The National Football League descended upon Brooklyn's Navy Yard today as two iconic sporting institutions — the NFL and Nike — unveiled the 32 teams' new uniforms. Tailback Shonn Greene represented the Green & White as each club sent a player to the event.
"I like them," Greene said after posing for photos. "I feel like it's tighter to my body, so I can see that."
"When you look at Nike and you look at the NFL, one thing we share in common is we believe in better," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "We believe we can make it better, we believe we can make football better, we can make athletes' performance better, we can make the fans' experience better. And I believe when you look at the two brands, this is an opportunity for us to do that."
The Seattle Seahawks had a uniform renovation, but the Jets and many other teams will just have subtle changes to their look.
"We really wanted to respect the tradition," said Nike creative director Todd Van Horne. "We really love the tradition of the Jets and we wanted that to come through and elevate the quality, elevate the performance and the applications and really bring some glory and specialness to it."
The first goal of Nike's creative team is to help a player's performance.
"That's usually what the athlete talks about. The first and foremost thing is make me faster, make it feel better, make it lighter weight. And that's what where we start," Van Horne said. "And then we start looking at the teams and the ownerships, and the nuances of how it looks come together on the field."
While both the league and Nike embrace some old traditions, the new duds we'll see in 2012 are a little bit more than a jersey, pants and socks.
"We look at the uniform as a system and the system starts with a base layer. And that base layer has an individual player's choice based on conditions," Van Horne said. "We have products that keep them cool, we have products that keep them warm and we also have the hyper-strong product that keeps them protected and that adds a level of protection. It's zoned where they want it, whether ribs, shoulders or down through the thighs or knees. So they really can tailor that to the environmental conditions or even their specific position."
Greene, an all-weather RB coming off his first 1,000-yard rush season, could see his role increase more under new Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano.
"I was ecstatic," Greene said when asked of Sparano's addition. "You know us playing Miami so many times and seeing what they were capable of, I'm excited to get into the new system and see how it works out."
If the Jets go to more multiple-TE sets under Sparano and pound the rock more, Greene said he and youngsters Joe McKnight and Bilal Powell are ready to carry the load.
"It just gives me a chance to help the team out a little bit more than past experiences, putting the ball a little bit more in my hands so I can do what I can do," he said. "Also helping others as far as Joe and Bilal, helping them get the ball, too, so it's a good thing."
Greene expressed belief in Mark Sanchez today, but he's also happy to have Tim Tebow as a teammate if it helps the Jets win games. With Tebow leading a Wildcat look, the Jets could pose some difficult matchups for a defense.
"I think it will be good. We did it a little bit last year, I think against Washington, and I think it did very well with direct snaps and things like that," Greene said. "We have the athletes for it and now we have Tim. He's very experienced in that field, so it will be a good look for us."
In his brand new Jets Nike uniform, Greene elected not to look back at last year's locker room discord and has already set his sights on the beginning of the team's offseason program in less than two weeks.
"I think that's way behind us. It happened, it's over," he said. "We're going through an offseason, so I don't think anybody's too hung up on that right now."