Last night the New York Jets released a five-part documentary series “Flight 2022: New Heights.” The series followed the Jets as they embarked on what they hope will become a franchise-altering offseason. From the sitting down in January with the coaching staff to review the 2021 season, to meeting with season ticket holders in May, the documentary gives fans an impressive behind-the-scenes look at what goes into an NFL offseason.
The series, narrated by NFL Network host and Jets fan, Rich Eisen, explores the newfound optimism following a dramatic offseason. An offseason that has been almost universally praised. An offseason that has brought back some sense of pride to a hungry fanbase that craves a winner. An offseason that hopes to change the same old Jets narrative.
“Volunteers not hostages”
In each of the five episodes, it is clear that the Jets have a plan in place and everyone from the area scouts to the general manager shares the same vision. In the first episode head coach Robert Saleh shared a quote from Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. Tomlin said the Steelers “Were looking for volunteers, not hostages.” Saleh explained the Jets want players that want to be here, want to be New York Jets.
This was an important theme in each episode. Every player general manager Joe Douglas acquired via the draft or in free agency, wants to wear the green and white of the New York Jets. Each free agent the Jets signed did so because they wanted to be here. Cornerback D.J. Reed said he signed here because of Saleh. To a man, each member of the free-agent class signed with New York not because the Jets offered the most money be because they were excited about what is being built.
A behind-the-scenes look at the NFL draft
In the last two episodes, the series really takes a look at how the Jets draft came together. By now everyone knows the Jets 2022 draft class but here we see the tension that went on in the draft room. The first of what turned out to be three first-round picks, Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner was always the Jets’ top target, the only question was would he still be on the board when Gang Green was on the clock. The elation in the Jets draft room was fun to see as the Houston Texans selected Derek Stingley allowing the Jets to get their guy with the fourth pick.
This trend continued with each pick as the Jets’ brain trust believed they hit a home run in the first round getting three of their top eight players. In a fun scene, Douglas, desperate to get back into the first round to draft edge rusher, Jermaine Johnson, made seemingly hundreds of calls. When he finally was able to get the deal done with the Tennesse Titans to acquire the 26th overall pick, the draft room went wild knowing they were getting a player they coveted in Johnson.
While it is likely most draft picks are excited to start their NFL journey with the team that selects them, the Jets draft class feels different. Each player seems genuinely excited to be part of this team.
Can the season start already?
In the final episode, Saleh tells the team the 2022 Mission Statement.
“A commitment to consistenly execute the details required to compete at our greatest level with loyalty and conviction”-Robert Saleh
While this is a team-produced documentary, so you will not see warts or the disagreements that surely happen, you can not help but be excited about the 2022 season. Sure the AFC is loaded and the Jets’ schedule looks daunting, but the sense Gang Green is on the right path, ready to compete in the short term, and ready to become a consistent winner in the long term is palpable.
As the NFL offseason is about to enter its quietest time, this docuseries is the perfect bridge to training camp. If you aren’t ready to get the season rolling after watching this you never will be. All Gas, No Brake, J-E-T-S, Jets!, Jets! Jets!