Attention Mike Maccagnan: Fix the New York Jets offensive line 2
Dec 11, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) looks on before the snap against the San Francisco 49ers during the first quarter at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Reports have surfaced that the New York Jets are interested in Mitch Trubisky. Until their offensive line woes are solved, it doesn’t matter.

Here we go again. It appears Mike Maccagnan and his henchmen have become enthralled with yet another prospect who’ll eventually make a living touching the behind of a big, fat, sweaty offensive lineman.

According to sources close to the New York Daily News, the Jets are in love with North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky.

The one-year starting Junior for the Tar Heels is a raw talent, similarly to Mark Sanchez, who also started just one season at the collegiate ranks.

Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg and now, perhaps, Mitch Trubisky. All this means is that the outstretched, extremely painful process of replacing Joe Namath continues. It continues if the Jets don’t make significant, fundamental changes in how they attack personnel.

The pain and suffering will only rage on if Mikey Mac doesn’t get with the true program.

Petty, Hack, Trubisky … how can any of these guys survive, no less perform behind a horrid offensive line? If New York doesn’t fix the big heavies up front first, it won’t matter which stud youngster is called on day one as the next face of the Jets franchise.

Forget misdemeanor, Maccagnan should be charged with a felony for how he allowed his Jets to enter 2016. Nick Mangold, while studly through his 11 seasons with the Jets, is now a 32-year old man. Ryan Clady, while once an NFL All-Pro, is now a shell of his former self and should just stay at the hospital.

The right tackle situation was, by far, the worst. This was the case even with the far below average Breno Giacomini on the PUP list. Brandon Shell, a guy Mac traded up to draft in the fifth round last spring, hasn’t impressed nearly enough to sniff playing time.

James Carpenter and Brian Winters are the Jets two best linemen, and they play at the lesser guard spots.

It’s fair to say this unit has been abysmal in 2016. They’ve been horrendous, actually. On the positive side of things, New York boasts a ranking of 10th in rushing (111.4 per game). Their 4.3 rush yards per carry also ranks 10th in the league.

Sadly, this can minimally mask how poor they’ve been while pass protecting.

Whether it was Ryan Fitzpatrick, Geno Smith, or now young Petty, the Jets signal caller has been running for his life all season long. The unit has relented 79 QB hits, good enough for 12th worst.

While, on the surface, the overall rankings don’t paint a gloom and doom picture, think deeper for a moment. Go to a place that provides an idea of long-lasting success.

In 2006, the Jets welcomed in a brand-spanking new personnel regime led by Eric Mangini and Mike Tannenbaum. Mangini was whisked away from New England and Bill Belichick. Mikey T, who had already been with the organization as an underboss, was now tabbed as the general manager.

Their first order of business was nothing short of extremely boring, yet brilliant.

In a class that featured Mario Williams, Reggie Bush and the insanely overrated Vince Young, the Jets tabbed D’Brickashaw Ferguson as the No. 4 overall pick. They then selected Nick Mangold 25 slots later.

Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; New York Jets center Nick Mangold leaves the field following the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Jets 28-3. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Those two men would go on to anchor the best offensive line in football for a number of seasons, paying off in the form of two AFC Championship Games under Rex Ryan.

New York decided to go boring. Boring, yet bright.

It’s funny how it works that way. Take a gander at the Lonestar State.

Instead of calling out the hype of a Johnny Manziel, Jerry and Stephen Jones snagged Zack Martin out of Notre Dame two seasons ago. Along with Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, Doug Free, and Ronald Leary, the Boys are now working on a brilliant season with a rookie QB and RB and the helm.

Football is a game that’s won in the trenches. Offensive linemen, literally, make up nearly half of the offense (5/11). It’s no secret that the QB is the money man, the guy who provides a leg up for any franchise when one is secured.

But when one isn’t secured, exactly how the Jets are currently sitting, boasting a powerful offensive line is the next best thing. It allows a general manager to freely navigate through finding his next face of the franchise behind center. Just look at the seasons of 2009 and 2010 with Mark Sanchez at the helm. That’s all the evidence needed.

Since D’Brick and Nikky, only 11 offensive linemen have been drafted by the Green and White. None were taken in the first round and only two were better than fourth round selections.

Mikey Mac did his personnel base and coaching staff a terrible disservice by leaving the line so bare in 2016. He better get it right in 2017.

Investing in safe, boring offensive lineman during the early stages of the draft is the only way to go.

He’ll never know if Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg or even Mitch Trubisky are any good if he doesn’t have his horses up front in order.


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