Posted by Ryan Wilson
Two weeks ago, the Jets signed defensive end Aaron Maybin to a one-year deal. The former 2009 11th overall pick had just been released by the team that overdrafted him, the Buffalo Bills, and there was speculation that his NFL career could be over after two unremarkable seasons that resulted in neither a start nor a sack.
Why the Jets would show interest in Maybin shortly after getting rid of virtually the same player in Vernon Gholston was something of a mystery, although head coach Rex Ryan has had some success with reclamation projects. While the Ravens defensive coordinator, Ryan had a knack for taking the undrafted and overlooked and molding them into quality football players. Bart Scott and Jim Leonhard are the two most obvious examples, and he thought so much of them that he brought them to New York in 2009.
Unfortunately, not even Ryan's motivational skills and enthusiasm could make Gholston into something he wasn't, and the Jets cut him. He signed with the Bears in July (and was subsequently released earlier this week), although he did have time to lament that Ryan never gave him a chance with the Jets.
And unless something changes in the coming days, Gholston's New York fate could also be Maybin's.
On August 18, Ryan had high hopes for Maybin. "He has no clue -- he doesn't know a single defense -- but it's like, 'Hey, just turn that corner' -- and he did that pretty good," Ryan said after Maybin's first practice -- an impressive showing with the third string.
We're now in September, 10 days from the regular season, and the reality has set in. Ryan said Maybin is "going to have to do more" to make the team. "He's going to have to show us he's that pass rusher he has a chance to be," he continued. "I think he can play in this league. We'll see if he can play for us."
Also not helping Maybin's cause: the play of Jamaal Westerman, the third-year linebacker who Ryan said was "rushing the passer as well as anyone we have."
When asked about the team signing Maybin last month, Westerman sounded unconcerned.
“This league is about competition and motivation,” he said, according to the Newark Star-Ledger. “I didn’t look at that as anything negative. I looked at it as they’re bringing in a guy who is working hard to learn the defense, just like I’m working hard to improve my play.”
Maybin gets one more (last?) chance to prove he deserves a roster spot when the Jets host the Eagles Thursday night at 7:30.
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