The Jets are now 0-7 after a close loss to Buffalo on Sunday, but no matter how close they’ve come a couple times, the fact remains that they’ll have to go 7-2 the rest of the way just to match last year’s win total.
Of course, they did almost just that last season, going 6-2 down the stretch after a 1-7 start, and part of that is what makes Wayne Chrebet think that Sam Darnold is, in fact, capable of being a franchise quarterback for Gang Green.
“I’ve always thought that; he’s got a great ball, and he’s very smart, but he’s never had a full allotment of weapons, so I can’t completely judge him,” Chrebet told Danielle McCartan on an appearance on WFAN’s “McCartan After Midnight” early Sunday morning. “I was there the day he signed, and I liked his knowledge of Jets history and respect for the past. You saw what he did on that long run (versus Denver) – that’s special, and I’d like to see what he does the rest of the year.”
The Jets seem likely to part ways with head coach Adam Gase sometime between now and the end of the year (sooner than later if the fans have their ways), and while it may be fait accompli, even Chrebet isn’t sure who the perfect choice to lead the team going forward is.
“I don’t know Adam’s philosophy, but coaching and playing in New York is tough, and sometimes, it just doesn’t work out,” Chrebet said. “Sometimes you need a motivator, and sometimes you need a good X’s and O’s guy, but you always need someone who can deal with the media.”
Regardless of who the head coach is in 2021, though, Chrebet feels that the Jets are on the right track, thanks to Joe Douglas’ strategy so far. .
“The record is what it is, but Joe added a lot of one-year deals, and that was smart, because you want to see a trial and see if a guy fits in before you sign them long-term,” Chrebet said. “With the amount of picks and cap space they have, they can turn this around rather quickly, and guys should want to come play in New York. If you win here, there’s nothing like it – you become a king in New York City!”
Chrebet knows how quickly a franchise can turn around with the right plan and the right guidance, as he was part of a team that went from 1-15 under Rich Kotite in 1996 to an AFC East title and AFC Championship Game berth in 1998.
You never want the No. 1 pick, he notes – “that means the season was a loss” – but if they do get the top pick, and have the chance to draft Trevor Lawrence, they should…but wherever they end up drafting, that player should be excited to come to Gang Green.
“If you look at their assets, you see there’s a bright future. It may not turn around in one year, but you can see the long-term promise,” Chrebet said. “If it doesn’t work out that (they get the No. 1 pick and get Lawrence), they’re still going to get some good players.”
For now, for the current Jets, Chrebet understands the pressures they’re under, but hopes they can just block out the noise and try to do their jobs.
“You get asked the same questions about it daily, and playing in New York, you have to deal with it,” he said. “The sweet is never as sweet without the sour, but you can’t let it get to you. You have to be able to block it out and do your job, or else it will eat you up and drive you crazy.”
Easier said than done in the social media era.
“When I played, you’d see things on SportsCenter or something during the week, but now, everything you do is out there before the game even ends; look at Daniel Jones, before he even hit the ground, the memes were out,” Chrebet said. “I can’t imagine that, but you have to put your big boy pants on, and if you get the negative all week until you play again, that’s just the way the world is. You wanna play, you have to deal with that.”
And with that, Chrebet had one last message for the players, as well as the fans.
“The effort is there, so understand it is worse for the players. Some games they’ve been blown out, but some games they could’ve won if a couple breaks went their way,” Chrebet said. “I know the fans spend their hard-earned money on tickets and gear and stuff, but I see people say they’ve burned their jerseys and things…that’s a little harsh! True fans will stick with the team, and hang in there – sometimes it’s tough, but I think the future is bright.”
Check out Chrebet’s entire interview with Danielle McCartan below!
Follow Danielle McCartan on Twitter: @CoachMcCartan