The New York Jets NEED to bench starting center Ryan Kalil sooner rather than later. Here’s why that’s the case and who they should turn to.
Sometimes it’s better to just admit to a mistake rather than letting it linger. The New York Jets need to take that advice and bench starting center Ryan Kalil during the team’s Week 4 bye.
Was it a mistake to convince a former All-Pro out of retirement to join your squad? No.
Forcing him into the starting lineup after being on the couch for months was a big mistake. That has been evident through the first three weeks of the New York Jets season.
The 34-year old retired from the Carolina Panthers on December 31 of 2018. Eight months later he arose from the shadows to sign a one-year deal with the green and white.
He was held out of the preseason due to conditioning issues and to make sure he was fully healthy and ready to go.
Those conditioning issues were evident during the first three games of the season. Heck in the Week 2 matchup vs the Cleveland Browns, Kalil was benched for the fourth quarter.
The analytics speak for themselves via Rich Cimini of ESPN:
“Ryan Kalil ranks 30th out of 32 centers, according to Pro Football Focus. His pass-block win rate (85%) ranks 128th out of 160 linemen, according to NFL Next Gen Stats.”
The New York Jets hotshot new general manager Joe Douglas has to eat some serious crow for this move. While certainly he came later to the party than most first-year GMs, this was his big sexy move with the Jets and it has failed miserably so far.
Prior to the Jets bringing in Kalil, there was a lot of optimism in the building that Jonotthan Harrison could be THE guy for the Jets this season at the center spot.
Harrison (28 years old) is a super athletic player that got some run at the backend of 2018 with the Jets starting eight games.
Through the majority of training camp and the offseason, he was supposed to be the guy for the Jets. While there was some level of trepidation based on his lack of experience, he looked good and built a rapport with Sam Darnold.
Ryan Kalil has shown no improvement since the beginning of the season and the bye week is a perfect time to play some musical chairs. What do the Jets have to lose? Things can’t get much worse, so why not throw a guy like Harrison into the starting lineup to see if you can catch lightning in a bottle.