The League

Dave Goldberg
Sports Reporter

Dave Goldberg

Covered the NFL for the AP for 25 years and now is a senior NFL writer for

Jets have a future


Rex Ryan thinks his New York Jets will win in San Diego on Sunday and continue on to the Super Bowl.

I think they'll probably lose to the Chargers.

But it doesn't matter. More important right now is that New York's second team has finally stopped spinning its wheels and put itself in position to be a consistent winner.

For years, the Jets have been obsessed with the Giants in their region and the Patriots in the AFC East. They patched here (Bill Parcells) and there (Brett Favre) knowing that both were temporary fixes but presuming that bringing in "names'' would put them on an equal footing with the teams they perceived as their rivals. What they should have been doing is what those two franchises have done -- constructing an organization that stays on a course to be competitive for the long-term instead of moving up one step and down two.

They may have finally done it, primarily by hiring Ryan, whose bold predictions are more charm than bluster. So what if he complained about Darrelle Revis losing the defensive player of the year vote to Charles Woodson -- it shows his players that he's behind them.

But beyond that, he's built the right kind of team, emphasizing running and defense in what's supposed to have become a "passing league.'' Not when you play in the Meadowlands, probably the NFL's windiest venue -- I'm assuming it will still be windy when they move next door next season..

Ryan grew up in the Baltimore organization, one a lot like the Giants and Patriots, Eagles and Steelers, Colts and Chargers. Those franchises don't panic if they have a down year, they simply fix what's wrong and go on, knowing there's an underlying philosophy that will work more often than it fails.

That's what this year's Jets look like.

It took guts to move up in the draft to take Mark Sanchez because you never know with a young quarterback. They still don't know about Sanchez, of course, but he looks like a winner. Consider some of their other recent draft picks -- Revis, David Harris, Nick Mangold and Shonn Greene to name four -- they seem to have developed an eye for talent.

They're also built the right way, from the inside out with an offensive line that looks like one of the two or three best in the game. Alan Faneca and Damien Woody aren't getting any younger, but Mangold and D'Brickashaw Ferguson give them two young studs to build around.

So they have a future. They didn't have one last year nor before that when they approached most seasons starting from scratch again..

Short-term success is nice.

Long-term success if more lucrative.

And more fun.

By Dave Goldberg  |  January 13, 2010; 2:22 PM ET  | Category:  New York Jets Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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