The Jets haven't made the playoffs since 2010 and they've finished over .500 in just one of the past eight seasons. After combining to win 14 games from 2016-18, they'll enter the 2019 campaign with a new head coach in Adam Gase, a new general manager in Joe Douglas and plenty of fresh faces on the roster. Linebacker C.J. Mosley, a prominent player brought in to help the Green & White reverse their fortunes, knows the cynics dwarf the believers.
"Now that we've got a new little mix-up, got some new people around and some new faces, we're all eager and we're all ready," he said this spring. "We know the whole NFL is sleeping on the Jets, so we're ready to prove them wrong."
Mosley, who turned 27 in June, is one of the most experienced players on a roster that has just two players (RB Bilal Powell and NT Steve McLendon) over the age 30.
"I think we're eager," Mosley said. "Definitely young, and we know that. But as a group and collectively, we already know the people that have been here, the coaches that have been here and all they've heard since they've been here is we'll lose."
In addition to signing Mosley, a four-time Pro Bowler in free agency, the Green & White inked one of the league's top offensive weapons when they reached agreement with RB Le'Veon Bell. Also 27 and entering his sixth professional campaign, Bell is a three-time Pro Bowler and two-time first-team All-Pro performer.
"He's a great running back," Mosley told reporters at the team's uniform unveiling in April. "You want to call him one of the athletes of the NFL, like they do in college – he can do everything. Line up on the outside, make plays. Put him in the slot, make plays. Put him in motion, screens, he can run the ball. He might even throw the ball this year, who knows. He's coming off a fresh set of legs, so I know he's excited to get back to it."
See the Best Images of the Jets Linebackers
Before Mosley finalized his lucrative deal, he asked head coach Adam Gase what kind of defensive line the Jets had in place. Gase could talk about guys like Leonard Williams, Henry Anderson and Steve McLendon, and then the team went out in April and took Alabama DT Quinnen Williams with the No. 3 overall selection.
"I live and die by my big guys in front of me," Mosley said. "So I'm saying if they're not holding double teams and making plays up front, that's going to be tough for me to come here. But being here and being able to see stuff on the film, and hearing about the guys, actually being here and seeing the work ethic that they put in and the size and the passion that they play with, I'm going to be excited to see them make plays and stop the run during the season."
Mosley was brought to New York's AFC representative to help the Jets ultimately go an extended run in December and beyond. He has championship pedigree, having won national championships under Nick Saban at Alabama in both 2011 and 2012. He was an integral piece of two playoff teams in Baltimore but yearns for more with his second NFL club. He knows people are sleeping on the Jets and he's hoping to sound the alarm.
"They always have been," he said of the league's doubters. "Even I was when I wasn't here. You've got to be honest. That's another reason I came here, I'm always about great tradition and what better city and what better state to come in and turn a great organization around and be champions."