Florham Park, NJ – It’s check-in day around the NFL. Teams are gearing up for training camp and expectations are high for players and fans. Fans, not just Jets fans, almost always feel far more optimistic than they should feel on check-in day, but this year Jets fans have some good reasons for optimism. Mostly those reasons all boil down to Sam Darnold, but when they hear the head coach confidently state his own expectation those fans will only ramp up their excitement.

“We’re going to play meaningful games at the end of November and in December,” Adam Gase said. “That’s what we’re going to do.”

Gase was careful not to guarantee playoffs or anything like that, but he didn’t hesitate or stutter at all when he expressed his expectation for this team. Gase knows this team has flaws, he knows the weaknesses of the roster, but his confidence in himself and the strengths of the roster is in no danger of wavering anytime soon.

This secondary is filled with question marks at every position except for Jamal Adams. Trumaine Johnson struggled mightily last season, Daryl Roberts is “penciled in” as the other starter. But the depth behind those two is severely lacking. At safety Marcus Maye and Brandon Bryant will both start camp on the PUP list. There was already concern about depth at safety and now even more concern about Maye’s ability to start. Gase said Maye did not have another setback, they just don’t think he’s healthy enough to be out there yet.

“I was (optimistic) in the spring (that Maye would be ready for training camp). I know he was working hard. It’s just the body heals a certain way,” Gase said. “He’s doing everything he can to get out there. When the trainers feel good about it, then he’ll be out there.”

Gase likes the starting group of offensive linemen, but he’s aware that the depth on the line is a problem. And the same could be said about the receivers. And yet his expectations remain set on playing meaningful games in December and it actually sounds reasonable. Even Darnold agrees with his coach.

“Definitely, I think there’s enough talent on this roster to be a playoff contender,” Darnold said. “You definitely have expectations of making it to the playoffs. And we definitely have the talent to do it.”

Darnold is the biggest reason for the confidence. Gase also likes what he saw from these players in the spring. Add to all of that a new general manager, Joe Douglas, that Gase actually believes in and you can start to understand his confidence.

“There’s some juice in our building right now. We’re ready. We’re 0-0,” Gase said. “It’s going to be all about how we come together. We all know we’re starting at 0-0 and it’s time to go to work and see where the chips fall.”



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