Aaron Maybin: How Rex Ryan Will Turn the Former Bust into Terrell Suggs

Matt McKinneyContributor IIDecember 2, 2011

ORCHARD PARK, NY - NOVEMBER 06: Aaron Maybin #51 of the New York Jets rushes in on Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 of the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on November 6, 2011 in Orchard Park, New York.New York won 27-11.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

When the Buffalo Bills released Aaron Maybin on August 15, many (including myself) thought that would be the end of his career.

Maybin was drafted 11th overall by the Bills in the 2009 NFL Draft. The Penn State pass-rusher spent two seasons on the Buffalo roster without recording a single sack before being cut.

However, he was signed by the New York Jets just two days later. The general thought around the NFL was that if anybody could turn his career around, Rex Ryan could. Ryan had a similar project when he was in Baltimore with Terrell Suggs.

Suggs was a first-round draft pick in 2003 and he came onto the field strong with 12 sacks as a rookie. In 2004, Ryan was promoted to defensive coordinator. Suggs was a talented pass-rusher, but Ryan took it upon himself to make him into a more complete player.

In his second year in the league, Suggs started all 16 games for the Ravens and intercepted one pass. Suggs has credited Ryan for making him tough.

“If he’s Michelangelo, I was his Sistine Chapel,” Suggs said.

If Suggs was the Sistine Chapel, Maybin must be the Statue of David. Maybin’s full transformation may prove to be a much more difficult task for Ryan.

Suggs’ first year was a success, winning the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year Award. Maybin’s first two NFL seasons were spent in the wallows of western New York, collecting zero sacks as a Bill.

Maybin has turned his career around in 2011, collecting five sacks as a Jet without starting a game. He achieved his first multi-sack game of his career last week against his former team.

If Maybin continues to progress, he will fill a need that has been missing during Ryan’s tenure with the Jets and could become what John Abraham was way back when he donned the green—a yearly threat for double-digit sacks.