would maintain the lead and win the game. Asa filmmaker, I was looking for the Jets to sputter and show Jets fans they were the same old JEts. Even though they lost the game they are not the same old Jets and proved me wrong. I can not wai to see what the Jets do in the off season and hope Kerry Rhodes is ready for the 2010 season. I think everyone is finally proud to be a Jets fan. I know my father is happy, smiling, and watching everything from the best seat in the house. Maybe screaming at the TV in heaven when Sanchez throws an interception. That is my dad.