This time a year ago, Breno Giacomini was the starting right tackle on a Seahawks team that had just won its seventh straight game and that would, two months later, be celebrating the franchise's first ever Super Bowl win.
Now he's with the 2-10 Jets, a team that has won once since their season opener, hasn't won on the road so far this campaign and looks quite frankly like it will close this year out with a whimper and not a bang. But Giacomini has been here before twice in his career and he knows all too well the pains of a team in rebuilding mode. It remains to be seen if there is in fact a vision for this Jets team that can lead to success, certainly the early returns on general manager John Idzik's plan has been dreary to say the least but Giacomini thinks steps are being made in the right direction.
His rookie year, in 2008, saw the Packers go 6-10 as they underwent some rebuilding only to turn around two years later they won the Super Bowl. Then in 2011 in his first year with the Seahawks, Giacomini's team went 7-9. Now in his first year with the Jets, the team will miss the playoffs for a fourth straight year as a young team that lacks top-end talent and depth continues to struggle.
“Obviously I didn't expect this coming in. But yeah, I've been on teams that have struggled early. I've been on teams like this with the same format and they've gone to the Super Bowl,” Giacomini told Metro.
“A young team, a strong defense and an offense that is getting better. You have to keep building and getting better every year, every week. Our record shows – I mean it is what it is – but we're better than that, it's not how good we can be. I've seen this before, it's a good feeling in that sense. Obviously the record isn't that bad. But you see it building.
“The talent is very similar, you add two or three drafts in there, it will get better. Obviously you go into the draft looking to get better. You bring some guys in here to compete. I've seen this before so I can take that to some guys and tell them to hang in there.”
There might be some slight bias here from Giacomini, who obviously won't want to publicly bash his teammates or employers. But he did get to know Idzik when the current Jets general manager was Vice President of Football Administration for the Seahawks, a position he left after the 2012 season. The Seahawks, with Giacomini starting at right tackle, won the Super Bowl that following year.
The difference here is that in 2008 with the Packers and then in 2011 with the Seahawks, both teams rebounded after their rebuilding year. Last year, the Jets went 8-8 in a season where they were supposed to be rebuilding. Fast forward to this year and their record has clearly regressed.
And now after he hoisted the Vince Lombardi trophy last year, Giacomini is in a Jets locker room that has tough sledding from here on out with no real incentive to finish the season strong. He doesn't regret the decision to come here, even with Seattle hitting its stride in recent weeks.
“Listen my time in Seattle was awesome. What I experienced, I will never forget that, but I like challenges, like going against the best defensive ends every week. This is another challenge,” Giacomini said.
“This is going to take a lot longer, week by week. But challenges are good. I didn't expect to be 2-10 right now, but you have to look at it positively. It's such a long season, you can't stay negative. You want to be positive, bring along everyone else and build this thing to where it should be. I'm happy to be here and I don't have any regrets. I'm just happy to put the Jets helmet on.”