CORTLAND, NY – The excitement has begun. NFL fans are foaming at the mouth anxiously awaiting the beginning of the season and with all the different story lines surrounding the Jets this will no doubt be one of the most talked about camps throughout the league.
As the players checked into their dorms at SUNY Cortland today there were many common story lines being discussed by the players and the media, but none of them dominated more than the fact that Darrelle Revis was a no show and has now officially begun his holdout. So now the guessing game begins, who blinks first? The Jets or Revis?
Reaction from the other players was pretty much the same across the board, when asked if Revis holding out would be a distraction Tony Richardson said, “No I don’t see that being a distraction at all, because unfortunately that’s the business side of it and I’ve been around this thing a hundred times before and I’ve seen these things handled. The thing about it is these things always have a way of working themselves out.” There wasn’t a player who checked in that didn’t get asked about Revis, but they all said they have no doubts the two sides will get this worked out and they are anticipating his return to the field. Revis was not the only player who didn’t check in, Santonio Holmes isn’t due at camp until Wednesday because of a family matter.
Revis or no Revis, the players are excited and looking forward to the beginning of what they hope will be a Super Bowl season. No one is content with matching last year’s success, the Jets have one goal and that’s the Super Bowl. NFL fans know about the Jets first ranked defense and rushing attack, they also know about all the big name acquisitions the team made in the offseason. What everyone is wondering is just how will all these different pieces mesh together?
The new players such as L.T., Cromartie, Jason Taylor and rookie Kyle Wilson are all ready to play their part and give the Jets what they were missing last year, so that goal of the Super Bowl can be reached. When asked what would be his message to wide receivers on other teams Cromartie said, “You know what I’m just going to tell them, best of luck because that’s all they are going get from me. I’m just going to go out and have fun and play my game the way I know I’m capable of playing.”
The players returning from last year are just looking to build off of last year’s success and work with the new pieces to be the best team possible. When talking to any of these players the first thing that jumps out at you is their confidence. Can the Jets have the best receiving core in the NFL this year? Braylon Edwards thinks its possible. “No question it can be. It definitely should be a goal for us and at the end of the year it should be an attained goal.”
Is it possible that the Jets defense got better? Jim Leonard said a Rex Ryan defense is always trying to improve. “Our biggest concentration this off-season is making impact plays, interceptions and causing fumbles and things like that. That’s where games are won and lost and we feel like we got a great group of guys and great depth that can get that done.”
Adding to the excitement was the fact that HBO is taping the series, “Hard Knocks,” during training camp. Kris Jenkins nominated either Sanchez or Mangold to be the break-out star on HBO, “I really think it’s going to be Sanchez. Other than that I say Nick Mangold because Mangold is a comedian.” However most the other players said it was going to be Jenkins who would be the star of the show.
Jets fans hope Jenkins is right about Sanchez being a breakout star this year, they just hope its for his play on the field more than anything else. There is little doubt the right pieces are in place for something special to happen and a lot of the weight of that pressure falls on Sanchez. The other pieces, as good as they might be, need Sanchez to take a big step forward this year if they want that Super Bowl, luckily Jets fans will be glad to hear Sanchez knows and accepts this. When Sanchez was asked about the new weapons he has and how dangerous they can be he joked, “You know, we get a quarterback, we can figure things out, that would be nice.” Sanchez continued saying, “A lot of that pressure comes on me and that’s good, it’s what I’ve been working all offseason for and now we get to show our stuff.”
With all this hype, confidence, swagger/bravado surrounding training camp the players are confident it will not be a distraction and for anyone questioning the team’s chemistry Sanchez had this to say, “Not with Rex. He is the great equalizer in all this. When people ask about egos or personalities clashing, I don’t think that will be a problem at all.”
Tomorrow morning training camp begins and everyone will get to watch how everything begins to play out. We will have all the breaking news from camp for you starting tomorrow. Make sure to keep checking for updates.