Westerman Sees Opportunity in 2011

After two years in the league, Jamaal Westerman is making strides and looks set for an impact in 2011.

With Canton-bound famer Jason Taylor, Pro Bowl'er Bart Scott and the Jets team MVP David Harris nabbing headlines, third year linebacker Jamaal Westerman is flying under the radar. Westerman emerged as an impactful special teamer in 2010 and is now relishing his opportunity to compete for a starting position. In his third year out of Rutgers, the Brooklyn native is working tirelessly this offseason alongside his mentor and fellow undrafted linebacker Bart Scott as the two train at TEST Sports Clubs in Martinsville, N.J.

Westerman and Scott and several of their teammates train together four days a week at the sprawling facility.

"Bart is a guy that came in the league in a similar situation," Westerman said. "He is a Pro Bowl player and a vocal team leader. Just his leadership in the locker room and on and off the field have taken his career to another level."

Westerman is fortunate to be under the tutelage of a stellar linebacking corps and has made a concerted effort to become a student of the game.

"I'm the kind of guy that tries to pick up as many good things from good people," Westerman said. "That's what I've always tried to do throughout my career college and now in the NFL. I take little tidbits from everybody, him {Bart Scott}, Jason Taylor, Calvin Pace, my coaches, and even guys in college. I take positive things from positive people and try to incorporate them into every aspect of my life on and off the field."

As the eldest of three brothers, Jamaal Westerman knows a thing or two about setting the right example. Westerman encouraged his middle brother Jawann to walk on at Rutgers as a wide receiver. This offseason Jamaal attended the Scarlett Knight's spring practices rooting his little brother on.

"It was his decision, but I love Rutgers and I love what they've done for me," Westerman said. "Coach Schiano and his staff and the whole New Jersey community have been very supportive. I have my youngest brother at Eastern Michigan. I love both my brothers and I will keep encouraging them. I try to set the right example for not just them but for everybody."

Westerman has certainly laid the groundwork for both his brothers, yet he understands they will need to create their own path. Westerman is fully motivated to refine every facet of his game as he is hungry for a starting role on what is expected to be a Super Bowl contending team. He feels that he will become an option this year at outside linebacker or perhaps a hybrid role, perhaps playing some defensive end.

He won't mention the name Vernon Gholston but the opportunity is clearly there.

"I'm not starting now so I'm trying to improve everything: coverage, stance, pass rushing, footwork and tackling," Westerman said. "The Jets have great special teams play and I'm learning from guys like Ihedigbo and Smith. Until you win a Super Bowl ring and you're the MVP you constantly want to improve. My offseason is dedicated to securing a starting job and helping this team win a championship."

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