Most teams make personnel changes in an effort to improve play at a certain position, but not often do they acquire a player who brings a whole new attitude to the organization.
In late February, the Jets signed linebacker Bart Scott and the former Ravens standout is prepared to bring a physical, no-nonsense mentality to a franchise that has been mired in mediocrity for too long.
After coming into the NFL as an undrafted free agent, Scott has developed into a Pro Bowl caliber linebacker known best for his relentless pursuit of ball carriers and opposing QBs.
When he signed a six-year, $48 million contract with the Jets, it was made clear that the spotlight would shine directly on Scott as the defensive leader in the media capital of the world.
With OTAs underway, Scott is looking to put his own violent stamp on the New York defense and he is rarely at a loss for words when asked the hard-hitting questions.
1.) You signed with the Ravens as an undrafted free agent in 2002. Do you play with a chip on your shoulder knowing that 32 teams passed up on you on draft day?
2.) Head coach Rex Ryan showed up at your home at midnight on the first day of free agency. How big of a role did the Jets dedication play in your eventual signing with the team?
3.) For your entire career you have played alongside and consequently in the shadow of future Hall of Famer Ray Lewis. What have you learned from Ray and how do you plan on building your own legacy in New York?
4.) What are your early impressions of the Jets defense through the first few practices of the offseason? Who do you see as the major playmakers around you?
5.) You have played your whole career under Rex Ryan and understand his defensive schemes as well as any player in the league. How confident are you in integrating Ryan’s game plan by teaching the nuances of the system to your teammates?
6.) You were dubbed “The Mad Backer” by former Ravens teammates because of your angry, aggressive style of play. Do you take pride in this nickname?
7.) Last season you were part of a Ravens team that advanced to the AFC Championship game with a rookie QB at the helm. What are your thoughts on fifth-overall pick Mark Sanchez possibly starting on opening day and his potential to lead the offense?
8.) New York was ranked 16th in total defense last season, allowing 329.4 yards per game and giving up a weekly average of 22.2 points per opponent. What do you feel was the team’s biggest problem on the defensive side of the ball and what adjustments will you make to improve in 2009?
9.) As a linebacker who takes pride in his big hits, which opposing offensive player do you enjoy tackling most and do you anticipate any new rivalries forming now that you are in a new division?
10.) Coming off a 9-7 season and missing the postseason by one game, what are your expectations for the Jets in 2009 and what should Jets fans anticipate from their defense?