Linebacker Says 8-8 Last Season Was Nice, But Team Still Fell Short Of Goals

NEW YORK (WFAN) — Rex Ryan often gets singled out for what is perceived as an over-the-top cockiness. DeMario Davis simply calls what his coach has confidence — and says it’s something the Jets have to a man.

A guest on WFAN on Monday, Davis told Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts the Jets are not just content to improve off of their surprising 8-8 showing from 2013. The third-year linebacker said it might take a little while but the Jets intend on getting through training camp in one piece and then tackling the regular season like they should be the hunted instead of the hunters.

“I feel like this team is more than a playoff team, honestly. That’s my opinion, but I think everyone in the building feels that way,” the well-spoken Davis said. “But that is our first objective — to make the playoffs. We know the way we’re going to have to do that is start fast, win some games early, get a little cushion under our belt and then go for it.”

After quieting quite a few critics last season — a campaign that ultimately led to a contract extension for Ryan — the Jets went into the offseason looking to address some needs while all the while sticking close to the revamping plan put in place by general manager John Idzik. As a result, the Jets added some impact players and a lot of depth, which should lead to an intense amount of competition as the days go by in Cortland.

Davis said while it was nice to prove wrong most experts who had the Jets pinned as a three- or four-win team, the players still felt an emptiness when last season ended down in Miami.

“Three years without getting into the playoffs is unacceptable and so we know that we need to get in there this year. Failure is not an option. Not getting into the playoffs is not an option for us,” Davis said. “Everybody has the type of chip on their shoulder. We proved a lot of people wrong last season but we still fell short of our own expectations, so we’re not as caught up in what others people expect out of us as we are what we expect from ourselves. We’re just ready to get back to work and chase our objective.”

Drafted in the third round out of Arkansas State back in 2012, Davis said the Jets, even with all the moves they made this offseason, would not be in as good a position to make the playoffs had Ryan not returned, adding the outspoken coach remains as important to the Jets now as he did back when he was leading them to back-to-back AFC title game appearances in 2009 and 2010.

“I think Rex is the heartbeat of the team … Everybody has the same mind as Rex. Everybody loves Rex. Everybody loves his philosophy. Any time you got a coach that the players want to go out and win for, that’s all you need,” Davis said.

Davis spoke about a lot of other things, including the potential he sees in quarterback Geno Smith and some of the other players at the skill positions. To hear his complete interview with Joe & Evan, please click on the link below.

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