The New York Jets have a new left tackle starting for the first time in a decade. How did Ryan Clady perform in his debut with the team?
The offensive line of the New York Jets looked a little different at the start of preseason in 2016. Specifically at the left tackle position, D’Brickashaw Ferguson is no longer here after retiring during the offseason.
The Jets quickly found his replacement via a timely trade with the Denver Broncos and acquired former Pro Bowler Ryan Clady. Despite being an often injured player, he’s looking to change that trend this season with the Jets.
During the first offensive drive for the Jets, Clady started out great consistently protecting the blind side for quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Clady’s run blocking was also displayed and he did admirably well.
On the fifth play of the drive on 3rd and 10, the Jets implemented a four-wide receiver set and within two and a half seconds the pocket collapsed. Clady was thrown backwards on a bull rush by Yannick Ngakoue, a third round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft out of Maryland.
Jets first drive stalls after Ryan Fitzpatrick was sacked by Ngakoue, who beat new left tackle Ryan Clady.
— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) August 11, 2016
The Jets can’t give up a sack that quick, especially when the Jacksonville Jaguars only rush four. Clady showed some good things in the opening drive, but left a lot to be desired on the money down.
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In his second series, Clady showed his athleticism and ability to get to the second level on his run blocking.
Clady also bounced back with some consistency, helping the Jets reach the end zone on their second drive.
That would be Clady’s last appearance in the game.
He totaled nine snaps, and although he gave up a sack early, finished strong. Clady was interviewed by CBS’s Otis Livingston during the game after his appearance:
How does it feel being back on the football field, after missing 2015 with that ACL injury?
It feels good man, just knocking the rust off and continuing to practice. Just continuing to get better, I’ve got a few things I need to work on and a few things I need to get better at.
“Knocking off the rust”, that’s something not a lot of fans and analysts considered when looking at his performance Thursday night. Clady hasn’t been able to be on a football field all that much over the last several years.
Specifically missing 30 out of the last possible 48 games will often raise the flag on durability, but he had a solid start to his career here with the Jets. It’s going to be difficult to live up to the iron man pedigree of his predecessor Ferguson, but if Clady remains healthy his ceiling could be even higher.