We’ve heard several different theories as to why the Jets slumped to an 8-8 record after two straight appearances in the AFC Championship Game and it doesn’t seem that we’re out of them yet.
In an interview with Jenny Vrentas of the Newark Star-Ledger, cornerback Antonio Cromartie pointed to last year’s lockout as a contributing factor for the Jets’ disappointing finish. To Cromartie, the fact that the Jets returned most of the core from the previous year’s AFC runner-up wasn’t enough to outweigh the lack of time to mesh caused by the labor strife. Cromartie thinks the return to normalcy will be benefit the Jets.
“We have an offseason. That’s the biggest thing, we have an offseason. Last year we didn’t have an offseason, and I think all the focus we put into last year didn’t — we weren’t able to blend well last year. I think the offseason we’ve had now, everybody can get a feel for everybody else and just go out and play football.”
There’s no doubt that the truncated offseason created challenges for every team in the league last season. Twelve other teams were able to shrug that off and play well enough to make it to the playoffs, though, and that makes this more of a rationalization than an explanation for what went down in 2011.
Not that the distinction matters all that much at this point. Last year is last year and the Jets should only be focused on the future.