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Entering his third season with the Jets, Dakota Dozier had already changed positions twice. After starting his NFL career as a guard, the Furman product received the majority of first team-reps at center this spring. The Jets had the luxury of resting seven-time Pro Bowler Nick Mangold while Dozier got a crack with the starting unit.
“Obviously having Nick is phenomenal because he understands it all. I struggle sometimes and he’ll give some suggestions on how he’d do it,” Dozier said during OTAs. “It really is fun, I like playing center. I’m here for the ride and to do whatever it is I’m asked to do.”
Carpenter, a six-year veteran who started 16 games in his first season with the Jets, was part of an offense that established a franchise record with 5,925 yards. He was a powerful force for a rush unit that finished No. 10 overall and he was also sturdy in pass protection as the Jets were No. 2 in sacks allowed with 22.
Enter Winters, feisty as Colon and eight years younger. Winters, whose 2014 ended the same way as Colon’s ’15 did, on IR, did well in two starts against the Dolphins and Ndamukong Suh, scuffled in Game 14 at Dallas, and for what it’s worth, in his 10 starts the Jets went 7-3. Roles were filled well by T Brent Qvale (16 games played and his first pro start vs. Jacksonville) and at C by Dakota Dozier (his first three snaps as a C filling for Mangold at New England) and Wes Johnson, who logged his first pro start and 169 offensive plays over a four-game span until Mangold returned for good.
Dakota Dozier, our fourth-round pick out of Furman, spent the first 42 starts of his college career anchoring the Paladins’ line at left tackle, then the last two, plus the East-West Shrine Game, at left guard.Where will he play in the pros? He thinks he knows. “I took all my snaps at left guard,” Dozier said of Friday’s first practice of Jets rookie minicamp, and the same seemed to be true at Saturday’s practice.
As for off-field pursuits, he chuckled when I became the latest in a long line of writers to ask him about that line in his college bio, that he played the cello. “I do get asked about it a lot,” he said. “I played the cello all through middle school and high school. I didn’t really pick it up a lot during college, where I focused more on football. A lot of people have asked me if I could pick it up and play a tune. Give me an hour or two and I’ll be able to play some of the songs I used to play.”
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Now five losses later, the Jets are 1-8 and have already been assured their fourth consecutive non-winning season. Idzik, who was hired on Jan. 18, 2013, has done some sound things during his tenure. While maintaining future cap flexibility, the Jets have upgraded their WR group in a big way with the additions of Eric Decker and Percy Harvin via free agency and trade respectively. Defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, whom the Jets selected No. 13 overall in the 2013 draft, took home Rookie of the Year Honors and he continues to progress while two-gapping in the trenches. Idzik got great value just a few months on the job, obtaining Chris Ivory from the Saints for a fourth-round pick.
“We came out firing and that was the start that I wanted. I have to be more consistent throughout a game, play-to-play, down-to-down, half-to-half, of putting the offense in the best chance to be successful,” said Petty, who will make his fourth NFL start on Christmas Eve and is expected to have some extra padding around his chest area. “No mental errors, no bumps and bruises, no oh, I’m learning. I need to be consistent. That’s why they brought me here. That’s why I want to be here. Turning the ball over is an emphasis for me this week and coming weeks.”
It’s been a scrambled year for the Jets’ offensive line, which has had eight different starting lineups and New York Jets jersey cheap nine different individual starters. They will definitely field their ninth different lineup against the Patriots with RG Brian Winters gone to IR and could tab their 10th different starter in Dakota Dozier.
“Obviously at the end of the day that’s a coach’s decision. If that’s the decision that’s made, I’d love it, it’d be great, I’d be thankful for the opportunity,” Dozier said. “If not, if it’s another direction, then I’m ready for anything.” In the waning moments of the first quarter, the nine-year vet busted through the left side of the line for a 31-yard touchdown, giving the Jets a 10-7 lead. The 6’2”, 218-pounder’s eighth TD on the year also marked his longest rush of the season. Forté has recorded a rush touchdown in three consecutive games, the first time he’s done so since October of his rookie year.
“You have to go as you see fit. The other guys have to step up and play and get experience right away, and you have to make sure you know what they can do when they go in there,” said head coach Todd Bowles this week. “Obviously, they’re going to do the things that the guys in front of them did, but you have to make sure you have a good grasp on what they can do well and try to let them do it.”
Slowed by a hamstring injury, Carpenter was replaced by Dakota Dozier at LG for the first four days of camp. I checked in with Dakota Dozier on Friday to see how his move to center has gone, since he was and is listed as Nick Mangold’s only backup on the center depth chart. As luck would have it, Dozier made his NFL regular-season debut vs. the Browns in the third quarter when Mangold had to leave due to injury for one play.