New York Jets Famous Players
Joe Namath is widely considered the greatest New York Jets player in the team’s history. Not only did “Broadway Joe” bring the New York Jets their only Superbowl Championship in Superbowl III, but Joe Namath was a celebrity for his style, class, and charisma. Joe Namath even went so far as to Guarantee Victory in Superbowl III a few days before the game, despite the fact the AFL New York Jets were huge underdogs to the NFL Baltimore Colts who had one of history’s greatest teams. Joe Namath’s famous guarantee made his own teammates believe they could win while getting into the heads of their opponents who for the first time thought maybe they could lose. Joe Namath changed the course of football history when he spurned the NFL in favor of signing a big contract with the AFL’s New York Jets which was one of the catalysts for the merger between the NFL and AFL. Joe Namath was 1965 AFL Rookie of the Year, 1968 Player of the Year, and
Super Bowl III MVP.
Quarterback Mark Sanchez is the future of the New York Jets after the Jets traded up to the fifth pick of the draft to select Mark Sanchez the outstanding quarterback from the University of Southern California USC. The Football Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez shocked the world with his first career game as a pro throwing for 272 yards and a touchdown while converting on his first seven third down plays. Probably the best first game by a rookie quarterback in history, the New York Jets smacked the Houston Texans in the mouth by beating them 24-7 on the road. Franchise quarterback Mark Sanchez has the poise, skills, and charisma to lead the Jets to the Superbowl.
Braylon Edwards was acquired from the Cleveland Browns mid-season in 2009 in a trade for wide receiver Chansi Stuckey, a kick returner and some late round draft picks. Making an immediate impact, Braylon Edwards had 5 receptions and a touchdown in his first game a Monday Night Football loss to the Miami Dolphins. Braylond Edwards has the ideal size and deep-threat speed which makes him a great number 1 receiver. Before coming to the New York Jets, Edwards had some up and down seasons with Cleveland but some off the field issues forced the Browns to trade him.
Bill Mathis from Clemson University was a star running back for the Jets. Member of the Clemson Hall of Fame, South Carolina Hall of Fame, and the Georgia Hall of Fame and began his professional career with the New York Titans and stayed with the Jets for his entire career. Only one of four original Titans who won the Superbowl with the Jets.
Jim Turner 7 seasons with the New York Jets during his career resulted in helping the team win the Super Bowl III Championship. Jim Turner was responsible for 10 points in the 16-7 victory making him the most important player in one of the biggest upsets in sports history. Jim Turners second quarter extra point, two third quarter field goals and his fourth quarter field goal were all difference makers in the game. He played 228 straight games and made 221 consecutive extra points.
George Sauer made 4 Pro Bowls in 5 years but he will be remembered fondly by all Jets fans for his performance during the Superbowl. George Sauer’s 8 catches for 133 yards accounted for over sixty-five percent of Joe Namath’s passing yards in the game.
Larry Grantham was a stellar defensive player during his long career. In 1971 Grantham had his best season and was selected by his teammates as the Jets Most Valuable Player. Weeb Ewbank used Grantham to lead the defensive unit and he responded with well over 20 career interceptions.
Don Maynard was the first player to sign with the new American Football League’s New York Titans. The best player on the early teams that struggled, Don Maynard blossomed when Joe Namath took over the helm as quarterback. Their chemistry made the Jets competitive week in and week out. Maynard did not have a great Superbowl, but Jets fans will always remember his unbelievable 1968 AFL Championship Game that put them in the Superbowl. Don Maynard’s 118 yards and two touchdowns were instrumental in the New York’s 27-23 exciting victory over the Oakland Raiders. Don Maynard finished his career with a then record 633 career receptions for a then record 11,834 yards.
Gerry Phillbin was an incredible defensive end from the University of Buffalo who was a cornerstone on the Jets defensive line for 9 seasons. Phillbin’s 19 quarterback sacks in 1968 coincided with the Jets run to winning the Superbowl. Honored by being part of the All-time American Football League Team and inducted into the American Football League Hall of Fame, Gerry Phillbin will always be remembered by the Jets faithful for helping to shut down the high powered Colts.
Matt Snell broke out as a rookie rushing for 945 yards including a Jets record 180 yards verse the Houston Oilers. Snell was given the AFL Rookie of the Year award. Matt Snell made his biggest impact for the New York Jets on the biggest stage. 30 carries during the Superbowl netted a then Super Bowl record 121 yards including the Jets only touchdown of the game, a 4 yard rush to the left. Matt Snell helped control the clock and the ball during the second half helping to set up three Jim Turner field goals.
One of the greatest coaches in National Football League history, Weeb Ewbank coached nine seasons with the Baltimore Colts and 11 season with the New York Jets. Ewbank managed to lead the Colts to two World Championships and the Jets. Weeb Ewbank’s leadership and coaching decisions during the Jets Superbowl victory made the team believe they could win and enabled them to win.
