CORTLAND, N.Y. -- The bus carrying Rex Ryan and many of his New York Jets players rolled into downtown Cortland, and was greeted by a few hundred fans decked out in green and white.
The festive parade was a welcome sight for Ryan, who received a key to the city and would like nothing more than to celebrate with an even bigger gathering in New York sometime in February. But the normally brash coach isn’t guaranteeing a Super Bowl this time around, insisting only that he and his team fully realize the task at hand.
"My job is to in 45 days build a football team that is in a certain image, and plays like Jets," Ryan said. "And that’s what we plan on doing."
He knows the pressure’s on him and his team to prove that last year’s disappointing season was merely a bump in the road. After finishing 8-8 and out of the playoffs, many of the players believe being back at training camp in Cortland is a perfect start.
After all, following their two previous summers in central New York, the Jets went to the AFC title game.
"We’re back to where, I think, there’s a little magic in this place," quarterback Mark Sanchez said.
Sanchez was one of the first players to check in to the dorm at SUNY Cortland, with Tim Tebow showing up not long after him. Darrelle Revis showed up, too, after it was uncertain all offseason if he would.
It was a good first day for a team that was derailed by internal
"It’s great for us to be able to get away and focus solely on football," center Nick Mangold said. "I think guys are excited about what we can accomplish up here leading into the season."
Left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson recently said in a radio interview that he thinks there’s "greatness" in this team, something his teammates didn’t disagree with.
"Is it your goal? Yeah, it is," defensive tackle Sione Pouha said. "That’s our goal: to make it to February. That’s what we shoot for. I mean, we’re not going to sit here and wish upon a star. That’s why we’re here in camp and why we work so hard."