Center Nick Mangold and tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson will always be linked in Jets lore, but the Nick half of the "Nick and Brick" combo said it rocked his world when his partner told him recently that he was retiring as an NFL player.
"It was a shock," Mangold told Eric Allen today in an interview that you can watch now on newyorkjets.com. "When we first came in together, I always assumed Brick would outlast me. So when he texted me and we talked about it, it was just a shock.
"But I'm real happy for him because he accomplished what he wanted to accomplish and that's all you can ask for."
Mangold said he has played longer with Ferguson in their 10 years together on the Jets than with any other teammate in his career, and he always assumed he would be retiring first.
"It's kind of crazy to see it come to an end," he said.
Mangold and the rest of the Jets will be missing as soon as Monday, when the team reports for the start of the offseason program, is D'Brickashaw's anchoring presence, not just on the offensive but on the team.
Long-Time Jets LT Retires from the NFL After 10 Seasons
"The way Brick went about his business, he's a true professional," Mangold said. "He studied his craft, worked very hard at it, and it showed on Sundays. He's a great player, and obviously his durability is well-known — 160 straight [regular-season] games. That just goes to the way he took care of himself, the way he prepared, and the love he had for the game."
The same can be said of Mangold, too, and the two of them have been one of the steadiest 1-2 O-line punches in the NFL in recent years. The two entered the league as 2006 first-round selections of the Jets, Ferguson fourth overall, then Mangold 29th.
Until Mangold missed two games early in 2011, the pair had made 87 consecutive starts together. And of the 167 Jets games including playoffs the past 10 seasons, they've started 163 of them.
So Nick and Brick? Mangold's good with sharing equal billing on the Green & White line.
"Yeah, he's got me beat by about three hours here in Jetland," the center said. "But I think it's something special, to be drafted together, spend all our time here together. And I wouldn't change it for the world."