Al Atkinson was a stellar middle linebacker for the Jets who played the entire second half of the Superbowl with a separated shoulder.
John Schmidt was the Jets center during the Superbowl. Head Coach Weeb Ewbank said John Schmidt “Plays with his heart and gives great effort on every play".
Emerson Boozer was the New York Jets first great running back. Running alongside Matt Snell for most of his career, Emerson Boozer was the complete package in that he ran for touchdowns, ran for yards, and caught passes. A major part of the Superbowl Championship team.
Running back John Riggins played 5 seasons with the Jets and had a productive 14 year career with 2,916 carries for 11,352 yards and 104 touchdowns. In addition John Riggins caught 250 passes for 2,090 yards and 12 touchdowns. A solid player for the Jets, John Riggins career peaked with the Washington Redskins when he rushed for a Superbowl record 166 yards on 38 carries. Leading the Redskins Riggins was named Superbowl MVP.
Winston Hill was a consistent left tackle for the Jets protecting the blind side of quarterback Joe Namath for many years. Winston Hill also helped the running attack of Emerson Boozer, Matt Snell, and John Riggins. Much of the credit for Matt Snell’s great rushing game during the Superbowl has to be given to the domination Winston Hill had pushing the Baltimore Colts defensive line off the line of scrimmage.
Rick Caster was an outstanding tight end for the New York Jets. One of the best tight ends during the 1970’s, Rick Caster had one game against Baltimore where 6 catches resulted in 3 touchdowns and 204 yards. When his career with the Jets ended his name could be found near the top of all the career receiving records.
Richard Todd took over as quarterback for Joe Namath. Todd managed to lead the team to the postseason a few times and even had the fans believing in him enough to hold signs on the sideline that read "Todd is God". However, most fans only remember the postseason nightmare game he had in the AFL Championship Game against Miami. Todd threw five interceptions while he completed only 15 of 37 passes.
Abdul Salaam was part of the The New York Sack Exchange when the Jets defensive line dominated the line of scrimmage in 1981 and 1982. The four members of that force were fellow interior lineman Marty Lyons and defensive ends Joe Klecko and Mark Gastineau.
Bruce Harper was an elusive running back and exciting kick returner for the New York Jets from 1977 to 1985. With more 2000 all-purpose yards he led the NFl two years in a row. Harper also led the AFC in total yards four times during his career. The players on the team voted Harper the MVP in 1980 MVP. A two time Pro Bowler, Bruce Harper held 9 different Jets franchise records, a few of which still stand today. still . and held nine Jets records at one time. Several of those records stand today. Bruce Harper was a play-maker on the Jets for many years whether he was setting up excellent field position returning kicks, catching a timely third down pass or rushing the ball for a big gain. Bruce Harper is honored at every home game by the Jets unofficial mascot Fireman Ed. Fireman Ed wears Harper’s jersey while he leads the fans in chants throughout the game.
Joe Klecko was a defensive force for the New York Jets and he is credited with being the first player in NFL history ever to make the Pro Bowl at three different positions (Defensive End, Defensive Tackle, and Nose Tackle). The three-time All-Pro made four Pro Bowls and was selected as the 1981 Defensive Player of the Year. His 77.5 career sacks ranks high on the Jets all-time list and that included an NFL league leading 20.5 sacks during the 1981 season. An integral member of the Jets Sack Exchange he had his best seasons alongside one of the toughest defensive lines in NFL history that included Marty Lyons, Mark Gastineau and Abdul Salaam. “It was really neat that we were feared as much as we were, we were an awesome group. Mark and I were the catalysts, but without Marty and Abdul stuffing the run, we couldn’t have put the fear in the QB,” said Klecko about the Sack Exchange.
Mark Gastineau was the leader of the New York Sack Exchange that assaulted opposing quarterbacks during the early 1980’s. Alongside defensive linemen Joe Klecko, Marty Lyons and Abdul Salaam, Gastineau sacked the quarterback 22 times in 1984 and the Sack Exchange had 44 sacks combined. Number 99 held the single season sack record for 17 years but it was broken during the last game of the 2002 season when Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre gave a sack to Michael Strahan. Pro Bowler from 1981-85,
Mark Gastineau also earned AFC Defensive Player of the Year honors in 1984. Mark Gastineau is also credited with being the inventor of the sack dance.
Wesley Walker made a splash as a rookie with the Jets. In his first season he set a rookie record with 740 receiving yards and led the NFL in receptions during 1977 and 1978.
Wesley Walker 8,217 career receiving yardage ranks him second on the Jets career list behind Don Maynard. Walker set two team records on September 21, 1986 when he had 4 touchdown receptions and had 24 points in a game. During that wild 51-45 win over Miami Wesley Walker had a 21 yard touchdown pass from Ken O’Brien as time expired in regulation and a 43 yard game winning touchdown in overtime. A two time Pro Bowler, Walker’s 71 career touchdowns is another Jets record as is his 96 yard touchdown reception from Ken O’brien.
