Mike DeVito coming up
The odds are stacked against the NFL undrafted free agent. And that’s he way it was for Mike DeVito when he came to the Jets in 2007. He was from Maine, which yielded some good players but was hardly a Nebraska or USC. The defensive end had been a Jets fan growing up in a family he describes as working class and identified with the firefighters and cops that made up the Jets’ base.
Now, DeVito wears his own No. 70 on his green Jets jersey and this season that number should get called quite a bit. DeVito has been studying to fill in for Kris Jenkins, Shaun Ellis and Marques Douglas along the D Line. Those are big shoes, but DeVito is ready.
“They want me to know all three of the front D Line positions so I can be that rotation guy,” DeVito said. “That’s the guy I want to be.”
Jets coach Rex Ryan said he has a lot of confidence in DeVito, and that the 6-foot-3, 305-pound end is going to see his role expanded this year.
“It absolutely is,” Ryan said. ”He’s a tremendous talent, a big strong guy. He’s smart, tough and dependable. That goes a long way in this league and he’s talented and young on top of that. Those are guys that can really help you whether he’s starting, whether he’s in a platoon situation or in a backup role I’m not sure yet. That will all be determined.
“Clearly, he’s definitely in our plans. We’ve got big plans for him.”
Last season, DeVito played in all 16 games and had 28 tackles. Given that Jenkins has been injured and will miss tonight’s game, and Ellis is suspended for the first game of the regular season due to last year’s arrest for marijuana possession, DeVito should have plenty of opportunities to tackle this season, starting when the Jets host the Rams in the first preseason game.
“This camp I just feel like I’m getting so much better,” DeVito said. “The stuff that were doing the drills, everything is applicable to what I’m going to be doing on the field. I feel like I’m getting so much better learning so much I’m just so excited to put it to the test.”