Even though the Jets' locker room became a movable feast, with the good feeling transferring from the Sun Life Stadium visitors room late Sunday afternoon to their Atlantic Health Training Center digs today, this is still the place on the NFL menu for some players to suffer from indigestion.
Surgeries. Retirements. Indecision and insecurity about next season.
Yet many of the players we haven't heard from in a while were optimistic about their own futures with the Green & White.
RB Mike Goodson, for instance, showed great promise, not to mention speed, in the two games he played, then tore his knee in Game 6 against Pittsburgh and wasn't seen by many media members much at all since then — until today.
"It was real frustrating," Goodson said of his 10 games of rehab. "I was working in slow and I was making plays. I felt myself coming along strong. And then I had the injury. It's discouraging and encouraging because I know what I can do. My knee is feeling stronger and stronger every day, so come next year, man, I'll be ready."
But Goodson wasn't yet ready to commit himself to being on the field for the 2014 OTAs from April to June.
"I'm not sure," he said. "It feels good. I really don't have a measuring stick. I've just got to listen to what the trainers tell me. I feel good, though. I feel good. It feels really good."
Another player who can't wait for a shot at his second year in green and white after a truncated first season is WR-KR Josh Cribbs, the savvy veteran who added spark to our special teams, only to go down with a season-ending shoulder injury on Dec. 1 in the first Miami game.
Cribbs is happy as his teammates are at Rex Ryan's announced return for 2014, but he expressed much gratitude today to the general manager who signed him early in the season.
"I love it here. This is football heaven," Cribbs said. "I want to play hard for this organization. John Idzik really gave me an opportunity to find myself again. I have a chip on my shoulder and every game I do good and I'm able to play good for him, I'm giving him handshakes and hugs. I owe a lot to him and I want to play for him next year. He believed in me, he took a chance, and I'm trying to make it pay off."
We can't say if the older veterans on this young roster will be re-signing with the Jets in the offseason. But S Ed Reed, who may not move as quickly as he used to according to the experts yet still has a nose for the ball, has said he wants to return. One reason for that is the bond that he and rookie CB Dee Milliner have developed in the seven weeks they were in the DB meeting room and on the field together.
Decisions will have to be made on "old guys" like LB Calvin Pace, who returned to the Jets and notched a career-high 10 sacks. Some veterans won't be asked to return, others will. Still others will have to come back from procedures to be performed this offseason and regain their form as soon as possible to ensure a roster spot. It's that time of year.
But WR Stephen Hill doesn't appear to be one of those surgical players. Another of the Jets who ended the season on IR, he reported today that he won't need surgery to correct the condition that led to swelling in his knee.
"It happened all during the year. I was just up and down, so we just came to the conclusion where they had to sit me down," said Hill, the second-year WR who missed the last four games. "I just kept a positive outlook on it. We'll make sure we get this corrected, now that I don't have to have surgery, and just get the knee stronger."
But Hill had other reasons to be antsy on this last day with his teammates in the Jets locker room until the offseason program starts up again in April. He's about to become a father for the first time and he had to exit the locker room quickly to catch a plane home.
It seems all teams are looking to get younger these days, even Team Hill.