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STS*: Mauga, Gilbert Could Contribute Sunday

Posted by Nick Gallo on October 30, 2010 – 12:13 pm

Injuries, transactions and on-field performance are all ingredients in how the Jets’ 53-man active roster and 45-man gameday roster develop. For two members of the Green & White, Sunday’s game against the Packers could be an opportunity to show their worth for the first time after being elevated from the practice squad.

Linebacker Josh Mauga and defensive tackle Jarron Gilbert may get their shot to make an impact against the Packers, most likely on special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff’s crew.

“We’re putting him in and trying to get him a position to see if he can be active,” Westhoff said of Mauga. “He deserves an opportunity at some point in time, and he may well get it this week. We’ll see. He deserves a chance. He worked really hard. He got hurt in camp and that put him back, but he deserves an opportunity to see what he can do as a player, so we want to give it to him.”

The Nevada product has fought through injuries since  he was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2009. During his senior year with the Wolfpack, he tore his pectoral muscle yet made 54 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. In 2009 he was placed on injured reserve and during this season’s training camp in Cortland, N.Y., he suffered a concussion on a goal-line drill.

Mauga was surprised by the callup from the practice squad.

“It definitely shocked me,” Mauga said. “They said I had a chance and would have the opportunity if someone went down. When I got the phone call it was very exciting. It just feels like everything that I’ve done up to this point has really helped me get to the 53-man roster.”

Despite having the concussion and then being winding up on the practice squad, Mauga has been relentless in his study. He was seen roaming the sidelines during training camp and this season he’s met with linebackers coach Bob Sutton separately at least once a week in order to stay on top of the playbook. While he may not see playing time on the defensive end with players like Bart Scott and David Harris in front of him, he’s been working on every special teams unit and knows what role he hopes to play.

“Just being a playmaker,” Mauga said. “Coach Westhoff always talks about how he wants guys to be flying down on special teams and making plays. That’s what I hope I can do for him.”

Gilbert, like Mauga, has also taken an unconventional route to the 53-man roster. A third-round pick by Chicago out of San Jose State in 2009, he was released after just one season in the Bears’ 4-3 scheme. He came into the NFL as a defensive tackle but was told to lose weight to become an end.

Now in Rex Ryan and coordinator Mike Pettine’s 3-4 system, Gilbert can get back to being the type of player he was during his senior year at SJSU, when he made 52 tackles, an NCAA-leading 22 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks.

“Definitely I feel like I can be an asset to the team,” Gilbert said. “I can bring some pass rush to the scheme and I’m still a little light, still trying to gain weight, but certain situations I feel I could be helpful.”

Ryan said when the Jets were interested in running back Shonn Greene in the 2009 draft, they were also looking at Gilbert. This season, after making only one tackle in four games with the Bears, Gilbert was claimed off waivers by the Jets and has been able to work his way closer to his college playing weight of about 290 pounds as opposed to his 260 pounds with Chicago.

“He’s a big athletic guy for that kind of size,” Ryan said. “He’s got the long arms. Now, being trained behind Shaun [Ellis] and Trevor Pryce, it’s going to be good tutelage for him. We’re trying to get that weight back on him. Poor kid. He’s doing well. He’s earned it. He really works hard on the scout team looks. That’s why we promoted him.”

*Special Teams Saturday

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Posted in Nick Gallo | 9 Comments »

9 Responses to “STS*: Mauga, Gilbert Could Contribute Sunday”

  1. By Arte Olde School on Oct 30, 2010 | Reply

    I like it ALOT.. Bring it on JetNation..!! Some Good Old-Fashioned Home Cooking heading out for Halloween (boo!) and the Ho-ho-holidays.. See you in Dallas :-)

  2. By GaryC on Oct 30, 2010 | Reply

    I like the way rex says gilbert can train behind ellis and pryce. I guess he has already jumped ahead of Gholston.

  3. By IRA on Oct 30, 2010 | Reply

    It sure looks like they have given up on VG. Too bad i thought he made some progress at camp as a DE and now they have moved him back to OLB. He has been real quiet.
    Mauga sure does deserve a shot. Before he got hurt in camp he was always the first player to be on the field. He has a great work ethic and i wish him luck. Hope Gilbert can help out. Rex knows D players and if he had an eye on him before the draft they might have something with him. Time will tell.

  4. By scjoe on Oct 30, 2010 | Reply

    I like the potential of both of these guys, Gilbert especially is a very good athlete, Mauga had to show Rex something to call him up, question is, if everyone is now healthy, who will go on the inactive in place of the two just brought up? Probably McKnight and Clemons, then who? I think we will witness another nail biter Sunday with Jets coming out on top 24-17

  5. By Jack's Tattoos on Oct 30, 2010 | Reply

    gholston is mostly end/lb..gilbert seems like he’s going to be a dt like ellis was briefly in his early career.

  6. By Mainejet on Oct 30, 2010 | Reply

    How often has McKnight even been on the active roster?

  7. By GaryC on Oct 31, 2010 | Reply

    Gilbert is one of those athletic freaks, they showed him jumping out of a pool backwards when he was drafted a couple years ago, hopefully he can translate into a defensive end that can rush the qb.I saw all I want to see of Gholston when he was faked out by favre.He will go down as another Mike Mamula.

  8. By Mike Jet Vet on Oct 31, 2010 | Reply

    again not to be the grim reaper but isn’t it time someone else gets a shot at V-G’s spot I know it sounds like I’m tooting my own horn but I’ve said it again and again V-G hasn’t showed anything or played a full game only 1 sack in 3 seasons + and think that was a preseason game he shys away from contact then put him at DE come on please its not happening he’s another Ryan Leaf either you have it or you don’t he was given more then fair chance to make this team and hasn’t come close time to move on if Mauga or Gilbert have the talent get them in .. Only thing this team lacks to make us elite in my opinion is a good or better yet a great pass rusher

  9. By wayne on Oct 31, 2010 | Reply

    It’s good for these guys to be rewarded for their efforts. I think the Jets have been pretty good in this area over the past few years.This bodes well for them in the future. Good young FA talent will want to come to the Jets for an oppty…..The Packer game should be about good old fashion physical football. Pound this depleted team into submission…I expect almost the same result for the Pack as what happened to Denver the game after playing the Jets….Big letdown…..Jets win…

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