As a member of the Saints for his first five seasons, Sheldon Rankins knows what a winning culture looks like. New Orleans has four consecutive NFC South titles, netting double-digit victories in each of those years.
But now Rankins is with the Jets, a team trying to turn around its fortunes with new head coach Robert Saleh. Rankins said in an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio that he’s been encouraged by how his new teammates have taken what Saleh’s preached to heart.
“I’ve watched it grow. I’ve watched guys get more comfortable — offensively, defensively, special teams,” Rankins said. “I’ve watched competition. And I’ve watched what he’s really trying to breed, and it’s something special. Everyone’s buying in. Everyone’s coming in every day with the mindset of, we’re not just here to [say], ‘Maybe we’ll do alright this year.’ No, guys are coming in ready to compete and really take this league by storm. And we’re hoping we can do so.”
Rankins feels like the foundation the team is laying now will be a key factor once the regular season begins.
“One thing about us, I know we’re going to compete,” he said. “There’s never going to be a game we go into where people are going to cut that game on and be like, ‘Oh they’re just there. They’re just out there. They’re just out there for a check.’ That’s never going to be a thing with us.”
The Jets have a long way to go when it comes to being successful in the AFC East. But if nothing else, they can be a tough out for teams every week in 2021.