Jets confident as camp opens despite naysayers

Rex Ryan and the Jets hold their first practice of training camp Friday. Credit: Getty Images
Rex Ryan and the Jets hold their first practice of training camp on Friday.
Credit: Getty Images

The Jets haven’t bought into the doom and gloom surrounding the upcoming season, even if the rest of the football world has already written them off.

After an offseason in which several influential pieces of the team left via free agency or trades, the Jets welcomed a revamped roster to upstate New York on Thursday for the start of training camp. Gone is All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis and stalwarts of the defense such as linebackers Bart Scott and Bryan Thomas and defensive linemen Mike DeVito and Sione Pouha. And an offense that was No. 30 in the league last year in total offense took hits with the loss of tight end Dustin Keller and running back Shonn Greene, both big parts of the offense the past few years.

It has become popular in the media to bash the Jets and even go so far as the declare them a lock for the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft next spring, but the players aren’t buying that line quite yet.

“I feel as though this team has some pieces and could potentially be much better than people see them to be,” wide receiver Braylon Edwards said.

Edwards was signed by the team on Wednesday and did not participate in any offseason programs.

“Just talking to the different coaches, seeing what they have in place and listening to how everybody is now playing their roles, which is a key word for this organization — roles — I think we have a shot to be much better than we were last year [and] the year before,” Edwards said.

There’s plenty of team talk, of course, and guarded optimism. Perhaps no one on the Jets has more on the line this season than incumbent starting quarterback Mark Sanchez, who will face a stiff competition for the starting job from rookie Geno Smith.

In his first two years in the league, the Jets were a game away from the Super Bowl each season with Sanchez as the starter. But they have missed the playoffs entirely the past two seasons.

“We’re going to build the best possible team here, first, and see where that takes us,” Sanchez said. “As far as the playoffs go, we’re going to be working as hard as possible, as efficiently as possible and I know that we have some serious playmakers on this team and we’re going to see them perform here first.”

But with all the doubters claiming that the Jets will be woeful this year, this is a team under head coach Rex Ryan that is capable of surprises.

In the past, the Jets have responded well to adversity. In Ryan’s first season with the team, they won five of their last six games to squeak into the playoffs and went on to make it to the AFC Championship game. The next year, in a controversy laden season, the Jets seemed to respond to each media blowup with a big win to silence their critics, en route to another AFC Championship game run.

“We’ve always done well with our backs against the wall when no one believe in us,” kicker Nick Folk said. “Now it is a matter of getting back to that way, getting back to that belief.”

Jets notes …

» Running Mike Goodson did not report to camp on Thursday. Goodson is dealing with a recent arrest on drug and gun charges, but his agent has told media the delay in appearance was due to dealing with “personal matters.” In a statement by the organization that was disseminated by the team via text message, a quote attributed to Ryan said, “We knew Mike was not going to report and we understand why he’s not here.” The Jets declined further comment on the situation.

» First-round pick Dee Milliner did not report to camp as he is still negotiating his contract. The cornerback was the No. 9 overall pick in this past spring’s NFL Draft.

» After weighing 228 pounds last season, Edwards said that he’s in better shape now and currently tips the scale at 214 pounds.

» Last training camp was dominated by the hype surrounding quarterback Tim Tebow and the ensuing media frenzy that followed. When asked about the difference this year, center Nick Mangold suggested that “Mangold Mania” could potentially sweep through training camp. When asked what “Mangold Mania” was, the Jets center responded “You’re looking at it!”

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer for updates from training camp in Cortland, N.Y.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Money

Investing: Buying low, selling high

Learn how rebalancing can help you be successful in investing.

National

Is #JusticeForAvaLynn a case of bullying?

On Saturday, the hashtag #JusticeForAvaLynn became one of the trending topics on Twitter. Users circulated the above photo of 5-year-old AvaLynn, posted by her mother…

International

Terrorism could spread to US and Europe in…

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East,…

National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

The Word

The Word: Jennifer Lawrence among victims of massive…

It's been a while since there was a celebrity nude photo leak, so some industrious and not-at-all-creepy hackers got together to unleash one doozy of…

Gossip

Joan Rivers on life support: Report

TMZ reports that comedian Joan Rivers has been placed on life support, "completely reliant on machines to stay alive." Rivers has been hospitalized since she…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: Lesbians, men most likely…

Lesbians, men most likely to achieve orgasm Location: U.S. Study subjects: 2,850 people Results: Whether you find it shocking or not, a new study reports that…

Wellbeing

VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.