To borrow from baseball, it's time for the No. 2 hitter to step to the plate in the Jets' power-packed 2022 Ring of Honor lineup.
And while D'Brickashaw Ferguson will enjoy his moment in the sun when the Jets' left tackle from 2006-15 is introduced as the newest member of the Ring at Sunday's game against the Patriots at MetLife Stadium, he is aware of being awestruck by the unfolding process.
"It's a very overwhelming experience," Ferguson said of his role in the triumvirate of great recent Jets being inducted this season, a short list that also includes Nick Mangold, admitted to the shrine Sept. 25 at the game against Cincinnati, and Darrelle Revis, who will be enshrined Nov. 27 during the game vs. Chicago. "I think of myself playing with Nick and Darrelle. I see these guys as elite players with multiple Pro Bowls, respected by their peers. I very much see them as Hall of Famers.
"And so being inducted in the same year with them is very humbling to me. I think it's sometimes hard to see yourself from a different perspective. To kind of see myself as being celebrated is a very humbling place."
Yet Ferguson belongs in the "ROH" along with all the other 20 other members who are already there or will be by the end of this season.
Ferguson has all of the hallmarks of a great Jet — first-round selection in the 2006 NFL Draft out of Virginia; named to the NFL All-Rookie team along with draftmate Mangold after the '06 season, selected to play in three Pro Bowls after the 2009 through 2011 seasons, the last two as starters; selected along with Pro Football Hall of Famer Winston Hill as the two tackles on the New York Jets All-Time Team announced in 2019.
And he piled up some incredible on-the-field accomplishments, most having to do with never coming off the field. He never missed a game, never missed a start, never missed a play (well, there was that last play of the 2008 finale vs. Miami for which the Jets needed their "hands" team on the field to try to pull out a victory), never missed a practice. After 10 seasons as a pro and a Jet, 167 games and starts, including seven starts in the playoffs, the man they called "Brick" retired as a player after the 2015 season.
And to this day, the members of the Jets family haven't forgotten, among them Jets CEO Robert Wood Johnson.
Upon Ferguson's retirement, Ambassador Johnson said, "There are a few things you hope for when you select a player fourth overall in the draft. First, you want him to be a responsible citizen and role model. Second, you want him to be a leader in the locker room. Third, you want him to be reliable while performing at a high level for a number of seasons.
"D'Brickashaw has exceeded each of these expectations during his career and will be remembered as one of the finest players in Jets history."
Besides his athletic skills and great length and strength as the Jets' decade-long blindside QB protector, Ferguson was and is thoughtful, intelligent and encouraging, someone who has written and blogged. And he displayed those qualities again when he spoke with the Jets' multimedia department team that has been immortalizing his path into the Ring and offered words of wisdom for anyone, not just offensive tackles and football players, to consider.
"Just continue to try your best," he said. "You're not going to be able to avoid life's pitfalls. But it doesn't mean that everything has to be viewed in a negative light. I think you have an opportunity to do things that you may not even be able to comprehend in this moment. But you're not going to get there tomorrow. And so just kind of take the steps, acknowledge where you are, and don't be too hard on yourself because maybe things can turn out better than you've even thought."
The young man from Freeport, NY, who overcame open-heart surgery at the age of 9, apparently has followed his own advice as he stands now on the doorway to one more historic green portal.
"I'm very appreciative for the opportunity, or should I say the acknowledgement," he said of his coming induction into the Ring of Honor, "and I'm just trying to embrace the moment."