Another Brick in the Wall: Iron Man D'Brickashaw Ferguson Calls It Quits
Well we knew this day would come but we didn't know how it would happen. For 10 years, D'Brickashaw Ferguson showed up to work every day- not just every Sunday, but Monday through Saturday as well. He never got hurt, never called in sick, never got in trouble, or made headlines off the field. He was the best professional and I'm not just talking about player. He never revealed any problems, he was like Marshawn Lynch during his Super Bowl interviews. He did his job, without any complaints. But did he really love the game?
There is no question, that he loved the game more than people might assume. He was one of those quiet competitors and a perfectionist. However, Ferguson saw what we pretty much saw last season, father time has caught up with him. It happens with all athletes, we even saw it with Peyton Manning. Some of these players try to continue to play and squeeze as much of their ability as they can before they get cast aside. Ferguson could've done that, he could've took the pay cut from the Jets and stuck around for awhile.
Ferguson didn't want to be that guy, the guy who hangs on and respectfully so. Ferguson couldn't play up to his usual standard, he didn't want to play at all. He was not the same player we drafted 10 years ago and it showed. He loved the game too much to just cheat it, so this prideful left tackle from suburban Long Island-drafted by his hometown team in 2006- has decided to hang up the cleats.
Fans just stand up and cheer. Ferguson deserves the applause from us because he did everything the right way. He gave everything to this Jets organization which undoubtedly will have him end up in the Jets' Ring of Honor. He never missed a game or a practice. He started 160 regular-season games and another seven in the playoffs, never sustained an injury that warranted a mention in the injury report.
He is an intelligent, well-educated man who recognizes there's life after football. For the first time in his career, he stepped out of his shell and spoke out last December after the release of the movie "Concussion" expressing his concerns about the long-term impact of head trauma. He was asked if the fear of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) would cause him to consider retirement. He answered " I think there are a lot of factors go into answering questions like that. I think because I've played so much, it does make you wonder, Wow, is (CTE) potentially something that could happen to me?" I'm sure every player thought that as well and that's why we are seeing a lot of players retire a little bit earlier in their career.
You got to wonder if Ferguson was influenced by what happened to former teammate Alan Faneca in 2010. Aging Faneca, an all-time great offensive lineman, was pretty much cut during the draft. The Jets kept him through the offseason, then let him go when they picked up Vladimir Ducasse, in the second round. Ducasse as we all know turned out to be a big time bust. Some people thought Faneca was mistreated by the organization and that didn't sit well with Ferguson.
Obviously, that's not the case with Ferguson. He decided to leave on his own terms. No doubt in my mind that Ferguson was a true leader in that locker room. If he reminded me of anyone, it would be Curtis Martin Because like Martin, Ferguson had a quiet presence and didn't like to speak out a lot. He truly was a respectable player in that locker room.
For the first time in a decade, the Jets will be searching for a Left tackle that’s not named Ferguson. It will be weird to not see number 60 on that line protecting the quarterbacks blindside.