isaiah trufant

Antonio Cromartie and Nick Bellore aren't the only two-way players on the Jets. ?With Darrelle Revis out for Sunday's game and Isaiah Trufant questionable, Joe McKnight might take some snaps against the Steelers Sunday. ?The?Daily News reported that McKnight practiced at cornerback?throughout the week and that?the running back also met with defensive coaches to study the team?s defensive game plan.

McKnight of course is the Jets special teams standout and had lost out as the team's third-down back role to Bilal Powell in the preseason. ?When McKnight was recruited at the college level, some coaches wanted him to play defensive back, and ?according to Sporting News, he might have been great.

... several coaches recruiting McKnight (namely Ole Miss, according to Bruce Feldman?s book, ?Meat Market?) thought McKnight could have been a Pro Bowl cornerback if he stayed on the defensive side of the ball.
So while McKnight might have the raw skills to play corner, it's not as if he's done much of it ... so how could this work for the Jets?

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Ben Shpigel has written an interesting article in the New York Times describing Isaiah Trufant's 6-year journey from football obscurity (making his way through arenalfootbal2, the UFL, and the AFL) to returning a blocked punt for a touchdown against the Cowboys in the Jets season opener. At 5'7" and 160 pounds, Trufant isn't the dictionary definition of a football player. But what he lacks in height, he makes up for in spirit and in lift:

?A lot of coaches talk themselves out of signing good players because they focus on how big they are, how long their arms are,? said Guy, who coached Trufant with the Arizona Rattlers of the Arena Football League. ?One thing you can?t coach is anticipation and how smart they are, and all Isaiah does is make plays.?

Not that he would talk about them. Former coaches and family members describe Trufant as humble and unassuming, so modest that he would never brag about his considerable athletic gifts: an 11-foot broad jump, a 42-inch vertical leap, a 4.3-second 40-yard dash. Or mention that he could dunk a basketball. In flip-flops. Trufant?s younger brother, Desmond, a junior cornerback at the University of Washington, compared Isaiah?s array of windmills and 360s to that of another small cornerback from the Pacific Northwest, Nate Robinson, a three-time winner of the N.B.A.?s dunk contest.

While Trufant's status on the team remains uncertain--he was promoted to the active roster from the training squad just 2 days before last week's game and had been cut from the Jets on January 22--his presence demonstrates the front office's ability to find the kind of talent Rex Ryan loves: scrappy, hard-working men who don't want to do anything but play football.
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