"I’m just trying to make sure that through this offseason, our coaching staff sees exactly what I see," Maybin said tonight at the Fashion and Football Runway Show in Manhattan, where he showcased his artwork. "And that they’re confident putting me out there on first and second down, and knowing that the same production that comes on third down can come on first and second down as well."
Maybin, who re-signed with the Jets just in time for the start of the offseason program, is working toward that goal in the weight room. He said he's already added six pounds since the offseason program started last week, boosting him to between 235 and 240 pounds. His target weight for the season is between 240 and 250 pounds, so that he can be "more comfortable" staying on the field outside of passing situations.
But he could have more competition. The fourth-year player has heard the speculation that the Jets may use a high draft pick on an outside linebacker -- someone like South Carolina's Melvin Ingram or Alabama's Courtney Upshaw -- which would change the dynamics of the position.
"Me and a lot of the guys were talking about it earlier; that’s never anything that you can control," Maybin, a former Bills first-round pick, said. "You can't live your life and your career based off of how everybody perceives you, and what's being done around you. All I can do is continue to make myself the best player that I am."
Maybin hopes that, with an offseason and training camp with the Jets, he can build off of the success he had in a specific role last year and the coaches can come up with new and different ways to use him.
"That was one of the reasons I came here, because I wanted to feel as though I had control of my own destiny," Maybin said. "That’s what Rex (Ryan) is basically saying, is he's going to put his best 11 guys on the field in whichever situation, and my job is to make sure in any given situation, I'm one of the best 11 guys that has to be on the field."
Maybin signed a one-year deal worth $1.015 million, a bit less than the $1.26 million restricted free agent tender the Jets extended to him, but it also has $400,000 guaranteed. He said it was an option the team presented to him when he went to re-sign, but the bottom line is he's glad to be back with the team where he feels like he's found a home.
It didn't sound like a long-term deal was an option at the time, but that could be a good thing for both sides: Maybin has another year to prove himself and possibly cash in then, while the Jets make sure his production last year was not a fluke.
Maybin feels "as excited as I've ever been" about the upcoming season, personally and team-wide. He said he and many of his teammates are approaching every offseason activity -- lifting, film sessions, team study sessions -- "with a chip on their shoulder, and rightfully so," after underachieving last year.
And as for new teammate Tim Tebow, he's already impressed.
"I tell everybody the same thing: he has been great," Maybin said. "He's a worker; he's going to be one of the first people in there in the morning, and one of the last people to leave every day. (Quarterback) Mark (Sanchez) has those same characteristics, so I think they're really feeding off each other a lot more so than people are even giving them credit for."
* * *
Maybin was invited to participate in the Football and Fashion Show along with fellow Penn State football alum and artistic collaborator Matthew Rice. Maybin and Rice showcased dozens of their paintings at the event at the Audi Forum in Midtown tonight and also sold some of their work to raise money for Maybin's charitable foundation, Project Mayhem, and the Blu Art Foundation, Rice's non-profit to aid disadvantaged children.