Where Is Aaron Maybin Successful?

Aaron Maybin was a bust for the Bills. That is not debatable. He played a pass rushing position, and the team gave up on him after two years. The Jets are trying to get something out of him. Interestingly, Pro Football Focus notes that he recorded 3 pressures against the Patriots in Week 3 last year. I decided to take a look, try to identify the pressures and figure out whether there were any trends to ditcate his success. These are the three plays I believe resulted in the pressures.

1. 1st and 20; NE 13; 1:14 First Quarter

Maybin lines up at right end in a three point stance on this play and runs wide of Matt Light. Pressure from both ends forces Tom Brady to dump off a throw to a Julian Edelman for a loss of 4.

2. 2nd and 16; NE 20; 10:01 Second Quarter

Maybin is in a three point stance against Light again. This time, he appears to bull rush and then gains leverage on Light, who takes a spill. Maybin has a free path to Tom Brady and charges, forcing an early throw that is broken up by Leodis McKelvin.

3. 1st and 10; BUF 41; 13:54 Third Quarter

Again Maybin is at right end in a subpackage lining up wide. He runs a stunt to the inside and benefits as New England's protection does not shift and Dan Koppen and Dan Connolly remain engaged with interior linemen until it is too late. Brady hits Aaron Hernandez for a 6 yard gain.

What does this tell us?

From watching this game, I view Maybin's ceiling at this point as a pass rushing specialist. He played in about half of Buffalo's defensive downs. When a lineman locked onto him, he had little recourse. He is too small to set the edge in the run game.

Believe it or not, even though his three pressures came at end, I think this kind of game shows he belongs in a standing up role. His pressures were a result of quickness. Even the one where he overpowered Light was because he got quickly on Light and won leverage. Ideally he would get as far to the edge as possible to try and beat a tackle to the corner. The left side of the defense would probably be better since he would be matched up against tackles who tend to be slower and less athletic than on the other side.

With that said, my expectations remain low. This was one of the few games where he showed any signs of life, and even then he made some mistakes like losing contain on an end around. Watching arguably his most productive performance, though, probably shows how he is ideally used.

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