James Carpenter: Quiet Stud on the OL

Posted Aug 18, 2015

RT Breno Giacomini on Jets' LG and Former Seattle Teammate: 'I'm Definitely Glad to Have Him Here'

We haven't seen too much of the Jets first offensive line in the preseason yet — nine plays, one field goal drive at Detroit. But the parts are there to build a strong machine.

There's the Nick Mangold/D'Brickashaw Ferguson axis, still going strong in its 10th year rolling together.

Whether it's Willie Colon or Brian Winters at right guard — they're the top two on the depth chart now — that position will have experience.

And there's the Seattle Connection — Breno Giacomini at right tackle and James Carpenter at left guard.

Both won Super Bowl rings with the Seahawks after the '13 season, with Breno coming East to the Green & White after that year and Carpenter after last season's Super Bowl loss to the Patriots. And besides big-game experience, they also have a friendship and respect for each other that first developed in the Pacific Northwest.

"My relationship with Breno is really great," Carpenter told me after today's practice at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. "He's a really good offensive lineman. He's physical, he's smart, he just works hard. And he always has your back."

Breno has returned the compliments this camp and even before, when I spoke with him during the June minicamp.

"He was at right tackle and when he went down [with an injury in 2011], that's when I hopped into the position," Giacomini recalled. "After he got healthy, he went back to left guard. That's where I think he feels most comfortable, and I think he's a stud at that position.

"Carp doesn't talk too much," Breno added, "but he knows it's about hard work and he knows what it takes to get there — he's gotten there twice. I'm sure he's learned a lot from both winning and losing, and he's definitely grown. That's the No. 1 thing I saw right away when he got here. He's way more mature as a pro than he was a few years ago."

Carpenter, 3½ years younger, said of Breno, "We don't play practical jokes on each other, but we joke around and stuff. We've been good friends for a long time, four years now." Giacomini agreed: "I still mess with him like he's a rookie, but that's a different story. But I'm definitely glad to have him here."

It's still a little too soon to say the Jets O-line will be state of the art in 2015, but the group has had its brawny moments, especially in the run game, during camp practices and for that one series vs. the Lions.

And the elements are there. Add the six aforementioned players together, including the two RGs, and you've got a line with 37 seasons, 486 regular-season starts, nine Pro Bowls and three Super Bowl starts under its collective belt.

We'll get our best indication yet of how the group is jelling in the first half on Friday night at MetLife Stadium against the Falcons.

"I can't wait to show what we've got," said Carpenter, the big man of few words. "This offensive line is looking really good. I think it's going to be really fun."


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