Orientation is over for the New York Jets. When the Green & White report to training camp here at SUNY Cortland today, it’s go time.
“Now we’re living together, now we don the pads (and) now we start to hit. We’re playing in a couple of weeks, so it feels like this is the dawn of the 2014 season and just coming together,” GM John Idzik told NewYorkJets.com. “One nice thing about going away to camp, to Cortland, is you feel like it’s just you and it kind of lends to that building as a team.”
In Idzik’s mind, OTAs and minicamp workouts were all about getting everyone on the same page. But now it’s time to turn the page.
“I look forward to that,” he said. “I look forward to the old school aspects of training camp. It’s just us. We’re trudging through the challenging days together and we’re going to come together as a team.”
In recent days, many Jets — including HC Rex Ryan — have expressed their belief that this group has what it takes to advance to the postseason. Not one to speak beyond the moment, Idzik sees a group gelling together.
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“We all have that same confidence. You can feel that in the building,” he said. “It’s genuine and that’s part of coming together. You develop that confidence when the guys know what to expect, there’s a comfort level — a certain level of comfort just working together. We have each other’s back.”
Idzik says while the Jets can take a lot from the way they finished last season with three wins in four games, the slate has to be wiped clean.
“This is a new year, a brand new conglomerate of players,” he said. “Just a whole new set of circumstances, so there’s a certain part you build from it. You take from it, you learn from it and then there’s another part of you that says okay that doesn’t guarantee you or buy you anything in 2014. We have to make our own.”
This will be the fifth Cortland camp for the Green & White and the second for Idzik after being hired on Jan. 18, 2013.
“This time around there’s more stability — not only stability in people, but stability in procedures and how you were going to handle camp,” he said. “I had literally a one-day trip introduction to Cortland last year. Now having gone through a camp, you just know what to expect. And of course, the people up there at SUNY Cortland are tremendous. President (Erik) Bitterbaum is there frequently and we got to spend a little time together last summer, so you feel like you are going on into familiar territory. It’s a nice feeling the second time.”
Idzik continually praised the Jets support staff today, rattling off names such as Clay Hampton, Aaron Degerness and Rich Bedell in operations, Tom Murphy and his entire IT crew, Tim Tubito and his video group and longtime equipment head Gus Granneman. Field & grounds director Blake Hoerr has the fields in pristine condition and the Cortland staff is ready to start up the process once more as well.
That moment is upon us.