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It’s time . . .
“I’m really expecting playoffs or bust,” linebacker C.J. Mosley told Al.com about the 2022-23 Jets. “Obviously, that’s my goal every year, but I think it’s something that’s a realistic goal for our entire team and our coaches.”
After 11 straight years of missing the playoffs, it’s time to break that streak. They have enough talent to do that.
“Last year, everyone was kind of learning the system and learning each other,” Mosley said. “This year, coming into the offseason, you can tell guys already know it, and we’re two steps ahead of where we were last year as far as being in the playbook. We know what we have to do, guys are comfortable and now it’s all about going out there and making plays and executing, so I think that’s going to be the biggest step for us this year — everybody having that confidence in what we’re doing and being able to execute the plays.”
A couple of thoughts on this second quote:
Yes, there are young players who are now more comfortable with the scheme, but a bunch of those young players, especially in the secondary, are likely going to be replaced in the lineup. They could have an entirely new starting secondary with Sauce Gardner and D.J. Reed at cornerback and Jordan Whitehead and LaMarcus Joyner at safety.
I know that Joyner was with the team last summer, but suffered a season-ending injury early in the opener, and that is the last we saw of him, so he’s almost like a new starter this year.
So in some regards, it wasn’t just young guys learning the scheme, but perhaps some young guys might not have been the answer.
One other thing on the scheme: It’s not a complex scheme by NFL standards, so it shouldn’t be that hard to learn.
One of the reasons the Las Vegas Raiders hired Gus Bradley and the Dallas Cowboys hired Dan Quinn in 2021 as their defensive coordinators, was to simplify their schemes because each team’s brass felt the prior systems were too complex, and players were thinking too much, and making too many mistakes. Bradley and Quinn basically run the same scheme as Robert Saleh and Jeff Ulbrich.
So the issues with some players last year might have been more than learning the scheme.
But the overall point from Mosley about “playoffs or bust,” is a good premise. While the owners aren’t going to issue a playoff mandate, it should go without saying that it’s about darn time for this team to be playing in the NFL’s second season.
In a league set up for parity and competitive balance with their draft and waiver wire systems aimed at helping teams that struggled the season before, along with salary cap to even the playing field, it’s somewhat unacceptable to miss the playoffs 11 years in a row.
Now don’t get me wrong, if the Jets miss the playoffs this year, I don’t think the head coach or GM should be in trouble since it will be just the conclusion of just their second year together, just saying this year can’t be used as a petri dish to develop players. It has to be about making the playoffs, or at the very least, as Joe Douglas often says, “playing meaningful games in December.”
June 28, 2022
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