Ray Mickens is still a supporter of the New York Jets and took to Twitter recently to make a bold prediction for the 2013 season while also taking a shot at bandwagon fans. The Jets drafted Ray Mickens in the third round of the 1996 NFL Draft out of Texas A&M. In nine seasons with the team he recorded 11 interceptions and six sacks.
Ray Mickens spent the majority of his NFL career as a nickel cornerback, spending nine season with the New York Jets (Mickens missed all of the 2004 season, his final season with the Jets, due to an ACL injury). He was a member of the team that reached the 1998 AFC Championship Game versus the Denver Broncos.
Perhaps the most famous moment for Ray Mickens as a member of the Jets was the way his time in New York ended. Ray Mickens told reporters that signing free agent cornerback Ty Law would be a great move for the franchise. The team agreed and signed Ty Law, making room by releasing Mickens. He would end up signing with the Cleveland Browns for one year, then finished his NFL career with the New England Patriots.
The Green and White pride still runs strong for Ray Mickens, who recently tweeted this picture of the practice field at the Atlantic Health Training Center in Florham Park, NJ:
My prediction, Jets win 11 games this year, for all of y'all that sprained ankles last yr jumping off the bandwagon pic.twitter.com/R6vSxc2rTN— Ray Mickens (@raymickens24) June 29, 2013
The prediction of 11 wins is optimistic, but the point is strong. The Jets can't truly be written off yet, as they do have an interesting mix of talent on their roster. The Jets are depending on the health of a few key players to hold up, and will need some things to bounce right, but it's not unreasonable for the team to exceed the low expectations set by most outside observers.
The jab at bandwagon fans is relevant. The Jets quickly became one of the most popular teams in the NFL during the first two years under Rex Ryan, as the brash group that crashed the party in the playoffs and refused to bow to the anticipated favorites. As the team took steps back the past two seasons, most of the attention is negative and some fans have jumped ship. If the Jets can prove Ray Mickens to be correct and rack up 11 wins this season, some of those fans will likely be back.