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Jets offensive line coach Frank Pollack on his struggling unit: 'We got to get better'

Jets offensive guard Kelechi Osemele against the Bills

Jets offensive guard Kelechi Osemele against the Bills at MetLife Stadium on Sept. 8. Credit: Lee S. Weissman/Lee S. Weissman

FLORHAM PARK, N.J.— At least the Jets’ offensive line won’t allow any quarterback pressures this week. But the pressure is on Adam Gase and offensive line coach Frank Pollack to get that group straightened out.

The offensive line, which was considered vastly improved with the acquisitions of former Pro Bowl players Kelechi Osemele and Ryan Kalil, has been the Jets’ weakest link through their first three games.

The winless Jets have allowed the third-most sacks (13) and the fifth-most quarterback hits (25), and all of their offensive numbers are at or near the bottom in the NFL.

“We’re not where we need to be,” Pollack said Tuesday. “As a unit, we got to get better and keep working at it. It all starts with me. I got to do a better job coaching and we got to do a better job producing on Sundays.

“All of us as a unit got to get better. We’re the ultimate group in all of sports that's judged as one unit and not individuals. We need to play like that.”

Pollack is confident it will get fixed. But he’s not sure how long it will take. He said he will spend this bye week figuring out what are the biggest issues and clean them up for when the players return to the facility on Monday.

“I’ll do a lot of watching tape, do a lot of self-scouting,” Pollack said. “See where we can improve individual techniques, how we all fit together as a unit, see where the breakdowns have been, what’s been standing out the most and start hitting those in drill works and meetings.

“We’d like to have it fixed three weeks ago,” Pollack added. “I don’t have a crystal ball. But we’re grinding our [butts] off to get it fixed yesterday.”

Gase has been criticized for not being more creative, and there are certainly times when he could have called something other than third-and-long draws. But the Jets have started three different quarterbacks in three games, and the line hasn’t given them enough time to take shots down the field or opened holes for their backs to get chunk yardage.

The Jets rank last in passing yards per game (131) and are 29th in yards per rush (3.0) — and they have Le’Veon Bell. In Sunday's loss to New England, Bell averaged 1.9 yards per carry —his lowest since the fourth game in his rookie season with the Steelers in 2013.

Pollack said “it’s a number of things” that the Jets need to iron out from general execution to communication breakdowns.

He’s not blaming the fact that the Jets have had three quarterbacks to adjust to or that the line didn’t take a single snap together in the preseason. Brian Winters, Osemele and Brandon Shell missed time because of injuries and the Jets took it slowly with Kalil after coming out of retirement to join them.

“Whatever the reason is we got to get it fixed and resolved,” Pollack said. “I’m looking forward. We got to get it fixed. We got to get better. We’ll use the bye to analyze where we can do things maybe a little bit differently, how we prepare and how I coach them moving forward and get it fixed.”

Pollack echoed Gase’s remarks on Monday about the line and said they will consider personnel changes.

“We’re considering anything and everything,” Pollack said. “We owe it to ourselves and this team and our group to look at everything we can do differently to get the better result that we want.”

High on Leonard

Defensive end Leonard Williams has only 10 tackles, none for loss, and zero sacks. But his position coach, Andre Carter, said Williams is “on the upside” and he’s “so proud of him” for how he’s developing his game.

“Granted the sacks aren’t there, but if you look at his overall stats, he’s affected the quarterback 10 times over the past three games,” Carter said. “The times that the quarterback is staying in the pocket for three seconds is just not there. Overall I look at him as far as his effectiveness, as far as he’s affecting the pocket, his overall technique —it’s superb.

“There’s always the saying sacks come in bunches. He’ll have a time where he has that big game. I believe he will have that big game and he’ll be able to make big plays. Overall, him stopping the run, too has been very efficient. He’s physical at the line of scrimmage, knocking guards back, knocking centers back as well as other guys on the offensive line.”

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