The last time the Jets were in the playoffs was 2006. They had a first-year coach in Eric Mangini and faced the Patriots in a wild card game (they lost, 37-16). Jerricho Cotchery caught the only touchdown pass of that game for the Jets, but said looking back the team was anxious and perhaps even mentally ill-prepared for the challenges of postseason football.

“We were feeling our way through the ’06 season,” he said. “A lot of guys were tired and we fought hard to get into the playoffs. But I didn’t get the sense that we were really sure where we were headed.”

And now?

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“This team is definitely a confident team,” he said. “We feel like we have the talent in this room to be able to make a run at it. I definitely feel that confidence from everyone in here.”

“There’s no doubt at all in this locker room and obviously everyone knows it starts with Rex,” he added. “He’s brought a confidence to this organization that was well-needed for this locker room."