The Jets brought in LB C.J. Mosley last offseason in free agency, but he only played in two games because of a core muscle injury. Mosley dominated in his first game in the green and white, recording 6 tackles, 2 pass defenses, a fumble recovery and an interception that he returned 17 yards for the score, which was the Jets' first touchdown of the 2019 season.
"This is a Jets defense under Gregg Williams that actually played really well and helped this team stay competitive despite Sam Darnold missing some time and the offense struggling," NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah said recently on the Move the Sticks podcast. "But with C.J. Mosley playing a full 16 games after missing 14, you're going to get a chance to not only have the playmaking ability especially in coverage, but you're also going to have that leadership in the middle of your defense as well as the communicator in the middle of your defense.
"I think the Jets defense can be one of the best in the league in the upcoming season."
Jeremiah's co-host, Bucky Brooks, agreed and said, "C.J. Mosley is a big part of the puzzle for the Jets."
Under Williams' last season, the Jets still finished No. 7 overall and No. 2 against the run without Mosley calling the plays. The seventh-year veteran is the quarterback of the Jets' defense and he told reporters last offseason he has a lot of freedom to make different pre-snap calls.
"[Williams] told me the first day I'll be able to control a lot of stuff on the field," he said. "Not just making the play calls, but the things we can do in certain types of defenses and different stunts we can do and things we can show. … In this defense, I can make a lot of extra calls, different calls besides what the original call is. With film study and understanding the playbook, I can definitely add on to what I see other than just the call."
Head coach Adam Gase said last offseason that in addition to Mosley's play, he's a "culture changer" for the Green & White.
"He was the type of guy that could help really kind of lead that charge in the locker room, where the team building starts the right way," Gase said. "He's been part of an organization that all of us would say has done things the right way for a long period of time. They've had a lot of great players go through and that culture stayed the same. It started with Ray Lewis and kept going after he left. C.J. was a big reason for that."