Despite parting ways with several veteran leaders and admitting the New York Jets are in a youth movement, Todd Bowles said the goal remains the same.
Bowles said Tuesday the Jets are going through "a younger movement" and referred to veteran quarterback Josh McCown as a kindergarten teacher.
But the third-year coach said the goal for 2017 remains the same.
"I’m trying to get to the playoffs and win a Super Bowl," Bowles said after the Jets began their mandatory minicamp. "It’s no different than any other year."
The Jets will be significantly younger in 2017 than last season, when they won only five games.
Purged from the roster this offseason have been cornerback Darrelle Revis, center Nick Mangold, linebacker David Harris, receivers Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, and safety Calvin Pryor.
Revis, Mangold and Marshall have a combined 20 Pro Bowl selections over their careers. Harris ranks second in franchise history with 1,087 tackles. Decker was cut loose after missing most of the 2016 season with a shoulder injury.
Without Marshall or Decker, the Jets are left with three-year veteran Quincy Enunwa as the team's leading receiver. Enunwa, who is not participating in the minicamp because of a neck injury, caught 58 passes for 857 yards and four touchdowns last season.
After selecting safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye with their first two picks of the 2017 NFL Draft, the Jets did take receiver ArDarius Stewart in the third round and Chad Hansen, who caught 92 passes for 1,249 yards and 11 touchdowns last year, in the fourth.
"We brought guys in that we think that [can] play at every position. It's not just a matter of receivers," Bowles said. "As a coach, you coach football. It's no different than seniors leaving college and you have freshmen, sophomores, and juniors having to step up. We have the same guys. Obviously, we have to develop new leaders and new stars."
Defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson said the team's locker room chemistry is better without Marshall, who is now with the New York Giants.
But the Jets have also had off-field incidents involving linebackers Darron Lee and Lorenzo Mauldin.
Bowles said he has spoken with his team "about everything" and his players know what he is thinking.
The Jets have just four players over the age of 30 on their 90-man roster. But one of those players is the 37-year-old McCown, who was brought in to replace departed 34-year-old starter Ryan Fitzpatrick. The only other quarterbacks on the roster are third-year vet Bryce Petty and disappointing second-year player Christian Hackenberg.
"Even when you go to kindergarten, somebody has to be the teacher," Bowles said of McCown's leadership role on the team. "You’re not going to have everybody young. You're going to have the majority of the team young, [but] you're not going to have everybody young. You're going to have some guys on your team that have played some years.
"It is not going to be a total washout like [they're] all freshmen coming into college, but the majority of them are young and then the other majority can help in other ways, so it's a fine line between choosing all young and picking which guys to or not to get rid of."
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