Recent comments from Jets owner Woody Johnson created the impression that he regards 2017 as a rebuilding year. The veteran quarterback Johnson hired this offseason brings a much different perspective.
“In an organization, you have different facets,” Josh McCown said on Friday’s PFT Live. “And obviously the owner kind of sets the tone and the pace in which he wants the organization to go, because he’s the owner. And then you have management and the coaches and the players.
“From a player level, once they set that vision in regards to how they view things, when you’re in it in the locker room, your mindset’s never like, ‘Hey, this is a rebuilding year, so let’s not work as hard or let’s not do this or let’s not do that.’ As competitors, your mindset is to go win every game and go play as hard as you can. So you don’t really look at it that way, and so how they view it as they take a wider vision and wider view of the future for them, that’s how they view it. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But for us as players, our job, what we get paid to do is to go out and play as hard as we can, prepare ourselves and go compete to win every football game. So that’s the mindset, and the vibe has been great so far these first three weeks. . . . Very positive, very upbeat.”
That’s the right view for the players to take, because their own careers ride on their ability to perform at an acceptable level, regardless of what the team achieves. And it doesn’t hurt to have low expectations. With that comes reduced pressure, a chip on their shoulders, and the absence of a target on their backs.
So they can focus on trying to become a team that will get off to a decent start, build some momentum, and maybe do something more than rebuild. Every year, there’s a team or two that surprises everyone with that kind of a showing. Regardless of what ownership thinks, that’s what the players are striving for.
For more from McCown, including whether he expected the team to draft a quarterback, what he does to stay healthy and in shape late in his career, and whether coaching is in his future, check out the full video.