The Most Underrated New York Jets of All Time

Chad Pennington was a better leader/player than many realize during his time with the New York Jets.

Normally I am loath to base an article on someone else’s writing, but this morning, I am going to make an exception. The official NFL website has written a series of articles on each team, talking about who the most underrated players, and the most overrated players of all time are.

We are going to keep it positive, and look at the underrated players. The article mentions 5 guys.  We will name them here, I will give you some excerpts from the article, my thoughts on the subject, and then you can sound off in the comments section.

So here are the five players named as the most underrated:

  • Bruce Harper
  • Lance Mehl
  • James Hasty
  • Rob Moore

Poor Rob Moore. A phenomenally talented receiver who was saddled with a horrendous group of quarterbacks to play with: Ken O’Brien (whose career was ending), Browning Nagle, Boomer Esiason and Jack Trudeau. Still, Moore was able to average over 60 catches a season from 1990 to 1994. He went on to have the same type of success in Arizona, where he played with: Dave Krieg (whose career was ending), Boomer Esiason (Again! Stop following me!), Kent Graham, Stoney Case, Dave Brown and Jake Plummer. I’ll flip you for which team had the better list of quarterbacks. I’m just glad Moore’s career will be forever remembered on the silver screen – as it was him catching passes from Krieg in the movie Jerry Maguire during the climactic scenes. And no, he is not Hootie.

  • Chad Pennington

I don’t think Jets fans really appreciate everything he brought to the table in his injury-plagued career. In his healthy years, he got the Jets: a division title and a playoff win (2002), within a Doug Brien field goal of the AFC Championship game (2004), and to the playoffs again (2006). So in three healthy seasons he took them pretty far – and that’s dealing with decreasing arm strength in every passing season. But that’s only part of his story. It’s hard to play quarterback in New York and do everything right, but he found a way. From renegotiating his contract for salary cap relief to knowing how to deal with the media to being an inspiration to his teammates by playing through pain, Pennington was special. He knew how to lead. I’m bummed he was robbed of what could have been at the least a Hall-of-Very-Good career. And there’s no way he would ever wear a thin green headband to talk to reporters.

I brought you the excerpts on Pennington and Moore because I figure that most of the readers will remember those two the most.

I totally agree that Chad is underrated. Every year that he was healthy, the Jets made the playoffs. Anyone that ever played with him will tell you the level of respect that they have for him. Marvin Jones told me how nothing ever fazed Chad Pennington. If he made a mistake, he was right back getting the team rallied up to start all over again. He played through pain. Despite playing through pain, he nearly brought this team to the AFC title game.

He worked hard, and was the epitome of “Play like a Jet”.

I am not old enough to remember Bruce Harper on the field, if anyone would like to comment about him being on this list, please do. I never thought that Lance Mehl was overrated, although he did have to play in the shadow of Lawrence Taylor. Mehl was a good solid linebacker, and was recognized as such.

This article talks about James Hasty being the second best corner in franchise history after Darrelle? Maybe, that is a little bit of a stretch. I always thought he was rated around where he should be. Good solid player, but came into his own after becoming a member of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Was Rob Moore underrated? I guess so. He did put up terrific numbers on some very bad New York Jets teams. Those teams never had much to work with, but Moore was consistently solid regardless.

What do you think? Are these guys underrated? Who else do guys think should be on this list?

Topics: Chad Pennington, New York Jets

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  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.willie.509 Joe Willie

    Pennington started out great but the league started to get wise to him even before he hurt his shoulder. Opposing teams defenses started to cut the playing field down due to his lack of arm strength and he was cooked. Defenses after 5 yards didn’t have to cover the sidelines and concentrated covering the middle of the football field– ints started to accumulate. Lance Mehl was a great prototypical all around super smart Penn State LB – he could have been a borderline HOFer if he stayed healthy and the Jets won more in the 80′s The forgotten great player was TE Micky Shuler- he had top grade football ability .Wesley Walker with a better QB in his prime could have been more renowned. TE Rich Caster in the 70s was ahead of his time getting downfield on long passes from Namath.

    • TheJetPress

      Shuler was terrific I agree. I am not old enough to have seen Caster live, but from what my father has told me I agree. Wesley Walker did pretty good with O’Brien I thought.

      • http://www.facebook.com/joe.willie.509 Joe Willie

        Wesley Walker was on the old side with Kenny O–most of his career was with todd

        • TheJetPress

          fair point…

  • Azny21

    Who do you consider number 2 behind revis. I always thought hasty was great as a jet even before Kc.

    • TheJetPress

      It’s a tough one. I mean, Hasty was good. Maybe Aaron Glenn was a bit better? It’s close though, I agree that Hasty was good. I don’t discount Cromartie either you know…he’s pretty good.

      • Azny21

        Yeah I forgot Aaron Glenn. I consider cro a little to new to ny for some reason. A few more years of greatness and he’ll be up there though

  • matr dontelli iii

    i always thought derrick gafney was underrated/underutilized. he had great hands. he probably didn’t get open enough. seems like a lot of football players in that family

    • TheJetPress

      I don’t remember gafney

      • matr dontelli iii

        played from ’78 to ’84 and also ’87 as per wikipedia. father of jabar and uncle of lito sheppard. he caught anything near him.

        • TheJetPress

          nice

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.willie.509 Joe Willie

    John Elliott–

    Elliott was named to the All-AFL
    second team by both AP and UPI that season, then moved up to All-AFL
    first team status in 1969 and all-AFC first-team recognition in 1970. He
    played in the AFL All-Star Games in 1968-69 and in the Pro Bowl after
    the 1970 season.
    He was named the Jets’ team MVP at the end of the 1970 season as well.

    Source: http://blog.newyorkjets.com/20

  • Peekskill jets

    Marvin Powell was the best right tackle in franchise history. Overpowering at times. 5 time Pro-Bowler.

    • TheJetPress

      Excellent choice for this list.

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