New York Jets: Reflecting on the career of Nick Mangold

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 15: Nick Mangold (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 15: Nick Mangold (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images) /

Looking back at the career of former New York Jets center, Nick  Mangold.

For the New York Jets, the end of an era came last year when this guy wasn’t asked back for another year. The era is now officially over as this man has announced his retirement as a member of the Jets. Now we look back on the career of one of the finest players in team history. We are talking, of course, about Nick Mangold.

And what a player he was for this team.

It all started in 2006. Mike Tannenbaum looked to rebuild the offensive line, and selected both D’Brickashaw Ferguson and at the end of round one, none other than Nick Mangold. Mangold was taking over for one of the best ever to play the center position in Kevin Mawae. It was a seamless transition as Mawae played the position in New York from 1998-2005.

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Right away, Mangold stepped into the starting lineup and became an anchor of the offensive line for the next 11 years. Prior to 2016, Mangold missed only three game and started every game he was active for. Two seasons later, he made the first of four consecutive Pro Bowl appearances and seven overall.

He was also named first team All-Pro in two consecutive years during that period (2009 and 2010).

Over the years, some of the best matchups in the game were when Nick went up against Vince Wilfork of the New England Patriots. We all know how often these two teams did battle, but what we didn’t always watch was the internal struggle between these two.

Nothing says how good a player is more than respect from his peers. Take a look at what Wilfork had to say back during their hey day:

"“He’s probably the best, probably the best center, I believe,” Wilfork said of Mangold, a three-time All-Pro. “I’ve been saying this ever since the guy’s been a rookie. He’s been pretty steady for them. And it hasn’t changed.” “Everything it seems like goes through him: the run game, he calls the plays on the line slides, he’s the guy in charge,” Wilfork said. “That’s how it should be, because that’s their bread and butter. When they need a play, if they’re running the ball, it always seems to end up behind 74 [Mangold’s number]. He’s a big-time player for them, I give him all the respect in the world facing him numerous times.”"

That is about as good as it could be said. When your rivals call you the best, there is something to it.

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Mangold’s value multiplied ten fold when he was out of the lineup. Whenever he missed the game, the offensive line was not the same, no matter who was in his spot. There is a reason why he was here beginning with Chad Pennington at quarterback and remained here until after Ryan Fitzpatrick was the quarterback.

Nick’s 11 years in the green and white will never be forgotten. Hopefully he will take his appropriate place in the Jets Ring of Honor sooner rather than later.