A great Jet has retired this year, returning to Florham park for an emotional retirement ceremony and MetLife stadium to lead the player walk before the game against the Saints. Right guard Brandon Moore came out of University of Illinois, where he played defensive tackle, and was signed by the Jets as an undrafted free agent on April 26th 2002. He saw his first game time in 2003 playing in three and starting one, the next year he would start thirteen and permanently take the post of right guard from then on until the end of the 2012-13 season. In his ten-year career with the New York Jets he only allowed 16.75 sacks, and was penalized only 32 times. In a ten-year career of a right guard in the NFL who started a UDFA defensive tackle, that’s really good. Furthermore, he stayed relatively healthy and rarely missed a game, starting 144 games in his ten-year career and never missing one from 2004.
It is hard to judge the quality of a guard in the NFL from pure stats, there are key blocks, big moments that change momentum of games, and he was apart of many of these moments. He was a teammate of another great Jet, Curtis Martin, and was an integral part of the career Martin had as part of the offensive line that blocked for him. Football is a team sport and while the larger populous like to focus on the flashy positions such as running backs, wide receivers, and quarterbacks, some of us know this game of football wouldn’t exist without the guys in the trenches, and players like Brandon Moore. He only got one pro bowl nod in his career but I feel he deserved more, and I wish he went at least once with Curtis Martin.
He came into the league unknown and on the opposite side of the ball and leaves as one of the best Jets guards in the modern Super Bowl era. In his retirement speech he got a little emotional, and his passion of the game and love of the Jets came out for the public to see. He spoke of wanting to win the big one and how close the team got, saying “we didn’t quite finish it, but we were gonna die trying”, reminding us of what it means to play like a Jet, and how special those playoff runs were for Jets fans. He has been there and been apart of some great moments in more recent Jets franchise history, and I would not be surprised to see his name in the ring of honor one day. I wish Brandon Moore and his family the best of luck in the future, and thank him for his resilience, reliability and tenacity as a Jet, and also I urge every Jet fan to watch his retirement speech here.