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Joe Douglas Takes the Stage as Jets General Manager

Former Eagles Exec Preaches Ability to Overcome Adversity, Imposing Your Will on the Opponent


Christopher Johnson, the CEO of the New York Jets, summed up the mood of his franchise this afternoon when he stood in the front of the team's auditorium this afternoon and declared, "This is a good day. This is a really good day."

And the reason for that goodness was captured in the man who succeeded Johnson to the mic, Joe Douglas, who said, "I can't tell you how blessed and honored I am to be general manager of the New York Jets."

Introductions and pleasantries aside, Douglas gave some glimpses to reporters, members of the organization, players, legends and selected fans of his mentors, such as former Baltimore GM Ozzie Newsome and current Philadelphia executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman. And he outlined some of the philosophy he brings to the GM's office at One Jets Drive, which he developed as he participated in Super Bowl celebrations after the 2000 and 2012 seasons with the Ravens and after '17 as the Eagles' vice president of player personnel.

Douglas said he knew the Jets fit was right early in the interview process, having begun his friendship with head coach Adam Gase on the Bears in 2015 and made a quick connection with Johnson during the interview process.

"I was able to spend a lot of time with Christopher," Douglas said. "Just being with him, seeing his passion for this team, his authenticity, his genuine nature, and having known Adam before, it just seemed like this is a great fit, this is going to be a great fit for us."

But what how did Douglas convince Johnson, who was searching for a GM who "must be able to sustain a winning culture and have a commitment to collaboration and communication and winning the trust of people in the building," that he was the man for the job?

"We talked a lot about what we're looking for in a team," Douglas said. "I think the saying 'You win with people' has lasted this long for a reason. We talked about the type of people you need to have a winning culture. So those were the main points that we discussed, and there's a certain type of person, a certain type of player, and we're going to hone in on those guys through our processes."

"Processes" is an important word in the Joe D lexicon. Douglas explained what kind of players he was talking about from those Super Bowl efforts he participated in.

"I think the No. 1 trait is resiliency," he said. "I think most of the time when you see a Super Bowl team, you remember the confetti, you remember the Super Bowl trophy being held up and the pictures, whether it's Ray Lewis and Trent Dilfer, Joe Flacco, then Nick Foles, so that's a lasting memory.

'"But I think what people don't realize is the adversity those three teams went through. From Baltimore not scoring an offensive touchdown the entire month of October [2000] and how that could've ripped the team apart but it actually made the team closer. From all the adversity for the 2012 Ravens, Art Modell's passing away, losing Ray Lewis at midseason, losing our offensive coordinator, going through a three-game losing streak. And of course the adversity the 2017 Eagles faced with losing an NFL MVP candidate in Carson Wentz toward the end of the season.

"The common denominator was all three of those teams had an opportunity to wilt, to just pack up and go home. But the bond and the brotherhood that they all shared, it just pushed them to greater heights. So the ability to overcome adversity, that's definitely a common denominator."

See Top Images of the New Jets GM During the Introductory Press Conference

Douglas, coming from a scouting background, also appreciates great talent, and he sees a lot of that on the team whose reins he is taking.

"It's very exciting that C.J. [Mosley]'s here, very exciting," he said. "Having been able to win a Super Bowl with KO [guard Kelechi Osemele] and having him here. And then having to be on the other sideline from a guy like Le'Veon Bell and knowing how difficult it was to stop an elite player like that. So there are some exciting pieces here."

Douglas also can't wait to get on the Jets practice fields because of the young quarterback he's inheriting in Sam Darnold. He didn't want to engage in any comparisons between Darnold and Wentz, the Eagles' talented signal-caller, but ...

"The thing I do notice about both of them is how innately competitive they are and the fire, the intensity they bring," he said. "Just having the opportunity to speak a little bit with Sam yesterday, just the energy he has, the passion he has, you can feel it and I can't wait to get to know him better."

Douglas has been around the block. He knows the proof is in the pudding. But until training camp begins, he told Jets fans a little more about who they're getting in the big office on the second floor.

"You're getting someone that's going to be a relentless worker, that's going to try to find the right people to join this franchise, try to find competitive, tough-minded, resilient players," he said. "This is still a game of imposing your will on your opponent and we're going to try to find guys with that mentality and we're going to try to put the most competitive, passionate team on the field every Sunday and consistently compete to win championships."

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