At a time when virtually everyone around the NFL believes the Jets are tanking the 2017 season to position themselves for the top pick in the 2018 draft, Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan painted a much brighter picture Monday of this season than the prognosticators so far have indicated.
“Every team goes into training camp with the idea of trying to make the playoffs,’’ Maccagnan said in a 30-minute sitdown with reporters at the team’s training facility. “We’re no different in that sense. We’re no different than any other team out there.
“I feel this is going to be an exciting season based on what we’ve seen in the offseason. I feel good about where we are in terms of the [offseason] decisions we made. If you look at the young talent we’ve brought in here, that’s what we’re focused on going forward. There will be a lot more younger guys with opportunities.’’
The most important of those young players with an opportunity is second-year quarterback Christian Hackenberg, the 2016 second-round draft pick who every Jets fan is hoping will win the starting job and develop into a franchise player.
“Going back from a year ago, Christian, I think, has made good progress,’’ Maccagnan said. “Of course, it’s all in shorts and T-shirts this offseason. We’re kind of excited about him. Now this is the next step in the process, getting the pads on, so we’ll see how he does out there. But the initial impression is he’s made good progress. We’ll have a better feel for it as we get into the preseason with practices and the preseason games.’’
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