Jets head coach Adam Gase shares the excitement that his players have for QB Sam Darnold finally returning after battling mononucleosis. Of course, Darnold is also excited to get back on the field.
The excitement won't last long, though, if the Jets can get something going on offense. Since Darnold's been gone, the Jets have barely been able to move the ball.
So, while spirits are high at One Jets Drive, this group knows there's a lot of work to be done to finally chalk up that first win.
"Any time your starting quarterback comes back, guys are going to be excited," Gase told reporters on Wednesday. "The good thing is the way he looks at it is he wants to come in and do his job. I don't think guys are looking at it as now that he's back, all will be alright. They know we got a lot to clean up."
Jets fans may feel like Darnold's return means he'll be the savior of this team, but there are many areas that need some patching up. For example, the offensive line must play better to keep Darnold upright despite his ability to make plays on the run.
Still, Darnold is a very big upgrade from Luke Falk, who has been trying to hold it down while Darnold was out.
"He's what you kinda refer to as an 'eraser-type' player, where it could be the worst call ever and he makes it work," Gase explained about Darnold. "If something bad happens, he can escape, he can extend plays. He can do things that -- when you have good pocket presence and you have the ability to escape the pocket, it'll mask mistakes that are made by others.
"It's one of those things where if I make a mistake, he can hide it."
Now with Darnold back 100 percent, the Jets may be able to wake up from their early season slumber and start being the effective bunch they were expected to be before it all began. And Gase won't be holding back after this 0-4 start.
Darnold is back, so everything is in the cards.
"I have no restrictions on what we can do now."
Here's what else Gase revealed during his Wednesday presser...
Brandon Copeland another big return for Jets defense
Though the Jets have their fair share of injuries to key players like LB C.J. Mosley and now TE Chris Herndon, Gase will see one of his pass rushers back on the field in Copeland. He returns from his four-game suspension for PED use, and it appears he'll be thrown right into the mix as Gase labeled him a starter.
"I mean you're looking at a guy that was playing really well before he left and he's a starter," Gase said of Copeland. "All of a sudden you get him back and then [Jordan] Jenkins gets healthy -- all of a sudden you get two starters back. We're close to getting a lot of starters back."
The Jets would love that trend to continue, but Copeland will be the guy back on the field against Dallas this week. He totaled five sacks and 35 combined tackles in 16 games last season. Gregg Williams can certainly use his pass-rushing skills to disrupt Dak Prescott as much as possible on Sunday.
O-Line faces tough task with Cowboys' defensive front
The Jets' offensive line gave up a gaudy sack number against the Eagles, when Falk was taken down 10 times in the loss on Sunday. That just won't cut it, and they face another tough task with the Cowboys' defensive line.
Though Dallas has only 12 sacks on the season (tied 16th in the NFL), its D-Line is due to have a massive game. And Gase knows what to expect from this group, especially in Robert Quinn who he saw total 6.5 sacks for him last year with the Dolphins.
Right now, Quinn has 3.5 sacks and Demarcus Lawrence, on the opposite side of him, has 2.5 over five games. That's a low total for him, and he'll be looking to exploit this Jets line for more.
"Robert, just being with him last year, watching him get off the ball. And the guy they have on the other side (Lawrence) is not bad either," Gase said. "So you got two guys that are legit pass rushers."