With so many star players on the 2015 New York Jets such as Darrelle Revis, Brandon Marshall, Sheldon Richardson, and Muhammad Wilkerson, it is easy to forget about some of the players on this team who are consistently excellent and are often overlooked. The unsung heroes of this Jets team are players like David Harris, Calvin Pace, and Nick Folk. Each of these players have been on the team for multiple seasons and have performed extremely well.
David Harris has been a New York Jet since 2007 and he has been consistently excellent every season.
Harris has a career total of 885 tackles, and since 2012, Harris has had over 100 tackles every season, even on losing teams. Harris is always there clogging up the middle of the defense, and stopping the run and the pass as well. Harris can drop back into coverage when needed, and can shut down running backs and some tight ends.
On a defense with Revis, Cromartie, Wilkerson, and Richardson, it is easy for Harris to be overlooked by some, although he should not be. Harris is the quarterback of the defense and will be around for a few more seasons, as Harris was signed in the offseason for three years and $21.5 million.
Harris, without a doubt, needs to be inducted into the Jets Ring of Honor as he has given fans and management a consistently great defender. Harris invokes memories of Mo Lewis and Marvin Jones, who were consistently great linebackers for the Jets in the early 2000’s.
Calvin Pace has been an outside linebacker for the New York Jets since 2008. While Pace does not have the numbers that David Harris has, as he has never recorded over 90 tackles in a single season as a Jet. However, Pace is always consistently involved in defensive plays and is a player who cannot be defined by statistics. Pace is always in the backfield making plays and can still get after the quarterback. Pace was resigned in the off season for two years and five million dollars, giving the Jets a reliable player at outside linebacker.
Nick Folk has been the Jets field goal kicker since 2010 and he has been the unsung M.V.P of the Jets over the past few seasons on some bad Jets teams. When the offense is consistently struggling, Folk is there to pick up the slack. His impact has been felt throughout his tenure with the Jets, as Folk hit the game winning field goal against the Colts in the AFC Wild Card game in 2010, and Folk won games against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Atlanta Falcons, and New England Patriots in 2013 with his field goals.
Folk has become so consistent that it is a shock to many Jets fans when he does not convert a field goal. Field goal kickers have immense pressure on their shoulders as they often hold the fate of games on their foot, and they get all the blame when the kicks are missed, and not all of the glory when the kicks are made. Folk was signed to a four-year, $12 million contract in 2014, which gives Todd Bowles and his staff comfort knowing that they have a near automatic three points when Folk comes onto the field.
While these three players are fantastic players, they are just a few of the unsung heroes of this Jets team. On the second installement of The Unsung Heroes of the 2015 New York Jets, Nick Mangold, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, and Jeremy Kerley will be examined.