Jamaal Westerman has really begun to make a difference on and off the football field. The former Rutgers star and current New York Jets linebacker continues to work hard and is finally seeing it pay off.
His first two years in the NFL mostly saw Westerman used on special teams and rare times on defense. Now in his third NFL season, Westerman has taken on a more involved role with the Jets. He has used his experience as a defensive end at Rutgers and brought that to his role as linebacker with the Jets. New York has been using Westerman as some what of a pass rushing specialist. A good move considering Westerman finished his college career with 26 sacks, third all-time at Rutgers.
Through the first five games of 2011, Westerman has already recorded 14 tackles. That’s four more than any previous single season for him. During last weeks loss to the New England Patriots, Westerman had some what of a coming out party. The linebacker recorded three tackles and two sacks of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. The week prior, in a loss to Baltimore, Westerman made five tackles, a career single game high.
While the third year pro continues to improve and make an impact on the field, he is also helping out off the field.
Westerman went to an Irvington, New Jersey school this week to talk to children about the correct way to treat others. Thurgood Marshall School has started The Positive Behavior Support in School program. Westerman talked to the students, urging them to treat others with respect and stay away from bullying. Bullying has been a heavy topic among educators of late.
The program at the school is designed to reward positive behavior, rather than strictly punish the bad actions. Students displaying good behavior can be rewarded school mascot themed money which they can later use to redeem prizes.
The goal is to encourage students to help each other, respect each other, and stay away from negative behavior. One can only hope the appearance of a stand up citizen like Jamaal Westerman can at least touch a handful of students.