It certainly wasn’t a surprise to anyone that linebacker C.J. Mosley was named one of the three team captains for the New York Jets for the 2023 season, but it’s definitely a humbling announcement for the five-time Pro Bowl defender.
“It means a lot. I don’t take the ‘C’ on my chest lightly. I will make sure I lead by example. I don’t take it for granted,” Mosley explained Tuesday afternoon shortly after being awarded the honor.
Mosley is the oldest player on the Jets defense starting unit but is very measured in his usual responses. When defensive stars like D.J. Reed and John Franklin-Myers drew comparisons to the current Jets defense to other historic defenses like the 1985 Bears and 2013 Legion of Boom, the linebacker made sure to quell those high expectations.
“You can say those types of things but you better back it up. I don’t have to worry about them (Reed and Franklin-Myers). I know they’ll back up their game and do the right things after practice. When one of our brothers does say that, you have to go out there and put on a show,” Mosley responded.
In eight seasons of pro football with the Jets and Ravens, Mosley has been a consistent presence as the MIKE linebacker. He’s also been a Second-Team All-Pro player five different times in his career. With the Jets, Mosley has recorded over 320 tackles in the last two seasons while recording seven passes defended in 2022 – tied for second-most in his career. Pro Football Focus graded his 2022 season at an above-average 69.8.
As leaders go, Mosley is one of the best in football. He hasn’t been on a championship roster yet but has had plenty of playoff experience throughout his career. That means an inexperienced playoff defense like New York will look to their captain to set the tone as they prepare to be a title contender in 2023.
“We have high expectations for ourselves but we have a long way to go…the way we control and deal with the target on our back is within the leadership and the locker room,” Mosley explained. “It is what it is with #8 being at quarterback. When you go against Hall-of-Fame quarterbacks you need to have a chip on your shoulder.”
The Jets open up the 2023 season with a difficult home contest against the Buffalo Bills on Monday night. Buffalo has taken the division for three straight years so if New York is to finally end its decades-long drought of claiming the AFC East, Week 1 would be a good place to start.
Mosley joins quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and special teams ace Justin Hardee as captains of the 2023 Jets season. New York will award a weekly captain from week-to-week by the coaching staff.