When it comes to the Jets' offensive line, Brandon Moore has something that none of the other four starters — in fact, no one else on the Jets roster — can have until Moore misses a game.
And that's the longest current streak of consecutive starts as a Jet
"It's just a sense of accountability," Moore said recently about his regular-season streak, which began in the middle of the 2004 season and is now at 73 straight starts and counting. "I feel like I need to be out there. There's a couple of games where I probably shouldn't have played. But I take a lot of pride in it.
"For an O-lineman, there's not many stats. Streaks are kind of the measure of a man."
Frequently, those O-line streaks are quite impressive. Four of the top seven games-played streaks in franchise history are held by tackles, guards and centers, led by Super Bowl tackle Winston Hill's 195 consecutive games played, trailing only LB Kyle Clifton's franchise-record 204.
Moore still has a few seasons to go before he moves past 100 straight starts and into any top ten lists, but he said he's ready to attempt to extend his own impressive run after returning to OTA practices from a procedure he had done early in the off-season.
"I feel good. I'm just trying to get back acclimated to the things I have to do in order to play on the offensive line," he said. "I'm in shape. My weight's good."
Moore is right about the lack of stats for him and his trench brethren to fall back on. Penalties can be counted, both the ones committed and those forced by opponents. Sacks given up is another, although charting responsibility for sacks yielded can become exercises in subjectivity. Did the QB hold the ball too long? Who should get the blame for the sack that came off of a defensive twist?
But one area that Moore can hang his hat on is that he's been a part of Jets lines that have blocked for some record-setting performances. He was the starter for 13 of the games in which Curtis Martin ran for a team-record and NFL-leading 1,697 yards in 2004. And last year Moore was a major contributor as Thomas Jones set personal and franchise marks with his 13 rushing TDs and Leon Washington became the first Jet to ring up two 60-yard runs in a career — and Leon broke his runs less than a month apart.
"Oh, yeah, the accolades that Curtis, Leon and TJ got, that's the way we get a measuring stick on how we've done," Moore said. "I take great pride in that, too. They receive their honors and we get a little bit of that, too."
Finally, a lineman can draw a sense of accomplishment from serving on a unit that returns intact to do it all again. The line of Moore, Nick Mangold, D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Alan Faneca and Damien Woody, barring injury, will become only the second Jets O-line to finish one season and return as a group to start the next since 1993.
"I've never been part of a line that's been the same from one year to the next, and I've been here seven, eight years," Moore said, adding that such togetherness is a bonus for the growth of the group.
"We just have that comfort level," he said. "Coaches aren't coaching things you haven't seen before. As we're moving on to new things, something elementary comes up and it's like nothing.
"You've got a veteran group here. It's not second-year guys and fifth-year guys. It's old guys, middle guys, guys that've played their butts off. We should be pretty good."
Moore is the Jets-consecutive-starts leader on the team, but all members of his line have strong starts on hoped-for impressive streaks of their own. Here are the streaks the linemen have built, with the Jets and with the Jets plus their previous teams:
|RG Brandon Moore||NYJ||73||73|
|C Nick Mangold||NYJ||48||48|
|LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson||NYJ||48||48|
|LG Alan Faneca||PIT-NYJ||16||112|
|RT Damien Woody||DET-NYJ||16||21|