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Bart Scott: New York Jets had 'sense of entitlement'

Did (moderate) success go to the New York Jets' heads last season?

Bart Scott seems to think so. In The Star-Ledger's latest summer Q&A, the linebacker explained to Jenny Vrentas the biggest difference between the 2010 Jets and the team that slumped to 8-8 in 2011.

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"Not a sense of entitlement. Understanding how hard it is in this game, and how blessed we were to be where we were (in back-to-back AFC Championship Games)," Scott said. "And how hungry we are to get back there, and be able to prove the doubters wrong. They have an opinion of us, and sometimes perception is reality. But it doesn't make the perception the truth."

(We know what fatalistic Gang Green fans are thinking. Only the Jets could develop a sense of self-entitlement coming off back-to-back seasons in which they were eliminated from the conference playoffs.)

Scott also spoke candidly about a play-it-safe strategy on defense that he believes weakened the unit.

"It's all about playing faster and playing and going and not just reacting all the time," he said. "Go in there, and we put the pressure on people. Like we did our first year. We came out, we blitzed, we didn't care. You pick it up or you didn't pick it up.

"Somebody swings, so what? We're going to hit your quarterback. The second year, it's like, we'll come off. If a guy swings, you come off your blitz and stuff like that. Then what happens is it becomes a three-man rush, a defense that was supposed to be an aggressive defense turns into a passive one, and gives the quarterback more time."

The Jets still had a strong defense in 2011, finishing the season ranked fifth overall. But Scott is right: The unit slowly lost the fearless edge that defined Rex Ryan's first season with the team. Don't be surprised if Ryan has the same take as his veteran linebacker.

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