By Jeff Moeller. The New York Extra/thenyextra.com
As the old sales slogan went.. Is this live or is it Memorex? (If you’re over 50, you know what I’m, talking about..if not, think photoshop)
This time around it applies to the Jets.
It took only a few days, but Zach Wilson had arrived. Expectations have been resurrected.
The fresh-faced, 21-year-old captivated his fellow first-year teammates at the Jets’ rookie camp this week.
He was gushed and lauded about his communication and leadership abilities. Apparently, the quarterback Messiah has arrived.
Wilson, and fellow high-profile rookies wide receiver Elijah Moore, guard Alijah Vera-Tucker, and running back Michael Carter sounded and acted the same kind of unison as a pack of boy scouts ready for the first hike of summer camp.
Moore may be the answer the Jets’ have been seeking, and Vera-Tucker has been mentioned as the solution to form a dynamic left side with Mekhi Becton. Carter is believed to be the solution at running back.
New head coach Robert Saleh also contributed to the mix with his eruption of positivity that is shown through his flamboyant and animated style.
Organized, determined, and supportive.
However, again, the real question revolves around this being expectation or desperation?
Do these Jets have the talent to begin to make a major swing up stream with Wilson and his young cohorts at the controls?
Desperation easily can sway your view of reality. Jets’ fans should know that situation all too well.
This was a 2-14 team of 2020 that took on as much water and sunk even as the Titanic. Former head coach Adam Gase was the true lame duck who couldn’t explain anything coherently, a direct reflection of his overall 9-23 mark there.
The latest NFL power rankings has the Jets at number 28 from the 32-team field. This was an offense that was ranked dead last in 2020. In terms of youngest teams in 2020, the Jets were 18th. Looking at their current roster, they may be younger this season.
GM Joe Douglas did a masterful job in free agency and the draft to piece together the beginning stages of a contender.
Wilson, Moore, Vera-Tucker, and Carter all already have been pegged for major starting roles in the fall.
Wilson tried to temper the escalating expectations and euphoria of him taking the reins.
“Obviously that’s important, but that’s not my focus right now,” he stressed. “My focus is to learn the offense, keep getting better every single day, do what I can with the guys around me and I think the rest takes care of itself. In this position, the coaches want to play the best player and that position’s got to be earned. I’ve got to go in there and I’ve got to make sure I do what I’m supposed to do and that will take care of itself.”
The hype has risen the temperature in JetsNation, and that’s fine.
Is this a time to desperately grab onto Wilson and the cast for the hope of regaining respectability, or should expectations jump up the scale?
It is certainly consoling to have an apparent credible solution in our midst.
August will bring a different perspective. Three years ago, JetsNation was ready to follow Sam Darnold to the Promised Land.
This rebirth is a good sign, but we should wait to see if it develops into a reality.