CB Dwight Lowery
For a 22-year-old "kid," Dwight Lowery is one cool customer with one mature perspective.
Lowery's gone from having a good chance of making the Jets roster as a fourth-round rookie to having a great chance to make his pro debut as a Jets starting corner in the season opener at Miami.
He acknowledges he's thought about such an honor, but only a little.
"You can only do that to a certain point," he said about dwelling on the possible assignment ahead of him, "because you've got to get ready for your opponent. I think I put myself in this position because of my maturity. I don't have to do something over and over and over again to get it right or to learn from it. I'll go through something and be able to become a better person out of it."
"It's another challenge in your life that you can benefit from greatly, as a player and as a teammate. When you step out there on Sunday as a starter, your teammates expect you to produce. I think I've said before that the biggest thing for me is not letting my teammates down."
That's a different question from if he thought he could be a starter from day one as a pro.
"Realistically? No," he said. "I came in with the mentality that I was drafted in the fourth round so I was thinking I would just try to get better every day. It's obviously been working out, but I'm still taking that approach, just getting better every day."
There are no guarantees of Lowery starting, of course. Head coach Eric Mangini has said that Lowery has worked with the "ones" at RCB for a while, but so have David Barrett and Drew Coleman.
"I would expect, if Dwight does play, that he'll do things we've worked on all week and have practiced," Mangini said Thursday. "I've liked his progress throughout training camp as well. I think he's done a good job covering all different types of receivers. He has really good ball skills. He had another interception yesterday. He did drop one in one-on-ones, but it was a nice position he was in to get to that point."
Mangini has also said that if one player doesn't emerge opposite LCB Darrelle Revis, the starter and the rotation at the position will be game-plan-specific. And the coach obvious means it. After all, in 2006 there were four starters (Hank Poteat, six games; Justin Miller, four; Coleman, four; Barrett, three) and last season two (Barrett, eight; Poteat, eight), and all remained on this year's roster until Poteat was released Aug. 31.
If that's how this season works out, Lowery is good with that, too.
"I think it'd be a good thing if all of u s were rotating because, myself being a young guy, getting in there and experiencing some things is only going to help me in the long run," he said. "The other guys, they obviously have skill sets that the team can benefit from, too. Anything that is going to help the team and help us at that positions is what needs to be done."
So be prepared for anything Sunday vs. the Dolphins, but don't be surprised if 34 is in the middle of the action when he makes his pro debut.