Rex Ryan became the next coach of the New York Jets following the 2008 season. As the defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens, Rex Ryan created one of the most feared defenses in the league. Consistently in the top 5 defenses in the league, the Baltimore Ravens made quarterbacks and opposing offenses cringe when they lined up against them. Rex Ryan will bring that same intensity to the New York Jets sideline as their head coach. Ryan defensive prowess and focus on running the ball should be the right equation for having the Jets return to the playoffs.
New Head Coach Rex Ryan brings a brilliant defensive mind to the team and a more energetic and postiive personaity. As the face of the organization, fired Coach Eric Mangini was totally expressionless, boring and inflexible. The Jets needed a radical change and the Jets decision to hire Head Coach Rex Ryan was brilliant.
Looking forward to a FANtastic 2009 season. Hopefully Rex Ryan turns the Jets defense into the same powerhouse defense he created with the Baltimore Ravens.
Pat Ryan was a quarterback for the Jets from 1978-1990.
Mickey Schuler was one of the best third round draft picks ever chosen by the NY Jets. Drafted in 1978, the tight-end Schuler played 12 seasons finishing his career with the Philadelphia Eagles. Schuler was named the as the tight end for the NY Jets All Time Team and the Jets Dream Team. Most of his career 462 receptions, 5,100 receiving yards and 37 touchdowns happened while Schuler was playing for the Jets. One of the top all-time receptions leaders in Jets history, Schuler at one point has a reception in 86 straight games including a three touchdown performance in one game.
Defensive tackle Marty Lyons played his entire career from 1979-1989 with the NY Jets. Best known for being an integral part of the NY Sack Exchange in 1981 and 1982 along with Mark Gastineau, Abdul Salaam and Joe Klecko. One of his noteworthy moments was being called for a personal foul penalty by referee Ben Dreith who described the penalty as giving Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly “the business”.
As the place kicker for the NY Jets from 1974 through 1991, Pat Leahy became the all-time leader in points scored. Pat Leahy kicked many important field goals for Jets during his long tenure with the team.
Freeman McNeil was the Jets 1st pick, 3rd overall, in the 1981 NFL draft out of UCLA. During McNeil’s 12 seasons with the Jets the running back became of the league’s best rushers. McNeil averaged over 4 yards per carry in every year he was a pro and led the league in rushing in 1982 with 786 yards. Second all-time rushing yards in Jets history, McNeil alongside Johnny Hector made up the Jets 2 Headed Monster backfield that was one of the NFL’s best.
Drafted in 1983 out of Texas A&M Johnny Hector played 10 seasons with the New York Jets. In 1987 Hector tied for the league lead in rushing touchdowns with 11. It was around this time that Hector and Freeman McNeil ran over the NFL as one of the best backfield tandems, a combination that was named the 2 Headed Monster.
New York Jets quarterback Ken O’brien holds the distinction of being the only NY Jets quarterback ranked as the number 1 passer in the NFL for a season (1985). For retired quarterbacks Ken O’Brien is still ranked near the top for passer rating. In one game O’Brien completed 17 straight passes. O’Brien was one of the six quarterbacks in the famed 1983 quarterback draft class and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1997. During 11 seasons O’Brien threw for more than 25,000 yards. O’Brien holds the NFL record for most yards passing in a game (431 yards) with a perfect passer rating of 158.3 a feat he accomplished in a 38-7 win over the Seattle Seahawks in 1986. Also in 1986 O’Brien threw for 479 yards in a game where Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino threw for 448 yards, the 927 total yards is an NFL record for combined yards passing (Jets won 51-45). O’Brien and Marino had a rivalry throughout their careers that started when O’Brien was selected three picks ahead of him in the 1983 draft. O’Brien is considered one of the most famous NY Jets and an all-time fan favorite for his toughness, intelligence and throwing arm which could hit wide receivers with deep passes that were amazingly on target.
Wide receiver Al Toon played his entire NFL career with the NY Jets after being drafted with the 10th overall pick in 1985. The three time Pro Bowl wide receiver caught a league high 93 receptions in 1988 but he was forced to retire after only 8 seasons as a pro because of at least 9 concussions during his career.
Eric McMillan played for the Jets from 1988-1992 and was a Pro Bowl selection in 1988 and 1989. Earned the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors from the Associated Press by leading the AFC with 8 interceptions.
Dennis Byrd played four seasons with the Jets starting in 1989 and managed to accumulate 20 sacks and 110 tackles as a defensive end during his first two seasons. However, in 1992 Byrd suffered a career ending neck injury in 1992 that would take a great deal of physical therapy just to allow him to walk again. Though his number 90 is not officially retired, no NY Jets player will ever wear the number 90 again out of respect.
Dave Cadigan was a top offensive lineman for the NY Jets from 1988 to 1993. The guard and tackle was drafted from USC in 1988 with the 8th pick overall.
Jeffrey Criswell was an offensive lineman who played offensive tackle and guard for the Jets during his 12 seasons as a pro.
