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Jason Babin Re-Learning How to Play Outside Linebacker with New York Jets

August 19th, 2014 at 12:52 PM
By Douglas Rush

When the New York Jets signed veteran Jason Babin just before training camp, people wondered if he would stay at his defensive end positon or move outside to linebacker given the fact that the Jets starting defensive line was already set.

Thus far, it's been at the outside linebacker position, a position he hasn't played since the 2006 season when he was a member of the Houston Texans before converting into a full-time defensive end with the Tennessee Titans and then the Philadelphia Eagles.

On Saturday night, the Jets gave Babin 31 snaps at outside linebacker to see how the 24-year-old could handle the outside as opposed to giving second-year veteran Quinton Coples just 15 snaps and Coples is the starter, yet Babin played more over him although it's likely Rex Ryan just wanted to see what he had at linebacker with Babin. Ryan told reporters on Monday that they brought Babin to New Jersey to play as opposed to sit on the sidelines.

“We said from Day 1, we brought him in here to play, not just to stand on the sideline,” Ryan said. “We wanted to see him play with some of the guys he’s going to play with.”

Babin knows that he will be a situational player with the Jets as opposed to being an every-down player like he was accustomed to over the last couple of seasons with the Titans, Eagles and most recently, the Jacksonville Jaguars and has said he's been trying to re-learn the linebacker position on the go.

“The rushing the passer stuff, that’s not what I’m concerned about,” Babin said. “I don’t think it’s what (the coaches) are concerned about. It’s the linebacker stuff. The more reps I get, the better it’s going to be for me. My decision making was quicker (on Saturday). My responsibilities, they were cleaner, a little more second nature.”

Babin in his 12 seasons in the NFL has 62.5 sacks; two of his seasons he had double-digit sacks. During his last season with the Jaguars, he had 7.5 sacks in 16 games.

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