One conversation with Bart Scott will tell you all you need to know about the Jets veteran linebacker. He’s a quick-witted, history buff who can enlighten his audience with obscure movie references and talks of Socrates and Plato. And let’s face it, he’s an absolute riot.
But it’s his passion for football -- and for barreling into opposing players -- that make him one of the Jets’ most vocal leaders on the field and behind closed doors.
“He’s the guy that epitomizes what you look for,” head coach Rex Ryan of Scott, who played for him in Baltimore. “He’s a guy that believes in himself, is tough, self-made, a great teammate, a guy that builds people up and will knock the heck out of you. That’s the type of guy that you want to bring in and I wanted to surround myself with.”
Scott’s brash, in-your-face style, is diametrically opposed to that of cornerback Darrelle Revis, who often prefers the sound of silence to trash-talking. But the differing styles are the perfect tandem for the Jets defense.
“I’m not Bart Scott, I’m not talking and running my mouth all day,” Revis said, with a laugh. “I say things and sometimes I bring guys to the side. I don’t feel you have to be very loud or be the trash-talker to be the leader. I try to lead by example and how I approach every day, going into meetings and just play on the field the best way I can. And sometimes, if I see stuff in guys, I pull’em to the side and say, ‘Hey man, maybe you should try this.’ That’s the only thing I try to do, is lead by example.
“We’ve got a bunch of leaders in here. Everybody’s got their own way of being a leader, Jason Taylor got his way, Bart got his way with his mouth -- put a sock in it,” Revis said with another chuckle. “A lot of us got different ways. I’ll tell you one thing, David Harris, he likes to lead by example as well.”
This was the type of unit Ryan had envisioned all along.
“I was fortunate to come here where we already had a bunch of guys like that,” he said, when asked about his commitment to bring Scott to the Jets. “We just had to add to it. ...You bring in Bart, you bring in Jim Leonhard and you surround them with the people we have and it worked. It still works. They’re going to immediately look at the older guys, so it’s important to make sure you had the right guy. The older guys for me, guys that have been in the system a while. You had to get guys who completely believed in it and bought into it and Bart is certainly one of those guys.”
Working in the head coach’s favor is the fact that Scott is finally healthy. And this time around, he's hoping the linebacker, who had just two tackles against Indianapolis in last year's championship game.
“Bart, just having his energy, passion and him being a physical player, I think will help us,” said Ryan. “Last year, he was gimping around on his ankle, but I know he’ll be happy to be out there 100 percent."