Marcus Maye is eager to prove his worth without his running mate, making plays all over the field in the early part of training camp. Jamal Adams might no longer be Maye’s tag-team partner, but the Jets safety is plenty good enough to make an impact this season.
“Marcus brings a lot of versatility,” Adam Gase said Thursday after practice. “He’s extremely smart. He’s able to help get guys lined up and make things look like one thing and give us something else. He’s one of those guys that there’s nothing that you can say that he doesn’t do well.”
Gase publicly has changed his tune after wanting to trade Maye upon getting hired last year. General manager Joe Douglas has fielded trade inquiries and engaged in discussions about Maye in the past year, but decided to hold on to the talented player.
Maye’s future with the franchise that drafted him in the second round in 2017 remains unclear. He’s scheduled to hit the open market after this season. He’s fully aware that he can cash in in a big way with a big season even if that’s not necessarily his motivation.
In the meantime, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is finding ways to expand Maye’s role beyond the deep centerfield responsibility that he had last season. So, Maye is moving all over the place, showing the Jets — and 31 other teams — that he can be a difference maker in myriad ways. He’s also helping rookie safety Ashtyn Davis along the way.
“It’s challenging [from an offensive play caller’s perspective],” Gase said. “You’re not really sure what he’s going to do when he’s lined up. You don’t know if he’s coming [blitzing]. You don’t know if he’s going to the middle of the field. You don’t know if he’s going to half the field. You don’t know if he’s going to play underneath coverage.”
Maye played 95 and 99% of the defensive snaps in his first and third seasons. He came back from an injury-ridden 2018 season with a career-high seven pass deflections in his first year in Williams’ defense.
“Marcus has very good awareness, especially in zones,” Gase said. “He’s really good in man-to-man. He has a really good ability to break up balls in man-to-man coverage… You notice out here that he gets a lot of hands on the ball.”
Maye might not be Adams, but he still can make an impact.
DE Jordan Willis (knee) & S Matthias Farley (hammy) left practice early. OL Conor McDermott is week-to-week with a knee sprain…. WR Denzel Mims (hammy), CB Brian Poole (dehydration), CB Pierre Desir (hamstring), DL Jabari Zuniga (quad), LB James Burgess (back), DL Bronson Kaufusi (hamstring) didn’t practice. … Wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson said that Jamison Crowder, who had good chemistry with Sam Darnold last season, could be in line for “90-plus catches” in his second season in Gase’s offense.