What does four-time Pro Bowl center Nick Mangold know about overcoming adversity?
Mangold missed two games last season due to a high ankle sprain suffered in a Week Two win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, yet he battled back from injury to earn his third consecutive All-Pro selection.
With his teammate Wayne Hunter struggling to find his way, Mangold seemed confident in the right tackle’s ability to bounce back.
“We all struggle at times,” admitted Mangold. “Wayne is a heck of a fighter and he’ll keep on fighting. We’re expecting big things out of him.”
The former Ohio State Buckeye has been the driving force behind the Jets’ offensive line since entering the league in the 2006 NFL draft as the No 29 overall pick. In spite of his unit’s recent struggles, Mangold has exceeded all of the organization’s expectations. On August 24, 2010, the Jets made Mangold the NFL’s highest paid center signing him to a seven-year $55 million contract with $22.5 million guaranteed.
Even with all the individual accolades and lucrative deal, Mangold is still chasing the NFL’s ultimate prize. With his head coach steering away from any preseason Super Bowl talk, Mangold is focused on getting the offense back on track in preparation for the regular season.
“It’s getting guys to realize that we can do those good things all the time, said Mangold of the offense’s inconsistent play. “We don’t need to make it interesting. Guys see it and understand it. I think if we build on what we’ve done, then we can be in a pretty good place.”
The New York Jets have the dubious distinction as the NFL’s only team not to find the end zone so far this preseason. With the Jets set to clash with the Carolina Panthers Sunday night, it will likely be the starters last chance to get off the snide.
“The third preseason game is obviously the big one," remarked Mangold. “Each game we’ve taken steps forward. Each practice we’ve made some forward steps. Hopefully we put it all together. That’s what we’re looking for.”
Rick Laughland covers the New York Jets for Greenandwhitereport.com
You can follow him on Twitter @rlaughland
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