Jets fans may not want to book tickets for the Super Bowl in Glendale, Arizona quite yet but one of their team's defensive stars is saying this could be a special year for the team.
His source? None other than God.
Third-year linebacker Demario Davis said last year the 2013 season was going to be a “special” one for the Jets. The statement seemed absurd given the predictions head coach Rex Ryan would be fired and the team would struggle to win a handful of games. He said he received that message from God and now ahead of a 2014 year with heightened expectations and a deeper roster, he's saying his spirit is telling him great things await this Jets team.
A devoted born-again Christian, Davis wakes up every morning and the first thing he does is pray for about 10 minutes. He then spends 20 minutes in Bible study while having breakfast. During down time throughout the day, he stops to pray and listen for God and also talks scripture with teammates. Last year, he said God spoke to him through the Biblical story of Gideon, a leader in ancient Israel who used an inferior military force to beat a much larger army.
Now, Davis believes what he is feeling “is from God.”
“It's not like a conversation you have with him individually, but it's things you see every day,” Davis told Metro. “Last year, it was Gideon, about having faith to step out and be a leader and trust in God that he will show up. Now the second part of it, and this is the most important part of the season right here: faith, trusting that this season will be special. The big thing that keeps coming is that, 'This is the season, this is the season. Believe in it, have faith.'
“It's passing on that message and it is one word: believe. Everybody says that this is their year. Everybody says it from all 32 teams, but who really believes it? [Seattle quarterback] Russell Wilson last year said, 'Why not us?' It's so much about believing. You're going to have so many doubters, so many believers. You have to go out there and believe that this is our time.
“Everything is in faith and I have faith that everything that comes to my heart and spirit is from God. It's not like you hear his voice in the sky; it's a spirit thing. And the word I'm getting for us this year is 'believe.'”
The Jets added 12 players in the draft and made key offseason signings such as wide receiver Eric Decker, running back Chris Johnson and right tackle Breno Giacomini. The Jets' young quarterback, Geno Smith, appears to have taken a significant step forward as well.
There is optimism about this team and the fiery and passionate Davis, who head coach Rex Ryan likened to former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis in terms of leadership, is certainly on board with this.
He believes that God is telling him that the Jets are set for a big year. His mother, also a Bible-believing Christian, feels the same way.
“Before my final season at Arkansas State, she told told me it was going to be a big year for us — a championship year,” Davis said. “When she says it, most times it happens how she says it. She said it now this offseason. I don't know what it is, but I feel like it's going to be a special year.”
It isn't enough just to have faith, Davis cautions, as he points out the Jets need to be diligent and hard working and put in the effort to have success.
“It seems like it is time for a breakthrough,” Davis said. “Tilling away, tilling away, tilling away — working hard. Then the front office brings in pieces to fill the holes from last year. The confidence is here to do great things. Now it is about putting it all together.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.