New York Jets: Can Rex Ryan, Jets Re-Ignite Aaron Maybin's Pass-Rush Game?

Adam SpencerCorrespondent IAugust 17, 2011

ORCHARD PARK, NY - MAY 01:  Aaron Maybin #58, 2009 first round draft pick of the Buffalo Bills waits in between plays during Buffalo Bills minicamp at the Buffalo Bills Fieldhouse on May 1, 2009 in Orchard Park, New York.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

The New York Jets have signed former Buffalo Bills linebacker Aaron Maybin.

The Bills waived Maybin on Monday, after two seasons with no sacks from the former No. 11 draft pick.

Coming into the NFL from Penn State in 2009, Maybin had a lot of potential. But, he never lived up to any of it, looking small and lost on the field. He wasn't big enough, always weighing in at under 250 pounds, and was a liability against the run.

So, why would one of the best defenses in the league take a chance on this guy?

Rex Ryan boasts one of the best defensive units in the NFL. They play the run well, defend the pass and get after the quarterback at a high level.

And, that's where Maybin fits in.

Maybin won't be used on first or second downs. Instead, he'll be a pass rush specialist on third downs. His only obligation will be to get to the quarterback, something he used to be good at in college.

If he's ever going to be a decent NFL player, he'll have to show it in New York.

If he can't get it done while surrounded with guys like Bart Scott, Muhammad Wilkerson, Calvin Pace and David Harris, he'll never get it done.

Those veteran leaders should put plenty of pressure on Maybin to get his weight up and work harder.

If he doesn't have a sack by the end of 2011, it's because he wasn't trying hard enough. He will be given every chance to succeed by Rex Ryan, who would love nothing more than to make Maybin a valuable NFL player.

After failing to turn Vernon Gholston into a pass rusher, Ryan is looking for a guy he can change in order to restore his defensive "genius" label. Making Maybin into a productive player would be a great success for Ryan and the Jets defense.

I expect Maybin to make a small impact on the Jets this season. He won't do anything spectacular and certainly won't live up to his first-round draft pick status.

However, he should at least get his first two or three sacks in the NFL and should be a valuable bench player for Rex Ryan's crew in 2011.

If not, then the Jets should cut their losses immediately, instead of holding onto him for too long like they did with Gholston.

Maybin has everything he needs to succeed in New York: a great coach, good teammates and a strong defense. Now, the rest is up to him.