Jun 11, 2013; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets center Nick Mangold (74) warms up at the New York Jets minicamp session at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

2013 New York Jets Training Camp Preview: Part III-Offensive Line

As the days dwindle between now and the opening of training camp, let’s continue our preview. So far, we have previewed the quarterback competition, and the backs and receivers.

Next, we preview the engine of the offense.  This is the group that makes it go, the straw that stirs the drink if you will.  No matter what happens with the competitions in parts I and II of this series, it won’t matter if this group doesn’t perform well.

Who am I talking about?


The heartbeat of an offense is the offensive line.  When the line is going well, everything about the offense functions better.  So let’s talk about the offensive line heading in to 2013 training camp.

First, we have who I will call our “mainstays”.  Those will pretty obvious to anyone reading this post, Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson.  These two guys are not going anywhere, locking up LT and C.  Barring some sort of miracle, these two players will obviously be on the field come week one.

I am going to give you another player that I believe is a lock.  There are a lot of mixed opinions about this player, but I believe his job is his to lose.  That player is Austin Howard.  People reference the fact that he gave up a lot of sacks, wasn’t good against the pass.  This is true, but Austin WAS nearly elite in the running game.  The Jets averaged 4 and 5 yards per carry going over the right side.

Remember, many teams were putting their best pass rusher up against the young Howard.  That has to be taken into account.  Austin will become better at protecting the passer, and he will be your right tackle.

So that leaves the two vacant guard positions.

The combatants: Willie Colon, Vladimir Ducasse, Oday Aboushi, Trey Gilleo, Mark Popek, Brian Winters, William Campbell, Stephen Peterman.

Let’s see, I am no mathematician, but that is a lot of competitors for two starting positions.  Other than the quarterback competition, this could turn into the most interesting competition on the roster.

Despite the fact that he is the longest termed Jet amongst this group, I believe there is enough talent here to relegate Vladimir Ducasse to the bench.  “Big Ugly” will do nothing more but serve as a mediocre backup.

Willie Colon will earn one of the starting positions.  He has a chip on his shoulder based on being released by the Steelers, and has been a starter all his life.  He started last season so he has plenty left.  Willie Colon is looking to show the world that he can still play in this league, and he will do so as a member of the New York Jets.

The final spot will be between Aboushi, Campbell, Peterman, and Winters.  William Campbell has stepped out early, catching the coaching staff’s eye.  The Jets have converted him from defense to offense, and Campbell is picking up the system quite well.  Peterman is a high quality veteran, and these draft picks will get their shot too.

This one is too early to tell.

Tune in tomorrow when we start on the defensive side of the ball.





Tags: 2013 Jets Training Camp New York Jets

  • matr dontelli iii

    to me, the bigger question here is ‘who do we keep beyond the starters?’ do we keep freeman(backup center)? vlad(last year of rookie contract and still not starting)? schlaudhryfhtujg(been here a while and hasn’t done anything)? there’s a lot of bodies for a few positions. anyone who wants to be here is gonna have to work their butt off(and keep it out of sanchez’ faceguard) to stay here. people can complain about we didn’t draft this or that but the picks from winters on down have created one heck of a competition in the trenches that should keep us strong there for years. and is any wr we would have drafted from that point better than rogers or spadola? or te better than winslow or smith? i’m solidly in the idzik camp and hoping to stay there for years to come. not bad for a rookie in a position that ‘nobody wanted’.

    • TheJetPress

      I totally agree……I think freeman will be here as backup center. Not sure where they will go with everyone else, but it will be interesting.

  • Paul Newbold

    Nice piece on the O line. Fergusen has a bit of an off season last year, but I expect him to get back to normal with a more uniform line. Everything I’ve read to this point about Winters, has said he was a steal in the draft, an awesome athlete, with great footwork, most claim he’ll be a starter this season. You’re piece seems to relegate him to a lesser role. Colon and Peterson if healthy could make a real statement along the line. There a still a lot of questions what this group will look like come day1.

    • TheJetPress

      Thanks Paul as always. You are right, there are a lot of questions here. I just have the hunch that when it gets to it, Peterson and Colon will be the guys, and Winters will start out as depth.
      Just speculating, I could be wrong.

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