The New York Jets improved an area of significant weakness this morning by signing Washington Redskins center Spencer Long, a player who also has starting experience at guard. Here is a few initial thoughts…
1 – As it stands now, Long is the replacement for the habitually ineffective Wesley Johnson and will step into the starting center role. Long is 27 years old and became the Redskins starting center in week 3 of the 2016 season after beginning his career as a guard. He only played in 7 games last season due with knee and quad injuries but did play 15 games in the year before. It isn’t completely out of the question the Jets could make another interior lineman addition and have Long play there but ultimately I’d expect him to be the center.
2 – Here are Long’s PFF Rankings from last season. He finished as the 20th ranked center, which will make him an upgrade over Wesley Johnson (who isn’t?) but maybe not quite as good of a long term bet as somebody like Ryan Jensen. It will be interesting to see how their two contracts compare and/or if the Jets think Long is a better fit in Rick Dennison’s zone blocking scheme.
3 – Our friend and offensive line expert Brandon Thorn had positive reviews of Long:
Search my handle and “Long” “#HTTR” for some clips. I think he’s an upgrade + excels on the move as a puller and climbing to the 2nd level/screens. He’s pretty physical and can help open up the offense some. Decent in pass pro.
— Brandon Thorn (@VeteranScout) March 14, 2018
Spencer Long continues to show why he’s one of the more underrated centers & IOL blocking in space. Outstanding job of lining up his target. pic.twitter.com/fh7jZUrmfM
— Brandon Thorn (@VeteranScout) October 25, 2017
4 – Overall, this was a needed addition at a position of critical need for the Jets. Long should be an upgrade. The question is, can he stay healthy and can he be in the top half of the centers in the NFL?
Photo Credit: NFL.com