Since Jets starting cornerback Dimitri Patterson is taking it easy in practice after a rough game Thursday night, rookie Dexter McDougle was asked to work with the first team some over the weekend, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post.
The Jets coach said he is impressed with the rookie cornerback enough to have him taking all the first-team snaps Saturday in practice. Ryan admitted the third-round pick from Maryland came into camp a little overweight, but said once he gets into NFL shape, he has “a heck of a chance.’’
The 5-foot-10 McDougle is listed at 195 pounds, with Ryan clearly intent on melting off a few of those.
“We’ll see where Dimitri is physically. But I expect [McDougle] to get a lot of opportunities,’’ Ryan said.
“I’ve been kidding him, I said, “43, I think he thought he was a running back.” He means well. He works his butt off. We’ve just got to get him down a little bit more. He came in a little heavy. Sometimes guys do that. They think, ‘It’s the NFL, they are big guys, I’ve got to get a little bigger.’ That’s not the case. You’ve got to be able to run and be in great shape. But I’ve been impressed with him. For a guy that only played three games last year, I’ve really been impressed.’’
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comDespite whatever the Jets are saying publicly about Dimitri Patterson, the man has played on seven teams in 10 years for a reason. He’s good enough to make a roster, but doesn’t seem to make enough of a positive impact to stick around for long.
If the Jets play Patterson as their starter this season, it will be with a wary eye and having hedged their bets with Darrin Walls, Ellis Lankster and McDougle.
Playing cornerback as a rookie can be one of the hardest jobs in the NFL. McDougle might not have been on this team for long, but a look at the team’s depth chart validates the team’s high opinion of him; that and the third round draft pick.
I was impressed with McDougle at camp and came away convinced that he can be a factor on this team, what I am unsure about is when and for how much work early. It’s clear to me that the Jets will do their best to buy a player like McDougle as much time as possible, but if Patterson can’t stay healthy or can’t respond, his time might come sooner than expected.