Jets GM Joe Douglas has configured Gang Green’s rebuild into his vision for the team’s future.
Douglas wants to build the Jets foundation “the right way so that it’s a long term success, and not just a flash in the pan.” And he thinks the Jets are on the right track.
That all starts with the development of the former BYU quarterback. So far it’s going well for Douglas, who said he sees the beginning of Zach Wilson’s career as lights out.
“He’s been everything we’ve hoped for,” Douglas said. “I think where we are right now with Zach and his progression, I think we feel good about it.”
The physical talent Wilson has shown, combined with his electric arm, have been hard not to notice. Douglas has been wildly impressed with the No. 2 overall pick’s mentality.
“His passion for the game, the way he soaks up information,” Douglas said. “His process, his preparation, and just the way that he gets ready for practices, it’s been good seeing him download this information. Not making the same mistake twice. Obviously, his physical skills jump out the way he throws the ball, it’s just effortless motion.”
What’s next is for Douglas to use the assets he’s accumulate in the form of draft picks.
In 2021, the Jets had nine picks. Next year, they’ll have 11 — after Douglas dealt Chris Herndon to the Vikings for a fourth-round pick in 2022. If Douglas can start to hit on those picks, the Jets could become a force in the AFC.
So the future looks bright for Jets nation.
Douglas boasted about the excitement and optimism permeating throughout the organization, but he isn’t making outlandish predictions for the 2021 season while his youth movement is in full effect.
The Jets have the youngest team in the NFL with an average age of at 25.132.
Douglas knows this will be a process and there will be rough Sundays this year, when they come in as the obvious underdog. So his version of progress centers around development.
“I think success is going to be watching us go out like we did in preseason,” he said. “Play good sound fundamental football with a lot of intent. With a lot of passion, a lot of explosiveness, a lot of violence as coach [Robert Saleh] says, and watch us develop as the year goes.”
That’s all the Jets can focus on: improving week to week. Even though the roster has veterans in Marcus Maye, Morgan Moses, Greg Van Roten, C.J Mosley and George Fant, the roster is full of inexperience.
Yes, there’s talented young guys in Elijah Moore, Mekhi Becton, Alijah Vera-Tucker, Zach Wilson and others. But the team is full of NFL babies.
And that also has Douglas fired up.
“I can’t wait to see these young guys play. I really can’t wait,” Douglas said. “It’s been great to see the veterans take all these young guys under their wing. It’s really cool to see this chemistry develop. ... I think when you see the character of this team shine through in the early part of training camp, I think you’re gonna see a shine through as we progress through the season.”