As we look ahead to training camp in late July, we're going to take a daily retrospective look back at some random people, moments and games from Jets history...
The Current 85
Tight end Neal Sterling was re-signed after starting in place of Austin Seferian-Jenkins in the final game of last year and racking up 74 yards - more than Seferian-Jenkins had in a game all season. However, the team's insistence that they had confidence in the players at the position earlier on in the offseason was belied by their decision to bring in Chris Herndon, Bucky Hodges and Clive Walford to bolster the competition.
Wesley Walker was a personal favorite who, despite being blind in one eye, was one of the most exciting deep threats in NFL history. In 1978, Walker posted a higher yards-per-reception average than anyone ever with at least 45 receptions in a season. That mark still stands today as Walker, who kept producing into the late eighties, is one of only four players in NFL history to have over a thousand receiving yards on less than 50 catches more than once.
The other 85's
Rob Moore, James Dearth, Jermaine Wiggins...
The '85 season
The Jets had an excellent team in 1985, led on offense by the league's leading passer Ken O'Brien and running back Freeman McNeil, who was second in the AFC with a career-beat 1,331 rushing yards. They were two of the Jets' five pro bowlers.
On defense, Mark Gastineau (13.5 sacks) and Lance Mehl (5.5 sacks, three interceptions) were also pro bowlers but Joe Klecko (7.5 sacks) was the team's only all-pro.
New York roared out to a 9-3 start before dropping two of their last four, including a game where they played the virtually unstoppable Bears tough. Unfortunately, 11-5 was only good enough for a road wildcard game with Miami winning the division as the only ones to hang a loss on Chicago all year.
The Jets lost 26-14 to New England, who went on to reach the Super Bowl, in the wildcard game. The Bears blew out the Patriots by 36 in Super Bowl XX.
At the end of the previous season, Gastineau had an incredible performance in the Pro Bowl in January '85. In those days, the players still competed hard, so Gastineau's four-sack MVP performance was incredible. He also tackled Eric Dickerson for a safety.
85 good, 85 bad
Speaking of Dickerson, he actually had the longest run of his career against the Jets in his rookie season. Bet you can guess how many yards he went for.
On the other end of the scale, here's an 85-yard Jets touchdown from Bilal Powell. Although it only came in a preseason game, at least it was scored by a guy still on the roster:
Let us know if there's any connections to 85 that we missed...