Wadsworth still fighting uphill battle

No one ever said it would be easy for Andre Wadsworth.

If the 33-year-old wants to land a spot on Eric Mangini's 53-man roster, he is going to have to win an uphill battle. It's a battle that, contrary to popular belief, isn't all about his ability to stay healthy.

Wadsworth was brought into camp not as a defensive end, but rather as an outside linebacker. This is an unfamiliar position for the third overall pick of the 1998 draft; and one that certainly will take some getting used to.

"I've never stood up before," Wadsworth said. "In college, I probably stood up one percent of the time on zone blitzes. Here, I'm standing 60% of the time. More than that, I'd say 80% of the time. That's a big difference, seeing the field."

Being six years removed from the game, and without a financial concern to speak of, his desire to withstand a brutal Eric Mangini training camp for one last chance to play in the NFL, speaks largely for his passion for the game.

The transition to outside linebacker, compounded with unreliability of his knees, makes Wadsworth a long shot to make the squad. However, if he can grasp the position quickly and prove to the Jets coaching staff that the raw talent he once possessed is still there, he may force them into a difficult decision.

It's assumed that Wadsworth still posses the strength and skill-set to make an impact on the pass rush. However, his ability to drop into coverage will ultimately decide his fate.

In Victor Hobson, Bryan Thomas, David Bowens and Cody Spencer, the Jets have four outside linebackers likely to make the team.

Wadsworth will need to shine, and shine in a big way, to convince the staff to carry a fifth.


Jets Insider Top Stories