1988 third round draft choice by the Jets, James Hasty, was a talented cornerback with the Jets but had his best seasons later in his career with the Kansas City Chiefs. Hasty played defense for the Jets from 1988-1994 and finished his entire career with 45 interceptions.
The undersized Jeff Lageman was drafted in the first round by the Jets in 1989 that resulted in Jets fans booing and other teams’ fans laughing. Lageman played defensive end for 10 seasons with the Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars and had his best season as a NY Jet in 1991 recording 10 quarterback sacks.
Robert Moore played with the Jets from 1990 to 1994 during his 10 NFL seasons as a wide receiver. In 1994 he made the Pro Bowl for the NY Jets though his best season 1,584 yards on 97 receptions came in 1997 as an Arizona Cardinal.
Quarterback Boomer Esiason played with the Jets from 1993-1995. Though his best seasons happened before he played with Jets, Boomer Esiason is still fondly remembered by Jets fans. In his last year with the Jets, Boomer Esiason won the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.
Marvin Washington played defensive end for the Jets from 1989-1996 recording a number of sacks during that time.
The 16th pick by the Jets in 1995, defensive end Hugh Douglas earned AP Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in his first season. Using a four point stance, Douglas had his best seasons after being traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in 1998.
Keyshawn Johnson spent 1996-1999 catching passes and running his mouth for the New York Jets. The number 1 pick in the 1996 draft, Keyshawn Johnson was coached by Bill Parcells and would help turn around a 1-15 team in 1996 to 9-7 in 1997 and then to 12-4 in 1998 en route to the Jets first AFC East Division title. Keyshawn Johnson had his best game playing for the New York Jets in the 1998 playoff win over the Jacksonville Jaguars when he caught 9 passes for 121 yards and a touchdown, rushed for 28 yards and a touchdown, recovered a fumble and intercepted a pass on defense. During Keyshawn Johnson’s career he played for four teams and caught 814 passes for 10,571 yards and 64 touchdowns and three Pro Bowl appearances (twice with the NY Jets). His “Just Give Me the Damn Ball” personality made a name for himself and he has continued his after football career as an TV analyst for the NFL.
Bill Parcells is one of the greatest football coaches in history. During his coaching career Parcells coached the New York Giants to two Superbowl championships, the New England Patriots to the Superbowl, and the New York Jets to the AFC Championship game. Known for his ability to turn teams around, Bill Parcells turned a Jets team that went 1-15 the year before his arrival to a 9-7 record in which the team barely missed the playoffs. The Jets went 12-4 during his second season but lost to John Elway and the Superbowl winning Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship game. In 1999, the Jets lost quarterback Vinny Testaverde in the Jets home opener to a torn achilles tendon and the team struggled finishing a disappointing 8-8. Bill Parcells would retire from coaching afterwards, but would return as the Dallas Cowboys head coach a few years later and then as a Miami Dolphins executive.
Victor Green was the starting strong safety for the New York Jets in 1994 after being signed as an undrafted free agent in 1993. Victor Green was outstanding in the defensive secondary earning the honor of being chosen to the 2003 Jets Four-Decade Team. Most of his 25 career interceptions came with the NY Jets and in 2006 he signed with the Jets so he could retire with the team he started his career with.
The 12th overall pick by the New York Jets in 1994, Aaron Glenn was a talented cornerback for the Jets from 1994-2001. Two of his three Pro Bowl seasons came while playing in the secondary for the NY Jets.
James Farrior was selected 8th overall by the NY Jets during the 1997 NFL draft. Farrior played five seasons for the Jets as a middle linebacker recording many tackles and a couple sacks per season. However, James Farrior would have his breakout seasons and most of his success after joining the Pittsburgh Steelers where he won two Superbowls.
Kicker John Hall played for the Jets from 1997-2002 after being signed as an undrafted free agent. Known as one of the hardest hitting kickers of all time John Hall injured a player once on a kickoff tackle. Hall’s career was broken up by injuries, but he did manage to kick a few clutch field goals for the Jets but also missed a few of those as well.
Cornerback Ty Law made a name for himself with the New England Patriots winning three Superbowls with the Jets rival. New England cut him in 2005 and he signed with the Jets and had a career high 10 interceptions en route to making the Pro Bowl. After the season the Jets cut him because of his high salary.
Mo Lewis was a star linebacker for his entire career with the New York Jets from 1991-2003. Three time Pro Bowler, Mo Lewis played 200 games with the NY Jets and was the defensive captain from 1997-2003. Mo Lewis had All Pro seasons in 1998 and 2000 and finished his career with 1231 tackles (883 solo), 52.5 sacks, 14 interceptions, 79 pass deflections, 29 forced fumbles, 13 fumble recoveries, and 5 defensive touchdowns. Mo Lewis is responsible for the devastating hit on New England Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe that caused him internal bleeding that gave an opportunity to then unknown backup Tom Brady.
Jason Ferguson was a defensive tackle for the Jets from 1997-2004 after being drafted in the 7th round of the 1997 draft.
