Steve McLendon
AP Photo/Kathy Willens

New York Jets head coach Adam Gase has high praise for one of the team’s veteran defensive linemen Steve McLendon.

The New York Jets should have a talented defensive line this year, with veterans Henry Anderson, Leonard Williams, along with rookie Quinnen Williams. However, there’s another guy who’ll surely get into the mix and make some plays, and that’s Steve McLendon.

The 10th-year pro is headed into his fourth season with the Jets and first working with head coach Adam Gase. And although his age could be a factor, Gase made it clear this week that he’ll still be a huge presence on this defense.

“There was no way we were not bringing [McLendon] back,” the first-year Jets head coach said, per Mark Cannizzaro of the New York Post.

“His reputation around the league is outstanding,” Gase said. “Everybody knows he is a worker who’s smart and tough. He’s a culture guy, but he’s a really good player. He does everything right and guys listen to him. When he speaks, people listen. He’s about us getting better as a team, and sometimes you need that. The guy has been part of winning teams the majority of his career. He knows what it looks like, he knows how to do it.”

Gase added that “he doesn’t look his age to me [with] the way he practices, the way he plays the game.”

In 16 games (14 starts) last year, McLendon racked up 34 tackles with four tackles for loss, one quarterback hit and one pass defended. He’ll be competing for a starting spot in this 3-4 defensive formation. But, at the end of the day, all four of these defensive linemen will be able to get into the mix for Gang Green.

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.