FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Yes, it ended painfully.
Yet there were more than a few good things that came out of the Jets’ first season under Todd Bowles. Less than 24 hours after the team’s painful season-ending loss in Buffalo, there were some upbeat notes in the Jets’ locker room as the players packed up for the offseason.
In finishing the season 10-6, their best mark since winning 11 games in 2010, the Jets believe they laid a foundation that they can build on.
“Well, I think the comfort level with each other grew as the season went on,” quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said. “Just [offensive coordinator] Chan Gailey’s understanding of kind of who was out there and playing to their strengths, I think that got better as the season went on. Continuity is a huge thing in this league and it would be nice to have a bunch of familiar faces back next year.”
Fitzpatrick took over the starter’s role this season after Geno Smith’s jaw was broken in a locker-room fight in August. Some players, including Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall, said the team established an important chemistry with Fitzpatrick, adding that it is “really important” for the Jets to re-sign the free agent.
“He’s a smart businessman, and our guys upstairs are smart. They’ll figure it out,” Marshall said. “I feel like they want him here. I feel like he wants to be here. I know he wants to be here. We want him here . . .
“I don’t think it’ll be a distraction or a problem for the team because Fitz understands the business. Whatever it is — the minimum salary or $100 million — he’ll deserve every bit of it.”
The good feelings weren’t limited to players on offense.
Even Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis, who had a poor final game against Buffalo, was feeling all right about the long-term prospects of the team.
“Trust me, I’ve been in some seasons where it doesn’t go that well. Worse seasons, actually,” Revis said. “But like I said, we’ve got a lot of potential on this team and we can build off that.”