LeQuan Lewis takes pride as a journeyman. The Jets’ latest addition to the roster arrived in response to the secondary position that has been looking sparse this past week with CBs
Outgoing and optimistic, Lewis has embraced his ride with the NFL and is here to do everything in his power to make the Jets a better team than they were without him. He’s not been told directly what his role on the team will be and that’s probably because at this time, no one really knows.
“I’m just taking it in stride,” Lewis said this week at SUNY Cortland after his second practice with the team and looking ahead to tonight's second preseason game against the Bengals in Cincinnati. “Whatever they want me to do, kick it, punt it, you know, it doesn’t matter. I’m going to be here, I want to be here, and I want to do whatever I can to make this team.”
Lewis' addition to the Jets marks his 27th transaction in pro football, his fourth with the Jets (the first three coming in 2012), the signings and releases coming in eight states and two countries throughout his three-year career.
“I’m the journeyman, as they call it," he said. "I’ve been the journeyman. I just want to play football and that’s what I’ve always wanted. I stayed in shape and I fought for what I wanted. It’s been rough. Very, very rough, but I’ve been keeping my mental strong. I’ve just been enjoying the process. I never had a quit in my brain.”
But eventually, even a nomad wants a place to call home.
“This has been one of the most cutthroat businesses in this world, and this organization has been number one to me," Lewis said. "I’ve been bouncing around, obviously, and I kind of felt out other organizations, and these guys have been top class. I love it here. They are very welcoming, so I feel like I fit here.”
Haters are going to hate and LeQuan knows it, but he doesn’t let negativity take up any space in his mind.
“I don’t listen to what the crowd says. Basically the naysayers out there are like, 'Oh, you won’t make it,' and this that and the other. It kind of drives me and fuels me," he said. "I know from playing in the league that I am able to play in this league, so that’s what’s been keeping me going.”
The former Arizona State Sun Devil feeds off of that kind of stuff. Tuesday was Lewis’ first day on the field after being called by the Jets a day earlier. The defensive specialist sporting number 38 said he was being held left and right during team drills and it wasn’t hard to see his adrenaline building throughout practice.
“I didn’t know what I was getting myself in to and they started grabbing me and pushing me around. I was like, 'Awww, I got one of those guys,' ” Lewis said about practice. “I was like, 'I know what I’m getting myself into now.' It kind of shocked me.”
But with a clap of his hands and a nod of his helmet, Lewis broke up the next pass coming his way intended for WR
“I want this to be my last stop,” Lewis said of the Jets. “This is what I call home. I’ve been wanting to come back here for the longest time. To my agent and anyone I’ve been talking to, I always give this team the best praise ever."
But just as in life, there are no guarantees.
“I came here with a positive attitude and I just want to take it one step at a time by making the team and doing everything I can. I always wanted to come back," Lewis said. "This is the place I felt very comfortable. I felt welcomed. It was pretty sad when I left the last time I was here. I didn’t want to leave, so that was kind of emotional for me. But I’m glad to be back. Very glad.”
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