Jets re-sign Aaron Maybin

Updated: September 29, 2011, 6:46 PM ET
By Rich Cimini | ESPNNewYork.com

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Coach Rex Ryan was unusually cagey when asked Wednesday why he decided to re-sign pass-rusher Aaron Maybin. In truth, the New York Jets have a specific plan for him.

They believe Maybin's speed could be an asset Sunday night against the Baltimore Ravens, specifically left tackle Bryant McKinnie, politely listed at 6-foot-8, 360 pounds. The lumbering McKinnie outweighs Maybin by 120 pounds, conservatively, but Maybin has one thing going for him -- a quick burst off the ball.

Ryan said it's "certainly a possibility" that Maybin could be active for the game. If the coaches like what they see in practice, they will put him in some of their sub packages with the hope he can inject some life into the pass rush.

"I feel I can definitely come in and be a tool for us in that capacity," Maybin said after practice.

Maybin received a three-week audition in the preseason, recording three sacks in limited action. The Jets signed him after he was cut by the Buffalo Bills, who chose him 11th overall in the 2009 draft. He was a bust in Buffalo, where he failed to record a sack and was considered a liability against the run.

The Jets almost kept him on the roster as they headed into the regular season, releasing him the day after the final cutdown. After Sunday's disappointing defensive performance in Oakland, they decided to give it another shot.

"We just wanted to bring in a guy that we felt pretty good about, and somebody that knows our system and maybe can contribute to us," Ryan said.

Don't be fooled by the coachspeak; the Jets are seriously considering him for this week because of the McKinnie factor.

McKinnie, released by the Minnesota Vikings because he reported to training camp at 387 pounds, landed in Baltimore and played well in the season-opening win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. But he struggled in the Week 2 loss to the Tennessee Titans, appearing slow in pass protection.

Maybin is a one-trick pony, but that one trick is speed rushing.

"He did have three sacks in the preseason in about 12 rushes, so that's hard to ignore," Ryan said.

The decision to re-sign Maybin isn't a positive reflection on outside linebacker Jamaal Westerman, the team's so-called DPR -- designated pass-rusher. Westerman has none of the team's seven sacks and he was caught out of position on Denarius Moore's 23-yard reverse for a touchdown. He still had a chance to tackle Moore, but missed him 12 yards behind the line of scrimmage.

Ryan gave a lukewarm assessment of Westerman's play.

"He's been OK," Ryan said. "He hasn't been great. He's done a decent job."

Maybin said he wasn't surprised that the Jets wanted him back, and he wasn't surprised when they released him. He learned the hard way that the NFL is a business. Now he could get a chance to revive his career in the city where he was raised -- Baltimore.

Asked whether he could be ready by Sunday, Maybin said, "I was ready to play yesterday."

Maybin learned only a portion of the Jets' defensive playbook in his short stint with the team during the summer, but said he "most definitely" can come in and immediately help New York's pass rush.

"I just got in last night, so we're still in the process of going over what the expectations are and what the plan is for this week and all that kind of stuff," he said. "But as we have more of an opportunity to talk about it and I have more of an opportunity to get comfortable in this system, we'll be more clear on what the plan is for Sunday."

Maybin spent the last few weeks staying in shape and dealing with what he called some "family issues," but is excited about being able to jump-start a career that looked so promising just a few years ago.

"I've been gone close to a month, so there's still a fair amount of things I still have to learn," he said. "But, I've retained all the knowledge from when I was here and everything I had learned, we're still building on all that kind of stuff, but I still have a ways to go, as far as the learning curve."

The Jets had one open roster spot after placing center Robert Turner (broken leg) and tight end Jeff Cumberland (torn Achilles tendon) on injured reserve Tuesday. To fill one spot, they promoted rookie tight end/fullback Josh Baker from the practice squad.

The Jets on Wednesday also signed linebacker Eddie Jones to the practice squad.

Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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