New York Jets rookie linebacker Marcus Dowtin was nice enough to take the time to speak with Turn On The Jets yesterday. Dowtin was recently promoted to the active roster and has the versatility to play a number of roles in Rex Ryan’s defense, hence earning the nickname: The Hybrid. Dowtin also stepped up recently by offering support for victims of Hurricane Sandy. Make sure you are following him both on Facebook and Twitter.
JC - What inspired you to be one of the first Jets players to step up and offer support to the victims of the Hurricane in the area?
MD - I have family throughout the area, which helped me really understand just how deep the devastation truly was. It was horrible what the people here had to deal with. This is our community and I wanted to make sure that I did something, even if it was only a little something to help give back to our fans.
JC - Obviously your nickname stems from your ability to play a variety of positions and do a variety of things on the football field. Yet, do you have one skill set that you feel could really help the Jets defense?
MD - If I could cover slot receivers and tight ends and blitz off the edge all day it would be fun but obviously there is more to playing in this defense. I have seen time in the middle and working at setting the edge in the running game. So I am just concentrating on becoming a complete player and doing whatever the coaches need me to.
JC - How has Rex Ryan used you specifically since you have been called up to the active roster, in terms of the positions you are learning and where you are lining up in practices?
MD - All over the place. Defensive end. Outside linebacker. Nickel safety. I like it, it helps keep me in shape and focused. It is also good to learn how to do different things out there on the field.
JC - There is a ton of veteran experience in the linebacker group. Can you talk about what you have learned from players like Bart Scott, Calvin Pace and Bryan Thomas?
MD - We have a great group of guys at that position. Bart Scott is a tremendous leader. He works with me every Monday and Tuesday specifically on the little things that I need to go over. Calvin Pace does the same type of things. Bryan Thomas is a good guy to talk to for all kinds of advice. I appreciate how all those guys work with me on a daily basis and answer questions I have about making it in this league both on and off the field.
JC - What about special teams and playing for Mike Westhoff?
MD - I really want a bigger role on special teams. I think I could definitely make an impact there on any of the units whether it is coverage, blocking…whatever they need me to do. I hope moving forward in the coming weeks I get the chance to do more for Coach Westhoff.
JC - Finally, what are your goals for the foreseeable future?
MD - I saw what an impact by good buddy Nick Bellore was able to make on special teams as a rookie last year and this year, I’d like to be able to do the same thing. On defense I just want to keep progressing and getting more comfortable in this system. I’m going to do what it takes to stick around on this roster and make an impact.