DE Mike DeVito opening some eyes

With training camp closed, there are a slew of young players on the fringe of a roster spot. One of those men is rookie defensive end Mike DeVito.

DeVito, a 6-3, 298 pound product of Maine, has done a lot to impress the coaching staff, and with two weeks remaining in the preseason, has made a strong case for a roster spot.

Known for his high-intensity play, DeVito is new to the 3-4 defensive scheme. Although he played his collegiate ball as a nose-tackle in the 4-3, the transition has not been as difficult as one might expect.

In fact, given his rather large frame, his physical attributes may lend themselves better to that of a defensive end in a 3-4 than a nose-tackle in a 4-3.

"I feel like being a little bit bigger does help being on the outside of a 3-4" DeVito said. "It's like being on the inside in a 4-3. The bigger you are, the easier it is to play this position."

Having been forced into a new position, and a new scheme, all while making the mammoth leap from a 1-AA school to the pro level, is a mountain very hard to climb.

DeVito realizes that if he wants to make this team, he is going to have to demonstrate an almost herculean effort of non-stop tenacity and effort. And that is exactly what he has done.

"He's just consistent; that's what he was in college, every single day, every single play," Eric Mangini said. "He works at a very high level all the time. You really respect and appreciate that from all players. He's got a very high motor, and he's learning. I just like the consistency and the motor that he has."

It's nice to impress a head coach, but the task at hand looms large. The fact of the matter remains that the Jets remain relatively deep at the defensive end position. Shaun Ellis, along with newcomer Kenyon Coleman, are locks to make the team. Also veterans Eric Hicks and Bobby Hamilton have both played well throughout camp, as has Michael Haynes.

Still, the high level of consistent intensity that DeVito brings to the table makes him an intriguing candidate for one of the final roster spots, or at the very least, a place on the practice squad.

"I'm not as talented as a lot of these guys, and I'm coming from a smaller school" said DeVito. "I didn't have the coaching that I'm getting now. To be able to compete in there, and play with everybody, I have to play one-hundred percent all the time or I am going to get beat. It's very important that I play at a very high speed, high-tempo, all of the time."

With two preseason games remaining, DeVito figures to receive his fair share of opportunity to use that constant intensity to prove he belongs.


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