The New York Jets enter the season looking to improve on their forgettable 2021–21 season, and head coach Robert Saleh believes there’s room for optimism at MetLife Stadium.
“We are ‘Positive Vibes Only,’” Saleh told The New York Post. “We are finding ways to get better.”
After going just 4–13 last year, the Jets are entering the season with a refreshed roster that should be much-improved, with a new-look wide receiver core, a second-year quarterback in Zach Wilson, and a revamped defense.
Wilson, who tossed 9 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in his rookie year, while recording a 55.6% completion percentage, has improved since entering the NFL, according to Saleh.
“He looks a lot more comfortable,” Saleh said. “No one is going to question his talent, or his physical traits — it’s really just [about] combining the physical traits that he has with the mental part of the football game, which is the hardest part to learn, especially at quarterback.”
“We’re really hopeful that he takes a good step forward, and becomes a good starting quarterback,” the coach added. “The sky’s the limit.”
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Last year, the team finished near the bottom of the league in major offensive statistical categories — as their 5,208 total yards from scrimmage were 26th in the NFL, and their 27 turnovers were 5th most in the pros.
Now, though, with the addition of Ohio State standout Garrett Wilson, who the team selected 10th overall in the 2022 NFL Draft, and the continued development of their quarterback and slot receiver Elijah Moore, the team figures to be much more dynamic on offense.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Jets left much to be desired last season. Gang Green gave up a league-worst 6,760 yards and 504 points to opposing offenses in the 2021–22 season.
In an effort to stop the bleeding on defense, the team drafted cornerback Sauce Gardner with the 4th overall selection in the 2022 Draft, as well as defensive end Jermaine Johnson II later in the 1st round, while signing a number of ballers in free agency — such as corner D.J. Reed from the Seahawks and safety Jordan Whitehead from the Buccaneers.
All told, the team will look to improve upon their lackluster play from the previous year, which steadily improved as the season progressed, the coach said.
“I think the defense got better toward the end of the year,” Saleh said. “There’s a lot of different things we can do, but anything you do to this team is going to be helping the quarterback improve.”