The left tackle position is one of the most important in football because the tackle is responsible for protecting the quarterback’s blindside. If a team doesn’t have a reliable left tackle, their offense won’t be able move the ball efficiently because their quarterback will spend most of the game scrambling for his life. If you want to bet on the New York Jets this season, check out the sites that offer sportbook odds for the 2017 Jets season.
For a decade, the Jets didn’t have to worry about the left tackle position because they had D’Brickashaw Ferguson playing the position. Ferguson was not only one of the best left tackles in the game, he was an iron man that didn’t miss any practice or games while he played for the Jets.
In April 2016, Ferguson decided to call it a career and retire, leaving a big void in the offensive line. The Jets tried to replace Ferguson by trading for Ryan Clady, who had a solid career as a member of the Denver Broncos.
Unfortunately for the Jets, Clady was in the twilight of his career and suffered a season ending injury, prompting the Jets to decline picking up his option at the end of the season, which led to his retirement as well.
Because of Clady’s season ending injury, Ben Ijalana was forced to fill in at the left tackle position. While he played well, he wasn’t good enough to be considered the solution for the Jets.
During the offseason, the Jets knew they had to find a long-term solution at the left tackle position and the team signed former Jacksonville Jaguar Kelvin Beachum to a three-year deal worth $24 million.
At his introductory conference, Beachum said he knew the situation he was coming into when he signed with the Jets, and knows what he has to do to add value to the team. He also added that he was very excited to be a member of the Jets, saying he was at the right place at the right time.
Beachum is probably excited to be a part of the Jets because it gives him a fresh start after his disappointing season in Jacksonville. In 2015, Beachum suffered a season ending injury when he tore his ACL, and wasn’t himself last season.
The injury prevented him from moving as fast as he used to, making him less effective as he had been in the past. Because of the injury, the Jets have been patient with him and allowed him to sit out most of the training they had in the spring to rest the knee some more.
According to Beachum, the extra time the team allowed his knee to heal has him close to 100 percent, which is good news for the Jets, a team that hasn’t had a lot of good news lately.
Even though it was obvious that the knee prevented him from playing at the level he is used to last season, Beachum refuses to blame his poor performance on the knee. Instead of worrying about what happened last year, he wants to focus on his future and try to help the Jets win some football games.