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Rex Ryan's present to the Jets was putting Aaron Maybin in his 'sack' of toys
This past Monday Aaron Maybin was waived by the Buffalo Bills, but he did not remain a free agent for long. By Wednesday, the former #11 overall pick of the 2009 NFL Draft had been recruited to the New York Jets. Ryan said he wanted to bring in the undersized and under-performing defensive end to utilize his quickness as a designated pass-rusher and the move has quickly shown some promise.
After going through two years of professional football without recording a sack, the 6'4" Maybin lined up on the right end in the 4th quarter of Sunday's 27-7 preseason romp over the Bengals. He blasted off the line, turned the corner, and slammed an unsuspecting Dan LeFevour to the ground forcing a fumble (Video below, sorry no sound). Even though he was facing third-string offensive lineman, Maybin's sudden success raises some questions. Has Rex Ryan struck gold?
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Jetting to Success
Maybin left Penn State in 2009 following his Junior season after red-shirting as a freshman. He showed very swift improvements during his two year tenure playing for the Nittany Lions, quickly jumping from 12 tackles and 4 sacks in 2007 to 49 tackles and 12 sacks in 2008. He was voted an All-American and was a finalist for both the Ted Hendricks and Chuck Bednarik trophies. He had a signature performance in Penn State's 48-7 victory over Wisconson that year, recording six tackles including two sacks and two forced fumbles. He also had a monster block on an interception return, leveling an offensive lineman who took out his own teammate as a result.
Now he finds himself on Rex Ryan's vaunted defensive unit. A defense that constantly utilizes ingenious blitz packages, terrorizing opposing quarterbacks. Maybin is listed as the #2 right outside linebacker on the Jets depth chart behind Calvin Pace and that is not likely to change but his role with the Jets is yet to be determined.
Maybin has always been known to have incredible speed for a pass rusher. His problem has always been his small frame and his inability to stop the run. He was listed around 235 lb in college and bulked up to 249 lb just in time to claim a early pick at the '09 draft. He is now listed at 228 lb on ESPN.com but more accurate reports have him at about 240 lb right now with him looking to add another 15 pounds to get up to playing weight.
Until then however, there may be no better fit for Maybin than the Jets. The Jets have maintained a top 3 defense over the past two seasons despite losing monster run stopper Kris Jenkins in both 2009 and 2010. Ryan was able to overcome the blow easily, using relatively unknown players such as Sione Pouha and Mike DeVito. Now Rex has the 23-year-old Maybin, fresh into camp recording a sack on his fifth day with the team. Maybe the third year player will be rejuvenated by a change of scenery, especially leaving Buffalo for a super bowl contender.
There are two more games left in this preseason to help us figure out if the kid is for real this time, but it's my belief that with Ryan's talent for beating protections along with the overall talent of his teammates, Maybin has a second chance for success and it is up to him to seize it.