After being the target of media criticism for the early part of this season, the New York Jets offensive line is starting to fire back. On Monday, guard Matt Slauson responded to criticism from former teammate and retired tackle Damien Woody, who is now an ESPN studio analyst, by taking a not-so-subtle shot at Woody's talents as a football player.
According to a story on ESPN New York, Slauson said Woody's replacement, Wayne Hunter, is an "upgrade" at right tackle.
"I watch a lot of things on the NFL Network and ESPN, and they're all saying, 'Well, the Jets can't run the ball because they're not the same team. They don't have the guys that can grind on you, play after play,'" Slauson said. "But that just isn't true. We have the guys.
"Our offensive line is the same, except we have Wayne. And, in our opinion, that's an upgrade."
When contacted for a followup by ESPN NY, Woody refused to return fire and seemed to commend Slauson for sticking up for a teammate.
"Everybody is entitled to their opinion and, clearly, that's what Matt thinks," Woody told ESPNNewYork.com. "I'm not going to argue. That's his teammate, and he's supporting his teammate. My body of work speaks for itself. I'm proud of what we accomplished when I was there. I'm retired, I've moved on."
"Looking at that San Diego game, that was the first time they were getting after people and knocking people off the ball," Woody said. "I think a big part of it was scheme. They changed up schematically. Instead of running horizontally, they got back to north-south running. If they stay with that, they definitely have a chance."