Jachai Polite is off to a new team after being cut by the New York Jets and his old coach, Dan Mullen, hopes he can rise to the challenge.
He was drafted by recently-ousted general manager Mike Maccagnan. Therefore, it’s not surprising to see the new regime cut bait. His college coach, Dan Mullen, shared his disappointment in how Polite’s NFL career started. The University of Florida head coach hopes the edge rusher can grow from this experience.
“I like Jachai, and obviously I’m disappointed; I’m sad for him,” Mullen said via Edgar Thompson of the Orlando Sentinal. “Everybody has dreams. You dream of making it to the NFL. Hopefully, a learning experience for him and a learning experience for other guys in the program.”
While it’s never fun to watch a young player fail at the next level, Polite has no one to blame but himself. Polite was reportedly fined $100,000 for lateness and other issues in his short time with the Jets. Apparently, this was par for the course when it comes to the linebacker.
“He was late for us before, too,” Mullen said. “I don’t know. It’ll be interesting. I haven’t gotten to speak with him, but I feel bad that it turned out that way. He’s got talent.
“Maybe he’ll find a way to refocus and get those things. … The development he missed by not coming back this year, maybe he can find that on the [Seattle] practice squad.”
Polite seemed like a risk worth taking back in April. There’s no denying his talent level and the Jets still need a true edge-rushing threat. Taking a flyer on the talent in the third-round was a mistake in hindsight, but it’s easy to understand the logic behind the selection.
Unfortunately for the Jets, Polite left them with no choice. It was time to move on. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams will have to rely on creative blitzes rather than telling one guy to pin his ears back and go after the quarterback.