FLORHAM PARK- Individually, not much has changed for Oday Aboushi. Compared to last year’s offense run by Marty Mornhinweg, this year’s Chan Gailey-installed scheme still asks the Jets offensive guard to run block, pass block be physical and play smart. Aside from terminology changes, the rest is the same.
But as a whole? Well, the former fifth-round pick has nothing but glowing remarks for New York’s new-look offense.
“It’s gonna be fast paced,” Aboushi said. “Not too much thinking, a lot more playing. Guys are going to be able to play up to their potential and as fast as they can. We’re going to be going.”
Now in his third NFL season, Aboushi is locked in a positional battle with fellow guard Willie Colon for a starting spot on the Jets speedy offense. After sitting his entire rookie season and seeing sporadic playing time a year ago, Aboushi believes he’s ready to be the everyday No. 1.
While he’s improved his technique, fundamentals, strength and more, the biggest change from the wide-eyed rookie to now third-year pro is everything he gained in his 10 starts last year. Sure, not all were great outings. In fact, some were ugly. But it was every snap against every defense that Aboushi stored in the back of his mind. Each defensive player Aboushi was tasked with blocking needs to be approached a different way.
“You learn how to play them,” Aboushi said. “Sometimes that means you need to be more physical, or play the technique game. You may need to counter their main move. It’s really about studying up on them and trying to counter what they’re good at to get yourself in a better position.
“Maybe you’ve gotta work inside out, or maybe you’ve gotta shoot your hands. It’s more about figuring out the guy you’re going against.”
The strategy is one Aboushi picked up from a player he considers his “brother.” For Aboushi’s 10 starts last year, he lined up at right guard. At left was Colon, a player that has spent a decade in the NFL. Every film session, Aboushi picked Colon’s brain. Any technical flaw Aboushi displayed, Colon helped correct. Each and every practice, there was some new insight Colon shared with Aboushi.
This offseason, the Jets agreed to terms on a four-year contract with former Seattle Seahawks first-round pick James Carpenter. Carpenter has stepped in as one of New York’s starting guards. Aboushi is now battling it out with Colon for the final spot.
“It’s part of the business,” Aboushi said. “We’re both going to put our best foot forward and let the chips fall where they do. Bigger than this game is the friendships you make and the brothers you make throughout the game. He’s one of them. Even now, it’s all love and support.”
And in order to capture that starting position, Aboushi says he’ll need to continue to show the coaches that he can be trusted.
“Compete, get better every day and show you’re reliable,” Aboushi said. “That’s going to put you in the best position at the end of the day.”