Jets' S and first-time team captain Matthias Farley, who completed his fifth professional season, said that he's proud that the team stuck together through an adversity-filled 2020 NFL season.
"I think we just kept coming together throughout the course of the year," Farley said at the season's conclusion. "Obviously, it didn't go the way we had hoped it would, but this group of men came to work every day despite the circumstances. We really grew and came together more so than any team I've ever been on."
Farley was one of a handful of players to agree to terms with the Jets in early September, marking his second season with the Green & White. The Notre Dame grad (5-11, 209) spent the 2019 season on the roster and played in 13 games, totaling 6 tackles. In 2020, Farley recorded 13 tackles and played a significant role on both special teams and the defense. From 2016-18, the free safety was with the Colts. This season he said that he had to deal with a different set of challenges.
"It was a lot," Farley said. "I don't think we've processed how different of a year this has been for everybody with no fans, the COVID-19 protocols and not being able to see family as much. There's been a lot of things we had to overcome but it's brought us all together."
This past season, the Jets' defensive unit had to adjust after the dismissal of defensive coordinator Gregg Williams in early December. Frank Bush, who doubled as the team's assistant head coach and ILB coach, served as the interim DC for the remainder of the season. In addition to the coaching change, injuries played a big role, but led to many younger players and rookies seeing more playing time.
"All of the corners we have are really young and talented," Farley said. "Javelin Guidry really stepped up in a major way playing nickel this year. Guidry was an undrafted guy that was a rookie who didn't get to go through OTAs and just had camp and the reps at the beginning of the year to prepare. It speaks volumes to the talent we have here. Bless Austin, Bryce Hall and Lamar Jackson all did an amazing job, and there's a lot of promise in the secondary."
With Year 5 in the books, Farley is a veteran looking forward to improving his game.
"As you get older — I just finished my fifth season — you have to learn how to take care of your body a little differently each and every year, so I'm excited to see what that will be like," Farley said. "I want to go back and be critical of myself on how I played this year and try to improve on the things I don't think I did well in."