When it comes to building this team, the New York Jets have a lot to learn, and they can learn a lot from the St. Louis Rams of the late 1990s.
Here’s a little history lesson for fans of the New York Jets. The 1999 St. Louis Rams didn’t have their franchise quarterback until the year before they won the Super Bowl, and he was their backup to start the 1999 preseason.
An injury to incumbent starter, Trent Green, led to his rise to the role of starter. Kurt Warner would go on to win the regular season and Super Bowl MVP awards. He’s only one of three players to win both the regular season and Super Bowl MVPs in the same season.
The four main components of the Greatest Show on Turf, that most people will think of first, are Pro Football Hall of Famers Warner and Marshall Faulk, and a great receiver (who might be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame someday) in Isaac Bruce and a dynamic speedster in Az-Zahir Hakim. They put up spectacular numbers, including setting a then-league record 526 points in the 1999 season.
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The forgotten man in this equation, by most football fans, is Orlando Pace. He is as integral a piece to the success of the Greatest Show on Turf as the “skill position” players, and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Bruce was the only member of the 1999 Rams that was on the team before Pace, who was selected No. 1 overall in the 1997 NFL Draft.
What is the value of a left tackle? Well, the Raiders recently signed theirs to a contract extension, as reported by ProFootballRumors.com:
— Pro Football Rumors (@pfrumors) September 15, 2017
For all you Jets fans that want the next great franchise quarterback, remember this most important fact of life in the NFL. It’s meaningless to have a franchise quarterback if you can’t protect him. Just ask Andrew Luck.