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1-8 a chance for Jets to 'test yourself as a man' says Jason Babin

Jets defensive end Jason Babin stretches before a

Jets defensive end Jason Babin stretches before a game against the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014. Credit: Lee S. Weissman

The Jets may be losing, but they're not losers.

Though they haven't won a game since Week 1 players insist there's no chance this team can accept losing as a way of life at One Jets Drive.

"Oh no, because winning is No. 1. First priority," quarterback Michael Vick said Monday. "It's not like we come into a game expecting to lose. We come to win. And I think that has to be our attitude first and foremost. That's where it all starts.

"Regardless of where we're at [record-wise], we've still got a winning attitude. And that's what I respect about this organization and my teammates. We still believe. And I think that's where it starts. And from there, you've just got to keep pushing."

Coach Rex Ryan credited the character and the effort of his players following their 24-10 loss in Kansas City on Sunday -- the team's eighth straight -- just as he's done after every other defeat this season.

But while the Jets (1-8) may be comprised of "mighty men," as their coach indicated, mental makeup doesn't guarantee victories.

Ryan and many of his players haven't experienced eight straight losses in one season before. But outside linebacker Jason Babin has. And the 34-year-old offered his own perspective in a near-empty locker room Monday.

"I think for us, it's really an opportunity to test yourself as a man. Because things are difficult. Life is difficult," said Babin, who lost 20 straight games spanning the 2012 and 2013 seasons for the Eagles and the Jaguars.

"This experience and this time we have in the NFL is short-lived," Babin said. "So I think it's a good opportunity to take the situation and grow as men, because this isn't what we're going to do forever. We're all going to have to have jobs eventually. So how you answer each and every day from here on out I think is going to speak volumes for your character."

Of course, that's easier said than done. But Babin and his teammates appear motivated to end the season on a positive note, starting Sunday against the 6-3 Steelers.

"I've always believed in 'Everything happens for a reason,' " Babin said. "We might not know what that reason is right now. We might not know what that reason is a year from now. But everything happens for a reason. I think it's important to respond in the professional way."

New York Sports