Despite an offensive line that boasted eight career Pro Bowl nominations among three players (four for C Nick Mangold, three for T D'Brickashaw Ferguson and one for G Brandon Moore), the Jets last year ranked in the bottom third of the league in yards per rushing attempt (23rd) and sacks per pass play (31st).
In an effort to bolster the five up front, GM John Idzik brought in two veteran guards: Stephen Peterman, 31, from the Detroit Lions, and Willie Colon, 30, from the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Offensive line coach Mike Devlin describes Peterman and Colon as "good, wily vets."
"I've seen some great leadership from those two," Devlin said. "I think there's great competition across the board, and they've been great additions for us."
Although Peterman (6'4", 323) is entering his ninth season in the league and Colon (6'3", 315) his eighth, both stressed the importance of constantly learning new techniques from their coaching staff.
"Dev's been great. You probably think vets are like 'I can't learn any more,' " Peterman said. "But every day I learn something." Coach Devlin has been working with him specifically on getting his hands up and punching out at the defender as quickly as possible.
Stephen stresses that while the scenery is different, the game is still the same.
"It's great to play the game I've been playing since I was 5 years old," he said. "To be 31 and still playing, it's a privilege to play every day. So I just come out here and give it my all every day and see what happens."
Still, learning new teammates and growing comfortable with a different group of guys around him presents a challenge. This challenge can only be solved through strong communication among the guys.
"Communication is the biggest thing on the offensive line," Colon said. "If you're playing hard and the communication is keen and sharp, good things can come out of it."
"A lot of people don't realize it," Peterman said, "but from when you get the play in the huddle until you line up and the ball's snapped, a lot of stuff happens up front, and you've got to be comfortable with the guys next to you."
In addition to communication, Willie understands the importance of playing consistent football each practice to avoid setbacks.
"Today we came out and had a solid practice," he said. "Now the key is we have to come out and do it again tomorrow and we have to start stacking.
"When both sides of the ball are competing hard and getting after it," he added, "that's a sign of a team that's on the up. For this offense, we have to stay consistent."
With a group of veteran offensive linemen willing and determined to get things going, the Jets hope that communication leads to consistency and consistency leads to W's.