- Jane McManus, Reporter & Columnist, espnW.com
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CORTLAND, N.Y. -- After one of the Jets’ early practices, defensive coordinator Mike Pettine pointed out linebacker Aaron Maybin in a meeting. He noted that Maybin was working at a level of intensity so far beyond the rest of the squad, and showed film of Maybin going after the ball. Coach Rex Ryan was in the meeting.
“[Pettine] said, ‘Guys, as a teammate you ought to be embarrassed,’” Ryan relayed. “Because this guy embarrassed the other 10 guys that were out there at that time. And they might have been thinking they were going hard.”
The mayhem has returned. Today the 6-foot-4, 240-pound player had a sack, took off a running back’s helmet and punctuated plays with a loud yell. He has set the tempo on the field and is competing, in addition for a defensive spot, to be the loudest player on the field.
“I’ve always been a high energy guy that’s how I’ve always played the game,” Maybin said.
Ryan appreciates that level and says that if he keeps it up at this rate, Maybin’s role will expand. Special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff is using Maybin as a flyer in practice.
“It was a situation last year where I got some kickoff and punt return work in with the teams,” Maybin said. “But we really felt like that was an area, special teams, where I could be a big contributor to this team, just being that I’m a big athletic guy.”
Westhoff agreed that Maybin could be a good player with the unit, even if he isn’t an obvious contributor.
“He’s got somethings that he’s really good at, but it’s specific,” Westhoff said. “So it’s important for me to put him in those positions where I can utilize those really good skills. I don’t consider him like a multidimensional guy -- he's a very, very fast, hard worker, explosive edge player. Now does that translate into a multi-faceted special teams player? Usually no. But if I get him in the right spot, then this could be an interesting guy.”
Maybin was a castoff from Buffalo when the Jets picked him up last year. He had been there two seasons, a first-round draft pick in 2009, and never gotten a sack. Last year with the Jets, he had six.
“That’s the way Aaron plays, 100 mph,” Ryan said. “LaRon Landry and him, that’s how they do it. He doesn’t play with any breaks he doesn’t slow down until he runs into something, that’s who he is and that's who he’s been since he’s been a New York Jet.”
Maybin said it will stay that way.
“I got something to prove every day, that’s not going to change,” he said.
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