Less than 48 hours after arriving at the Jets facility for the first time in early September, Jermaine Kearse approached Leonard Williams for a conversation. Kearse had just joined the Jets as part of a Sept. 1 trade that sent star defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson to the Seahawks. In return, the Jets received needed receiver depth and experience in Kearse — a Super Bowl winner entering his sixth season — plus a second-round pick in next year’s draft. Almost immediately, Kearse identified Williams as a team leader. And after spending five seasons in Seattle under Pete Carroll — who created an unorthodox but widely acclaimed championship culture with the Seahawks — Kearse was determined to get a feel for his new team by speaking to players one at a time, a tedious process he viewed as entirely necessary. “I was surprised. I was excited. I was like, man, this is the type of mindset, these are the type of guys that we need on this team,” Williams told the Daily News Friday of his conversation with Kearse, as the Jets prepared to fly to Miami for a Sunday matchup with the Dolphins. “Right away, talking to him, I was like, ‘All right. This guy’s a winner.’” Since that initial conversation with Williams, Kearse has played an integral role in helping Todd Bowles establish a new and more unified culture at One Jets Drive — a major reason the Jets (3-3) have exceeded expectations through six games. Last year, Bowles’ locker room fractured under the weight of losses, missed expectations and volatile personalities. But this year? “It’s f---ing night and day. It’s not the same s--t at all,” tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins told The News of the culture change. “I’m happy it’s not. That s--t was bad.” “Jermaine’s had a big part in that,” Seferian-Jenkins said. After speaking with Williams, Kearse proceeded to have conversations with other veterans in the Jets locker room, listening to their experiences while also sharing his own thoughts.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins has a colorful description of the Jets’ culture change
New York Daily News | Oct 21