The Jets were one of 23 NFL teams to begin their 2017 offseason program today. Under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, the first two weeks of the offseason program are limited to strength and conditioning and rehab. The Jets did not make any players or coaches available to the media, but they did email quotes to reporters who regularly cover the team, just in case any of those reporters needed a little extra insight for their Offseason Program Has Begun stories.
The resulting quotes (or “quotes”) were exactly what you would expect to get from a team public-relations department interviewing (or “interviewing”) that team’s athletes—an almost flawlessly bland and content-free collection of non-statements on non-subjects ranging from how good it was to get some time off to how great it is to be back.
But the Jets being the Jets, there is is always room for subtext, if you look hard enough. Are these happy quotes really that happy? What follows is a close reading of the canned quotes sent out this afternoon by Jets PR.
WR Quincy Enunwa: “It feels great. I’ve been working hard [LAST YEAR I DIDN’T WORK HARD] and I’ve been eager to get back. I think any time you’re away for a long period of time, it creates that itch to get back out here [I WAS SICK OF MY COACHES AND TEAMMATES AND NEEDED TO GET AWAY FROM THEM], work with the guys, see all of the new faces [THANK GOD WE GOT RID OF SOME OF THE USELESS BUMS WE HAD LAST SEASON] and get this season started.”
RB Matt Forté: “I’m definitely excited to be back to see the guys and get back to work. Like every year, we have a lot to prove [BECAUSE OUR PRIOR RECORD REMAINS AN UNBROKEN STRING OF HUMILIATING FAILURES]. I am excited to be here.”
QB Christian Hackenberg: “It feels awesome. It’s been a long off-season [LIKE EVERYONE ELSE, I FELT LIKE LAST SEASON WAS AN INCOMPLETE EXPERIENCE] and being able to get back in the locker room is something that I look forward to and I’m ready to get started.”
ILB David Harris: “It’s good to be back and see everybody, and meet new players [MAYBE SOME OF MY NEW TEAMMATES WILL BE LESS TERRIBLE], and see the new faces. We had a good break—I enjoyed the offseason [LIKE EVERYONE ELSE, I NEEDED TO GET AWAY FROM THIS TEAM], but it’s time to get back to work.”
QB Josh McCown: “It’s always good to get back started especially when you are coming to a new team [I CARRY THE WEIGHT OF MY FAILURES WITH ME]. It’s good to meet everyone and get acclimated [I HOPE MY FAILURES WILL MESH WITH THE FAILURES OF MY NEW TEAMMATES]. But It’s the first day in a long process and [NOTHING WILL GET BETTER] I’m excited to be part of it.”
QB Bryce Petty: “I’m excited on all fronts. It’s always good to get some time away [WHAT A RELIEF IT WAS TO BE AWAY FROM THIS PLACE FOR THREE MONTHS], but then you come back in the building and see old faces and see the guys. It’s the kind of adrenaline [IT’S ALL DOWNHILL FROM HERE] you don’t get anywhere else.”
DE Leonard Williams: “It feels like the first day of school—walking around seeing smiles on everybody’s face [SUMMER VACATION WAS ALWAYS BETTER THAN SCHOOL]. It feels great to be back to work with all of my teammates.”
DE Muhammad Wilkerson: “It’s a new season [EVERY SEASON IS STARTING TO RUN TOGETHER AT THIS POINT]. I’m glad to be back and get things started. It’s the first day of workouts with the guys. We have a lot to look forward to [NOT REALLY].”