There were several glaring weak spots during the New York Jets preseason opener against the Detroit Lions, but the performance of the offensive line lands right atop the list. Between costly penalties and their inability to create running lanes, the Jets have a vast room for improvement in advance of Saturday’s preseason home opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Gang Green’s man in the middle, took special notice to his unit’s miscues and is adamant things will need to change in a hurry.
“One, obviously, clean up the penalties, that’s first and foremost," noted Mangold. “Then, after that, build on what we started. I think we did a relatively decent job in the pass game. We need to pick up the run game a little bit more. I expect to see improvement in both those areas.”
The Jets will benefit from the Chris Ivory’s return to the lineup after he missed last week’s preseason opener. Mangold thinks Ivory’s presence can give the ground game a shot in the arm.
“He seems to be running pretty well,” said Mangold of Ivory. “I don’t get to see as much as I’d like other than once (the running backs) get by. It seemed that he was excited to get in there and get moving, and that’s a good thing for this offense.”
New York’s coaching staff is promoting competition across the depth chart and the offensive line is no exception. Mangold is embracing the position battles during training camp and is convinced it will help strengthen the Jets’ offensive front.
“You look (at the) offensive line, there are a lot of guys, a lot of depth in there that we’re trying to get figured out and I think that competition’s made us all better, not only the guys that are in the battle, but the guys next to them,” Mangold said. “It’s made me, I believe, a better player because I’ve now had to think about it in terms of something new, different ways of looking at things, different ways of communicating with a guy, and so, I think as an offense as a whole, it’s been a good thing.”