Stony Brook football alumnus Will Tye was claimed by the New York Jets last Sunday. The Jets are the third football team in New York that Tye has played for since 2013, following his stints with the New York Giants and the Seawolves.
“Staying local is definitely a feel good thing,” Tye said. “Stony Brook fans obviously come to [Jets] games. I’ll also have my family close by, so they can just come in and it’s close for them. For me, it’s not that big of move for my stuff.”
The tight end is preparing to suit up for his first game as a Jet after being cut by the Giants last week. The Jets claimed the tight end off waivers and he joined the team within 24 hours of being cut.
“It’s been good, but there’s also been a lot of information thrown at me,” Tye said. “But with time, it gets better. Now that it’s been a few days, it’s much easier than it was in the beginning of the week.”
Tye has had less than a week to learn the Jets offense and get to know his team before their week one match-up against the Buffalo Bills. In that short amount of time, the tight end needs to learn a lot of information as quickly as possible.
“Learning the different terminology has been a little tough,” Tye said. “Working with the different personnel and rotations have been difficult at times, but I’m just trying to learn what to do. I’m learning as fast as I can each day. You gotta do that in a situation like this. You can’t go out into games slow because you don’t know your stuff. So, I’m just learning as quickly as possible.”
Another issue Tye is facing is the quarterback situation for the Jets. The Jets are known for their frequent QB controversies in recent years. Nearly every season since former quarterback Chad Pennington was released prior to the 2008 season, the team has had no success in finding a consistent starting quarterback.
Josh McCown was named the starter for the regular season opener, and while he has lost 20 of his last 22 starts and two younger QBs are waiting in the wing, Tye admits it is still a challenge to generate chemistry with the offense that is subject to change throughout the season.
“It’s been good so far, but this quarterback situation is going to take time,” Tye said. “I think it’s going to take a few more weeks, but it’s good so far. We’re just doing some small things right now, but it’s still a lot. That way I can learn as much as possible. But, the relationship is definitely growing.”
Tye was a member of the Giants for two years, where he recorded 90 receptions and 859 total yards while scoring four touchdowns. Now with the Jets, he is honing his craft to become a better tight end, and is already seeing major progress in several areas.
“My blocking has improved greatly,” Tye said about his strengths coming into the 2017 season. “I’m probably in the best shape since I’ve joined the league as well. That’s another feel good thing for me.”
He will be playing his home games in Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, the same place the New York Giants play. However, the Giants and Jets are viewed as two very different teams in the eyes of experts and the media.
ESPN preseason power rankings listed the Giants as the 11th best out of 32 teams in the National Football League, while the Jets sit at 32nd in power rankings. The Jets ended the 2016 regular season sitting at 27th in the ESPN final regular season power rankings.
Despite the negative predictions NFL experts and fans are giving the Jets, Tye is not focused on that. He has his sights set on his personal and team goals.
“For myself, I just want to go out there and play fast,” Tye said. “I just want to go out there and help this team in any way I can. Just help the team have a positive season. That’s for sure.”
Tye caught three passes for 34 yards in his Jets debut.