It has been well documented that for many years, offensive line play has been like a rotted wisdom tooth for this Jets team that has had plenty of other cavities around the roster to boot.
This was made excruciatingly worse by former GM Mike Mccagnan who didn’t insert any talent by draft or free agency into the offensive line room.
Enter Joe Douglas former offensive lineman himself who has done everything possible to bring together a group that projects to be middle of the pack on paper, that’s incredible.
But how do you seal the deal?
Simple: you bring in a scheme synonymous with explosive and incredible offensive numbers most notably Mike Shanhan’s Super Bowls in Denver and most recently Kyle Shanahans history making offenses and a coach known to teach it who also has a history of doing the most with very little.
John Benton adopted the wide zone scheme under Gary Kubiak with the Texans where he was for 8 years with Kyle Shanahan who was the wide receivers coach then.
This was one of his legendary coaching fits where despite several changes through the season at multiple positions, they were able to give up 24 fewer sacks than the season before all while attempting an astounding 529 pass attempts.
The scheme, wide zone denotes an outside in mentality for running backs while preaching a straight-line blocking style with almost no mention of the give ground to gain ground mantra you hear from time to time with most blocking schemes.
The man is as direct as his scheme showing an upfront, honest and authentic style much like his head coach Robert Saleh.
He is a teacher of the game, believing in a very a nuanced approach based in basic physics with every twitch or muscle movement contributing to the scheme at large.
Most recently Benton’s time with the 49ers brought about another historic year for his offensive line ranking second in points with 479, 4th in yards with 6,097 and second in rushing with 2,305 but as I have pointed out before those numbers only tell part of the story.
He transformed a unit that had huge questions across the board to one of the best in the league just like he did years earlier in Miami where he took over a unit where the Offensive line coach was fired after the Ted Wells report spelled a culture of harassment by players where the coach was part of it.
That unit helped produce a four thousand yard passer and a thousand yard rusher with his help.
Jets fans haven’t seen elite production on offense in a very long time but with John Benton onboard and a very talented line mixed with youth and experience, if he can do so much with so little what can he produce with this talented bunch which Joe Douglas has elevated to respectable, on paper in just a few years, from the depths of the NFL offensive line muck.
Time will tell but if history is an indicator of future events things look brighter with John Benton on the case.