Prior to the start of this season, many here at GGN were predicting great things for Aaron Maybin. A nice 2011 season in which he led the Jets in sacks with 6 had Jets fans salivating at the prospect of our first huge pass rush threat since John Abraham left town. Many were predicting double digit sacks - some even went so far as to predict 20+ sacks and All Pro status.
Alas, it was not to be. After a preseason in which Rex and the Ryanettes heaped over-the-top praise on Maybin, calling him unstoppable and claiming nobody in Jets camp could block him, we are left, perhaps predictably, with the ugly reality of the Incredible Disappearing Pass Rusher. Maybin put on some 20+ pounds during the offseason, hoping to bulk up enough to merit consideration for a full time gig as the Jets starting outside linebacker. Predictably, Maybin claimed that the extra weight would not slow him down, and on cue the Jets' staff claimed that if anything he looked a step faster. The coaching staff claimed he had earned a shot at the full time gig, and we were all led down the garden path of false expectations.
The outrageous levels of praise heaped on Maybin by Ryan and Co. should have been the first warning sign that all would not be right in Maybin land. Rex has the unfortunate habit of reflexively lying in support of his underachieving players. Thus the Eric Smith looks like Ed Reed comments, the Pitoitua is going to be a star comments, the Westerman is going to be our designated sacker comments. When the over the top praise of Maybin started in Jets camp, we should have been warned. Maybin has attempted throughout his entire collegiate and NFL career to put on and keep on enough weight to be an every down LB. But 2 things have always inevitably happened. First, he's never been able to keep it on. Second, when he's put it on, it has inevitably robbed him of his only real asset - incredible speed. We were led to believe that neither of those things would be a problem this year, that Maybin was actually faster, and that the added weight would translate into a larger role. The reality has been somewhat different.
Through 5 games this year, Aaron Maybin has 1 tackle, zero sacks, zero pressures, and zero impact. This has been the least productive stretch of a generally unproductive career. He has been so bad he has basically disappeared from the lineup. Contrary to what we were led to believe, he never had a shot at the starting outside LB gig. When Bryan Thomas went down, Garrett McIntyre, a high motor but physically unimposing talent, replaced him in the starting lineup. Not only did Maybin not get the start, his playing time actually went DOWN. Contrary to preseason reports, Maybin is not faster, he's slower, and his presumed added strength has not nearly made up for the loss of speed.
Prior to coming to the Jets Maybin had played 2 unimpressive years with Buffalo, recording a total of 24 tackles and zero sacks and gradually becoming an afterthought in Buffalo's plans. Upon coming to the Jets, he seemed to be reborn, recording 4 tackles, 3 sacks and 2 assists in his first 4 games with Gang Green. Hopes were raised we had found an overlooked gem, but unfortunately, that appears to have been a mirage. This is how his career has played out since those heady first four games with the Jets:
Games 1-4: 4 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 assists.
Games 5-8 2 tackles, 2 sacks, 0 assists
Games 9-12 2 tackles, 1 sack, 0 assists
Games 13-18 3 tackles, 0 sacks, 0 assists.
He has gone 9 straight games without a sack. In those last 9 games he has a grand total of 3 tackles, 0 assists. He has been less than invisible - he has barely even seen the field of late. The Jets never intended to give him a shot at a starting position. I do not believe they really believed all their PR Maybin hype in the preseason. It would not entirely surprise me to see Maybin cut before the year is out.
We should have known better. We should have seen the clear warning signs of the Rex hype machine. Maybin reverting to form after a surprising start with the Jets? Looks like it. Maybin becoming our next great pass rusher? Mmmm.... Maybe not.