The New York Jets are trying to set a physical tone in the trenches, and veteran guards Kelechi Osemele and Brian Winters are leading the charge for the offensive line.
Every NFL offensive line wants to impose their will on their opponent, but that task is much easier said than done. The New York Jets know that full well, which is why they went out and added guard Kelechi Osemele via trade from the Oakland Raiders.
He now teams up with Brian Winters to give the Jets a pair of experienced veterans at the guard positions, and two blockers who love to play with a mean streak.
New Jets head coach Adam Gase learned the hard way about dealing with Osemele while he was the head coach of the Miami Dolphins over the past three seasons, and he’s thrilled to have him on his side now (via team contributor Randy Lange):
Going against him last year, I noticed him because of the physicality he played with. He plays all the way through the whistle, sometimes a little past it — he got one of our guys ejected last year. When he gets between the white lines, he’s a different guy. He’s violent, he’s physical, he brings attitude.
A two-time Pro Bowler, Osemele split his time between the Baltimore Ravens and Oakland Raiders for seven seasons, starting all 93 games he’s appeared in prior to joining the Gang Green.
Teaming him up with Winters has Gase thrilled, and he loves the mentality and playing style they both bring to the table:
I think he and Brian, I don’t know if I’ve been around two guards that have that kind of mentality where they’re looking to be violent, aggressive coming off the ball, and really stroking defensive tackles when they get the opportunity.
Much of the headlines surrounding the Jets this offseason focused on the addition of big-name free agents like running back Le’Veon Bell and linebacker C.J. Mosley. There’s also the continued maturation and development of Sam Darnold, the franchise quarterback the team has been trying to find for years.
But the unsung heroes are always in the trenches, and blockers like Osemele and Winters are tasked with making sure those skill-position players are able to live up to their hype by having enough room to work.
It sounds like these two veterans will be up to the challenge.