Skip to main content

Mexican Holiday Helped Make McMackin a Jet


OL Shawn McMackin

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers wanted to bring in Hofstra offensive lineman Shawn McMackin for a workout prior to the draft. An aspiring NFL player, McMackin happened to receive a favorable call from the Bucs at a bad time.

"The Bucs were like, 'We have you scheduled for a flight tonight, 9 o'clock, out of Newark, N.J. Is that right?'

"I was like, 'Wait, wait, wait.'

"They were like, 'Yeah, we're flying you down.'

"I was like, 'I'm in Mexico.' And they were like, 'Oh.' "

McMackin and his girlfriend were south of the border vacationing at her timeshare. He never made that trip to Tampa and he completed his vacation as planned.

Last weekend, the 6'3", 287-pound McMackin was among the 34 tryout invitees to the Jets' rookie minicamp.

"It was pretty much everything that I had hoped for and more," he told this week. "Coach Mangini and the staff, they do a good job of not getting you lost in the whole college-to-pro atmosphere and trying to get you adjusted to the playbook as comfortably as possible."

The pro game is much faster than the college game and McMackin was thinking tempo throughout the weekend. He practiced at a game pace while putting his best foot forward.

"I was pretty much playing full speed and just going out, making sure my assignments, my steps and everything were perfect," he said. "I can't look back and say, 'You know what? I wish I had that play over.' I just went out and paid attention to what Coach [Bill] Callahan had to say as far as techniques and the playbook."

A day after minicamp concluded, McMackin was the only one of the 34 tryout players who still remained. He signed Monday with the club after displaying good versatility throughout the weekend.

"Coach Callahan had me bumping around," he said. "He told me, 'This play go to center. In three plays, go to guard. In four plays, go to left tackle.' I don't know, maybe that helped opened up some eyes that we have a guy we can bounce and put him pretty much anywhere we want."

Not only did McMackin play collegiately across the street, but he also grew up in River Vale, N.J. The local product caught scouts' eyes prior to the draft with a superb pro day, registering a 4.77 time in the 40-yard dash and at least 40 reps of 225 pounds on the bench.

There was a little discrepancy for the bench total between an Eagles scout and McMackin.

"I knew it was 42 and he yells '40.' I kind of just tilted my head and said, 'Why 40?' He said, 'Two of them looked a little gray, so I'm going to take them away.' I was like, 'Well, I guess that's that.' "

No matter the final rep number, the performance was beyond solid.

"I'm just thankful to God for having that strength and producing such numbers that basically got me noticed," he said.

And after getting noticed last weekend, McMackin has earned the right to test himself against some NFL regulars when OTAs commence. He is pleased to have the opportunity to learn under Callahan, a well-respected O-line technician.

"He just understands the game to another level and he does a great job of teaching what needs to be taught to your mental capability," McMackin said. "I've been fortunate enough that I've had line coaches that have been absolute teachers of the game and he's definitely another one."

McMackin will return to Hofstra in two weeks to practice with much of the rest of the 80-man roster. A long way from Mexico and back in familiar territory, a great anticipation builds for the unknown.

"You've heard all the rumors about the speed and the size. I'm definitely anxious," he said. "I still haven't fulfilled what's it like yet and that's going to be a real eye-opener when I get in there."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content