The 27th overall selection in the 2000 NFL draft by the Jets was tight end Anthony Becht. Becht had 1,146 yards receiving and 17 touchdowns on 133 receptions as a New York Jets tight end from 2000-2004..
First round pick Santana Moss was the Jets 16th overall pick in 2001 and played with the team through the 2004 season. Santana Moss was named All Pro in 2002. As a New York Jets wide receiver Santana Moss totaled 899 receiving yards, 19 touchdowns, 127 rushing yards, and 1,799 return yards.
Wide receiver Wayne Chrebet became an all-time fan favorite during his entire 11 year career playing for the Jets from 1995-2005. Chrebet was undersized, but managed to walk-on to the team and was 11th out of 11 on the training camp depth chart before moving up and making the team. Wayne Chrebet became famous as a clutch receiver during his career as his nickname “Mr. Third Down” suggests because 379 of his 580 career receptions converted third downs into first downs. 580 receptions places him second on the Jets all time receiving list and his 7,365 receiving yards puts him in the Jets top five. During his career which ended prematurely after a concussion against the San Diego Chargers, Chrebet caught 41 touchdowns. On the legal hit that caused the concussion, Wayne Chrebet held onto the ball converting another third down into Jets first down. Wayne Chrebet’s number 80 has not been formally retired, but it does not appear that it will be used again by any player in the future. Wayne Chrebet is clearly one of the Jets all-time fan favorite players.
Drafted in the 1998 fourth round by the Jets, Jason Fabini was a talented offensive lineman for the team until 2005.
Curtis Martin is one of the NFL’s greatest running backs and the most accomplished New York Jets running back in history. The famous Curtis Martin began his career with the New England Patriots and was signed as a restricted free agent by the Jets in 1998 staying with the team until the end of his career in 2006. Curtis Martin’s career with the Jets was remarkable as he rushed for a Jets record 10,302 yards out of his 14,101 career rushing yards while wearing green. Curtis Martin joined Barry Sanders as the NFL’s only running backs that have rushed for over 1,000 yards during their first 10 seasons as a pro. Curtis Martin is the NFL’s 4th career rushing leader topped only by Barry Sanders, Emmit Smith and Walter Payton. Most of his 100 rushing touchdowns came playing for the Jets and he was a perfect 2 for 2 passing with both passes being caught for touchdowns. Curtis Martin’s memorable 2004 season with him rushing for 1,697 yards en route to the NFL rushing title and the FedEx Ground Player of the Year Award. Three time Pro Bowler with the Jets and two time Pro Bowler with the Patriots, Curtis Martin also earned All Pro honors in 2001 and 2004. Curtis “My Man” Martin is clearly one of the all-time most famous New York Jets and his number 28 jersey is extremely popular with the fans.
Center Kevin Mawae led the Jets offensive line from 1998-2005 earning 6 of his 7 career Pro Bowl selections in a Jets uniform including 2 of 3 All Pro selections. During his time with the Jets Kevin Mawae was a blocking beast preventing many sacks and helping running back Curtis Martin run over opposing defenses. In 1999 Curtis Martin rushed for an NFL best 1,464 yards, a testament to the awesome blocking by Kevin Mawae’s leadership on the offensive line.
From 1998-2003 and 2005 Vinny Testaverde quarterbacked the New York Jets. Testaverde’s had an outstanding career and arguably his best season came in his first season with the Jets as he threw 29 touchdowns against only 7 interceptions leading the Jets to the AFC East Division title before losing in the AFC Championship game against the eventual Superbowl winning Denver Broncos. A torn tendon in his knee early in the 1999 season was a setback, but in 2000 he returned to help the team including leading the Jets to the greatest Monday Night Football game ever played, the Monday Night Miracle. Losing to the Miami Dolphins 30-7 in the fourth quarter, Vinny Testaverde led a remarkable fourth quarter comeback with 5 touchdown passes (Laveranues Coles, Jermaine Wiggins, Jumbo Elliott, and two to Wayne Chrebet) to win the game 40-37. Testaverde would be replaced by Chad Pennington but his career continued through 2007 amassing several career NFL records.
Defensive end John Abraham was the 13th overall pick by the Jets in the 2000 NFL draft and played on the team through the 2005 season. An impact defensive player with the Jets, John Abraham made three Pro Bowl teams and in 2001 was named All Pro. Abraham had 13 sack and 10 sack seasons with the Jets and unfortunately was injured during a couple other seasons he played on the team. From the University of South Carolina, John Abraham when healthy was a key to the Jets defensive pressure on opposing quarterbacks. In 2001 Abraham recorded 4 sacks against the New Orleans Saints which tied a Jets single game record held by famous Jets defensive players Joe Klecko and Mark Gastineau. In 2006, Abraham was designated a franchise player by the Jets and then was traded to the Atlanta Falcons where he set a franchise record with 16.5 sacks.
