Florham Park, NJ — New York Jets center Nick Mangold participated in full padded practice today.

The Jets offensive line has been struggling throughout the first four games and with no depth in sight it could get worse. The positive thing about this upcoming Sunday in the game against New England is that C Nick Mangold will be returning to his normal game duties.

Two peas in a pod. This looks familiar and it will be the sight on the offensive side of the ball this Sunday in New England when the Jets square off against the Patriots. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

QB Mark Sanchez has to be glad about this news. He has been getting rushed and sacked numerous times throughout the two games Mangold has missed, but one player could change that this weekend in the all important game against the division rival Patriots.

“It was nice to have Nick back.” Sanchez said, “He provides us (with) a lot of leadership on the offensive line. He did a great job today practicing.”

Coach Ryan who showed up to his press conference today sporting a spiffy Hall of Fame blazer from Southwestern Oklahoma State University made it clear that he was also glad about the return of as he says “the best center in football”.

“We’ve said it before, he’s the best center in football. He has that size (and) strength.” Ryan said.

Back to the troubles of the ‘ground and pound’ offense that we have been discussing and trying to figure out pretty much the entire season. If there is any time to let it loose, it has to be now. The Patriots defense has been struggling on the defensive side of the ball, (ranked 32 in the league) suprisingly, Sanchez is a bit thrown off himself but knows at any point that could change.

“They’ve given up a few yards in between the 20s, but once you get in the red zone, they’ve been pretty stout.” Sanchez said, “It’s a well-coached group.  They’ll have a great plan for us like they always do, and we need to play well.”

Mangold who is happy to return to his team doesn’t have the ‘ground and pound’ problem at the top of his list and believe it or not he really doesn’t seem to care (in a good way). The team is a little lost in the wickets right now on the offensive side of the ball but Mangold, like the rest of the organization and their fans wants wins no matter how they can get them.

“I think there needs to be a return to winning.” Mangold said, “Whatever that is, passing the ball, running the ball, I don’t care what it is. We need to get back to winning.”

Sounds like the big guy is coming back with a slight chip on his shoulder and with that attitude he could make an important impact on the game this weekend. We will see if the leadership of the crafty center will change the teams outcome in Foxboro.

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