New York Jets ultimate starting lineup – offense

New York Jets. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
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Tight End: Jerome Barkum

This one was a true toss-up between Barkum and Mickey Shuler. A case could be made for either one and I were going to put out a two tight end set, Shuler would be the first man off of the bench. However, the edge went to Barkum when the man who taught me about the team in my formative years, my Dad, said the following:

"He was the prototypical tight end for today’s game. He had excellent speed, he was a good blocker and was able to go down the seam. Above all, he had great hands."

Like my Dad said, we needed a tight end that could go down the seam and open up the middle of the field. Jerome Barkum averaged 14.7 yards per reception, which put him ahead of Shuler who averaged just over 11. Twice he eclipsed 18 yards per reception (1973, 1980). That is a guy that can open up the field for the receivers and running backs.

As a blocker, he did just fine. Running backs like Kevin Long, Scott Dierking and Freeman McNeil posted solid seasons when Barkum was on the offensive line. He could run routes, he had sure hands and he could block. There is a reason why he spent his entire career with the Jets. Jerome Barkum got the job done and belongs on this team.