Jason Babin has experienced almost all the peaks and valleys a professional football player can experience. So after the Jets suffered an eighth straight loss on Sunday to Kansas City, it was business as usual Monday for the 11th-year linebacker.
"It's a Monday mood. Anytime you play a game — whether you win or lose, whether you're 1-8 or 8-1 — Monday is an evaluation day to watch the tape," said Babin, who recorded his second sack of the season late in the game against the Chiefs. "Obviously, we're not getting the results we want but that doesn't mean we're not going to stay the course."
Babin has been through a worse stretch in his career. He played in 20 straight losses from Week 5 of 2012 to Week 8 of 2013. He lost seven straight while playing for the Philadelphia Eagles and was cut after a loss to the Carolina Panthers. He was then acquired by the Jacksonville Jaguars, who lost the next 13 games.
That doesn't make it an easier pill to swallow, though, as the Jets had playoff aspirations while at training camp in Cortland, NY. Babin said as those chances dwindle, it's gut-check time for everyone in the locker room, himself included.
"I'm not one into playing what-if games. It's not my style," Babin said of looking back to the beginning of the season. "I think for us, it's really an opportunity to test yourself as a man. Things are difficult. Life's difficult. This experience and time we have in the NFL is short-lived. So I think it's a good opportunity to take that situation and to grow as men.
"This isn't what we're going to do forever. We're all going to have to have jobs eventually. How you answer each and every day from here on out, I think, is going to speak volumes for your character."
Babin said the defense's problems on third down have stemmed from the execution of each individual player, but the team's record is indicative of every player in the "little battles" during games.
"I think it really comes down to fundamentals for us. A lot of the negative things that we've done as a team, collectively, myself included, is the little things," he said. "Executing our individual job, winning the little battles, and collectively that shows up in the win-loss column."
Babin said he is a firm believer in the old saying that "everything happens for a reason." Though the reason is unclear for him at the moment, that belief has him pushing forward through the rest of the season.
"We might not know what that reason is right now. We might not know what that reason is a year from now," Babin said with a chuckle. "But everything happens for a reason and I think it's important to respond in the professional way."
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