PITTSBURGH — Although Heinz Field was splashed with Black and Gold with a little Green and White mixed in, there was also a little Blue and White present during the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-10 win over the New York Jets on Sunday afternoon.
After experiencing an outstanding career at Penn State, linebacker Aaron Maybin took his talents to the next level.
Maybin was drafted by the Buffalo Bills, but when after two seasons that didnt last, he was signed by the Jets.
He was later released by the Jets, then re-signed with the New Yorkers and Maybin is currently an important cog in the Jet defensive unit.
They brought me back the same year they released me, said Maybin. It probably had something to do with the numbers game. They brought me back in Week 4 last year and I have been progressing pretty well since then.
While a Nittany Lion, Maybin could be seen coming off the edge, busting his way into the opponents' backfield to harass the quarterback and upset the timing of the play. With the Jets, Maybins role is much the same as it was in Happy Valley.
My job has never really changed, said Maybin. I am basically the same guy I used to be doing the same things I used to do. Since I am doing a better job now, they (Jets coaches) are putting me in better position to make plays.
As for how he and his Jets teammates played in the loss to the Steelers, Maybin said the defensive effort was lacking.
I dont think we played very well today, collectively said Maybin. I feel like there were a lot of good things we could have done left out there on the field. This isnt the way you want to begin the season. We had a pretty good game last week (a 48-28 win over Buffalo), but you have to be able to refocus every week to put your game plan in action on Sunday and that is something we have to improve on.
Like most other professional athletes, Maybin sponsors various charities to help the less fortunate. His favorite is Project Mayhem, which allows him to give back to the less fortunate young people.
Two major events of that project are Celebration of the Arts Weeks held through the year as well as the Commitment 4 Change football camp.
We do a lot of things, but basically we work with the kids specifically in the areas of extra-curricular participation as well as art class participation, explained Maybin. We do a lot of art projects over the summer and that is something that I am really passionate about. That is something that we have incorporated into our yearly schedule. Right now we have about twelve or thirteen events that we do.
Aaron isnt the only Maybin in professional sports. His cousin Cameron is currently an outfielder with the San Diego Padres.
We talk pretty often, at least a couple of times a month, said Aaron of his cousin. We werent close growing up, but we got a lot closer when it was time for me to go to school. Obviously both of us were starting to ascend up that ladder in our respective professions so we kind of linked up around that time and we have kept in touch ever since that time.
As for his best memories of playing football at Penn State, Maybin had so many he couldnt even put his finger on one or two.
I would say that all of my experiences there were special to me, he said. I dont have too many negative memories of when I was there and it is a place where you grow up. You go there as a boy and you leave as a man. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to go there and grow up while learning what I could from my coaching staff, Joe (Paterno) and the rest of the guys who had something to do with my being where I am today. It was definitely a big part of my life and Ill always look back on it as the place where I grew up.