Marcus Dixon: Stay or Go?

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 17: Quarterback Matt Moore #8 of the Miami Dolphins passes against Marcus Dixon #94 of the New York Jets during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium on October 17, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

It is sometimes difficult to judge the impact of big defensive linemen. Stats do not always tell the whole story. Part of what they do is based on things numbers cannot tell. Frequently the successful ones tie up blockers to keep their linebackers clean and able to make plays. They get a push to redirect a runner into another tackler. They flush the quarterback into another defender for a sack.

I do not have any numbers on which to base the following statements, but I think Marcus Dixon was the best Jet nobody talked about in 2011. He was a guy who consistently did the dirty work coming off the bench to win his matchups. He made other guys look good. When he got more opportunities late in the season due to a Mike Devito injury, he played great, including a big fumble he forced against the Redskins.

Dixon has taken a long and turbulent journey in his life on his way to the Jets. He has overcome a controversial and what many would call unjust incarceration to make it to the NFL. He might be able to serve as a good mentor to fellow Hampton University product Kenrick Ellis. At this point, Dixon is an excellent backup lineman and good rotational guy. I hope to continue to see him on passing downs.

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