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Aaron Maybin, now bulked up, eyes bigger role

The New York Jetstook a chance on Aaron Maybin last season, pulling the former Buffalo Bills first-round draft pick off the scrap heap and giving him a place in the lineup. The outside linebacker responded with six sacks in 13 games, helping to peel the "bust" label off his chest.

Maybin was used as a pass-rushing specialist last season, but believes he's ready to operate as a three-down 'backer. A lighter frame kept him off the field in some situations in 2011, but he's used this offseason to pack on pounds; he hopes to play at a weight close to 250 pounds in 2012.

"Having a little bit of extra weight on you, it helps you deal with the ground and pound of the season and all that kind of stuff," Maybin told the New York Post in Tuesday's edition. "It definitely gives you a better anchor when you're playing against the run. That was a big goal of mine during the offseason, to become a better run defender as well as improve my pass rush."

Maybin shared his secret with the Post: He's been hanging out with Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps during the offseason. Phelps is notorious for downing 12,000 calories a day (burning off just some of those to film his mildly tedious Subway ads). Maybin inhaled roughly half that number per day, enough to alter his appearance.

Rex Ryan might be willing to give Maybin the chance to assume the larger role he desires. The Jets emerged from the draft without a clear-cut outside linebacker to add to the mix, meaning Maybin could see increased time across from Calvin Pace. Quite a turnaround for a player left by the side of the road only a year ago.

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