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News » New York Jets Inside Slant 2009-03-08


New York Jets Inside Slant 2009-03-08


New York Jets Inside Slant 2009-03-08
When three members of the Jets' coaching staff showed up at his doorstep just after midnight on the first day of free agency, Bart Scott literally had to call off his dogs.


Coach Rex Ryan hopes he doesn't have to do the same once his new defense gets rolling in the 2009 season.

Scott, the 28-year-old former Baltimore inside linebacker who signed a six-year, $48 million deal with the Jets as an unrestricted free agent, is equally as confident and bold as his coach, who also tutored him as Baltimore's former defensive coordinator.

"We won't back down from anybody," Scott said about the Jets' defense on a conference call three days after signing. "You guys can expect to see a very physical, violent defense. It's one thing to be physical and make a tackle. It's another thing to be violent. ... If (opposing players) know they're going to receive violence, they'll sit that one out."

And after playing alongside Hall of Famer Ray Lewis, Scott knows the spotlight will be on him with his new team.

"It's a chance to move from the passenger's seat to the driver's seat," said Scott. "It's very flattering. It comes with a lot of responsibility and I'm ready to take on the challenge."

He also was impressed by the Jets' quick, but intense courtship. Ryan, defensive coordinator Mike Pettine and secondary coach Dennis Thurman came to his house in Maryland just after midnight Friday morning to begin making a sales pitch.

"It was one of the most flattering things of my career," Scott said. "I'm still in awe of it."

Scott's two German Shepherds were barking furiously at the perceived interlopers, but Scott got them to calm down, and eventually took owner Woody Johnson's private plane back to the Jets' training complex in Florham Park, N.J.

He called the reported bidding war Friday between the Jets and Ravens over his services an "urban legend," adding, "I wasn't causing a bidding war."

Scott said his St. Louis-based agent, Harold Lewis, also was busy that day negotiating a deal between guard Jason Brown, one of Scott's Baltimore teammates, with the Rams.

Scott said the Jets' defense "automatically improved the day they hired Rex." Ryan was defensive coordinator in Baltimore the past four years.

The Jets acquired two other starters after signing Scott. First, they got disgruntled cornerback Lito Sheppard, a two-time Pro Bowler, in a trade with Philadelphia. Then they signed one of Scott's former teammates with the Ravens, safety Jim Leonhard.

Scott said that having former Ravens on the Jets' defense is important, because the other defenders "can listen to us make the (defensive) checks. That allows us to practice faster, which allows us to get a faster chemistry."



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 8, 2009

Shaun Ellis Name: Shaun Ellis
#92
Position: DE
Age: 31
Experience: 9 years
College: Tennessee
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