EATONTOWN, N.J. -- The Jets defense has a new slogan this season, one the players believe has the potential to radically alter their output on the field:
"One step faster."
It's a simple reminder, devised by defensive assistant and linebackers coach Bob Sutton. But it's also an effective one. Anxious to improve upon its play from last season, the Jets defensive players are fully buying into it.
Nose tackle Sione Pouha -- who, along with Mark Sanchez, Aaron Maybin, Rex Ryan and defensive coordinator Mike Pettine attended a charity event for a fan in desperate need of a bone-marrow transplant last night -- said he's lost 4 to 5 pounds and hopes to lose about 10 more to get back to 330.
But the team slogan goes beyond the physical, he said. "I think it applies physically and also mentally in any aspect of the game," Pouha said. " . . . For me, I just learned what some of our safeties do to help me understand what surrounds me."
The coaching staff spent the past offseason searching for ways to improve the defense's production -- and the NFL draft this past weekend was a major step toward that goal. The Jets took four defensive players -- Quinton Coples, DeMario Davis, Josh Bush and Antonio Allen -- they all bring speed and athleticism to the defense.
Pettine said their mission was to draft "explosive" athletes. "I think we accomplished our goal," he said. " . . . We need to get fast and athletic. The league is evolving that way; to be a pass-first league and we felt we were getting, for lack of a better phrase, a little dinosaurish inside."
No one's more thrilled about the team's new rallying cry for team speed than Maybin, a situational pass-rusher who uses his burst off the edge.
"I love that [philosophy]. I love that," the linebacker said. "If you were looking at a player that marries up exactly with that kind of mentality, you're looking at him. That's my style of football."