Aaron Maybin: Mayhem on the field, not off it

Aaron Maybin had a sack of Philip Rivers in the first quarter against the Chargers.

Mayhem is cool and composed as he heads back to the place where he will forever be labeled a bust.

There have been very few ups and mainly downs since Aaron Maybin, a former first-round pick of the Bills, turned pro. He was supposed to be a success in Buffalo, where his speed and long frame could be devastating coming off the edge. Yet despite how impressive his numbers were at the NFL combine, the metrics never measured up on the field.

Maybin never registered a sack in his two years with the Bills and was released by the team in August, the whipping boy for a franchise that hasn’t made a postseason appearance since 1999. The Jets picked him up, cut him despite a solid preseason and brought him back in September when they needed depth at linebacker and defensive end. Now as he readies for this afternoon in Buffalo, there is a flood of emotions for the once bust who now has three sacks with the Jets.

“I feel great, this is one of the stronger weeks of practice I’ve had since I got here if not the strongest as far as mental preparation state – I feel pretty ready,” Maybin said. “As far as excitement goes, I was ready a couple weeks ago.”

While he is still a lean player, and perhaps generously listed at 228 pounds, Maybin is finding success in green and white because he can come flying off the edge. He is a situational player that head coach Rex Ryan labels as one of the “designated pass rusher” options on the team. In this role, he has one speed – fast – and is called to go one direction – forward. It isn’t complicated stuff and it maximizes the raw potential of the player.

Get into the backfield, create pressure and get a sack.

“It’s been a big impact. That was the one thing that we were missing, was a guy with a great get off that had some explosiveness. It was unfortunate the way the roster played out early on that we had to let him go. We were fortunate to be able to get him back because we knew what he brought to the table,” defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said. “So I think we’ve done a good job not giving him too much too soon, but at the same time getting him out there where we can kind of showcase what he can do. And I think that’s such a great thing for us when you have a guy that can force a quarterback to step up sooner than he wants to.”

Pettine talked about how the young player is grasping the playbook and will begin getting more looks – “it’s probably going to be sooner than later.”

“They’ve expanded my role in the defense a little bit this past week,” Maybin said. “I’ve had the opportunity to get on the field and get some looks I haven’t before so I feel good.”

It would be easy for Maybin, who is still just 23 years old, to lash out at his old team. Yet, there is a maturity to his measured responses, even with his first trip back to Ralph Wilson Stadium on the horizon.

“I’ve never been the kind of guy to do my talking in the media. I’m the kind of guy who does his talking on the field on Sunday on the field, that’s the extent of that,” Maybin said. “I’ve got nothing negative to say. I’ve got no sound bites to give that are going to get headlines on SportsCenter.”

While there isn’t grandstanding, there is a desire to get a sack on Sunday. Anything deeper than that is far from his mind.

“Make a statement? Nah. I’m looking to get a win. Making a statement – that’s for somebody who is only concerned with their success. My success is important to me and everything, but it ties in with what the team is doing,” Maybin said. “If the team needs me to go out there and have however many sacks, that’s what I’m going to do, but if the team needs me to go out there and take pressure off a certain guy, give them certain looks, that’s what I’m going to do.”

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.


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