Herman Edwards coached the New York Jets for five seasons. A 39-41 regular season record and a 2-3 playoff record. Herman Edwards last season with the Jets was a disappointing 4-12 season and he was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs for a fourth round draft pick. Edwards was replaced by Eric Mangini.
James Reed was a defensive tackle for the Jets from 2001-2005 after being selected in the 7th round out of Iowa State by the Jets.
Chad Pennington was an outstanding quarterback for the Jets despite several injuries which forced him to miss many games. Pennington ranks near the top of the career completion percentage amongst NFL quarterbacks with at least 1,500 pass attempts. Chad Pennington has more postseason starts at quarterback then any other Jets quarterback in team history. While with New York, Pennington threw for 14,904 yards and 89 touchdowns during the regular season and playoffs. Chad Pennington was let go during the 2008 training camp in order to allow the newly acquired Brett Favre to take over the starting job.
Linebacker Victor Hobson was drafted by the Jets and played linebacker on the team from 2003-2007. Though his best seasons came in college as a Michigan Wolverine, Victor Hobson made contributions for the Jets defense before playing for several other NFL teams.
The fourth overall pick in the 2003 NFL draft, DeWayne Robertson career with the Jets was a disappointment as his tackle and sack numbers never equaled the high expectations Jets fans had for him after the team traded up in the draft to select him out of Kentucky.
Erik Coleman was selected in the fifth round in 2004, and then played with the team through the 2007 season. Erik Coleman unexpectedly became a cornerstone of the Jets defense by starting at the beginning of the season and immediately had an impact with an interception in both of his first two games. Coleman’s career continued with the Atlanta Falcons leading the team with three interceptions in his first season.
Wide receiver Justin McCareins played with the Jets from 2004 until 2007 but his undersized frame and lack of separation speed kept him from being really productive as a New York Jets receiver.
Linebacker Johnathan Vilma was the 2004 12th overall pick by the Jets and played with the team until 2007. Jonathan Vilma lived up to the hype his rookie season earning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors with two sacks, three interceptions and 108 tackles. Productive again in 2005 and 2006, Jonathan Vilma suffered a season ending knee injury in the middle of the 2007 season and was eventually traded to the New Orleans Saints.
Florida State wide receiver Laveranues Coles was selected in the third round by the Jets and played on the team from 2000-2002 and 2005-2008. The first touchdown of his career came in the Monday Night Miracle comeback win against the Miami Dolphins on October 23, 2000. Laveranues Coles was traded back to the Jets for Santana Moss in 2005 and his career flourished with a healthy Chad Pennington as quarterback.
Shaun Ellis the talented number 92 defensive end for the Jets has been a staple on the Jets defense since the turn of the century. Drafted with the 12th overall pick out of Tennessee by the Jets, Shaun Ellis nicknamed Big Katt has produced over 60 sacks. The 8.5 sacks Ellis recorded his rookie season is only topped by Hugh Douglas as best amongst Jets rookies throughout history. 12.5 sacks during the 2003 season and 11 sacks during the 2004 season made Ellis a favorite amongst Jets fans. With the Jets trying to remain in the playoff discussion in 2008, Shaun Ellis made a remarkable play against division rival Buffalo Bills by picking up a J.P. Losman fumble and taking it to the house for the go ahead touchdown with only a couple minutes left in the fourth quarter and helping the Jets come out on top in a 31-27 win.
David Barrett was a cornerback for the New York Jets from 2004 to 2008 with 2005 being his best season when he made five interceptions.
Eric Barton was a linebacker for the Jets from 2004-2008 and made a serious contribution to the Jets defense. All over the field Barton would record sacks, interceptions, force fumbles, recover fumbles and be one of the top tacklers on the team. Barton best game came in a Jets victory over the Seattle Seahawks when he amazingly had 9 tackles, 1 sack, 1 interception, 2 passes defensed, 1 forced fumble and 1 fumble recovery. Barton was awarded the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for that performance. When his contract expired after 2008 he signed with the Cleveland Browns following the ex-Jets coach Eric Mangini.
Jerricho Cotchery was the Jets fourth round pick in the 2004 NFL draft out of North Carolina State and has been a consistent wide receiver for the Jets. Jerricho Cotchery ability to run after the catch made him a breakout star in 2006 when fans watched him catch 82 passes for 961 yards while playing as the number 2 receiver opposite Laveranues Coles. Cotchery became known for his clutch receptions and highlight reel worthy receptions making him one of the most famous New York Jets on the team. Cotchery did all he could scoring a touchdown and recording 100 receiving yards during a wild-card loss to the New England Patriots.
