Jets Ready to Unlock $2 Million Veteran Signing in Year 13

Robert Saleh, Jets

Getty New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh doing media availability after practice.

The New York Jets have a vision for one of their unheralded free agents.

Head coach Robert Saleh believes there is a side of defensive lineman Al Woods that we’ve never seen before.

“He is a very large human who has never really had a chance to just go in the way that we teach it,” Saleh said on Friday, July 21. “We’re really excited about him.”

Woods is listed at 6-foot-4, 309 pounds on the team website but some other places have him as heavy as 330 pounds.

Saleh candidly admitted that signing a player like Woods “was going out of our comfort zone a little bit.”

“You guys know me by now, I prefer them a little bit small, fast, I take speed over size any day. He has shown in his past that he can and the way he takes care of his body and where he is at this stage of his career, he has never really had a chance to do it. But you can see in his foot speed on tape that he has the ability to. Now it’s just a matter of him getting used to taking the seatbelt off and let’s roll. I’m really excited to see how much better he gets as training camp goes.”

Al Woods Could Reinvent Himself in Year 13

The 36-year-old originally entered the league back in 2010 as the No. 123 overall pick in the fourth round.

When you take a gander at his career statistics, Woods has proven to be a run-stuffing, space-eating, impossible-to-move mountain in the middle of the defensive line.

More times than not, his objective has been to hold up multiple offensive linemen so his linebackers can have clear lanes to operate with.

However, the coaching staff believes they can unlock something out of the big man.

Woods only has nine career sacks and 20 quarterback hits, but perhaps a career year could be in store for the longtime NFL veteran.

The former LSU product has been adept throughout his career at stopping the run, but if he can add some new pass rush juice to his repertoire the Jets might have really hit a home run with this $2.25 million signing.

Al Woods Explains Why He Came to the Jets

Woods spoke with the media on Saturday, July 22 for the first time since he signed with the team back in May.

When he was asked what attracted him to the Jets this offseason, the big man provided a very blunt response.

“[I] just wanted to do something different. [I’ve] been in a 3-4 [defense] for a long time, so I was just tired of catching-and-reading, you know I was standing on the sideline [watching] other teams play and I was like damn I want to play like that, that s*** looks fun.”

This will be a dramatic change for Woods in year No. 13. He will be asked to do totally different things, but he seems excited by the proposition.

“I mean it’s a different style [defense], this is a more hit you in the face, let’s get nasty, let’s get grimy, and I like that,” Woods said. “Other teams I’ve been on are more catching and making sure the linebackers is right, which is cool too, but I like this style better.”

It’s unclear how much football Woods has left in him. He revealed that over the last couple of offseasons, he sits down and has a quick conversation with his wife about whether or not he should keep playing.

She asks him how his body feels, he said great, so she said keep playing. Woods said these talks have always been quick five-minute conversations and after they make a decision, he gets ready for the season.

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