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In the Star Wars cantina that is the Jets, James Carpenter’s Chewbacca

Harrison Ford


If you’re going to fly a Millenium Falcon — or even just a Jet — it helps to have a good wing-man.

And it helps if he’s big enough to protect you.

The Jets have been encouraged by the play of guard James Carpenter, and the quiet former first-rounder has developed a bit of a cult following.

“He’s a Wookiee,” Jets center Nick Mangold said, via Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. “He’s quiet, he’s powerful, he’s loyal as all get-out, . . . and he’s got a lot of hair.”

While things didn’t necessarily work out for him in Seattle, he’s found a home at left guard with the Jets after signing a four-year, $19.1 million contract. And though he doesn’t draw much attention to himself — “I don’t talk that much,” he said — he’s earning notice.

“I’m very fired up to have Carp here,” offensive line coach Steve Marshall said. “The way he’s played, he’s certainly a Pro Bowl-type guard. He quietly goes about his business. He’s a guy that deserves Pro Bowl recognition. I hope that comes.”

By reputation, he’s a better pass-protector than run-blocker, but he’s fit in nicely between Mangold and left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson to give Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick time to be Ryan Fitzpatrick.

The Jets have allowed the second-fewest sacks in the league (17), and have the league’s second-leading rusher in Chris Ivory, so something’s clearly working. This may lead other teams to start scouting the planet Kashyyyk a little more closely in the future.