Daniel Muir remembers the moment he was cut by the Colts very well.
Muir joined the Jets earlier this week and the timing couldn’t be any better. He will take the field this Sunday against a Colts team that unceremoniously cut him last year.
It was Nov. 9, 2011 and Muir was visiting a local veterans hospital in Indianapolis, a team event that coincided with Veterans Day being that week. Muir found out after the event that the Colts decided to make a roster move and cut the nose tackle who had spent the previous three seasons with the team. It was a rough decision for Muir to take, made complicated by the fact that he was doing community outreach at the time.
Now Muir faces the team that dumped him 11 months ago.
“The guys that did that are no longer there, but I look at it as any other game. I want to perform and out-perform and that’s how I look at it. I hold myself to that,” Muir said. “It doesn’t matter if I’m playing them or Denver or [the] Texans. I want to outperform and play extremely well. I don’t look at it like that. I just want to ball — ball out.”
He’s had other recent disappointments. Cut in late August by the Packers, Muir has spent the last four weeks in Pittsburgh with his in-laws where he’s been working out and waiting for a chance to open up for him. He’s had workouts in Houston, Denver, Detroit and Miami but none of the workouts worked out for the 6-foot-3, 322-pound nose tackle. But the Jets called and brought him in last Tuesday, a move precipitated by injuries. On Monday night, nose tackle Kenrick Ellis suffered an MCL injury that will likely sideline him for at least a month and Sione Pouha has been plagued with a back injury since training camp.
Muir now looks likely to have a prominent role on Sunday against his old team with the only other active nose tackle on the roster being rookie Damon Harrison. He thinks his new teammates will find out what makes him tick this week.
“I play with a lot of energy. I’m real passionate when I play on the field. I really think I can bring a lot of energy,” Muir said. “Have fun, just have fun when I’m doing it. That’s one thing guys will be able to see from me is that I’m going to play with energy and have fun.”
His is a dirty job. The nose tackle in the 3-4 must be willing to sacrifice his body to clog up holes and eat up blockers, freeing the defensive ends for the pass rush. He has 108 tackles in 43 career games, a testament to his role in filling the hole so others can shine. It’s that unique skillset and mentality that the Jets need right now.
The football side of things, he estimates, will take about a week to get used to as he acclimates to the physicality of the game again. Understanding the playbook will take time, but Muir is going to focus on what needs to be ready against the Colts.
“I knew eventually I’d get a call,” Muir said “I have a lot of football left in me, I got a lot of football left in me so I knew a call would come.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.