Mar 10, 2014; New York, NY, USA; American football defensive endMuhammad Wilkerson
of the New York Jets sits court side at the game between the New York Knicks and the Philadelphia 76ers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
When we look at a team, in any sport, we talk about the face of the franchise. In New York, for example, we look at the local baseball teams and look to Derek Jeter and David Wright as the faces of the two franchises. In football, often times, we look at an offensive weapon to fill that role, such as a quarterback or wide receiver.
Bucky Brooks of NFL.com took a look at all of the teams, to discuss current and future faces of the franchise. Brooks went offense on some teams, but for the Jets, he was a little bit different. With the Jets he chose………….
For a Rex Ryan squad, the defense will always set the tone for the team. Wilkerson has quickly developed into one of the league’s premier interior defenders, exhibiting a combination of size, strength and athleticism that makes him impossible to handle at the point of attack. In fact, Wilkerson’s dominance on the field prompted his peers to place him at No. 42 on NFL Network’s “Top 100 Players of 2014.” Given his respected status around the league, it’s easy to see how the All-Pro has quietly become the face of the Jets’ menacing defense — a unit that single-handedly kept the team in playoff contention last season.
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He feels thatSheldon Richardson
is next in line after Wilkerson.
Some would argue that Geno Smith or Michael Vick should be in the conversation as the leader of the team, but Richardson’s disruptive style has endeared him to his teammates and peers. The 2013 Defensive Rookie of the Year finished the season with 3.5 sacks and 78 tackles, third-most in the NFL among defensive linemen. With Richardson also chipping in a pair of rushing scores to complement his disruptive defensive production, the feisty playmaker displays the kind of athleticism and versatility that could turn him into a household name around the league. If he builds on his spectacular debut performance and becomes a more vocal leader, Richardson and Muhammad will soon share the marquee as the Jets’ premier players.
What do you all think? I agree that Wilkerson is currently the face of the franchise. Wilkerson is dominant and a leader. Does anyone think maybe one of the quarterbacks should fill that role?