The other day, we selected the offensive half of our all-time Jets cameo team, ahead of the team's fan voting for the all-time Jets team next month. Today, we are going to do the same for the defense.
Remember, these are the rules...
In order to qualify, you can only have played in a maximum of four seasons as a Jet. You can have multiple stints with the team, as long as they don't fall into five separate seasons (Justin Miller would be an example of this).
One other rule: Current players don't count. So Jamal Adams wouldn't qualify even though he's only played two seasons. And even if a guy has since left the Jets, they still can't qualify if they're still in the league. So Ryan Fitzpatrick can't make the team, but Josh McCown can.
We're not saying that none of the players on this team can make the all-time team, but what we are saying is that there's probably an alternative with a much larger body of work as a Jet.
We're about to go down and you know just what to do...
Note: We're going with a 4-3 base defense.
Hugh Douglas had 22 sacks in three years as a Jet, including 10 in his rookie season, but went on to bigger and better things after Bill Parcells controversially traded him to the Eagles. Dennis Byrd saw his career tragically cut short by a spinal injury halfway through his fourth season. Byrd played both end and tackle, racking up a career-high 13 sacks in 1990.
Also considered: Anthony Pleasant played two of his 14 seasons with the Jets and was probably the best edge rusher on the 1998 team that almost made it to the Super Bowl. He ended up second on the team with six sacks that year.
In 2008, Kris Jenkins had a dominant year as the Jets' nose tackle, heading to the pro bowl with 50 tackles and 3.5 sacks. Unfortunately, his 2009 season ended prematurely due to an injury in the sixth game and then his 2010 season saw him suffer another season-ending injury on opening night. Carl Barzilauskas is regarded as a huge bust, as the former sixth overall pick lasted just four years in a Jets uniform. However, he started 48 games from 1974 to 1977 and was an absolute beast in the trenches.
Also considered: Ernie Logan and Tony Casillas were two veteran starters who provided the Jets with some experience towards the end of their respective careers. Damon Harrison and Sheldon Richardson are ineligible because they're still in the league.
Three eras are represented here. Bart Scott was a culture-changer from the Rex Ryan era, grading out as one of the top linebackers in the league during his four seasons as a Jet. In the late 90's, Bryan Cox brought a similar attitude to an already-stellar linebacker group that almost went to the Super Bowl. The best of the bunch, though, may have been Wahoo McDaniel, who was the team's defensive star in 1964 and 1965. McDaniel went on to be a successful pro wrestler.
Also considered: Sadly, we had to leave at least one great player out of this linebacking corps and Jonathan Vilma is the unlucky one here. He had 169 tackles and a pro bowl year in his second season, but was less effective in Eric Mangini's defense in year three and was banged-up in year four. Pepper Johnson was also considered for a spot but the competition was just too strong.
Two Super Bowl heroes fill out the cornerback positions, as Johnny Sample and Randy Beverly get the nod here. Sample was with the Jets for the last three years of his career, recording 17 interceptions. Beverly was a Jet for the first three years of his career and is best-known for his two interceptions in Super Bowl III.
Also considered: John Dockery was only a reserve on the Super Bowl team, but went on to become a starter, leading the team in interceptions the following season. Ty Law's two stints with the team included a pro bowl season that saw him lead the league with 10 interceptions.
This could only be Ronnie Lott and Ed Reed. Two of the greatest safeties of all-time were briefly Jets at the end of their career. Lott, despite having lost a step, was still an impressive player at that stage of his career (239 tackles, six forced fumbles, two sacks, three interceptions in two years). As for Reed, he only played seven games, but intercepted three passes and single-handedly turned Dee Milliner from an apparent bust into a guy people were talking about as a potential pro bowler. Also, he's ED REED.
Also considered: Erik Coleman established himself as a playmaker in his rookie year, but was less effective in his other three seasons. LaRon Landry was a pro bowler in his only year as a Jet, but actually wasn't very good that year.
Tom Tupa was an easy choice as the punter. One of his three seasons saw him go to the pro bowl and he was also a serviceable emergency quarterback. At kicker, we've gone with Nick Lowery, who made 87 percent of his field goals in the best of his three seasons. The return specialist is Chad Morton, who scored two touchdowns and was fourth in the league in kick return average in 2002. Finally, if we need a long snapper, let's go with John Hudson, who held the role from 1996 to 1999.
Also considered: Jay Feely could also have been an option as the kicker and Leon Washington might have been a good choice for the return specialist role.
Let us know in the comments where we went wrong. Should we have chosen one of the other options? Did we neglect to mention anyone?