The more a football player can do, the more he’s worth.
Garrett McIntyre has built a professional football career on that concept. Maybe he heard it back in college, as a walk-on at Fresno State, or maybe it was drilled in during his stint with the Canadian Football League, but either way it’s a concept that has suck with McIntyre all the way to the pros.
“The more you can do, the more you’re worth,” McIntyre said.
The simple philosophy has made McIntyre all the more valuable as he enters his third season with the Jets. After two years in the NFL, the former South Tahoe football player knows both outside linebacker positions as well as the Jets’ defensive system like the back of his hand.
“You know the NFL game. You know what to expect. You know a lot of your teammates,” McIntyre said. “During your first and second year sometimes it’s hard to develop relationships, but going into my third year I feel that we’re pretty close as a unit.”
During the past two years, McIntyre has learned that defensive unit inside and out as he patiently worked his way up the ranks.
Now, with the 2013 season about to kick off, McIntyre has established himself as a key member of the defense and a leader on special teams. He has earned that position in every game and every practice, over and over again.
“Every year is something to build on,” McIntyre said, “but you’ve got to be hungry because there are good football players coming out of college every year, and guys are hungry. You’ve got to step up your game if you want to perform at a higher level.”
Every year, McIntyre does seem to step up his game. Last season was his best year yet. The 6-foot-3, 255-pound linebacker recorded 3.5 sacks and 35 tackles. He played in 16 games and started in four.
The stats are nice, but not how McIntyre measures success. He measures success in terms of staying healthy and putting in hard work every day.
“If I do that, things kind of take care of themselves. If I come to work every day and do the right things then good things will happen,” McIntyre said. “I’m just happy to be healthy moving forward with this training camp.”
Ten days into camp in Cortland, N.Y., McIntyre feeling confident and looking forward to a visit from his wife, August, and 3-month-old twin girls Summer and Harper.
He’s also impressed with how the team is looking heading into preseason.
“I’m excited about our offense this year,” McIntyre said. “They’re doing some real good things and the coordinator has a great system in place and I think guys are buying into it.”
Quarterbacks Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith are both making a bid to lead that offense in the weeks leading up to regular season. The two quarterbacks, as well as the rest of the team, will get a chance to prove themselves today during the Jets’ first preseason game against the Lions.
“Preseason games are always a good test to see where you’re at because guys are still learning,” McIntyre said. “Not really on the defense, but on the offensive side of the ball, we’re still learning the playbook. So how are guys going to be meshing and doing in different matchups?
“From a defensive standpoint, Detroit’s got some really good players — Megatron, their quarterback is a stud, and they’ve got Reggie Bush in the backfield — so all those matchups there are tough. It will be a good chance to see how we handle those as a defense.”
How the Jets handle themselves this season is about to unfold, but the way McIntyre sees it there’s no reason this can’t be their year.
“Anybody can make the playoffs any year in this league,” McIntyre said. “It just depends on how you come together as a team and handle business throughout the season. So a realistic goal for us is that we can make the playoffs and win a Super Bowl.”