The Jets simply weren't going to be denied this spring in their pursuit of C.J. Mosley. Head coach Adam Gase wanted a culture-changer and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams needed a quarterback and the team had the money to offer a lucrative five-year contract to one of the NFL's top inside linebackers. Mosley, a 26-year-old in the prime of his career who put pen to paper in March, has clearly defined what he will bring to the Green & White.
"Stability," he said when asked about his impact. "That's one of the things that you can bring to the table to any team and your career as a football player. Being able to be an every-down player, make plays at any time and just be a force in the locker room on and off the field. I think that's one of the key things you need on a young team — a guy that can lead by example and also a guy that will be able to step up and talk and make plays."
Labeled a "silent assassin" by many including Jets' star safety Jamal Adams, Mosley is comfortable with the moniker. Already a four-time Pro Bowler, Mosley was universally respected and liked in Baltimore ever since being selected by the Ravens in the first round of the 2014 draft.
"You get older you get more comfortable in your role. So when things get tough on you or you've been in a situation that you see kind of processing again, then that's where I feel like I got better at as a leader and as a football player," said Mosley, who learned quite a bit about The Process from Nick Saban at Alabama. "Being able to talk more or say, 'Hey, that's not how you do things,' or 'If you keep going this way, this is going to happen.' So I think that all just kind of goes when you've been in the league longer and the longer you're seeing things."
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The 6'2", 250-pounder, who has averaged 116 tackles a season and totaled 15 takeaways, has been extremely durable throughout his career having missed only three regular-season contests. He has embraced learning a new system under Williams and will have freedom to make changes at the line as his comfortability increases.
"When you've been doing your job so long, it's kind of just second nature," Mosley said of his Mike responsibilities. "But you get the call, you give it to the defense. Then you've got to turn around and get the D-line lined up, then you have to look and see what you've got, then you might have to talk to your linebacker next to you. Then you have to figure out where the safeties are going and what they're doing, so it's just kind of clicking, clicking, clicking, clicking. But that's why practice makes perfect and a lot of film watching is helping me on the field."
Mosley, whose interception of Browns signal-caller Baker Mayfield in Week 17 last season propelled the Ravens to the playoffs, will be the rock for a Jets team hoping to reverse its fortunes in 2019.
"We just have to be patient, we have time. There's going to be some ups and downs in the season — there always are," he said. "But that's how you find out who your teammates are and who you really are once you get in those tough times and overcome it. It's what the defense calls sudden change. There are always going to be those kind of situations in life and on the football field, so we've got to make sure that we stay prepared and be ready for them."