Every time Aaron Maybin runs down the field — arms pumping, legs flying — he can be heard loud and clear as he yells two words over and over at the top of his lungs: “Get better.”
It has been that way all training camp as the Jets defensive end has been learning how to be a flanker on special teams — racing at full speed, striving to make a play, striving to make an impression on special teams coach Mike Westhoff.
“I started saying that last year when I first got here. [I] started just yelling it when I was on the field, no matter what I was doing,” Maybin told Metro. “Just trying to improve each day, no matter what. Always, always trying to get better.”
Maybin was the definition of a “bust” in Buffalo. He underwhelmed, failing to register a sack in two years in western New York. But as the Jets’ designated pass rusher, Maybin excelled with six sacks and he signed a new deal this offseason.
The switch to special teams as a flanker racing downfield as a tackler is usually reserved for lighter, more nimble players.
“He can run like heck. He’s a strong explosive guy, an interesting player,” Westhoff said. “We’re going to see what we can do with him.”
And the veteran special teams coach isn’t concerned about the player being raw in the role.
“I don’t worry about that stuff. I can coach him,” Westhoff said. “There are some positions going in, like we’re punting and trying to down it — we wouldn’t use him for that. If we’re punting in positive territory, trying to pin them in, would we use him? No. No, that wouldn’t be a spot where we use him.”
He’s been one of the head turners of training camp in his regular role on defense too, using explosive speed and quick hands to come off the edge. From the looks of what he’s showing on the field, there might be more snaps for a player nicknamed “Mayhem.”
“Even with the new contract and everything, I just want to continue with what got me here,” Maybin said. “I know the work here isn’t done for me. I can’t stop getting better.”