New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan has been making optimistic comments about his team recently, and his optimism has trickled down to his players, who are buying the belief that their team is headed for an improvement on their 8-8 record rather than regression. The truth is, the Jets were lucky to reach .500 last year with their lack of talent, but they did add sufficient weapons to the passing game to actually give second-year QB Geno Smith a chance to succeed, and Michael Vick gives them an adequate fallback option. Their defensive line is obviously elite, the pass rush could be a big strength if Quinton Coples has his expected breakout season, but the secondary is a wildcard that depends on youngsters Calvin Pryor and Dee Milliner.
Some of the question marks about the Jets ability to compete, as well as the improvements the Miami Dolphins made, aren’t bothering players like Demario Davis and David Nelson, who stated that he’s convinced the Jets will be a playoff team in 2014. He told Seth Walder of the New York Daily News during his charity event, “For the first time in my career, I can say it with conviction and say it with belief: this is a playoff team.”
I like the confidence that the Jets organization has in themselves, but plenty of things have to go right for them to make the postseason. Their quarterback has to improve greatly, their secondary has to improve greatly, and they will still be in for a big battle against the Dolphins. Nelson is a solid piece of a much deeper and more talent WR corps, but we’ll have to wait to see if their confidence is vindicated.