JET PRESS EXCLUSIVE: One on One with Former Jets’ Right Tackle Damien Woody
By Alan Schechter
Damien Woody took time out from his MetLife appearance to spend a few minutes with the Jet Press.
You all remember our former starting right tackle, Damien Woody. Following stints with the New England Patriots and Detroit Lions, he came to New York in 2008 and was the starting right tackle for both of the Jets’ AFC title game appearances under Rex Ryan.
Most of you also know that he is a very engaging follow on Twitter. If you don’t already follow him, you can do so by clicking here @damienwoody. Follow him, and talk to him, he engages Jets’ fans all the time.
Well, thanks to our friends from the “Road to MetLife Stadium” campaign, we got lucky to spend a few minutes with Damien, prior to his signing autographs on the MetLife Central stage outside of MetLife Stadium. Take a look at our conversation about the team, coach Rex Ryan, and the upcoming cold weather Super Bowl:
THE JET PRESS:So do you think Rex will be back? Why or why not?
DAMIEN WOODY: No, I do think he should be back. When you look at the limited talent that they have offensively…listen, if you asked any Jet fan before the season if the Jets were relevant in the month of December, I think that’s a pretty good feat considering what they lack offensively to work with. So I think he deserves to come back for another season.
TJP: As a lineman, how has the line looked to you? They have been up and down I think, what have you liked……
DW: It’s been up and down, I think they’ve improved in the running game, blocking up front for Chris Ivory. The pass protection has been sketchy, but part of that has to do with Geno. (It has to do) with Geno not recognizing blitzes and certain things that defenses are doing to him. So I would say, you know, the pass protection could be better, but I think a big part of it also is Geno’s inability to recognize what the defense is doing.
TJP: What do you think of Geno? What are your pluses? Minuses?
DW: Obviously he has a strong arm, there is no question about that. He can throw the ball. I would like to see him use his legs more. He’s starting to do a little bit more now, but, that’s an asset that you can’t teach. And that’s an element that defenses can’t account for, being able to utilize your legs, especially considering the fact they are very limited as far as their offensive weaponry. Use your legs, get yourself out of situations, help move the chains. So, I think he has been up and down throughout the season, definitely too many turnovers, but it’s hard to really get a true evaluation because of the weapons that they have offensively.
TJP: So do you think they turn over the reigns to him next year?
DW: They are going to bring in competition, as they should. I think he should go in and compete for the starting job. This year is to me is an incomplete. It really is. He doesn’t have the weapons, but at the same time, he’s thrown too many interceptions. Way too many interceptions. So, you go into the year, bring in some competition, and let the best man win.
TJP: What do you think of the overall direction of the team? Do you like how John has them going?
DW: I like the direction. I like the fact that they have a ton of draft picks and probably somewhere in the range of $50 million of camp space. That’s how you rebuild a team. So, you can see that the plan is already in place, starting to be executed, and now it’s up to Idzik and whoever the coach is, whether it’s Rex or somebody else, to develop the players and start building this roster back up.
TJP: You think he goes offensive in the draft?
DW: I mean, listen, this is a passing league. This is an offensive league. You got to have weapons, you got to have explosive players who can make plays down the field. It’s too hard to go with three yards and a cloud of dust. That’s not what the NFL is now. You gotta have weapons that can stretch the field so I expect them to really upgrade the offense this off-season.
TJP: What do you think of this MetLife stuff? Is this going to be good in February, doing the Super Bowl?
DW: If the weather is like this? This would be tremendous. I know the NFL is crossing their fingers hoping that the weather holds up, but, you know February. It’s never dull. You never know what you are going to get in Februrary. I think everybody is going to keep their fingers crossed as far as the weather is concerned.
Thanks to Damien Woody for his time and his thoughts. Give him a follow on Twitter at the link at the top of the article. Thanks to our friends at the “Road to MetLife Stadium” campaign for making it happen.