For anyone that has missed it so far, it’s time to bring you up to speed.
We are electing our first class of the Jet Press Hall of Fame, and we are in the midst of introducing the candidates to all of you.
Each writer on the site is bringing you the candidate they feel is most deserving of enshrinement, and making the case in an article. When every writer has put in their entry, we will have a vote with all of you, and the top three vote getters will be enshrined.
Today, we wanted to bring you the candidates talked about so far, to keep everyone on the same page. Click directly on their name for the entire post. An excerpt will follow the name:
If you are a Jets fan you invariably know of the teams lone Superbowl win in the 1968-69 season, and by extension every Jet fan knows the name Joe Namath, the legendary quarterback who guaranteed victory the night before the game. This was a pivotal moment in the history in the NFL helping solidify the legitimacy of the AFL (which would later become the AFC) as a league. However, as every football fan knows, it’s not all about the quarterback, sometimes it’s just as much about the receivers who turn a quarterbacks throws into yards and points. Don Maynard was one of Joe Namath’s most reliable receiving threats during those early Jet days.
One of the most under appreciated players in Jets history is Freeman McNeil. McNeil is a three-time Pro Bowler and also made 1st team All-Pro in 1982. He also led the Jets to team success with the team making the playoffs in 4 of his 1st 6 seasons and leading the team to the AFC Championship Game in the strike shortened 1982 season. Only Mother Nature and Don Shula‘s duplicity kept that team from the Superbowl.
Kevin Mawae will be my candidate for The Jet Press Hall of Fame. He was a staple on several New York Jets offenses where Curtis Martin put up some huge numbers. In this wonderful game we hold dear to our heart, there are certain positions which get overlooked because they aren’t making flashy plays, or their impact doesn’t seem as significant because the numbers do not show up on a stat sheet. The linemen on both sides of the ball fit this description. Game in and game out the line on both sides of the ball set the tone of the game. In Mawae’s first year with the Jets, the offensive had the 4th ranked rushing offense in the NFL. These holes surely did not open themselves; the O- line had to plow over these defensive linemen to clear that space. In order for Vinny Testaverde or Chad Pennington to have the opportunity to stretch the field, they need time in the pocket, as well as the receivers needing time to get downfield. Again, this all starts upfront.
But when you talk about the most accurate quarterbacks in Jets history, the first name that comes to mind is Chad Pennington. Just look at where he stands in the Jets Record book for completion percentage and passer rating. He is either first or near the top in both categories.