Justin Miller was a cornerback and an electrifying kickoff return man for the Jets from 2005-2008. Out of Clemson the Jets selected Justin Miller with the 2005 57th overall pick in the second round. As a rookie Justin Miller became one of the best returners in the NFL with 1,577 yards which was over 26 yard per return average and scored a touchdown. The following season, Miller improved averaging 30.1 yards and scoring 2 touchdowns. Justin Miller set a New York Jets record on On October 1, 2006 by returning an Indianapolis Colts’ Martin Gramatica kickoff 103 yards making it the longest touchdown in Jets history. 2006 was such a strong year for Miller he was awarded a Pro Bowl selection as the AFC’s kick returner. During
Mike Nugent out of Ohio State was the Jets placekicker who the team selected in the 2nd round of the 2005 draft with the 47th overall pick. Kicking field goals and kick offs for the New York Jets from 2005–2008 Mike Nugent never lived up to what fans and coaches anticipated. In his first NFL field goal attempt Nugent slipped and fell while kicking the ball and completely missed the uprights. Nugent never really improved and was replaced by Jay Feely. The following season Nugent injured his leg during the first game of the season and the Jets signed Jay Feely again. Feely had a great season which kept Nugent from returning to the starting kicker position when his leg was healthy. After the 2008 season the Jets did not resign Mike Nugent and let him become a free agent.
Kellen Clemens is a quarterback for the New York Jets wearing number 11 who was selected by the Jets with the 49th overall pick out of Oregon in 2006. Clemens backed up Chad Pennington, then backed up Brett Favre, and then backed up Mark Sanchez. Clemens was expected to be the starter in 2009 after Brett Favre left New York, but the Jets unexpectedly pulled off a draft day trade to land USC quarterback Mark Sanchez. The starting position was in doubt until August 26, 2009 when head coach Rex Ryan announced Mark Sanchez would be the starting Quarterback for the 2009 season.
Marvin Powell was a force at the offensive tackle position for the Jets from 1977-1985 before ending his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The very intelligent Powell spent off-seasons earning a law degree in NY which helped him become president of the NFL Players Union, a position he held for a few years in the late 1980’s. Marvin Powell’s playing days for the Jets were marked by his 5 Pro Bowl appearances, which was not surprising considering his success in college. At USC Marvin Powell was a blocking force and his efforts did not go unnoticed. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1994.
D’Brickashaw Ferguson is an offensive tackle for the Jets wearing number 60. The Jets used the fourth overall pick in the 2006 NFL draft to select D’Brickashaw Ferguson out of Virginia. Nicknamed Brick, D’Brick or The Pain Train, Ferguson is about 300 pounds and has incredible lower body strength and flexibility. A black belt in Shotokan karate and brown belt in taekwondo and a wingspan of 87 inches D’Brickashaw Ferguson has become one of the NFL’s best offensive linemen.
Nick Mangold number 74 is the Jets center on the offensive line. Jets selected Nick Mangold with the 29th overall pick in round 1 of the 2006 NFL draft adding another highly touted run blocker and pass protector to the Jets offense after selecting D’Brickashaw Ferguson earlier in the first round. Mangold got consideration for Rookie of the Year honors by only allowing 1/2 a sack and 3 penalties while starting every game for the Jets.
Kerry Rhodes wears number 25 in the defensive secondary for Jets after being chosen in round 4 of the 2005 NFL draft. As a safety Rhodes was an All-Pro selection in 2006 when he broke out by causing havoc to opposing quarterbacks. With many key interceptions during 2006, Kerry Rhodes became one of the best players in the NFL and the Jets rewarded him with a lucrative contract extension in order to keep this talented defensive back on the team for the future.
Leon Washington is one of the most explosives players on the New York Jets. Many of the highlights during the 2008 NFL season for the Jets involved the electrifying Leon Washington making spectacular plays. Fast with quick cut moves makes Washington an elusive running back to tackle as he showed many opponents last season.
Kenyon Coleman was a defensive end for the Jets who played for the team from 2007-2008. On March 6, 2007 he was signed by the New York Jets for $20M over five years as an unrestricted free agent. For the Jets he earned his money by leading the league in tackews by a defensive end with 83 during the 2007 season. Most importantly, Kenyon Coleman was a crucial piece of the blockbuster draft day trade with the Cleveland Browns. On April 25, 2009, the Browns traded the fifth overall pick in the 2009 Draft to the NY Jets who chose University of Southern California Quarterback Mark Sanchez.
David Harris plays linebacker for the New York Football Jets. A top defensive player as a Michigan Wolverine David Harris during his college career. Jets got interested in Harris during the 2007 NFL Draft and decided to trade up in the draft to select him. Jets traded with the Green Bay Packers to get the 2nd round (47th overall) pick giving up their 2nd, 3rd, and 6th picks.
In 2007 David Harris finally got a start midway through the season when linebacker Jonathan Vilma suffered a knee injury. In his first game starting Harris made life difficult for the Buffalo Bills in a Jets week 8 win. 17 tackles with 10 solo and 1 sack. Harris encore performance against the Washington Redskins the following week 24 tackles with 20 solo. With only 9 starts in 2007 Harris earned several rookie of the year awards with awesome stats of 127 tackles, 5 sacks, and two forced fumbles. Realizing David Harris was a better linebacker than Jonathan Vilma the Jets traded Vilma to the New Orleans Saints and made Harris the starter at middle linebacker for the 2008 season.
