Youth Movement: Why The Jets Have a Bright Future Ahead

Sam Richman Contributor IJanuary 24, 2010

Last week we saw the Jets pull off what many are calling one of the biggest upsets of the year. Although I predicted the Jets to win, by no means did I think that it would be the Jet youngsters, who would out-do the Chargers. The Jets not only outplayed the Chargers, but it was the youngest players that made the largest impact. The Jets came into San Diego oozing with confidence. This confidence stems from their first year head coach, Rex Ryan. Ryan has made some bold statements all season long, but the boldest of them all may have been his declaration of "the Jets being the team to beat in the playoffs". Though it may have seemed crazy to most, surly Ryan understood the type of talent this team has. The Jets feature the best defense in the league, the best rushing attack, and a quickly ascending QB. However, it seems as though the Jets will only continue to better over the next couple of years. Even if the Jets do not capitalize on their opportunity this season, their future sure looks bright. This postseason the Jets have been led by youngsters Darrelle Revis, Shonn Greene, Dustin Keller, and Mark Sanchez. The Jets have clearly with the exception of Vernon Gholston made the all right draft choices the last few years. Darrelle Revis was the Jets' first pick in the 2007 draft. The third year cornerback out of Pitt has certainly paid dividends. The corner was named to the all-pro team last week, and finished second in the defensive player of the year voting behind Charles Woodson. Revis is as close to a shut down corner as you can get. He has been a match-up problem for each receiver he's gone against this season. Along with his stellar regular season, he has been nothing short of spectacular in two playoff games this year (two playoff games, two interceptions). Dustin Keller was the Jets' second round pick in 2008. Last year Keller became Brett Favre's main receiver, as a rookie, and in his second season he is acting in the same role for Mark Sanchez. Keller has been a safety net for his rookie QB, and has continued to show his value in the two playoff games this season. Keller had a decent regular season, but in the playoffs he's had a 118 receiving yards, and two touchdowns. Last week he caught the touchdown to give the Jets the lead. The week before he also caught the game clinching 33 yard TD. Though it seems difficult to match the 2007 & 2008 Jets draft classes, the Jets did another wonderful job in 2009. With the Jets' first selection, they traded up to the five spot in the draft to snag their future franchise QB. Mark "Sanchise", as he's been called by the New York Media, has had the pressure of the world on his shoulders since day one on the job. Immediately after being drafted, fans proclaimed Sanchez the next Joe Namath. Before ever taking an NFL snap, Sanchez had the pressure of being compared to one of the greatest Jets of all time. Sanchez had a very up and down first season. He was great, then horrendous, then alright. It is just what everyone should expect out of a first year QB; however, Sanchez did not make any excuses. After throwing his 20th interception of the year, Sanchez became very careful with the football. Up until the third quarter of last week's game, Sanchez had not had a turnover since week 15. Since the last minute loss to the Falcons, Sanchez has become a brand new QB. Not only has Sanchez been careful with the ball, but he has exuded confidence. He has taken on the attitude of his coach, and has become the leader of this team. In one month Sanchez has shown unbelievable improvement and progression. Sanchez has increased his experience and has finally looks like the QB the fans have wanted him to be. Sanchez is now 2-0 in the playoffs, and has made all the throws necessary to win. In the third round of the 2009 draft the Jets took the nation's leading rusher from the 2008-2009 college season. The Jets selected Shonn Greene out of Iowa. Greene was hurt at the beginning of the year, but when he has had the opportunity to play, he has clearly shown why he was the nation's top running back the year prior. Greene has been an excellent complement to Thomas Jones. However, since the playoffs have started he has not only complemented Jones, but outplayed him. He has been an unbelievable addition to the Jets' offense this postseason, with 263 yards and two touchdowns. His most memorable run was the 53 yard scamper to lock up victory against the Chargers last week. Greene seems as though he is ready to become a lead back whenever his number is called. There is no doubt in my mind, that every team is kicking themselves for not taking Greene when they had the shot. Greene is a star in the making and this postseason he is showing everyone just how good he really is. Even if the Jets do not win this season, there is no doubt in my mind, that they will have plenty of opportunities in the future. With the young base of this team, and the bravado of rookie head coach Rex Ryan, the Jets' future looks very bright. I would not be surprised if the Jets truly took over the title as the team to beat in the next few seasons, if not this year. The Jets seem to have everything it takes to be world champions when it is all said and done.