Quiet rookie Lowery makes noise on field for Jets Print
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Friday, 12 September 2008 21:28
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 FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) -Dwight Lowery can vividly recall the pop and the searing pain that jolted his jaw.
The New York Jets' rookie cornerback was trying to make a tackle in spring drills at San Jose State last year, when a running back's helmet somehow got underneath Lowery's face mask. His jaw was broken and wired shut for seven weeks.
``Having that, I think changed how I saw things, changed a lot,'' Lowery said Friday. ``When you're forced to not do something, especially when it's something like eating, you really just sit back and try to observe everything and try to find a bigger meaning in why that happened.''
Lowery lost 10 pounds after the collision, but recovered in time to have a fine senior season and get drafted in the fourth round by the Jets. He's a quiet and unassuming guy in the locker room, but has made lots of noise already on the field.
rent personalities on the field in whatever event they're in. I think you have to have that approach because it's not just playing football or sports with high intensity. Everything that goes into what we do, you have to be a different person when you play.''
That approach has helped Lowery vault into the Jets' starting lineup at right cornerback after a strong preseason, ahead of veterans such as David Barrett, Justin Miller and Ahmad Carroll.
``I'm always in awe with a guy who comes in like that because I was in the same situation myself, being a fourth-round pick and starting from Day 1,'' safety Kerry Rhodes said. ``It's a privilege to play in this league and for him to come in and step in and play right away and be effective is good for him.''
Lowery had four tackles and three passes defensed, including two in a row during a goal-line stand in the fourth quarter, in New York's season-opening victory at Miami last Sunday.
``We're pretty confident in what he can do,'' Rhodes said. ``We've got a long way to go and it's one game, but if that one game is a sign of what he can do and what he can be, it's a good start for him.''
Lowery will have a huge test Sunday against New England, when he finds himself lining up against Wes Welker and perhaps even Randy Moss at times.
ery strong confidence in himself and belief in himself. He works at it really hard.''
Lowery comes from humble beginnings in Santa Cruz, Calif., and says that's what's shaped him. He was raised by a single mother, and his sister, Aujanae, was born when Lowery was 12 - with holes in her heart. She had open-heart surgery before she was a year old, but grew healthy and strong, with Lowery, somewhat reluctantly at first, as a father figure.
``I haven't seen her in a long time - it's the longest I've gone without seeing her,'' Lowery said. ``That's hard and everything, but I talk to her a lot. She'll call me and talk about what happened in school today.''
Then, Lowery paused and sounded more like a doting father than a 22-year-old NFL rookie.
``It's weird because I still see her as this big,'' Lowery said with his right hand a couple of feet above the ground, ``and now she's here. Life just happens so fast.''
After starring as a running back and defensive back in high school, Lowery went to Cabrillo College in Aptos, Calif., and quickly established a reputation for being a ballhawk.
He had nine interceptions as a freshman and four more as a sophomore, despite having his season cut short by a hand injury. Lowery then went to San Jose State, where he led the nation in 2006 with nine interceptions as a junior, and added four as a senior.
ve to have the mentality of going up and getting it,'' he said. ``You can't wait to see the ball thrown because they're not throwing the ball to you. They're throwing the ball to the receiver. If you don't have the mentality that 'I've got to go get the ball,' more often than not the receiver is going to pull it down.''
Lowery's uncanny playmaking ability attracted the Jets, who hope he can follow Jerricho Cotchery (2004), Rhodes (2005) and Leon Washington (2006) as their latest fourth-round steal.
``He's very mature,'' said second-year cornerback Darrelle Revis, who has worked extensively with Lowery. ``He came right in in training camp and he's fit right in.''

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