Le’Veon Bell was the Jets’ marquee offseason signing. He’s out to silence his critics who think he won’t return to elite running back status after holding out all of last season. Bell believes he can be even more dangerous and productive in Adam Gase’s system than he was in Pittsburgh. We’ll see.
It’s a big season for Sam Darnold. As a rookie, he showed some flashes of growing into the franchise quarterback the Jets believe he will be. He’ll have more on his plate this season. But Sam seems ready for it, and he’s driven to lead the Jets to the playoffs. Can he?
There’s been plenty of talk about Gase being a mastermind who will elevate Darnold’s game and make the Jets’ offense explosive. Gase’s offense in Miami was less-than-memorable, but injuries played a factor. Pressure will be on Gase to deliver with the Jets.
WILLIAMS, WILLIAMS & WILLIAMS
The defense should be improved under coordinator Gregg Williams. With his track record, many are counting on Williams to get more out of Leonard Williams than past coaches, help rookie Quinnen Williams become a force and fix the Jets' unsettled cornberback and linebacker situations.
Gase and Williams have created a highly competitive environment and expectations have risen throughout the organization. Gase and general manager Joe Douglas share the same vision on players and how to build a winning team. The Jets aren’t one yet -- but going forward, expect many moves until they are.
Beat writer's prediction
9-7, second place in the AFC East, miss the playoffs
The Jets look to be on the rise, especially if Sam Darnold progresses the way everyone expects. Le’Veon Bell will be on a mission after not playing last year. C.J. Mosley and Jamal Adams are big-time defensive playmakers. Adam Gase and Gregg Williams have breathed life into the franchise. But the Jets are early in this rebuild and still have some big holes that they need to fill before they’re a playoff team.
This is Al Iannazzone's second season covering the Jets for Newsday.