Saturday, April 5, 2014

Sanjay Lal played big role in Jacoby Ford joining Jets


Jacoby Ford's best days as a pro were under now-New York Jets wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal, who held the same post with the Oakland Raiders from 2009 through the 2011 season.

That played a factor when the 26-year-old former Raider wideout signed with Gang Green last week.

"I loved playing for him," Ford said recently, via "He was on me hard, he coaches great. We had a relationship even off the field. That was kind of big for me coming here."

Ford began contributing to the Raiders' offense Week 7 of his rookie season (2010) and went on to haul in 25 receptions for 470 yards, 19 first downs and two touchdowns in the team's last 10 games. He also returned three kickoffs for scores and rushed for two more.

Ford carried some of that momentum into Year 2, though injuries limited him to just eight games, in which he caught 19 passes for 279 yards, 14 first downs and a touchdown, adding another score on a kickoff.

However, he missed all of 2012 and was mediocre last year, averaging less than a catch a game in 14 contests.

With a fresh start and a new team, Ford will have ample opportunity to contribute in a so-so receiving corps, given he can stay on the field. And all that working with a familiar face in Lal, who has only known Ford at his best.

"I'll give it all I've got and try to help the team anyway I can," Ford said. "And I'm glad to be a Jet."

Follow Nick @NickStDenis
Follow AFC East Daily @AFCEastDaily