NY Jets offensive line exceeding all expectations in training camp

NY Jets (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

The NY Jets’ offensive line has been exceeding all expectations in training camp so far.

The NY Jets offensive line was near-historical levels of bad in 2019. If not for the Miami Dolphins, who quite literally may have had one of the worst offensive lines in NFL history, the Jets would have had the worst starting five in the league.

And it really wasn’t close to the next team.

Needless to say, general manager Joe Douglas had his work cut out for him in the offseason as he looked to essentially overhaul nearly the entire unit.

That was never going to be an easy task, but the early results have been promising.

The new-look offensive line has exceeded all expectations in training camp and has looked like a capable, competent unit. That doesn’t mean Jets fans should be expecting a top-10 offensive line, but there are reasons to believe it will be much better than a year ago.

What makes this so surprising is the countless, very reasonable concerns heading into the season.

The NY Jets’ offensive line has managed to overachieve despite unfavorable circumstances.

Without really any semblance of an offseason to develop chemistry, many feared the worst was inevitable. Offensive lines generally take a considerable amount of time to gel together and become a cohesive unit.

And given that the Jets are set to start four out of five new starters on the offensive line, that means that quite literally none of the current unit had ever played with each other. That’s not exactly a recipe for cohesiveness.

Regardless, even in the absence of minicamp, OTAs, and a preseason, and even with an abbreviated training camp period, the Jets’ offensive line has more than held their own.

The pass protection looks much better with first-round pick Mekhi Becton shoring up the left side of the offensive line. And the interior has improved drastically as well with the likes of Alex Lewis, Connor McGovern, and Greg Van Roten all having strong camps.

That’s paved the way for some room on the ground with guys like Le’Veon Bell, Frank Gore, and La’Mical Perine finding moderate success.

Again, it’s far from perfect. There’s still plenty of work to be done for the future and it’s likely that three of these five starters are gone by 2022 at the latest.

But given the circumstances at hand, it’s hard to have asked for more.

Douglas’ quick-fix offensive line rebuild always looked sketchy on paper. There wasn’t much else he could have done and many of his moves planned for the future, but that didn’t help create more optimism for the present.

But credit is due to both Douglas and the offensive line.

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It remains to be seen how the unit will fare against more stout pass-rushes, but the early results from training camp have certainly been encouraging.