New York Jets offensive lineman Oday Aboushi is trying to move on from his January arrest for marijuana possession and focus squarely on a very tough position battle to make the 53-man roster.
News came out from the team late last week that Aboushi was suspended for the first game of the season for an arrest in January where marijuana was found in his vehicle. Aboushi, through his agent, issued a statement apologizing for the incident.
He spoke on Monday following practice.
“It's been behind me for awhile, something that happened in January. It's been in the past now. I've been focusing more on moving forward and trying to get better every day, coming out there with the squad and with a lot of guys and competing. Whatever happened happened. I'm more focused on moving forward,” Aboushi said.
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“It's been learned, it's been learned from for a long time. I had several months, happened in January and it's now in August. I've learned a lot of ways from it; it's just disappointing.”
Aboushi, to his credit, has handled things the right way concerning the arrest. Now eight months removed from the incident, his focus he says is on football.
There is a lot of competition at guard on this team with James Carpenter and Willie Colon solidly gripping starting jobs. It appears also that James Brewer, Dakota Dozer and Brian Winters are also in the mix on the two-deep.
It remains to be seen if a new coaching staff and a new general manager think that he's the best player.
“That's a problem you want to have, a lot of competition, it brings out the best in a lot of guys. For us I think it's good, especially since we have a lot of young guys and veteran guys are really bringing the young guys along. Kind of showing us the ways,” Aboushi said.
“We're just continuing to kind of absorb everything they're putting out. We see how they play, how they carry themselves. It's going to continue to be a big battle, I think it will be tougher on the coaches. For everyone competing, I think we've all kind of glued together – we're coming along.”
That leaves Aboushi, in his third year with the team after 15 games played last year and 10 starts, as perhaps the odd man looking out. He made tremendous improvements last year in terms of overall strength and technique and he did a good job of reshaping his physique as well.
“I feel like last year is last year, this is a whole new year, a whole new coaching staff, a whole new season. I got to go out there and prove myself again, I have to go out there and really put my best foot forward and do what I did last year but even better,” Aboushi said. “Continue to improve every day in practice which coaches want to see and get better every day.”
- It was not a good day for wide receiver Eric Decker, who had a couple of really bad drops. Decker also had a bad drop in Friday night's preseason win over the Atlanta Falcons.
- Wide receiver Jeremy Kerley (concussion) and Chris Owusu (concussion) were both on the field in red non-contact jerseys.
- In terms of pocket presence and awareness, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick put together another nice practice with the first-team offense. His ball placement was tremendous on a couple plays where he squeezed a pass into tight space.