In today’s NFL, the best way for a young player to earn playing time on Sundays is to make an impression Monday through Saturday — ergo, on the practice field. Here’s the tricky part, though: They can’t, at any time, get too big for their britches, not even a little.
Such was the case of former Jets cornerback Keon Lyn.
Days before the Jets’ season opener, the New York Daily News reports, Lyn, an undrafted free agent, was tasked with mimicking Browns star corner Joe Haden on the scout team defense during practice. His assignment? Gang Green’s top receiver and tenth-year pro, Brandon Marshall.
In quest of that elusive impression, Lyn began freelancing in coverage, admittedly “trying to be a little bit like [Darrelle] Revis” against Marshall.
“Get out,” Marshall told Lyn before calling over second-year cornerback Dex McDougle, per the Daily News. “Get me somebody in here who can do it right.”
It doesn’t appear that Marshall regrets his exchange with Lyn. It’s just who he is.
“I don’t believe in half-assing anything,” Marshall said. “That’s why I’m so passionate about whatever I’m in. Just practice hard. The game will go easy.”
(Perhaps that’s why Marshall eventually whipped an overmatched Haden, catching six passes including a touchdown in New York’s Week 1 win.)
To his credit, Lyn made no excuses or attempted to exonerate himself. He committed a no-no, and knows it.
“I got out of the Cleveland game plan. I was doing me. … So, yeah, I changed that up and started giving B-Marsh what he wanted to see,” Lyn said.
Marshall told the paper he expects a lot from his teammates. Especially the younger ones. Especially the younger ones asked to cover him. His message: “I want you to get better. I want you to try to dominate me. We’re going to make each other better.”
Unfortunately, Lyn didn’t get better from the experience. He was released from the Jets’ practice squad less than three weeks later, hitting the streets with nothing more than a hard lesson learned. He’s yet to surface elsewhere.
Tough business, that NFL.
(Photo credit: NJ.com)