The New York Jets may be 0-3 heading into Week 5 of the 2019 NFL season, but one player isn’t giving up on the team quite yet. Le’Veon Bell is confident that the team’s early struggles are not indicative of the talent they possess and can see the team erupting at any given moment. After a long offseason filled with rumors that Jets coach Adam Gase didn’t want him on the team, Bell appears to be almost too bought into their system.
Is Le’Veon Bell confident or out of his mind?
Bell not only saw the Jets and their offense breaking out of their skid after their first two losses, he saw them doing so in extraordinary fashion, winning every single game after Week 2.
“I don’t sense a panic,” Bell said (per Newsday). “We have 14 more games left. We can win 14 games. I’m confident this team can win 14 games. We just got to put everything together.”
That’s not just a bold prediction. It’s a highly unlikely and borderline insane proclamation. Not only that, but it took one game to fall apart, as the Jets lost their third game 30-14 to the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. Perhaps, a little bit of tact would have had him wait a game before making such a bold statement.
Bell’s words aren’t necessarily harmful, however. After an ugly breakup with his former team, Bell stepping up and expecting greatness from them is a welcome sight. He does have to face reality, though, and there are so many things working against the Jets as they head into the last 13 games.
Sam Darnold’s absence
Adding to the unfortunate timing of the statements by Le’Veon Bell is the fact that their young quarterback, Sam Darnold, is currently out for the foreseeable future after contracting mononucleosis. Although Darnold didn’t have a great rookie campaign, he is the Jets’ best option at the quarterback position. Despite the diagnosis quickly becoming a meme, it is an illness that can wreak havoc on whoever has it.
The QB filling in for Darnold, Trevor Siemian, went down with a torn ligament in his left ankle after attempting only six passes. That puts all the pressure on the Jets’ third quarterback, Luke Falk, who has not yet thrown a touchdown. He has not been catastrophic, but he has not instilled hope that the team can do any better. The Jets need Darnold back, and on top of that, they need him to show that he’s worth the hype that he has received since college.
Adam Gase’s leadership
Gase’s first weeks as the head coach of the New York Jets are not entirely his fault. However, he does deserve a little bit of the blame as he goes through the tumultuous locker room. Say what you want about Le’Veon Bell’s statement, but at least it was uplifting to the team. Gase, on the other hand, has already made a habit of alienating members of his team and playing favorites.
Having go-to guys is fine for a coach, but Gase has used the media as his venting chamber to call out players that he was not happy with. Furthermore, for a man who is unhappy with his team’s progress, Gase has not done an outstanding job adjusting either side of the ball through the struggles, and it reflects poorly on him, as well.
Le’Veon Bell’s role moving forward
Bell is far from the problem on the Jets, but in order to show people that the Jets can move in the right direction, he has to have a better season than he is. Through three games, he rushed for 56 yards and has not run for a single touchdown. That goes back to lots of injuries and failed strategies, but as the one who made the statement, Bell has to take some of the blame. Only time will tell if Bell and his teammates can get out of their rut on the way to a strong finish.