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Jaiquawn Jarrett Eager to Finally Play a Game

Posted Aug 5, 2014

Jets' 4th-Year Safety Having a Strong Camp but Is Ready to Hit Some Colts on Thursday

Despite the protective shield that the defensive front seven is sure to provide for the secondary come gametime, there is no such protection guaranteed when it comes to job security for the stacked group of young safeties competing for a spot on the 53-man roster this year.

But as the position battle in training camp continues to heat up, so does veteran standout Jaiquawn Jarrett.

Jarrett showcased his quickness and agility as the first defender to pick off long-time pro and former Eagles teammate Michael Vick at this camp. Jarrett’s performance has helped to earn him some recognition among a strong group of safeties in contention for roster spots.

“Jaiquawn has been outstanding at this camp and might be playing as well as anybody,” head coach Rex Ryan said recently, adding of his safeties: “It’s an outstanding group.”

The first depth chart of the season released by the Jets today lists Jarrett and first-round draft pick Calvin Pryor as the second-teamers at the safety spots, with Dawan Landry and Antonio Allen listed as the first-teamers. With the competitive nature of the position at this point of the preseason, the safeties find themselves all seeking out “The Mentor” for guidance.

“We all look up to Dawan Landry,” said Jarrett. “We call him 'Mentor' or 'OG'. He’s been around, going on year nine. He has so much knowledge of the game as a pro so we just all tend to look up to him as a mentor, as an OG. We try to gain as much knowledge from him as possible."

The secondary's dynamic is "real interesting,” he said. "All the DBs are real cool. We like to joke a lot. We have a lot of fun in the DB room, both on the field and off the field.”

Aside from the short time he spent in Philadelphia with Vick, the third-year NFL veteran shares a connection with a few other former teammates from Temple, Muhammad Wilkerson and Michael Campbell.

“It’s a brotherhood. We continue to stay close," he said. "Me and Mike are actually roommates in camp. And you know, playing with Mo has been great. He’s family. I’m always with Mo when we’re off the field. It’s always fun to go out here and watch them perform.”

Jarrett started two of the 16 games he played in last season, registering 598 plays on defense and special teams combined. He also got in on the action at the Green & White practice on Saturday, the closest the team has come to playing in an actual game. In 12 possessions of play, he helped the defense held the offense to two field goals and 149 receiving yards.

As a natural competitor, Jarrett believes he and the defense have room for improvement.

“I did OK,” he said of his performance at the Green & White. “I got in on a few tackles, but as a whole, the secondary, we did a pretty good job of communicating. We were flying around, having fun and celebrating with each other when we made plays as a unit. So I think overall we did good, but we’ve got a long way to go.”

Jarrett is looking ahead to the hard hitting ahead at the Jets' first preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium on Thursday.

“In a few days we will be able to go out there and hit the opponent," he said. "You can’t always be banging against your own offense, but you always look forward to being able to hit another opponent.”




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