Robert Saleh: Jets welcome the "quietness" this year

In 2023, the Jets were the flavor of the month. In 2024, they feel like the same old squad that forces its fans to run for the Rum Raisin, hold the raisin.

Coach Robert Saleh likes it that way.

"Last year was a little loud," Saleh told Steve Wyche of NFL Media. "We welcome a little bit of quietness."

Loud is an understatement. The Jets got strong-armed into doing Hard Knocks. Everyone thought they'd be great with Aaron Rodgers on the team. The schedule suggested it wouldn't be easy. The loss of Rodgers after only four snaps made it an impossibility — and a widely perceived failure.

This year could be what last year was supposed to be. But this year will likely entail lower expectations, and possibly fewer stand-alone, high-profile, nationally-televised games.

"Aaron, he's on a mission," Saleh said. "He's doing his rehab. He's out in California, I believe. Obviously he's taking some time for himself. He was ready to go last year, man. So I know he's getting ready. We speak to him often. I don't want to speak for him, but I am going to speak for him and say that he's really excited about attacking this season."

Of course, a little over a week ago, the Jets didn't know what Rodgers was truly excited about, since he was potentially going to be Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s running mate. That went away almost as quickly as it emerged, and now the Jets can focus on the task at hand.

"[I'm] excited to attack this season and try to accomplish the things we were supposed to accomplish a year ago," Saleh said.

It still won't be easy. The schedule isn't as daunting. They face the three teams in their own division twice, all four teams of the NFC West, all four teams of the AFC South, the Steelers, Broncos, and Vikings.

But they'll be counting on plenty of aging players at key positions to get and stay healthy through the grind of a 17-game regular season and, if they qualify, the postseason.

If they don't quality, that'll be that for most of the players, coaches, and executives currently on owner Woody Johnson's payroll.