LB Jason Babin signed with the Jets the day before training camp began. He made his first appearance in uniform on the second day of practice and will make his game debut against the Indianapolis Colts tonight within 15 days of agreeing to terms with the team.
“I’m excited about the game,” said Babin, who has 62.5 sacks entering his 11th year in the league. “Any time you get to go hit someone else and hit quarterbacks live, how can you not be excited?”
In the short amount of time Babin has been with us, he has shown his ability to get off the line and pressure quarterbacks. Although he hasn’t been able to hit Jets quarterbacks, he’s made his presence felt, especially at the Green & White practice where he had a number of QB pressures that forced errant throws.
Head coach Rex Ryan said Tuesday that he knows what Babin can do in terms of getting to the quarterback but realizes it will take him some time to learn the plays.
“You come in, it’s like, wow, it’s a brand new playbook for him. So there’s going to be some issues, but one thing we never worry about is that he can rush the passer and that’s what you see,” Ryan said. “The thing that jumps out at you is that he can flat rush the passer and that’s what we brought him in here to do, but we're also teaching him the system.”
“It’s going pretty well. There’s a lot of new terminology, but football is football,” he said. “Just learning the terminology, it’s a lot of memorization.”
He added that Ryan and coordinator Dennis Thurman have made the learning easier for him because of the way they evaluate the talent on defense, making personnel calls based on players’ abilities.
“The unique thing or special thing about them is how they tailor blitzes and plays to what they have for the personnel,” he said. “This player can do this, ‘Well, let’s get him do that.’ This player is best at this. ‘Well, guess what we’re going to do? We’re going to put him in that situation for him to succeed.’ So it’s a pretty cool thing to see.”
For Babin, his best skill is finding a way to get to the quarterback and he will be used accordingly. He’s 34 years old, but his production hasn’t slowed down — he recorded 14.5 sacks the past two seasons, including 7.5 with Jacksonville last year.
Babin has been around the block, as the Jets are the seventh team he’s played for in his career, but it wasn’t until this season, he said, that he’s seen a group with this chemistry.
“I tell you what, collectively, the coaches and all the players are a bunch of real dudes for a lack of a better word,” he said. “You can get along with them and you can have conversations and get after it and work hard. It’s just fun being a part of it.”
READ: 9 Highlights of First Depth Chart of Summer
READ: 6 Things to Look For at Jets-Colts Opener
READ: Smith, Vick Getting Their Game On
WATCH: QB Challenge:Simms vs. Eric Allen
WATCH: Jets vs. Colts Game Preview