The Jets are four days away from kicking off their new season full of anticipation and expectation. And a lot of that stems from the addition of star RB Le'Veon Bell.
Among all the changes that the Jets went through this offseason -- from hiring head coach Adam Gase to GM Joe Douglas taking over for Mike Maccagnan -- it has been Bell as the main focal point. Many are anxiously awaiting to see if he still has that elite talent we saw two years ago to impact the Jets this season.
Bell hasn't been able to give the fans any proof that will be the case, as he was kept out of preseason games. But he's ready for a grand entrance back into the NFL on Sunday against the Bills after what he told Gase.
"We'll see how the game goes. I mean I can't predict how many plays we're going to have, but I will say this: when I spoke to him yesterday he said, 'Don't hold back,'" Gase said. "So he feels like he's ready to go and [I] think he's pretty excited to get out there."
Gase added that Bell was "pretty juiced up" just to participate in the Jets' Green & White practice at MetLife Stadium, his new home, just a couple of weeks ago. Bell hasn't seen game action since Jan. 14, 2017 in the Steelers' playoff loss to the Jaguars, so he's more than itching to get out there.
And Gase is getting antsy to finally see what his offensive scheme can do for Bell, who has said he believes it opens even more avenues for him to make plays. Has Gase even had a running back to work with like Bell in the first place?
"No," he answered very quickly.
Here's what else Gase discussed ahead of Week 1...
Team captains have been named
Gase opened up the presser to reveal the six team captains that have been voted on. And they are...
- QB Sam Darnold
- LB C.J. Mosley
- S Jamal Adams
- DT Steve McLendon
- LT Kelvin Beachum
- S Rontez Miles
The voting results from the players weren't a surprise at all to Gase.
"It was interesting to kinda go through that voting process and those guys were clear-cut guys that were at the top," he said. "It shows the leadership strength we have in this locker room."
Bills QB Josh Allen will be tough to contain
The Jets' first division matchup of the season features another 2018 rookie quarterback who had a solid season last year in Josh Allen. Selected a few picks after Darnold, Allen showcased his strong arm and ability to extend a play with his legs -- his two calling-cards coming out of Wyoming.
Gase saw that twice last season with the Dolphins, so he knows what to expect at kickoff.
"Evaluating him, the arm strength was very impressive. The guy can throw the ball a mile. His mobility, too, for a guy that size is impressive," Gase said. "Unfortunately, we found that out the hard way last year. Felt like he ran for about 400 yards on us. He can extend the drive because he is mobile, he's big, and tough to get down."
The Gase/Williams dynamic
Gase will be calling his own plays on offense, but being the head coach, he does have a say in what his defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is doing as well. Preparing for the game, though, Gase explained that dynamic and how Williams is definitely holding the reins all season long on that side of the ball.
"So we talk a lot, but Gregg was brought here to really put that thing together, get things rolling in the direction it needs to go to," Gase said. "What he does, I love. I've had to play him so many times that it was frustrating for me. So preparing for him is challenging. I think that whole staff does a great job. Those guys do a great job working together, putting together a gameplan."
This defense is supposed to be very potent, and that should show from the get-go.