New York Jets Offensive Line – Panic Time?

Joe Malfa on why it is not time to panic about the New York Jets offensive line

Early reports of the Jets’ offensive line struggling to quell the defensive line have sent some fans into a panic. Joe Malfa is here to talk you off the ledge with his take on the situation.

Reports out of the first few days of Jets camp have indicated dominance by the defensive line. It should come as no surprise given the Jets boast one of the best defensive lines in the league, but some fans have begun to worry about the offensive line.

This video of Leonard Williams blowing by James Carpenter was posted on Twitter by the Jets on Tuesday:

I was already seeing many tweets suggesting a growing level of concern with the offensive line prior to the posting of this video, but I noticed a bit of a spike after it was posted.

As a wise Packers quarterback once said, “R-E-L-A-X.”

I witnessed the struggles of the offensive line first hand on Monday, but there is no need to panic.

First of all, training camp is only six — SIX — days old. There is still over a month remaining until the team will take the field for a game that counts, which means there is plenty of time to work out some of the kinks.

Second, the offensive line needs time to mesh. Don’t forget, this line has not had much playing time as a unit. James Carpenter and Brian Winters have started 23 of the last 32 games together, but that’s about as far as the continuity goes. Left tackle Kelvin Beachum was signed in the offseason. Wesley Johnson only started eight games at center last season in the absence of Nick Mangold. Brent Qvale and Brandon Shell are engaged in a battle for the job at right tackle, and they combined for just eight starts in 2016. Chemistry is a major key to success for an offensive line, and it takes more than three padded practices to develop.

Lastly, do not lose sight of the fact that the Jets’ defensive line is among the league’s best. I don’t know about being the best, but it is certainly among the top-five. I believe the old adage “iron sharpens iron” is applicable in this situation. Practicing against such a talented defensive front will go a long way in helping the offensive linemen develop. They may struggle at times in practice, but that is more of a credit to the defensive line than it is an indictment on the offensive line. Each rep, whether it results in a pancake or a sack, will help the offensive linemen improve and establish a greater level of comfort with each another.

If the offensive line folds like a house of cards in the first couple of preseason games, there may be reason to panic.

Until then… just relax.

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