Pro Corner-NY Jets-NJ
Throughout the modern history of the National Football League, there have been teams that have risen out of the pack, for better or worse. Being charismatic and having colorful personalities can either work for you or against you. The Dallas Cowboys of the 1990s were as dangerous on the field as they were off it and a few years later, the Cincinnati 

Bengals could only attest to the latter.
The Rex Ryan-led Jets are somewhere in the middle. They have made more strides than the Bengals ever did but are not quite at the dynasty level of multiple Super Bowl wins that“America’s Team” was able to attain. But if attitude has anything to do with it, then the 
Jets are certainly on their way to bigger and better things. As a matter of fact, Ryan is 
looking beyond even great teams like the Troy Aikman/Emmitt Smith/Michael Irvin-led 
Cowboys. His sights are set on the most successful franchise in all of sports history, 
not just football.
“When my dad was with the Jets - I believe that year was 1968, the Mets, Jets and Knicks all won world championships,” the second-year head coach said. “We’ll lock arms with the Yankees. That sounds good to me. They’ve won 27 now. We just want to win number two here.”
And that has been the contention of the team since the start of training camp. Ryan and his boys all have been very open about their goals and anything less than a Super Bowl 
victory would be a disappointment. Every team goes into the season wanting that and maybe 
even believing that they have what it takes to make that happen, but not many have the 
moxie to put it out there. Bulletin board fodder and setting yourself up for failure may 
be like playing by a hot stove for some, but Gang Green seems to relish the attention, 
albeit negative or positive.
Much of the latter came from the Jets being profiled on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” this past summer. Producers of the show said that they were allowed more access and obtained 
additional behind-the-scenes footage this time than with any previous team that was on 
the program before. Ryan’s colorful language throughout the episodes made for some good 
fodder but drew the ire of people like Tony Dungy, the pious former head coach of the 
Indianapolis Colts. But Ryan is not concerned with that and most likely would hold the 
opinion of someone such as Joe Namath in greater regard.
“They have more swagger than we had,” said the hero of Super Bowl III of the modern day Jets. “This team is out there more. It’s a reflection of Rex and his style. Rex has a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of confidence. Being able to win is the only thing that continues 
that kind of confidence.”
Through the first five weeks of the current NFL season, winning has been the formula for this team, building their attitude up even more. After a shaky start with a one-point home loss to the Baltimore Ravens, in which nose tackle Kris Jenkins was lost for the 
second consecutive year with a knee injury, things began looking up real fast. And 
opening up the playbook had a lot to do with it.
Quarterback Mark Sanchez appeared handcuffed in Week One but then was given the liberty to use his arm and head amongst much fanfare. Once offensive coordinator Brian 
Schottenheimer trusted the second year pro out of USC enough, the Jets began putting 
forth a formidable passing offense to go along with a strong running game and defense.
Following the Week Five win over Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings at the New 
Meadowlands Stadium, Sanchez had modest but yet impressive stats on the season. His 
decision-making has been vastly improved from a year ago and the fact that he had thrown 
zero interceptions against eight touchdowns goes a long way to prove that.
“I think he’s matured on the football field in a lot of ways,” said Schottenheimer. “He’s understanding the importance of ball security.” As a rookie, Sanchez had a tendency to 
turn the ball over, either by throwing an ill-timed pick or coughing the ball up after 
taking a sack holding the ball too long. The coaching staff even went as far as making a 
color-coded system up with a wristband Sanchez wore, informing him of what the situation 
was each down and if he should play it safe. Having confidence in your signal caller goes 
a long way in reaching those lofty goals and that has had a trickledown effect.
“Sometimes last year it felt like I was giving it away like it was my job,” Sanchez said. “It was just poor decision making. Now I trust the backs to get out, I’m hanging in the 
protection and giving our guys chances and they’re really coming up with big plays.”
Some of them have led to impressive victories in the early, going over divisional 
opponents New England and Miami, propelling the Jets into first place in the AFC East. 
They qualified for the playoffs in Week 17 of the 2009 season and Ryan would love to make 
it two-for-two as a postseason head coach.
The Jets may not be well liked throughout the league, but that means absolutely nothing to them. They have been able to back up all of the self-generated hype for the most part, and that goes a long way in gaining the respect of your opponent. Winning it all is the 
only thing that matters and perhaps they can begin their own Cowboys-style run in 
The timing could not be better. The location of Super Bowl XLV? None other than Cowboys Stadium in Dallas.


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