On Friday, we highlighted the New York Jets offense. Today, we’ll highlight their offensive line and special teams.
The foundation of the offensive line is Pro Bowl center, Nick Mangold. Mangold, a four-time Pro Bowler, controls the ebb and flow of the offense. The Jets played three games without Mangold last year and his departure was magnified. In addition to Mangold, D’Brickashaw Ferguson is responsible for protecting Sanchez’s blind side. Ferguson, a three-time Pro Bowler, is extremely athletic and one of the best left tackles in the league. Brandon Moore made the Pro Bowl last season as an injury replacement, so expect the Jets to run behind him early and often.
While the Jets have three Pro Bowl caliber linemen, their other two linemen, Matt Slauson and Wayne Hunter, are downright putrid. In particular, Hunter was routinely beat by defensive ends and failed to create separation at the line of scrimmage. Both Slauson and Wayne will be challenged by Ducasse, Howard, Griffin, and O’Dowd. In addition, the reserves will likely see time in Tony Sparano’s ‘Heavy Packages’ that employ multiple linemen.
After being cut by St. Louis, the Jets didn’t waste much time inking Brown. Brown will put pressure on incumbent kicker, Nick Folk. Folk made 19 of 25 attempts last season. T. J. Conley will start the year as the team’s punter, but the Jets aren’t married to him quite like the Giants are to Steve Weatherford.
As a kick returner, only Percy Harvin posted more yards per return than McKnight. Kerley was Top 10 as a punter returner last season. Expect both players to be heavily involved in special teams.