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Jets’ Jacob Martin embraces chance to display versatility

When Jacob Martin broke into the NFL, he was seen as a situational pass rusher. He’s not a fan of that term.

“I’m a total football player,” Martin said following Jets practice Tuesday. “I can do anything that I’m asked to do. I’ve played all over the place.

“I’ve played stack linebacker, I played at the edge, I played outside linebacker, I’ve played true defensive end. I’ve set big edges. I’ve made big plays in big games. So I don’t like that term. I’m a football player. I’m the total package for sure.”

Martin, who signed a three-year deal with the Jets this offseason, said the adjustment from the Texans is going “great,” and that he’s getting the chance to show off his versatility.

“I’m really blessed to be here, for getting the opportunity to play defensive end,” he said. “I played true defensive end my whole career. From high school through college, and I dominated competition. So there’s nothing new for me here, but having the opportunity to put my hand to the ground and get nasty with offensive tackles around the league.”

Jacob Martin talks to the media after training camp in Florham Park, N.J.
Jacob Martin talks to the media after training camp.
Bill Kostroun

Listed at 242 pounds, Martin’s frame is somewhat slender for a defensive end. He said his playing weight is anywhere from 247-252, and that it’s no issue.

Von Miller, he pointed out, won a Super Bowl 50 MVP award with the Broncos playing at 245.

“It’s not about the size of the dog in the fight, it’s about the size of the fight in the dog,” Martin said. “I’m very comfortable in doing what I do, in any situation that I’m asked to do at this weight. So I’m not worried about weight whatsoever.”

Through four seasons in the league, his career high is four sacks, and he has never played more than 61 percent of snaps on defense. He is looking to change both.

“I’m here,” he said, asked about breaking out of the box evaluators have put him into. “I’m getting the opportunity to play defensive end.”

On a scorching hot day in Florham Park, Mekhi Becton had no issues with stamina and turned in a solid practice at his new spot of right tackle, though Jabari Zuniga did beat him for a sack on the final play.

“He’s absolutely grinding, making it uncomfortable for himself and he’s getting better every day,” head coach Robert Saleh said. “Really pleased with the direction he’s going.”

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