There were indications that the Jets and Bart Scott were not exactly seeing eye-to-eye, and there was a very real possibility that the two sides were going to part ways.
Thankfully, Scott and his agent were able to work out their differences with Rex Ryan and the Jets, and it appears that Scott will be back in the fold after all in 2012.
“I was all in, and I’m still all in,” Scott said. “It was just communication. We had to talk about some things, iron some things out. Me and Rex Ryan had a great conversation, and I’m comfortable with … my role on the team.”
During the NFL Scouting Combine in February, Scott’s agent met with general manager Mike Tannenbaum about the linebacker’s future with the team, and they left every option on the table.
Trade possibilities were brought up, but in the end, the Jets decided to bring back the 32-year-old Scott, who has a guaranteed contract of $4.2 million due this season.
In his three seasons as a Jet, since he came over with Ryan from the Baltimore Ravens in 2009, Scott’s playing time has decreased, even as his production stayed consistently strong.
In 2011, Scott was on the field for just 64.4% of the Jets’ defensive snaps, compared to 83.8% in 2010 and 94% in 2009.
That year, Scott was graded by the folks at PFF as the 3rd-ranked inside linebacker overall, and the best against the run.
He dropped off a tad in 2011 to 11th overall, and 6th against the run, but some of that had to do with his decreased playing time, as PFF’s grades are cumulative grades, not an average per snap.
As opposing teams aired it out more with multiple receiver sets, the Jets preferred to counter with extra defensive backs, often subbing out their best run personnel: Bart Scott, Mike DeVito and Sione Pouha.
Rather than pout about his diminishing role, Scott kept balling week after week, and I’m glad to hear that he smoothed over whatever differences he had with the team, so that everyone can focus again on the task at hand.
“You have the opportunity to sit back and evaluate yourself and evaluate our plan,” Scott said. “I think this year we’re going to be able to be much better.”
“I look forward to everybody elevating their game and really playing with a big chip on their shoulder … For the first time, guys saw what it was like not to be in the playoffs.”
The “Madbacker” claims he’s already lost 10-15 pounds so far this offseason, as the Jets look to get faster on defense, but he’s still going to be the same guy. He’s not going to change.
“You’re going to get the Bart Scott you always see,” he said. “I’m going to go out there, I’m going to lay it on the line for my teammates.”
Pro Football Focus praised him for his selfless play, blowing up blocks and freeing up his teammates to make plays, rather than make a flashy tackle for himself. It’s a system that’s always worked for Scott and Rex Ryan.
“I’ve made a career jumping on grenades for other guys, and I plan on continuing doing that because that’s what I do best,” Scott said. “I’ve ratcheted up the physicality, I’ve already committed to being able to run, taken weight off, and I’m ready to go.”
Is it safe to say that Scott “can’t wait” for the season? All I know is, I could not be happier to see #57 back in Green and White for another season.
Opposite fullbacks, on the other hand, might not share that same enthusiasm.