In the world we live in fantasy football players care little about the offensive line personnel on NFL rosters because it is one position that is not on any Fantast Football teams anywhere during their Sunday tracking of fantasy points.
But make no mistake–it may be the most important group on any football team as evidenced by last year’s post-season which showed that concept in vivid fashion for us all to see. And the Jets made news all throughout the off-season for their free agent shopping spree. But yesterday, the signing of C Ryan Kalil may become the most underrated of all of their additions to their 2019 roster.
He is a seasoned lineman having been selected to the Pro Bowl five times and more importantly, will be a calming and steadying influence on Sam Darnold. How do I know that? Because I watched this player help another young quarterback in his career, Cam Newton , reach his potential He is also a durable center having started in 145 of the his last 148 games.
And add this to the mix–he is a USC product which could really help another USC product–Sam Darnold–as both have an immediate connection. Darnold spoke about that at camp today and seemed very comfortable with the prospect of working with him on an everyday basis.
A veteran center can be helpful to this newfangled offense Adam Gase is implementing this season and the Jet Head Coach talked about his new offensive lineman to the media today in Florham Park. Here is that media session:
When the Jets have had success in their past, a quality center has always been the fulcrum of that offensive line and Kalil fits that persona like a glove. I watched offensive drills today and this Jet offense has far more skilled players than a year ago. I also loved what I have seen from a second year Sam Darnold who has improved steadily over the course of the past 12 months.
He has a few qualities that every NFL quarterback needs. He is never afraid, he is confident yet not cocky, a great teammate, very coachable and develops a rapport with his skilled players as quickly as any young quarterback I’ve seen in a long time.
With a new coach implementing a brand new offense Darnold looks at that as a challenge and never an obstacle. He has a maturity well beyond his years and to me the Jet offense will be fluid and unpredictable which can only mean great things for this team.
And adding a center like Ryan Kalil might be a missing piece that could really put this offense on the map as a multi-faceted and efficient unit in this league.
HERE IS THE PRESS CONFERENCE FRIDAY FROM JETS COACH ADAM GASE: