New York Jets star running back Matt Forte doesn't have time for questions about whether the team is tanking for a high draft pick next year.
Seemingly one of the lone reliable veterans left on the purge-heavy Jets roster, Forte bit back at the media Wednesday when asked if the Jets will be competitive this season, per the North Jersey Record.
“I mean, what kind of question is that? Do you expect me to say no?” Forte said. “This is a professional football team, we have athletes on this team and in the league it’s not about the team that has the most talent on the roster, it’s about the guys who have a brotherhood together.
"The [guys who] play on the field, not next to each other, they play for each other," added Forte. "They make sacrifices on the field so the other guys can make plays and that’s the kind of culture that we’ve been creating throughout the off-season here.”
To clarify, Forte, a normally mild-mannered person, has a fairly positive reputation among media. His Instagram is often filled with posts about his family (particularly his wife), and the rusher has rarely been in any sort of negative spotlight during his time in New York and Chicago.
“It’s a good thing we don’t operate off of what the fans think and what everybody on the outside thinks,” Forte said. “What we think as a team, that’s what’s going to happen. And none of us on the team think that we’re going to tank. So all I have to say about that is: Bring it.”
The Jets finished last season at 5-11. They had a good 2015 season, but finished 4-12 in 2014. This offseason they released several crucial pieces including David Harris, Eric Decker, Nick Mangold, Darrelle Revis and Brandon Marshall (who requested his release).
According to the Record, Forte expected Harris and Decker to be on the team, especially after they remained on the roster into June. The Jets released both players last week.
Head coach Todd Bowles gave a classic head coach answer when asked about the tanking.
"Lucky for me, I don’t read the media," Bowles said Tuesday. "But my expectations are high and the team’s expectations are high and that’s really all that counts.
"I’m trying to get to the playoffs and win a Super Bowl," Bowles said. "It’s no different than any other year."
Source: North Jersey Record · Photo Credit: Keystone Press Agency