Newly signed wide receiver Eric Decker hasn't shied away from the limelight in his first few days as a New York Jet. Gang Green's prized free agent signing was quick to suggest that his team could be playing meaningful football in January.
"We have the pieces to have a playoff team, it's a matter of now for us finding how to put that together and making sure we can play efficient football," stated Decker.
The cynic will argue "same old same old", the pessimist will point to divisional rival New England Patriots' dominance in recent years. The Jet fan will want to believe every word of it. Jets Nation, as well as other football fans, has heard similar statements from players in the past and have felt this same sentiment before.
Similar to previous years, there is not much to disagree with in terms of Decker's statement. On paper, the New York Jets are a potential, legitimate Super Bowl candidate. They have Geno Smith as a young, promising QB (at a time when young, versatile QBs are tasting success early), an athletic veteran in Michael Vick, aerial and ground threats with the signings of Decker and running back Chris "CJ2K" Johnson, and, finally, a defense trained by guru Rex Ryan.
To be perfectly frank, this team is analogous to the Mark Sanchez-led iterations of the Jets at least in terms of composition. What is different, so far, is the offseason distractions that seemed to have become ingrained in the team's DNA.
Professionalism has been the mandate thus far and GM John Idzik and Coach Ryan had earlier discussed drafting talented players that fit a certain profile; presumably high-impact, low-profile players a la, the AFC East rival Patriots.
Over the next few months, the Jets can easily become a surefire playoff bet. Decker succinctly summarized the current (and former) state of the Jets. Idzik and Ryan have created a forum for the team to successfully compete, it is now up to the players to set aside their egos, forget about boasting and loud proclamations and just get onto the gridiron and prove their worth.