Oday Aboushi might feel comfortable enough to engage in some trash talk the next time he is on the field, and that would be a good sign because there’s nothing the Jets guard loves to do more.
Aboushi didn’t engage in any trash talk this past week in his first NFL appearance, but he promises it is coming soon. Talking trash with opponents comes naturally to Aboushi, he says.
The offensive lineman, who went to Xaverian High School in Brooklyn before a college career at Virginia, is finally beginning to make an impact on the football field. And that means his year hiatus from trash talking could end soon.
Offensive line coach Mike Devlin turned to Aboushi without warning against the Packers and told him to go in for left guard Brian Winters, who was struggling at the time and had just suffered a finger injury.
“I never got tipped off about it. It was more of a kind of ‘Be ready, you’re the sixth man. You’re that next guy up.’ No one really told me,” Aboushi told Metro. “No one really tells you because you don’t know when someone is going to get hurt or need to come off. Obviously your emotions are going up, you’re eager to get in, get your first NFL experience, get the ball rolling [and] see what it’s like.
“There wasn’t any talking, I was more focused on trying to get into the rhythm, trying to get into the flow of the game.”
He said the coaching staff was pleased with how he played, but he wasn’t ready to begin talking trash in his first NFL game.
“He’s a player who plays with a lot of passion. He has some great talent and he’s a fighter,” left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson said. “When he comes in, he definitely represents himself and the team. I think he’s done a good job. I think he definitely has an aggressive nature to him. It definitely helps his game and he uses it in his game.”
Despite being a fifth-round pick last season, Aboushi wasn’t active for any regular season game. He stood on the sideline 16 times last season. The Jets obviously had high hopes for him as they put him on the 53-man roster and not the practice squad, but his inability to get on the field had some fans scratching their heads.
Aboushi, who was a tackle in college, was asked to play guard with the Jets. This meant not just learning a new spot along the offensive line, but the need to get stronger to play along the interior.
Aboushi admits he wasn’t strong enough last year.
He spent the past year learning, practicing and bulking up, losing some fat and packing on muscle. In training camp, he earned first-team reps with starting right guard Willie Colon out with a knee injury and he played well.
Given that Winters recently received a minus-6.1 rating from Pro Football Focus after his rough game against the Packers, the snaps given to Aboushi are more than just cover. He could have the opportunity to stake a claim to a starting job.
“I was gearing up for this moment for a while. It wasn’t a shock for me,” Aboushi said. “It was more about winning. I was staying ready and prepared for when the moment comes.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.