For most players on the Jets’ roster, Sunday’s game at Seattle will be treated just like any other road contest.
But for one member of the Green & White, the matchup will carry special significance.
Growing up, Marcus and Isaiah competed against one another in several activities. Isaiah primarily remembers the video game battles. But being separated in age by only two years, the brothers usually were teammates participating in sports.
“I would be a sophomore and he’d be a senior,” Isaiah recalls, “so I wasn’t seeing too much playing time back then, but we were definitely on the same team. More of the competition came in like basketball pickup games and stuff like that.”
Marcus inspired Isaiah to begin football in the fourth grade and these days the duo remains in close contact, communicating a few times a week with one another. They’ve already talked this week and even with the game quickly approaching, the conversations have remained level.
“We’re both not really trash talkers like that,” Trufant said. “But it’s always a friendly competition, brotherly competition, I’d say. Just from back in the day, growing up. That’s all it is.”
Marcus, a 2003 first-round draft selection and a starter for his first eight seasons, has totaled 26 tackles and forced and recovered a fumble as the 'Hawks' nickelback this season.
Isaiah, in his second season with the Jets, also has been impressive. No. 35 for the Green & White has 15 tackles on the season and has seen his role expand during the Jets’ two most recent games. He played excellent defense on New England WR Wes Welker during the Jets’ 29-26 overtime loss on Oct. 21, limiting the four-time Pro Bowler to six receptions for 66 yards and finishing the game with six tackles.
“I’m trying to make strides every week,” Trufant said, “and trying to maintain what I’m doing good and trying to capitalize off of that. And the things that I didn’t do, I’m trying to correct those and trying to up my level every week.”
Besides reuniting with Marcus in Seattle, Trufant also will have the opportunity to connect with his younger brother, Desmond. Desmond is a senior CB for the University of Washington and the Huskies are hosting Utah Saturday night, also at CenturyLink Field.
“That’s pretty cool, man,” Trufant said. “We’re all playing in the same stadium over the weekend. That’s a cool thing. I don’t think that happens too often where three brothers on all different teams are playing in the same area.”
Trufant hasn’t seen his siblings since before he departed for training camp in July. He was born and raised in Tacoma, Wash., just 30 miles from Seattle. Obviously he’s looking forward to reconnecting with friends and family when he returns to his home state, but he also realizes the trip’s main objective.
“At the end of the day, it’s a game that we’ve got to win and all that other stuff is secondary,” he said. “I mean, it’s always good to go home and all that good stuff, but it’s a business trip and we’re there to win. That’s where our focus is.”
And while he’s cheered Marcus on many times at CenturyLink Field (previously named Qwest Field) over the years, he’s never played a game there. He anticipates it being a fiery environment and said when he steps onto the field he will say two words to his brother. The words: “Let’s go.”
Brotherly love at its finest.