"Absolutely," Lee told NJ.com when asked if the unit would improve in 2017. "There's nothing else to be said. Absolutely. Over my dead body, we'll be better. I will do everything I possibly can to make sure that our defense, we are clicking on all cylinders. I'll do my part."
He added that the dismal season will add fuel to the fire.
"Oh, man," Lee said. "What? Fuel me is an understatement. No anger. I don't get angry. But best believe I'm pissed. Pissed for everybody to be great, because I want everybody to be successful. Not just myself."
While this might be white noise for Jets fans at the moment, they have to hang on to the fact that their young foundation of defensive players will have to be the ones who get them through this mess. Perhaps minus the recently-embattled Sheldon Richardson; Lee, Mo Wilkerson, Calvin Pryor and Leonard Williams are going to have to play well above expectations in 2017 for the Jets to find themselves back in the playoff conversation (Williams, for what it's worth, was a borderline Pro Bowler this year).
Hearing Lee determined to re-write the wrongs of the 2016 Jets is probably the most encouraging thing that can happen for the team this offseason. They almost certainly won't be major players in free agency, and outside of drafting another quarterback in the first round, what else can they possibly do to energize the fan base?
This turnaround is going to have to come from an attitude adjustment, and Lee seems to have the right attitude.