Updated, Dec. 21, 11:58 a.m. ET
Mike DeVito is about to wrap up his sixth season in the NFL.
He’s played in 80 career games and all 80 have been with the New York Jets.
He’s producing a career year in 2012 with a career-bests 60 tackles and a career-best 8.0 tackles for loss/no gain. He was also drew a holding call against Tennessee on Monday, the third time he was held this season, another career high. But it’s also the final year of his contract.
“It’s definitely strange,” DeVito said in the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center locker room after practice this afternoon. “I’m looking at it like nothing’s guaranteed. I mean, I have two games left and then I don’t know what’s going to happen next year. So I’m going to enjoy every minute I get a chance to be on this field, be with these guys and play in these last two games because you just don’t know.”
DeVito sure played like he was enjoying himself Monday night against Tennessee. In that game, he finished with a team-best eight tackles and two of his eight takedowns proved to be tackles for loss when Titans RB Chris Johnson was carrying the ball.
After one of those takedowns of Johnson, ESPN broadcast analyst Jon Gruden said of DeVito: “He’s an excellent football player. He can stuff the run.”
The performance also was the first time in a game in the past two seasons that DeVito led the Jets defense in tackles.
“I kind of took this mindset Monday I’m just going to go out there and have fun and enjoy it and enjoy this time,” No. 70 said. “I definitely was happy with that. Obviously [there are] plays I can get better at though, and I’m going to continue to try and get better each week.”
The tackle total at Tennessee wasn’t a season high for DeVito, but the number certainly caught head coach Rex Ryan’s eye.
“Mike DeVito. he had eight tackles — that’s impressive,” Ryan said at his news conference this morning. “When you watch that game, that might have been his top game since I’ve been here. He was absolutely tremendous.”
Twice this season DeVito recorded nine tackles, against the Dolphins in Week 3 and vs. Houston in Week 5.
“I feel confident out there,” he said. “I feel good and I feel like I can continue to get better. I feel like I haven’t peaked at my talent. I’m not satisfied.”
Except for the second quarter 94-yard TD run — on which DeVito may have been the only Jet to get a hand on Johnson — he and his Jets defensive teammates contained the Titans’ star RB.
“That was so frustrating,” DeVito said of Johnson’s touchdown, “because when you look at the stats, I think it was 20 carries for 28 yards and then they had that one long run. But we can’t let that happen. That’s something we had talked about all week, going into the week, was you can have 20 carries for 28 yards but Chris Johnson can break that one. It’s frustrating, but we learned from it. We saw the mistakes and are moving forward.”
As the Green & White continue preparing for this week’s game against San Diego, DeVito said the Chargers’ offensive line might be the most physical bunch the Jets defense has faced all year.
“I really like their offensive line,” he said. “They’re tough up front. Every time we play against these guys it’s always a battle up front.”
Possibly a good sign for the Jets is that San Diego won’t have primary RB Ryan Mathews, who was placed on injured reserve Tuesday. However, DeVito doesn’t see Mathews’ absence necessarily working as an advantage for the Green & White.
“It will be a good challenge for us up front,” he said, “because when you have an offensive line like that, it doesn’t matter who’s back there.”
It will be the final home game of the season for the Jets at MetLife Stadium and DeVito states his family will be in attendance. But will he be playing in his final home game with the franchise? Only time can determine that answer.
“I’m a New York guy,” he said. “My family is over here and has been here for six years. Obviously I love this organization, and I love the people here, so we’ll see how it plays out.”
Thursday Injury Reports
TE Dustin Keller (ankle), S LaRon Landry (heel) and CB Aaron Berry (hamstring) were the three players who did not participate in team drills at today’s practice. G Brandon Moore (foot/hip) was a DNP Wednesday but was full-go today. Five Jets were limited: WR Braylon Edwards (hamstring), DT Sione Po‘uha (low back), LB Ricky Sapp (ankle), LB Bryan Thomas (chest), and WR Chaz Schilens (calf/knee), who didn’t practice a day ago. Fourteen players were full, including new listees K Nick Folk (back) and WR Mardy Gilyard (illness).
For the Chargers, LB Takeo Spikes (hamstring) and DT Aubrayo Franklin (knee) remained not practicing and LB Demorrio Williams (ankle) remained limited. Two players limited Wednesday, RB Ronnie Brown (hamstring) and LB Donald Butler (groin), were full today.
Tags: Chris Johnson, Jon Gruden, Mike DeVito, Rex Ryan, Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers, Tennessee Titans
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