David Harris had a great 2008 week 2 performance with a late fourth quarter sack and an interception on Titans quarterback Kerry Collins that clinched a Jets victory, With the Jets starting the season 3-0 David Harris represented the Jets defense system described as “Organized Chaos” by Coach Rex Ryan. Bart Scott and David Harris lead the important linebacking core that is so important in stopping the run.
Thomas Jones is a powerful running backs the Jets acquired from the Chicago Bears with a late second round pick for the Jets early second round pick. The Jets then signed Thomas Jones to a four year extension for $25 million. One of the relatively bright spots on the 4-12 2007 team, Jones rushed 310 times for 1,119 yards but only scored one rushing touchdown and one receiving touchdown. In 2008 Thomas Jones really broke out with his fourth straight one-thousand yard rushing season. Thomas Jones was selected as the AFC’s starting running back during the Pro Bowl after a breakout season where Jones recorded 15 total touchdowns and rushed for 1,312 yards, best in the AFC.
Alan Faneca is an offensive guard for the New York Jets after being a dominant part of the Pittsburgh offensive line for many years. Eight time Pro Bowler and five time All-Pro Alan Faneca is one of the best offensive lineman in the NFL. On March 1, 2008 the Jets signed Alan Faneca to the then richest contract ever given to an offensive lineman, five-year for $40 million with $21 million guaranteed. The Jets 2009 offensive line was one of the best the Jets ever put on the field with Faneca joined by three former first round draft picks D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Nick Mangold and Damien Woody.
Brett Favre was traded to the New York Jets on August 7, 2008 in exchange for a conditional fourth round draft pick. The Jets quarterback was 15 months younger then Head Coach Eric Mangini. During the 2008 season Brett Favre led the Jets to a fast 8-3 start that included a win over then undefeated 10-0 Tennessee Titans. Favre’s first game with the Jets, September 7, 2008, he led them to a 20-14 win over the Miami Dolphins. During the fourth game of the season Brett Favre threw a personal best 6 touchdown passes against the Arizona Cardinals. However, the 2008 season ended badly for the team as they dropped 4 out of their last 5 games and missed the playoffs.
New York Jets Quarterback Brett Favre was simply amazing through the first two-thirds of the 2008 NFL season. However, late in the season physical fatigue and an injury to his throwing arm had his passes off target to teammates. The New York Jets made strides during the season and at one point after beating then undefeated 10-0 Tennessee Titans the Jets were considered Superbowl contenders.
The image of Quarterback Brett Favre exemplifies the high point of the 2008 NFL season for the NY Jets which was following the upset over the ten undefeated 10-0 Tennessee Titans on the road.
Eric Mangini became Head Coach of the New York Jets on January 17, 2006. Eric Mangini had a successful first season with the team (10 wins and 6 losses) becoming only one of four Jets head coaches to record a winning record in their first season with the team joining the likes of Bill Parcells, Al Groh, and Herman Edwards. Eric Mangini peaked during that first season as his second season leading the team resulted in a 4-12 disaster. In his final season with the team in 2008 the Jets went 9-7 but were widely viewed as choking down the stretch when they lost four of their last five games despite controlling their own playoff destiny. Following the season Eric Mangini was fired and replaced by the Baltimore Ravens Defensive Coordinator Rex Ryan.
Darrelle Revis became one of the best defensive cornerbacks in the National Football League in 2009 when he shut down Randy Moss in an electric game at the Meadowlands en route to an unforgettable 16-9 victory over the New England Patriots. Darrelle Revis is an important part of the New York Jets defense and a huge fan favorite and quickly becoming one of the most famous players on the current New York Jets roster.
Kris Jenkins is a three time All Pro nose tackle and anchored the Jets defensive line in 2008 after being traded for draft picks from the Carolina Panthers. One of the best defensive players on the field for the Jets made an immediate impact earning ALL Pro honors and being selected for the Pro Bowl in 2008. Kris Jenkins was also one of the biggest players in Jets history. At 360 pounds Kris Jenkins was not easily pushed around and his explosive power broke through many defensive linemen en route to stopping the run or rushing the quarterback. On Sunday October 18, 2009 Kris Jenkins tore his left knee ligament and surgery and rehab will keep him out for the rest of the 2009 season. Jenkins returned in 2010 but lasted only a few plays during the first game of the season before he re-injured his left knee and is out for the season again.
Ronnie Lott is widely considered to be one of the NFL’s greatest defensive backs that ever played the game. Ronnie Lott’s achievements include four Superbowl championships, 8 All Pro honors, 10 Pro Bowl appearances, and selection on both the 80’s and 90’s NFL All Decade Team. Though most of his dominance occurred in the 1980’s playing with the San Francisco 49’ers, Ronnie Lott joined the New York Jets during the 1993 and 1994 season but injuries limited his effectiveness. Lott retired in 1995 due to injuries and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.