Marcus Maye on challenges of facing former Jets teammates Sam Darnold, Robby Anderson in Week 1

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Sam Darnold Robby Anderson high five Jets white uniforms 2018
Sam Darnold Robby Anderson high five Jets white uniforms 2018

It seems like destiny that Sam Darnold's first NFL game not in a Jets uniform is against the Jets themselves.

Of course, it's pure coincidence, but Darnold will have the chance to stick it to the team that drafted him with the third pick in 2018 and traded him last April.

Darnold never quite panned out to his draft stock, and his Jets book was written after a brutal 2020 where the team went 2-14 and Darnold threw for 2,208 yards, nine touchdowns, 11 interceptions, and a 72.7 QB rating.

Jets safety Marcus Maye talked about facing Darnold Week 1, and spoke highly of his former teammate.

“We know he can make all the throws. His arm talent is very high,' Maye told reporters on Thursday. "He does well… with his feet and things like that. We just gotta play sound, give him different looks, pressure the pocket, not let him get comfortable, and get physical outside with those guys and things like that."

When Darnold was traded to Carolina, another former Jet in Robby Anderson awaited. Anderson signed with the Panthers last season, and went off for a career-best season, catching 95 of 136 balls thrown his way for 1,096 yards (all career-highs) three touchdowns. In four years in New York, he averaged 51.8 catches and 764.7 yards a season.

GM Joe Douglas shared regret for not bringing Anderson back last November while Anderson was cooking it up with Teddy Bridgewater, and Maye knows Anderson is a threat.

“I’m excited [to face him]. We all know Robby, he can fly. He’s gonna look to take the top off, so you just gotta be prepared for wherever he’s at, wherever he’s lined up, you gotta know where he’s at at all times. He can line up in the slot, out wide, at No. 3, they do a lot of different things, move him around, so we just gotta know where he’s at at all times," Maye said.

Darnold and Anderson face their former team on Sept. 12 at 1:00 p.m.

Marcus Maye
Marcus Maye

Maye on playing in a rebuild as a veteran, inexperienced secondary

Maye is entering his fifth year in the league, yet he's only seen an entire season worth of wins.

He's been through the bad, worst, and ugliest. And in his fifth year, the secondary is probably the team's worst unit once again.

There's no reason to think the Jets will be a playoff team this year, either, especially with a young, inexperienced secondary in a pass-happy league.

For Maye, it's been four years - coming in on five - in total rebuild.

“Been like that since I’ve been here for the most part," Maye said. "Each year, just learning to adapt to what’s new. Can't necessarily worry about what year guys are in, how many years they’ve been playing, we all gotta find a way to get on the same page as fast as possible so we can go out and win games...

"Being the best that I can be and winning games that’s all it really comes down to. If you’re not here to win games, you’re not coming out to practice to get better, to win games, then what are we doing it for? So that’s all that really matters at the end of the day, is winning games.”

But Maye praised the young corners surrounding him.

“They’re not scared at all," he said. "They all want to learn, they all have the passion for it. Each day, they come out and get better and better. You can see them stacking their days. I’m excited for them. They all can fly around, they all can come up and make tackles when they need to. It’ll be interesting to see all those guys get a shot.”