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Jets believe they can be a playoff team

Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez talks with reporters after

Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez talks with reporters after reporting for training camp. (July 25, 2013) Credit: Hans Pennink

CORTLAND -- Their offense is questionable. Their quarterback situation, undecided.

And yet still, the Jets wholeheartedly believe they’ll be one of the NFL teams playing in the postseason.

“Definitely (this is a playoff team),” said receiver Braylon Edwards, who re-signed with the team just before heading up to Cortland Thursday. 

“And a lot goes into that. I think at times people fall out of their role and they try to get involved in other things that don’t concern them. And that’s not just the players. A lot of times when it’s not just the players, that’s when the organization falls apart. …People need to stay in their lane. When people stay in their lane, you’ve got everybody going straight.”

Optimism runs rampant during the summer months, as NFL players bring their high expectations with them into training camp. But within weeks of the regular season, those lofty goals often are tempered by the harsh realities of their depth chart and talent level.

The Jets arrived in Cortland to much fanfare last year thanks to Tim Tebow’s arrival. But while the Wildcat dominated headlines for much of 2012, their sputtering offense sunk their season.

But the past is the past, Rex Ryan is quick to remind us all. And 2013 means a new slate for both him and his players.

“I’m excited,” he said, shortly after stepping off the team’s chartered bus. “For any coach in the league, this is the best time as a coach because it’s all football. The whole day is football. You have all your players. It’s teaching, it’s the whole deal. As a coach, it doesn’t get much better than this.”

Asked point-blank if his team has the talent to be a playoff team, Ryan made sure not to offer one of his trademark guarantees. “I’ll say this, this is the National Football League. It’s balanced,” he said. “There’s no team that spends twice as much as any other team. You have the same (salary) cap for every team in the league. Every single team is talented -- including us.”

Even Mark Sanchez – the fifth-year quarterback who leads the NFL with 52 turnovers over the past two seasons – is confident the Jets can be playing in late January.

“I think so,” he said. “We’re going to build the best possible team we can here first, and see where that takes us.

“But as far as the playoffs go, we’re going to be working as hard as possible, as efficiently as possible, and I know we have some serious playmakers on this team and we’re going to see them perform here first. Build the best team we possibly can. I think Mr. (John) Idzik and Coach Ryan have done a great job assembling the best team possible and we’ll do our very best with what we’ve got up here.” 

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