Joe Douglas, Adam Gase
ESNY Graphic, AP Photo

The stale and lazy “New York Jets can’t have nice things” narrative rages on in today’s social media world of casual NFL fandom.

Robby Sabo

FLORHAM PARK, NJ—The organization is a “dumpster fire.” That man is a “national treasure.” This guy just isn’t “good at football” (which is my favorite, labeling an NFL player “not good at football”). This fanbase just isn’t allowed to have “nice things” due to the idea its beloved organization will always travel down the path of incompetence.

Are there any other new-age buzzwords and/or phrases to shout out in today’s casual social media land of sports fandom?

Oh yeah, of course there is: “Same old Jets.”

With a devastating Week 1 loss that saw them blow a 16-3 fourth-quarter lead, the New York Jets allowed the casual onlookers to lazily write their way to stale buzzwords and phrases. With a Sam Darnold mononucleosis diagnosis on Thursday, the casual football party turned into an all-out assault on the organization that finds itself permanently stuck in the “unfortunate no matter what” bucket.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages … it’s all garbage. The moment you read the “Jets can’t ever have nice things” is your queue that the writer of the lazy statement has no clue what the game of football actually represents.

Do you think Adam Gase is currently feeling down on his luck while sobbing in the corner of the Atlantic Health Training Facility bathroom? Is he permanently stuck in the fetal position while Gregg Williams looks to motivate him out of his shaken state?

No. That’s better left for the uneducated football fan who can’t help but write off an entire season after a sole game.

On Thursday, Gase was hopping around with a bounce in his step, understanding the opportunity in front of his squad. He didn’t look like a man devastated that his young quarterback had been shelved for “multiple weeks.”

“Nothing really crazy for us,” Gase responded when asked how drastically the game plan alters. The way we have it built, it’s really flexible to where Trevor (Siemian) is good. Him getting all the reps yesterday, we are kind of lucky, we thought he (Darnold) was sick yesterday, they ran more tests, so with Trevor being able to practice yesterday that will help us.”

The unlucky break that was the bye at Week 4 now turns into a beauty.

“Looks like it,” Gase said in reference to Darnold missing multiple weeks. “Good thing we have the early bye Week.”

New York Jets

Jamal Adams, the Jets best player, doesn’t want to even slightly entertain a doomsday scenario.

“Next man up,” said the All-Pro strong safety after Wednesday’s practice.

Remember, Trevor Siemian is no slouch. Despite cute buzzwords that have already cemented his fate as a career NFL backup, this is a man who was tasked with the impossible: take over for the departing Peyton Manning.

In 2016, Siemian threw for 18 scores to 10 interceptions, racking up 3,401 yards for a Denver Broncos team that finished with nine wins. If not for Gase’s Dolphins, the Broncos could have sneaked into the tournament.

Siemian, 27, is familiar with Gase’s offense, through Manning and the Broncos. Backing up Manning during the team’s Super Bowl run in 2015 (one year post-Gase) is a fact severely downplayed at the moment. Throw in his familiarity with new wideout Demaryius Thomas, and, suddenly, New York is the fortunate side (for having such a ready plan B).

To the fan, unfortunate news that’s automatically piled on equals disaster. The thought of the bodies racking up on the shelf is too much to bear.

  • Sam Darnold
  • Avery Williamson
  • Quinnen Williams
  • Quincy Enunwa
  • Chris Herndon (suspension)
  • Le’Veon Bell
  • C.J. Mosley

To the player and coach, adversity equals opportunity. Le’Veon Bell is good to go after a shoulder scare and an MRI, and it looks like C.J. Mosley is chomping at the bit as well. Sprinkle in Ryan Kalil and the improved (at least a little bit) offensive line’s rust correcting itself, combined with Gregg Williams enjoying a greater feel for his defense in Game 2, and the hidden positives suddenly show face. Don’t forget Williams’s familiarity with Baker Mayfield and the Browns personnel, either.

Imagine the 2003 Jets packing it up and calling it a season after a 1-4 and 2-5 start, “You play to win the game” never happens. If Bill Parcells had thrown in the towel after it was revealed Glenn Foley isn’t the right guy to lead the 1998 squad, that fondly-remembered team never materializes.

If Robert Kraft pulls the plug on the struggling Bill Belichick after Mo Lewis brutalized Drew Bledsoe, a dynasty never lifts off the ground.

Adversity is opportunity. Adversity oftentimes creates greatness. Nobody in his/her right mind would compare Gase-Joe Douglas to the New England Patriots, just like nobody would have compared Belichick-Kraft in 2001 to Bill Walsh-Ed DeBartolo Jr.

Similarly, no true football individual, in his/her right mind, would stomp the fact that adversity isn’t welcomed at times. True individuals and leaders are revealed, allowing for natural selection to take its course.

Despite the level of love or belief in young Darnold, very few can offer ample evidence that his absence destroys a season. Very few can do the same when a capable arm such as Siemian is in the building.

What was dashed this past week in the land of the Jets is hope, even if it came by way of a falsehood. Darnold may still be the real deal, capable of filling Hall of Fame shoes. But so many things—offensive line play, a complete defensive unit, a true No. 1 wide receiver and cornerback—still need to be corrected for that train to lift off the ground. No franchise quarterback can get it done on his own, no less show us his ceiling under such active conditions.

But while hope in the form of falsehood is at an all-time low, the actual chance of coming out victorious on Monday night remains steadfast. Siemian isn’t that great of a dropoff from Darnold (at the moment) and the Gase-Douglas regime may just have caught a break as it relates to weeding out and finding the right guys for a successful program.

Adversity, in the NFL, is oftentimes king. This Jets season isn’t lost, not by a long shot. Week 2 can prove that notion correct with one emphatic victory over an overhyped team.

How about that narrative, for a change? It’s far less lazy and incredibly more accurate for football people than “Same old Jets.”

The New York Jets can have nice things. Adam Gase and Joe Douglas just need to be the right men for the job. We’ll find out if they are, shortly, with Sam Darnold or not.

NYY

NYM

NYG

NYJ

NYK

BKN

NYR

NYI

NJD

SJU