No panic for 1-4 Jets, just focus on getting better now
|Toronto Star 14 Oct 2021 at 14:37|
NEW YORK (AP) — Sheldon Rankins hopped on a video call wearing a black cap with a simple phrase that should serve as a modest goal for the young, struggling New York Jets.
Written in white script letters inside a red oval were the words: “Get Better Today.”
At 1-4 and facing all sorts of issues up and down the roster, overall improvement would be a good start.
“Listen, I think everybody understands the nature of the team, right?” said Rankins, a defensive tackle in his sixth NFL season and first with the Jets. “Everyone understands that we’re a young team and we’ve got guys who are playing a lot for us who haven’t always played a lot of ball, you know, period — whether they’ve just not played a lot of ball elsewhere or they’re rookies, first, second, third year, whatever it may be.
“But at the end of the day, nobody’s using that as an excuse.”
It’s certainly easy to point to that, though. After all, coach Robert Saleh is a first-year head coach and both offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich are calling plays on a full-time basis in the NFL for the first time.
Combine that with a rookie quarterback in Zach Wilson who’s as a so-called franchise savior and a roster that’s among the youngest in the league with several first-time starters, and growing pains could be expected.
But brutally slow starts on offense, Wilson struggling with consistency, LaFleur having some questionable play-calling and the defense having lapses have all caused some to press the panic button five games in.