As the Jets prepare for the Vikings in Week 7, right guard Brian Winters singled out a particular challenge Minnesota’s defense presents.
“They do a lot of double-A gap stuff, so that’ll be challenging for all of us,” said Winters on Inside the Jets with Eric Allen and Erik Coleman. “As far as their defensive line, they have a great front all around from both ends and the middle guys. It’ll be a challenge for us. It’ll be a game we’re really going to put on the offensive line.”
The A-gap falls to the right and left of the center, and for the Jets, that falls on either side of Spencer Long. In addition to a talented Vikings front that includes the NFL sack leader in Danielle Hunter, NT Linval Joseph and former Jet DT Sheldon Richardson, Long will likely see a lot of MLB Eric Kendricks, who leads the Vikings with 39 tackles in addition to OLBs Anthony Barr and Ben Gedeon.
“Sense of urgency is really high when they’re in the double-A’s,” Long said. “Either one of them can come, they cross, they can pick, one can drop or both can drop. Then they bring the fourth element outside. There are just so many different things that you can do when you’re lining up four guys up there and two guys in both A-gaps. You really have to be on your stuff and make sure you’re going through every possible look during the week of what they’re bringing.”
On Sunday, Long said every time someone lines up in the A-gap, you have to imagine he’s coming after the quarterback. If they drop off, adjust accordingly.
“I’ve seen it all. Every possible blitz from double-A, they’ve done it,” he said. “Whether they bring all eight, whether they drop four, drop three, cross, everything.
“You might alter the way your blocking scheme is a little bit, whether you’re adding one or changing the way you line up and stuff like that.”
Winters credited Long for his strength and smarts and expressed his excitement for the potential and performance of the entire line. In fact, he said the former Redskin reminds him of former Jets center Nick Mangold, who anchored the offensive line for the Green & White from 2006-2016.
Following a pair of games where the offensive line has surrendered a total of three sacks and tallied 512 and 374 yards in Weeks 5 and 6, Long believes the unit can perform even better.
“Just have to keep honing in on the details,” he said, “and tightening some things up and being more consistent.”