New York Jets – Debunking The Way Too Early Narratives Of 2018

Greg Armstrong with a debunking of the way too early narratives for the 2018 New York Jets…

We still have a little under four months until the regular season starts and we’ve hit that lull. The time between the draft and training camp is a wacky time, even more so with everyone being able to get their takes off on every medium imaginable. This is usually the time where oddball narratives get thrown out into the world, getting Jets fans worked up for no real reason. So here’s some narratives I’ve seen and some we’re likely to see and why they aren’t true as we crawl towards training camp.

The Jets Have No Receivers!

This is a common theme from the talking heads at big media outlets and from NFL personalities that don’t intently watch the Jets. This narrative is simply not true. Sure the Jets don’t have that true big name number one receiver but the receiving core isn’t as bad as some will make it out to be.

Robby Anderson was on pace to be a 1,000 yard receiver if Josh McCown stayed healthy. In 2017, he showed progress into becoming a more well rounded receiver. He improved on being simply a deep threat and developed his route running. He showed that he can beat almost any corner deep but also that he can catch passes in traffic and hold onto the ball through the catch.

It’s not just Anderson either. Quincy Enunwa will be back. In 2016, the Jets used him more outside than in 2015 and he showed that he can handle that type of role. Enunwa showed that he can be a one man wrecking crew in open space and also turn 10 yard slants into 60 yard touchdowns. Jermaine Kearse was a very nice option for the Jets last season as well. He is good at running after the catch and rarely drops a pass thrown his way. Terrelle Pryor was very good in 2016 with the Browns before falling off a cliff in Oakland, but can still be a viable option as the third or fourth wide receiver.

My point is this. While the Jets don’t have the greatest show on turf, their receiver group for a rookie quarterback is better than what we’ve seen for most of the recent rookie quarterbacks. Don’t listen to the talking heads!

The Jets Have The Worst Team In the League!

This one isn’t so much a narrative as it is something I saw get Jets fans get worked up about last week when Mike Clay predicted the Jets would be the worst team in the league this upcoming season and pick first in next years draft. This one particularly is weird considering Clay had the Dolphins and Bills picking in the top five of the draft as well. You could argue that those two teams have much worse rosters than the Jets.

This season, much like last season, is about playing for the following year. It’s much easier now that the Jets have their quarterback in Sam Darnold. 2018 isn’t so much about what the final win-loss record is for the team but more about what steps have guys taken. It’s more about seeing Darnold go through his growing pains, seeing if Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye improve from their rookie seasons, seeing if you can close out games in the fourth quarter, etc. The Jets roster, compared to years past, is made up mostly of guys who will be here for the future. You want to see them make strides so that the Jets can become consistent playoff contenders moving forward.

Can the Jets end up with the number one pick next season? Sure. The NFL is weird and sometimes the ball doesn’t bounce your way in some games. Saying they have the worst team in the league is misinformed and is simply not true.

Sam Darnold Needs To Sit And Learn His Rookie Year!

Dan Essien wrote a wonderful piece about whether to start or sit your rookie quarterback his first season. There are more quarterbacks who are successful by starting year one than there are who sat.

We’ve talked about it at length on this site. Darnold isn’t going to learn and get his growing pains out of the way by sitting on the bench. As I stated earlier, this year isn’t necessarily about wins but more about building for the years after. Let him make the turnovers and bad plays in his rookie season (see: Jared Goff, Carson Wentz) and he’ll be in a better place in 2019.

There should be no reason (unless Darnold is completely overwhelmed) that Josh McCown or Teddy Bridgewater are under center for more than 2-3 games at the most. It’d be like buying a Bentley and driving your 1996 Honda Civic everywhere while your Bentley sits in the garage. You drafted Darnold to be your guy and having sitting on the bench doesn’t benefit the future of the franchise.

It’s Still The Same Old Jets!

Wrong again. Don’t let your grandpa or your father who have experienced years and years of Jets heartbreak and “same old Jets” talk tell you that this is going to be the same.

The franchise is in the midst of a complete overhaul. Was it frustrating to watch the Jets lose close games last season strictly as a fan? Yes. But not once did I think this team wasn’t fun to watch. The end of the Rex era Jets and the 2016 team were not fun to watch.

Jamal Adams has led the charge as being the culture change this franchise needed. The Jets are shifting from the “New York Circus” to being a respectable franchise. The decisions made by the front office to get younger, not sign over the hill players and get guys who fit where this team wants to be is a big step as well. Getting the even keeled, “boring” quarterback in Sam Darnold was the cherry on top. The reports that the whole building at 1 Jets Drive in Florham Park has a completely changed mindset since getting Darnold is what we’ve been waiting for for years now.

These aren’t the same old Jets. Buckle up and enjoy the ride. It’s fun to be a fan of this team again.

Photo Courtesy of: yardbarker.com