At some point, the Jets will need to turn all these guarantees into wins.
Speaking on the NFL Network’s “NFL AM” show on Thursday morning, Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie boldly said, “The Jets will make the playoffs this year.” Currently at 3-5, the Jets sit two games behind the Colts and Steelers for a wild-card berth due in large part to losing four of their last five games. Now coming off a bye week, head coach Rex Ryan is echoing the sentiments of Cromartie by saying that the team has improved.
“I think obviously at 3-5 you’re not where you want to be, but this team believes that we can right the ship and we’re going for it,” Ryan said. “I know Antonio Cromartie had some comments about making the playoffs and all that. I feel that as an entire football team that we should all feel like that. I think we do feel like that. Nobody wants to hear it but who cares — that’s really how we feel. That is our mentality. Whether you like it or not that’s out mentality.”
Of course guarantees are nothing new to the Jets, with Joe Namath’s guarantee before Super Bowl III being most prominent. In more recent times, Ryan made his own Super Bowl guarantees about his team — guarantees that unlike Namath fell short.
What really matters most is how Cromartie and Ryan’s comments play in the Jets locker room. The confidence is a good thing — the players all seem to say — but there is a hesitation from the rest of the team to echo Cromartie’s bold prediction.
“I really don’t feel either way about it. Each person has their own style, their own way. The way I think, the way I do things, I can’t say that to you,” linebacker Aaron Maybin told Metro. “At the end of the day, we all have confidence in ourselves in this locker room. I’m not going to go out there and put my name on that.”
Even the usually quotable Bart Scott sidestepped the issue entirely when asked by Metro if he liked the moxie behind Cromartie’s guarantee.
“I’m not in on that. You ask Cro what he meant by that,” Scott said. “I ain’t got nothing to do with that.”
Gang Green notes
» The Jets elevated linebacker Ricky Sapp to the active roster and picked up safety Antonio Allen for the practice squad. Allen was waived by the team two days earlier.
» Nose tackle Kenrick Ellis was again held out of practice with a sprained MCL/PCL that has severely limited him this season. He continues his rehab, which this week has transitioned from straightforward running to more side to side movement. “I’m optimistic that I can play in the next three games,” he told Metro.
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.