Now that we got the bad out of the way, let us turn our attention to Draft successes to bring some good vibes for this year's picks. Timing is important in football. If Mo Lewis was coached by Rex Ryan and had the kind of talent the Jets have surrounding him, he might be a superstar. Because of his coaches and his teammates, what Lewis did is largely underappreciated.
A third round pick out of Georgia in 1991, Lewis spent 13 years playing linebacker with the Jets in both 4-3 and 3-4 schemes. Early in his career, Lewis was one of the few guys who made Jets football worth watching. Toiling on brutal teams without much of a supporting cast, he recorded over 100 tackles four straight years from 1992 to 1995. When Bill Parcells and Al Groh ran the team with a 3-4 defense, he shifted to outside linebacker in more of a pass rushing role. He was an All Pro First Team selection every year from 1998 to 2000 and had a 10 sack campaign in 2000. He made the Pro Bowl in 1998 and 2000. He deserved to go to more early in his career, but he was overlooked largely because the Jets were so bad. Lewis moved back to the 4-3 when Herman Edwards arrived and had another 100 tackle season in 2001. He lasted with the Jets until 2003 and signed a one day contract in 2005 to retire with the team after sitting out the year.
Lewis is unfortunately only known by many people as the guy who delivered the hit on Drew Bledsoe in 2001 that knocked Bledsoe out of a Week 2 game and forced New England to insert Tom Brady into the lineup. He accomplished so much more, though. Mo Lewis was a great Jet. At least for today, I am happy to give him recognition for that.
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