Wayne Chrebet is like most Jets fans anxious to see what happens in the coming days. With the draft set to begin on Thursday night, the former Jets star receiver is hoping for the best, all the while knowing that this will not be an overnight rebuilding job under first-year general manger John Idzik.
"Obviously, what they're doing now is helping them for next year and the future, but you want to win now and it's a tough situation,'' Chrebet said at an autograph signing event on Wednesday at Sports Authority in Manhattan.
"Rex Ryan is in a tough spot, because his job's at stake and they're preparing for the future at the same time.''
Chrebet generally approves of how Idzik is going about the rebuilding process. The Jets on Sunday traded cornerback Darrelle Revis to the Bucs for the 13th overall pick. But he said no one will know whether the moves will benefit the team until they see who they get in the draft.
"I'm optimistic about the future, but I'm just curious about the next couple of days to see where we're going," said Chrebet, 39, a New Jersey-based financial advisor who lives in Colts Neck with his wife and three sons.
Chrebet will hear his name announced at this year's draft, something that didn't happen when he came into the league as a free agent out of Hofstra in 1995. Chrebet will announce the Jets' second-round pick on Friday at Radio City Music Hall. An immensely popular player during his 11-year career, Chrebet just might get the most applause of anyone at the draft.
He's just a little worried about what might come after.
"They asked me to do it and I'm thinking, 'That's pretty cool, getting out there,''' he said. "Then I'm thinking, what if I get some guy whose name is tough to pronounce? Hopefully that won't happen.''
Chrebet thinks there's still a long way to go in the Jets' roster-building process.
"It's early, but we'll know a lot more about the team in the next couple of days,'' he said. "I'm excited to see what they're going to do.''
Chrebet retired after the 2005 season due in part to repeated concussions. He said he has not joined more than 4,000 other players suing the NFL over its alleged lack of full disclosure of the dangers of concussions. He declined to discuss his own dealings with concussions in the aftermath of his career.
This time is about the current Jets, he said.
"They're set up nice for the draft,'' he said. "Let's hope it works out for the team."