It's almost 24 hours since the Jets' Super Bowl dreams died in Indianapolis, which means it is time to stop wallowing in misery and start thinking about what is next for this bunch. That switch should bring a smile to your face, because the future's as bright as it's been in quite some time for the franchise.
After the last three weeks, there's not much doubt that they've got their quarterback. Mark Sanchez did more than just limit his turnovers in the playoffs, he made big throws in each game and, in the Colts game, took big hits and still delivered the goods. That's great and the fact that he got a three-game head start on his second season should mean good things for his continued progress.
The defense wore down on Sunday, but it should be sound as a pound come the start of next season. Kris Jenkins should be back, something that will help the often disappointing pass rush as well as the sometimes spotty run defense. They could use an edge rusher with some oomph, but that's true of lots of teams and the Jets will be in good shape whether or not a DeMarcus Ware clone comes through the doors.
What they can't live without is two or three cornerbacks with ability. The Jets secondary feels a lot like the Yankee bullpen right now. Darrelle Revis and Mariano Rivera are both guys you'd trust with your life in their hands, but there isn't another guy in either unit that you'd leave in charge of feeding your cats over a long weekend. You can't ever have enough relievers or cornerbacks, because most of them suck and games often turn on their performances.
Otherwise, the tweaks to the roster should be minimal. Another receiver to work with Sanchez would be swell, but not at the expense of bringing Braylon Edwards back for one more year. He showed what happens when he catches the ball on Sunday and how a defense must prepare for him. Thomas Jones broke down over a long season of heavy use and Leon Washington isn't sure to be 100 percent, so another running back to go with Shonn Greene would be a nice addition.
For the guys that were here this year, there should have been something gained by sitting and watching confetti fall as the Colts celebrated on Sunday. That's good motivation for what you want to accomplish next season, especially when you're going to be coming in with a target on your back instead of as the team no one expects to do anything worthwhile.
So the future's bright, but one need only ask Vinny Testaverde's Achilles how much that means when the next season kicks off. Focus on the first part of that sentence and on the extra weeks of joy the Jets brought you for the next few months before moving on to the second.