Spencer Long says he feels right at home as a Jet.
The unrestricted free agent center who signed with the Green & White last week knows a few teammates quite well. WR Quincy Enunwa and OL Brent Qvale both not only went to Nebraska but were in Long's class.
He also has no qualms about trying to follow in the large footsteps of Jets centers of the past, from John Schmitt to Joe Fields to Jim Sweeney to Kevin Mawae to Nick Mangold.
"The Jets have a good reputation for that, and it's a major goal of mine to be one of those players," Long told Jets reporters on a conference call this afternoon. "Anybody who wants to be a good football player ... has a goal of having a solid reputation of what they're doing at their position. Nick definitely had that and that's something I'm working for and striving for."
Long has been working at a high level for a while. He was acknowledged by fans as one of the best 'Huskers O-linemen in a decade, then came to the NFL as Washington's third-round pick (78th overall) in the 2014 draft.
As for center, he hasn't been there that long, but he's proven to be a good study. He started out at Nebraska as a defensive end, flipped to offense and center briefly, then moved in at guard for his college career and his first two seasons with the 'Skins.
He started 14 games at LG including one playoff game in '15, then started 12 of the last 13 games at C in '16 and the first six games in the pivot last season before missing virtually all of the rest of the year with a quad tear.
In that 19-week span at center, Long anchored a Washington line that protected Kirk Cousins well (sixth-best sack rate in the NFL) and allowed him to operate with with a 102.1 passer rating (fifth in the league). And now, with the Jets' centers from last season, Wes Johnson and Jonotthan Harrison, unsigned, Long will be one of the point men for quarterbacks and running backs come training camp.
And that's good by Long, a strong and feisty player who said that another reason he's a Jet is because of the feeling he received during his free agency visit.
"When I got there and started touring the facility, meeting the staff, that was a major attraction to me, just seeing the energy we have around that building and in the organization," he said. "A couple of other teams were close, but ultimately the situation felt right for me as a player. I'm happy to be a Jet."
Best Images of the Newly-Acquired Center