There could be some new faces along the New York Jets offensive line in 2019, but Jonotthan Harrison wants to solidify himself as the team’s starter in the middle.
The New York Jets added some fresh faces to the offensive line this offseason, which should drive even more competition for the team’s starting jobs across the board.
But one player who is ready to fight off any potential challenger in veteran Jonotthan Harrison, who wants to prove he’s the team’s best option at center.
Harrison knows that’s just the first step in terms of where he wants to take his 2019 season, though (via team reporter Ethan Greenberg):
For now, my goal is to enter the season as the starter, take it one step at a time from there. I have my other personal goals, but that’s my large one right now. I’m going on Year 6. I’ve had my years starting and I’ve had my years where I didn’t start as much. My goal is to definitely enter this season as a starter and earn my credibility as a lineman.
Harrison has played five seasons in the NFL, spending his first three years with the Indianapolis Colts before joining the Jets in 2017. Though he’s continued to improve throughout his career, he still hasn’t locked himself into a full-time starting role. After making 10 starts for the Colts as a rookie, Harrison has yet to top that number in any season since.
Last year, Harrison appeared in all 16 games for the Jets, starting half of them. After a strong showing to finish the 2018 season, Harrison is excited about playing in a new system under new head coach Adam Gase:
It’s perfect. When I was first looking at this offense, I was intimidated. I was like, ‘Man, this is so different. I have to get used to this.’ Then after going on the field and putting it together, everything clicked. This could be my bread and butter for sure. I’m really excited to see how this pans out.
The Jets should have at least one new starter up front this season, having acquired guard Kelechi Osemele from the Oakland Raiders via trade. They also spend one of their two third-round picks in the 2019 NFL draft on USC offensive tackle Chuma Edoga.
But while Osemele is likely to lock down one of the guard spots, Edoga is a raw prospect who has a long way to go before he’s ready to challenge veterans Kelvin Beachum and Brandon Shell for one of the starting tackle jobs.
Even so, Harrison should be left without a worthy challenger to push him for the starting job at center. He should get his wish of heading into the 2019 season as a starter, but he’ll have to maintain a high level of play if he wants to stay there.