Public statistics are hard to come by for offensive linemen, so Brent Qvale was still happy at the end of the season, before heading home to Nebraska, to talk about his pass-catching line from Game 15 against the Chargers that read:
No targets, no receptions, minus-2 receiving yards.
"Nice. I'm in the stat book," Qvale said as we went over the official scoring on the two-lateral play, from Robby Anderson to him to Elijah McGuire, that ended the Jets' 14-7 loss. I asked if he figured in that last play because of his third-tight-end experience.
"No, it was because Robby was running, he turned around, he saw me and just threw the ball back," Qvale said. "The only thing in my head when I caught it was get rid of it as fast as possible because I knew the defenders were coming."
The more mundane yet more important numbers for the three-year man show his progress from undrafted free agent to contributing professional O-lineman:
2014 — 0 games, 0 starts, 0 offensive plays, 17 weeks on practice squad
2015 — 16 games, 1 start, 31 plays
2016 — 12 games, 5 starts, 347 plays
2017 — 16 games, 6 starts, 394 plays
Best Images in Black & White from the 2017 Season
His 12 career starts break down to seven starts at RT (including this year's finale at New England for the injured Brandon Shell), one at RG and four at blocking tight end.
"I played more this year, so it was exciting to get my opportunities," Qvale said. "I'll just continue to build off of that, that's all I can do, so just keep growing every year and try to keep getting better."
His recipe for the Jets' line had a similar ring.
"I think we just need to be more consistent," he said. "We had our good games this year and we had games where we struggled a little bit. So I think just being consistent every week is going to be the biggest thing moving forward. And I think with the guys we have in the room, we can definitely do that."
Qvale will take some time off but he said he'll start working out a little sooner than he had in previous offseason. He's planning on working out at the University of Nebraska and also training for a week in Nashville with his former Cornhuskers strength coach, now at Vanderbilt. And of course, at Vandy he'll no doubt run into C Wes Johnson.
It's all aimed toward increasing his pro profile as a Jets guard and tackle and even as a receiving, if necessary, third tight end.