Jordan Jenkins recently became one of the two longest-tenured players on the Jets.
When the team cut Brian Winters and Quincy Enunwa, that left Jenkins and Steve McLendon as the only players who have been with the team since 2016.
That means Jenkins has experienced a lot of losing, something the linebacker said he is sick of on Thursday.
“When I came here, the Jets didn’t have a winning history,” Jenkins said. “It really sucks that in the last four years we haven’t been able to get it done. Me being back here, and I’m four, going on five years and I’m tired of f–king losing. We’ve just got to ramp [s–t] up and try to get the ball rolling.”
No one on the Jets roster or coaching staff was here in 2015, the last time the team had a winning season. It has been nothing but losing since. They have gone 5-11, 5-11, 4-12 and 7-9 in the past four years. Only the Browns (49) have lost more games than the Jets (43) over that span.
“No one’s used to losing. No one likes losing,” Jenkins said. “The sentiment is losing sucks. No one wants to come out here and play a game and just lose every game. Ultimately, we just want to go out there and win.”
Jenkins figures Jets fans are as fed up as him.
“I’m not from New York. I’m pretty sure they’re tired of it, too,” he said.
You could say that.
Fans have not gotten to watch their team in the playoffs since the 2010 season. You have to go all the way back to the 2002 season for the last home playoff game.
The longest playoff drought in Jets history is 11 seasons — from 1970-80. These Jets are at nine years and counting.
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Anyway you slice it, this is one of the darkest periods in franchise history. The only other time the Jets have had four consecutive losing seasons is 1962-65. They have never had five straight.
So, how close are the 2020 Jets to turning things around?
“I’m not going to give a gauge on that, but hopefully we’re pretty [f–king] close,” Jenkins said. “It’s ultimately up to us to decide whether to go out and do it. All the talking is done. It’s time for us to go out and do it.”
It is August, so optimism resides in every NFL team’s training camp. The Jets are no different. They said goodbye to arguable their two best players just as camp began, trading safety Jamal Adams to the Seahawks and having linebacker C.J. Mosley opt out of the season. Despite those losses, the Jets feel like they are an improved team from the one that finished 7-9 in coach Adam Gase’s first year with the team.
The Jets feel like they have a strong locker-room chemistry, will benefit from another year in the system of Gase and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and the expectations are high for third-year quarterback Sam Darnold.
“I think when you guys see this team practice and get around this team, you’re going to see a team that’s very hungry and has a lot of desire to prove that a 6-2 finish was not a fluke against a quote-unquote soft schedule, and I think you’re going to see a team that has a lot of fire and a lot of motivation,” general manager Joe Douglas said last month.
Safety Marcus Maye pointed to that 6-2 finish as a reason to believe.
“I look back at the end of last year at how we strung a few wins together,” Maye said. “It just goes to show you that we do have the ability to put a winning season together. Obviously, that’s the goal every year to come in and have a winning season and to move on. Coming into this year, that’s our mindset.”
Most of the pundits are predicting the Jets to be one of the worst teams in the NFL. That is something the players are using as fuel.
“We’ve got to go out there and win games,” running back Le’Veon Bell said. “That’s everybody’s expectations. I see a lot of things with people not really giving us a chance. I just try to get the guys to use that for motivation to help fuel us for the season.”