NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Jets’ dancing defense might have been a turf-cutting viral hit on social media. But Todd Bowles thinks the late Don Cornelius would not have been impressed by all those smooth moves.
“Not one of them could’ve been a ‘Soul Train’ dancer,” the coach said with a chuckle Monday, “but that’s all right.”
As Lil Uzi Vert’s “444+222” blared from the public address system early in the fourth quarter of New York’s win over Buffalo last Thursday night, the Jets’ defense turned MetLife Stadium into a dance party .
Well, 10 of the 11 players did, at least.
Linebacker Jordan Jenkins simply bobbed his head slightly while Demario Davis did some big-time bouncing and fist-pumping, Jamal Adams broke into some funky grooving and the rest of their defensive teammates got some serious dance fever.
“It tells me they’re young and they don’t know any better and they’re having a lot of fun,” Bowles said. “It keeps us young and it keeps us old at the same time, but it’s spontaneous. It’s nothing planned. The guys are enjoying themselves. They’re getting hyped up and they play for each other and they play hard. They’re having a little fun, which is good to see.”
It all seemed to work because five plays later, Jenkins forced a fumble that Davis recovered. It led to Matt Forte’s touchdown that put New York up 31-7.
The Bills ended up scoring two late TDs to make it a 34-21 final, but there was no fourth-quarter meltdown — as there had been in the Jets’ previous two games.
“We’re a young bunch,” Jenkins said, “and you have to show a little swagger every now and then.”
But what was up with his dance moves — or his lack thereof?
“I definitely didn’t get the memo,” said Jenkins, in his second season. “The thought came to mind and I was like, ‘It’s too late. I’m already focused.’ I knew I looked like the odd one out of the bunch.”
Added defensive end Leonard Williams: “We need to work on Jordan Jenkins’ dance moves.”
For the record, Jenkins said Adams was “hands down” the best dancer. Linebacker Darron Lee took exception to that, jokingly posting on Twitter that “Jordan doesn’t even dance. His opinion is invalid.”
Williams and the Jets took exception to Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch dancing on the sideline in Oakland during a 45-20 romp over New York in Week 2.
“Not trying to go backward, but it definitely feels good to be on the opposite side of that now,” Williams said. “It was cool to be on prime time and be able to show the world who we are.”
The team’s Instagram post of the impromptu groove session drew over 225,000 views, and got nearly 6,900 retweets and more than 15,100 likes on Twitter .
It also spawned #JetsDanceToAnything, with hundreds of Twitter users synching the video to other songs. Williams’ personal favorite was a video with Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You ,” complete with snow and holiday lights edited in.
There was also a “Peanuts” theme version , one set to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody and even a Bar Mitzvah-style song .
“I thought, ‘You know what? I have to look into playing safety or something’” quarterback Josh McCown said with a laugh. “They’re having fun, and it’s just a good group. It’s a fun locker room to be a part of, and those guys are out there flying around and dancing and playing relaxed. Relaxed, but with intensity and focus and forcing turnovers.
“That’s the heartbeat of our team to see things like that happen.”
More AP NFL: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL