Jets rookie Jamien Sherwood on LB transition: 'Scheme wise, it's easy for me'

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Jamien Sherwood in green practice Jets jersey
Jamien Sherwood in green practice Jets jersey

Jets head coach Robert Saleh was confident when speaking about rookie LB Jamien Sherwood, the man who is pegged to take over for the injured Jarrad Davis at the moment. He believed the fifth-round pick out of Auburn, who is transitioning to linebacker from safety, has what it takes to step up.

Sherwood is also relishing the opportunity.

"I’m having a good training camp, running with the 2’s," he told reporters after practicing on Tuesday. "Just showing the coaches what I got. They drafted me to be here, so you know, just proving to them I’m supposed to be here and doing my job the right way.”

Saleh mentioned that Sherwood has a very deliberate process about him, especially when it comes to picking up the playbook.

"He’s extremely smart, he’s got great command of the playbook already," Saleh said.

Sherwood's confidence in picking up new concepts and schemes goes back to college.

“Scheme wise, it’s easy for me," he said. "My biggest asset to the game is communication and learning the playbooks and stuff like that.”

That's why the Jets are confident he knows what he can do in the MIKE linebacker position next to C.J. Mosley in the middle of the defense. Sherwood added he's even taking notes about what's happening with outside backers as well on the strong and weak sides because "everybody has to be interchangeable."

It's never an easy transition for a rookie to play his regular position from college in the NFL, let alone try to transition to a new one. Sherwood is working hard on the biggest challenge with that transition now in camp.

"At Auburn, I was a safety and never had to encounter blocks – at least from offensive linemen. It was usually a receiver," he explained. "Me being one of the biggest [safeties] in college, I was able to get off them easily. So the biggest transition is just my block pro, using my hands more. I’m one of the smaller linebackers now, so it’s just like playing big boy ball now. Using my hands getting off those blocks.”

As Saleh noted, Sherwood will have his "hiccups." It just comes with the territory of being a rookie. But that rookie doesn't seem too fazed about being asked to step up and tossed into an unfamiliar role.

Sherwood is ready to help his defense in any way possible. That confidence is reciprocated by Saleh, too.