Szott's seven-year-old son Shane has cerebral palsy. He is confined to a wheelchair and communicates through a touch-screen computer. "It's a tremendous load off of my family. It allows me to continue to play and do something I love to do and feel good about what I'm doing — and I'm not putting undue pressure or strain at home."
While playing for Washington last season, the 34-year-old left guard was able to made it back to Morristown, N.J. just two days out of the week. With his new team that schedule will be reversed. Szott said he plans to stay near team facilities in Hempstead, N.Y. on Wednesday and Thursday nights, then make the 70-minute drive home to be with his family for the other five nights.
"When I'm home I do nothing but care for my children," said Szott. "When (Shane) comes home on the bus at 3:30 everything ceases for me. I can't even have a phone conversation because there are times he just wants me. It's emotional and it's physical."
But the Jets hope Szott isn't the only one getting something out of his three-year, S4.2 million deal. According to General Manager Terry Bradway, Szott is a guy the Jets can "plug in a left guard and not skip a beat." Bradway even went so far as to say that Gang Green really only has one new starter on the offense — right tackle Kareem McKenzie.
"When you look at what he did with (second-year tackle) Chris Samuels last year down in Washington," Bradway said. "I think Dave will be very helpful in the development of McKenzie."
Szott's homecoming will be additionally enhanced by his reunion with Jets offensive coordinator Paul Hackett, who served in the same capacity with Szott in Kansas City from 1993-'97.
"(Hackett) said I'll know 75 to 80 percent of the offense walking in the door, and that's obviously very reassuring to me. The other 20 percent or so is mostly going to be verbiage."