Hot air: Can boastful Jets dominate foes like they dominate airwaves?

CORTLAND, N.Y.—You might feel like you’ve had a belly full of the Jets already, but you’ve only sampled the hors d’oeuvres. Get ready for the entrees.

The team that believes it is bound for Super Bowl 45—just ask anyone in green and white; he’ll tell you—will be served up on the sixth season of HBO’s Hard Knocks, which premieres Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET.

Even if the Jets eventually fall short of their ultimate goal, there are compelling reasons to pay attention to them this season.

• The coach. Rex Ryan has become one of the NFL’s most colorful personalities. He isn’t bashful about being boastful. Other coaches think the same things; they just don’t have the audacity to say them out loud.

"I expected to win every game last year, and that’s the way we’ll go into every game (this year)," Ryan said.

The Jets need Darrelle Revis on the field if they want to live up to the hype.
The Jets need Darrelle Revis on the field if they want to live up to the hype.

• The missing piece. Last season, Ryan called cornerback Darrelle Revis the best defensive player in the league, and a lot of folks agreed with him. But Revis is holding out right now—he wants a new contract that will make him the NFL’s highest-paid corner—and it’s uncertain whether his situation will be resolved before the Sept. 13 opener vs. Baltimore.

"We’ll be very good without Darrelle, but he allows us to do things you can’t do without him," safety Jim Leonard said. "He’s huge in this defense. But we’d find our way without him, obviously."

• The new additions. The Jets added some high-profile playmakers in the offseason, including running back LaDainian Tomlinson, wide receiver Santonio Holmes, pass rusher Jason Taylor and cornerback Antonio Cromartie.

• The quarterback. Mark Sanchez, the fifth-overall pick in the ’09 draft, created a lot of buzz as a rookie, but his regular-season numbers (53.8 completion percentage, 12 touchdowns, 20 interceptions) were mediocre. The Jets aren’t a Super Bowl team if Sanchez doesn’t take a big step forward.

"I saw a growth in (the offseason)," wide receiver Braylon Edwards said of Sanchez. "He was finding the spots, he was putting the ball where it needed to be, and he was taking charge."

• The division race. The Patriots always are in playoff contention—they did win the AFC East last year—and the Dolphins should be improved. The Jets must get past those teams first on their way to the Super Bowl.

Dennis Dillon is a writer for Sporting News. E-mail him at ddillon@sportingnews.com.

CORTLAND, N.Y.—You might feel like you’ve had a belly full of the Jets already, but you’ve only sampled the hors d’oeuvres. Get ready for the entrees.

The team that believes it is bound for Super Bowl 45—just ask anyone in green and white; he’ll tell you—will be served up on the sixth season of HBO’s Hard Knocks, which premieres Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET.

Even if the Jets eventually fall short of their ultimate goal, there are compelling reasons to pay attention to them this season.

• The coach. Rex Ryan has become one of the NFL’s most colorful personalities. He isn’t bashful about being boastful. Other coaches think the same things; they just don’t have the audacity to say them out loud.

"I expected to win every game last year, and that’s the way we’ll go into every game (this year)," Ryan said.

The Jets need Darrelle Revis on the field if they want to live up to the hype.
The Jets need Darrelle Revis on the field if they want to live up to the hype.

• The missing piece. Last season, Ryan called cornerback Darrelle Revis the best defensive player in the league, and a lot of folks agreed with him. But Revis is holding out right now—he wants a new contract that will make him the NFL’s highest-paid corner—and it’s uncertain whether his situation will be resolved before the Sept. 13 opener vs. Baltimore.

"We’ll be very good without Darrelle, but he allows us to do things you can’t do without him," safety Jim Leonard said. "He’s huge in this defense. But we’d find our way without him, obviously."

• The new additions. The Jets added some high-profile playmakers in the offseason, including running back LaDainian Tomlinson, wide receiver Santonio Holmes, pass rusher Jason Taylor and cornerback Antonio Cromartie.

• The quarterback. Mark Sanchez, the fifth-overall pick in the ’09 draft, created a lot of buzz as a rookie, but his regular-season numbers (53.8 completion percentage, 12 touchdowns, 20 interceptions) were mediocre. The Jets aren’t a Super Bowl team if Sanchez doesn’t take a big step forward.

"I saw a growth in (the offseason)," wide receiver Braylon Edwards said of Sanchez. "He was finding the spots, he was putting the ball where it needed to be, and he was taking charge."

• The division race. The Patriots always are in playoff contention—they did win the AFC East last year—and the Dolphins should be improved. The Jets must get past those teams first on their way to the Super Bowl.

Dennis Dillon is a writer for Sporting News. E-mail him at ddillon@sportingnews.com.

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