JETS HISTORY: The Centers
The Jets 50 plus years of existence have been protected for over half of that time essentially, by five guys. “The Centers.” A collection of players whose long productive careers were spent primarily in Green and White.
John Shmitt (1964-73) was Broadway Joe’s protector and helepd anchor the Super Bowl III line that ran all over the Colts, while allowing short quick drops to result in anti blitz completions for Namath. Shmitt was certainly a big reason as to why RBs Matt Snell and Emerson Boozer helped form one of the top 1-2 punches in the league at the time.
Joe Fields (1975-1987) anchored the Freeman McNeil-Richard Todd era. The Two time Pro Bowler was a key in the Jets returning to the playoffs in 1981 for the first time since 1969. Fields, who presided over the McNeil-Johnny Hector ground game success, then ushered in the Ken O Brien years, giving way to…
Jim Sweeney (1984-1994), who helped protect the oft sacked Ken O Brien as best as he could. The late 1980’s Jets were often times explosive through the air, due in large part to the protection up front for a quarterback in O Brien, who lacked the mobility to escape any sort of pressure.
Kevin Mawae (1998-2005) was a six time Pro Bowler as a Jet who not only led the Bill Parcells Jets on the field, but emotionally as well. Mawae was as good of a free agent signing (signed in 1998 after beginning his career in Seattle), as the club has ever had.
Nick Mangold (2006-present) was drafted in the first round by Eric Mangini and co, in 2006 out of Ohio State. One of the Jets best first round selections in their history as well. Mangold has been to the Pro Bowl three times already, and if he remains healthy, appears on his way to Canton. It can be argued that the offense of Rex Ryan’s Jets begins and ends with Mangold up front. Other linemen have come and gone since 2006. Mangold however, is the glue of a line that in 2009 brought us the “Ground and Pound”, and now looks to transition into a unit capable of pass protection at the highest level for 3rd year QB Mark Sanchez in the passing game.
The centers of the NY Jets: Five players who for more than half of the club’s history have embodied consistency and quality. A tradition often times overlooked by those who bleed the Green and White.
the jet report
Love for the great centers