MARCUS DOWTIN: The Hybrid’s Gassed Up
AFTER BEING ACTIVATED TO THE 53-MAN ROSTER, A CONFIDENT DOWTIN SAYS JETS CAN “KICK THE PATRIOTS ASS”
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Finally.
The first thought to cross Marcus Dowtin’s mind when Jets head coach Rex Ryan pulled him up to the team’s active roster this week. The undrafted free agent hybrid defensive player has – what he calls – a God-given talent and he’s ready to show everyone in Jets Nation what they’ve been missing in their first six games.
“Once I get that shot [to play in the game] I believe Jets Nation will see what I can do,” he said.
And just what is it that Dowtin can do?
“I can hit. I like hitting. I’m one of the hardest hitters. All the other stuff comes with the game; I’m pretty much a hitter though.”
His kinship to cracking helmets aside, Dowtin is far more than just a hard hitting player. At 6-2, 230 pounds is a genetic freak. His hawk-like wingspan of 77 inches compliments his 4.5 40-yard speed. That combination of size and speed makes him a valuable asset on both sides of the ball.
When asked what exactly his position has been with the team to this point he couldn’t come up with just one response.
“I can do everything. I can play linebacker. I can play safety. I can play running back. I can play receiver. It doesn’t matter. I grew up playing all these different positions and, I mean, shoot, I just like playing football. It really doesn’t matter what I play.”
Throughout the first six weeks, Dowtin has played opposite the Jets first unit offense and defense for the scout team – a testimony to the coach’s acknowledging use in his versatility. This week alone, he’s been playing the roles of running back Stevan Ridley and tight end Aaron Hernandez on the scout team.
“I’m on offense playing running back against the number one defense and I’m playing defense against the number one [unit] during practice. It’s all about how preparation meets opportunity. I’ve been doing that since I got here – playing running back/receiver on scout team. Up until now it’s been nothing but helping the team get prepared for Sundays,” Dowtin said.
Ryan expects Dowtin to see time on special teams this week against the Patriots, but he may see time on defense against an up-tempo offense that likes to stretch the field – vertically and laterally – with their big tight ends. If given the opportunity he’s looking forward to showing the Patriots what he really likes to do.
“Shoot, if I get in the game. I’m going to get somebody. Any chance I have to get in there I’m going to do what I do,” he said.
The self-confidence spills over when speaking out on his team’s chances in Foxborough this Sunday – becoming the first player on either side of the ball to make a bold prediction on this battle for first place.
“It’s not about them. It’s about us and our preparation. And if we prepare to the best of our abilities? Shoot, we’ll kick their ass.”
A linebacker. A safety. A running back. A wide receiver. He is blessed with size, speed, strength, coverage abilities and a growing confidence in himself and his talents.
Oh, and did he mention he likes to hit … a lot?
“I can really hit.”