Every new NFL season brings with it a set of expectations. Avoiding L’s, obviously, sits atop that list.
The New York Jets haven’t had a winning season since 2015, which happens to be the year before linebacker Jordan Jenkins joined the franchise as a third-round pick out of Georgia.
Entering his fifth season in N.Y., the 26-year-old defender, who re-upped with the team on a one-year deal earlier this offseason after a solid 2019 campaign, took a moment on Thursday to vent about where the team has been and where he hopes they’ll go this fall.
“Unforeseen things happened in free agency with the pandemic outbreak, some guys not getting what they’re supposed to get and all this other stuff but, you know, honestly happy to be back with the Jets,” Jenkins told reporters, via SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano. “Always love G-Dub [defensive coordinator Gregg Williams] and the staff that’s around here and honestly when I came here, I know that the Jets didn’t have really a winning history and it really sucks that in the last four years we couldn’t get it done. But me being back here, been here four going on five years, and I’m tired of (expletive) losing so, you know, now just gotta ramp (expletive) up and, you know, try and get the ball rolling.”
Needless to say, those are some pretty strong words coming from a player who’s led the team in sacks each of the past two seasons. In 14 games last season, Jenkins tallied a career-high eight QB takedowns — one more than his 2018 mark — 32 tackles, three pass deflections and two forced fumbles. New York did make a late push, winning six of their last eight, but despite the best efforts of Jenkins and defense (ranked second in run defense, 16th in pass defense), the Jets finished 7-9.
When asked how close he believes the team is to turning it around, Jenkins uttered that he hopes they are “pretty (expletive) close,” according to NFL Network’s Kim Jones. Jenkins’ strong desire to improve was echoed by safety Marcus Maye, who said Thursday, “Nobody wants to lose…We do have the ability to put a winning season together,” per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.
After a slew of notable departures, opt outs and the glaring obstacles of an offseason hindered by a global pandemic, it’ll be interesting to see how the club comes out on the other side. Hopefully for the sake of Jets fans — and their passionate pass-rusher — 2020 will bring some relief in the form of W’s.
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