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Garrett McIntyre Continues to Roll Along

Posted Aug 4, 2014

Jets' 4th-Year LB Shows No Signs of Being Ready to Change Hats for His Next Line of Work

Garrett McIntyre may wear No. 50 in green on his back, but his collar is blue, as in the lunchpail work ethic he has brought to the Jets' linebacking corps the past four years.

"I'm just approaching this camp like I do every year, coming to work every day, trying to improve every day, little things," McIntyre told me last week, unconcerned with the source of the trickle of dried blood coming from somewhere on his hand. "Maybe the mental part's a little easier now that I know the defense, but there's always little things you can work on to get better. I feel as soon as you stop doing that, you will not be in this league anymore, so I'm trying to prevent that."

He's been remarkably resourceful at that, once he got his toehold on the Jets' roster — after three short stops with NFL teams in '06 and a year each in the Arena League and the CFL. He knows better than most why Jerry Glanville was right about what the initials N.F.L. stood for.

"I'm going to play in this league probably until the wheels fall off," he said with his ready smile, "then I'll be ready for my next career after that."

I asked McIntyre what that line of work might be, and he had a pretty good idea.

"A guy in my position, every year in this league opens new doors after football, as long as you save your money and do things correctly," he said. "I've thought about firefighting, back in Cali[fornia, his home state]. I'm kind of a blue-collar guy, and there's that team aspect of firefighting, being with the boys ... and it's also stable."

But don't take all this reminiscing as the talk of a misty-eyed geezer ready to retire. McIntyre, who'll turn 30 in November, is far from there. He showed that Saturday night at the Green & White practice.

In the second twos-vs.-twos series of the night, he and Jason Babin strung out a Chris Ivory wide run for a yard loss. Then on the next-to-last play of the first half, he was out in air trying to force Michael Vick's hand on a rollout. He didn't give up a scramble lane and in fact forced Vick back-back-back until the QB had to fire the ball out of bounds.

Then came a goal-line stick of Alex Green at the 1 and two plays later the fourth-and-goal sack of Geno to end that deep red zone foray with no points for the offense.

Garrett McIntyre got all this done after a few "pitch count" days early in camp where he rehabbed while his defensive mates practiced. It was nothing surgical, rather a knee injury "from a long time ago ... actually the initial injury was from Arena, like six years ago," he said. The knee flared up late last season, so he got some time to work on it along with John Mellody and his training staff.

"Rex and John Idzik are doing a great job of allowing me to take care of myself, and I appreciate it a lot," Garrett said. "The goal always going into training camp is to stay healthy. If you're not healthy, you don't play."

He needed some of that TLC to be at his best because like many other areas of this Jets team, linebacker is deep (although not as deep as it was after Ryan announced today that Jermaine Cunningham injured his Achilles at the Green & White and will miss the season).

"This year there's more depth than we've ever had at linebacker. That's always a good thing," McIntyre said. "It brings the best out of each and every guy. I tell you what, when we have our guys after the final cut, whoever they are, there's going to be some good football players here."

One can't help but feel that one of those football players sticking around in this business will be Garrett McIntyre. Fighting fires back in his Lake Tahoe area, surely a dangerous yet more stable pursuit, will just have to wait.




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