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Erin Henderson ready for new opportunity

Jan 3, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins (14) runs after a catch as New York Jets linebacker Erin Henderson (58) pursues during the first half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 3, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins (14) runs after a catch as New York Jets linebacker Erin Henderson (58) pursues during the first half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
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The New York Jets have given a golden opportunity to linebacker Erin Henderson in hopes of becoming one of their answers to upgrading the overall pass rush on defense.

Linebacker Erin Henderson has had a rocky road and has taken advantage of this opportunity so far with the New York Jets. That has been quite evident throughout OTAs as he’s been displaying his speed and ability to make some noise in 2016.

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By far the most revamped positional unit on the Jets is their linebacker corps. The Jets former third round pick Demario Davis was supposed to be the future at the position, but now he is gone. When players leave that opens up opportunities and seizing that opportunity is exactly what Erin Henderson has done thus far in OTAs. Henderson is now the projected starter right alongside linebacker David Harris.

With that, Henderson has taken a noticeably bigger role in the leadership department with the Jets. Head coach Todd Bowles addressed that when he spoke with the Media Relations Department of the Jets:

On Erin Henderson being more vocal this year and where he thinks that is coming from…

I think he’s feeling more comfortable and he likes to get everybody going. Erin’s always been a talker behind the scenes. But lately he’s become more of a, shall I say, vocal leader in that regard and it’s all in fun with him. If you know him, it’s all in fun. He gets the guys going and he likes to cause little stir ups out there every now and then. But it was good comradery.

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One reason he’s feeling more comfortable is because his spot on the roster is much more stable than it was last season.

When Henderson signed with the Jets, it was a tryout of sorts with little to no expectations.

And Henderson took full advantage of that chance by making the final roster.

Then throughout the season, slowly but surely earned more and more playing time.

Until eventually he took the starting job away from Davis late in the season.

Bowles talked about the ‘good comradery’ that Henderson was creating and that is important for the Jets.

Especially at a time where the locker room is in an interesting position. The Jets have a quarterback conundrum and it’d be easy for the roster to be split on which quarterback they’d rather have.

While much of what is reported from OTAs is fluff, it’s always good to see when players are stepping up in times of need. The Jets need leadership, especially when their longstanding captain offensive lineman D’brickashaw Ferguson retired this offseason.

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Perhaps Henderson can take advantage of that opportunity as well being that next vocal leader for the team, especially when leading the Jets’ victory chant in the locker room. Somebody has to do it and hopefully there’ll be plenty of victory chants this upcoming season for Henderson to lead.

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