Jets defensive end Leger Douzable feels he has found a home after four stops in seven seasons. A free agent signing last year, Douzable came in and impressed from the edge position. He turned his 2013 success into a one-year contract to extend his stay in New York.
He spoke with us about his new contract, a future in television and playing for Rex Ryan.
Before you signed with the Jets, was this the place you wanted to play or did you want to test the waters for other offers?
They offered awhile back. I entertained a little bit but I knew where I wanted to be. I wanted to be in New York. Me and [linebacker] Calvin [Pace], we talked a lot in the offseason and him coming back — he told me he really wanted to come back. Having [defensive] line coach [Karl] Dunbar and Rex there another year helped me in making that decision.
How much of a factor in staying was continuing your television career post-playing days?
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You’re the first person to ask me and that had a major impact on me coming back. What better market to be in to work on your craft for after football than New York City? I did some work with SNY last year and I plan on doing some more work with them this offseason. That was a piece of the pie for me coming back, definitely.
You’ve spoken in the past about playing for Rex Ryan. How much did it mean to you that he was coming back for another season? Did that impact your decision at all?
After I called my mom, that was the next person I called. Him coming back was major for me coming back. Playing for Rex was great. He was a great coach and a great person, period. He got a bad rep from some in the media. He’s a guy you will go to war for and he will go to war for you. I know that. I love playing for Rex.
He was super excited that I got it done. He said he had been waiting for me to give him a call. He thought it’d be done a little while ago. But he was glad we got it done. We talked about the offseason and what they see me doing.
What is so special about Rex? Players always seem to sing his praises.
His energy. He comes to work with a lot of energy every day. When we come to a game, we know exactly what we’re going to do. The guy preps like no other. It’s great to play with a guy like that, he wears his emotions on his sleeves but you know that he cares. You come into work every day, you’re ecstatic to work because of his energy.