After a bittersweet ending to the Jets season, OLB Lorenzo Mauldin is preparing to start his offseason regimen in hopes of becoming an every-down player for the Green & White.
The 6'4", 259-pounder is planning to take two to three weeks off to recuperate from the demands of his NFL season before heading back to the University of Louisville to begin training for 2016.
"Have a great offseason," said Mauldin when asked what's next for him. "My biggest thing is being able to learn how to drop in coverage and being able to play against the run. It takes a lot of skill and practice, just being able to go out there during the offseason and train as hard as I can and much as I can and come back and show the coaches that I am an every-down player."
Early this week, Mauldin took time to reflect back on his rookie season and all of the lessons learned from the veterans that helped him along the way.
"These guys are resilient when it comes to playing in these big-time games," he said. "You feed off of them. Even when it's in the locker room, on the field, in meetings. You just learn and pick up every little bit that you can. These guys are the best of the best and these guys have been in the league for a long time and you can't do anything but watch them and learn"
"I came along pretty late," he added. "At first I was just a special teams player, really wasn't playing a lot in the beginning of the season. I pretty much established myself in the Oakland game and the coaches thought that I did pretty well in that game and that's when I started to get more playing time."
Mauldin finished his rookie campaign with four sacks, 19 QB hits, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and 10 defensive tackles, plus eight more tackles on special teams. His speed and tenacity was on display in an impressive performance against Jacksonville, when he recorded the first two sacks of his Jets career.
"He's got a high motor," said head coach Todd Bowles after a training camp practice. "You like the kid's motor. He's got some good pass rush moves, but he's got to learn the overall game."
Having a positive rookie season to build on, Maudlin knows the essential steps he has to take to become successful next season.
"Right now I thought they were just trying to put me into the defense to see what I can do," he said. "I'm pretty sure that I have put my stamp on everything, showing of course with speed that I'm a good enough player to play on every down. But it's just about having a great offseason and being able to establish myself more into the defense than what I did this year."