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Sean Gilbert serves as New York Jets coaching intern one year after role in Darrelle Revis holdout



He was walking off the practice field, sharing a laugh with his nephew, talking about silly stuff that had nothing to do with football.

Nearly a year after Sean Gilbert was battling the Jets as a prominent player in Darrelle Revis' acrimonious training camp holdout, he's now a coaching intern for Rex Ryan. Gilbert, who played 12 seasons in the NFL, is helping defensive line coach Mark Carrier teach Gang Green's group of young players up front through the preseason.

"What a difference a year makes," general manager Mike Tannenbaum said with a laugh. "Obviously, last year was a big bump in the road for all of us. With that said, I think there's a mutual respect for both sides. It's kind of nice to have Sean as part of the family this year."

Gilbert, who staged a season-long holdout as a member of the Redskins in 1997, was portrayed as the engine that fueled Revis' 36-day holdout. He was part of an inner circle that also included his sister - Revis' mother Diana - and Revis' agents. After both sides agreed to a deal a week before the season opener, Gilbert kept in touch with Ryan.

"Rex got to know me (during the negotiations) and understood that it wasn't anything personal," Gilbert said. "It's just business. Now, I'm on the other side."

Last season, former Eagles defensive lineman Clyde Simmons helped out during training camp. Ryan felt that Gilbert, who expressed interest in coaching, would be an ideal fit this summer.

"The guy's a natural," Ryan said. "Who doesn't respect Sean Gilbert? No. 1, you're going to respect him because look at the size of him. The other thing is that this guy was a great football player and he's smart. I can tell that he really likes it and he's getting into it. There's a lot behind being a great football coach. There's such a time commitment. ...A lot of things go into it. But it starts with that passion and knowledge of the game. He has both."

"A week into camp, he really now has taken off," Carrier said. "He knows where he can fit and where he's needed. The guys have really liked having him around. You see them off to the side and asking him questions. That just makes him feel more comfortable."

For all the knowledge Gilbert has imparted during the first half of training camp, he's also learned plenty himself.

"I'm asking the players and coaches questions," said Gilbert, a first-round pick by the Rams in 1992. "I'm taking a humble approach and being appreciative of the opportunity. I'm just staying in my lane."

Gilbert, 41, has also had a chance to spend time with the man he mentored his entire life. Before there was Revis Island, Gilbert instilled a maniacal work ethic in his nephew. He was a father figure, confidant, friend and role model for Revis. Gilbert made sure the budding cornerback didn't buy into all the hype early in his career.

"He hasn't even tapped into all his potential," Gilbert once said of his nephew. "When they were saying this guy's the best corner, I was like, 'Yo, if you believe that, you'll believe I got property on the moon.' Keep things in perspective, man."

Although Gilbert stays away from the defensive back drills, he admits that "it's awesome to watch Darrelle grow" during the team drills. Revis is also grateful to have his uncle around.

"It's great having him here," Revis said. "This is something that he wanted to do. He wanted to come in here and get a feel for coaching....It's not strange at all. Actually, it's cool because I get to see him every day."

Gilbert, who owns a music production company in Charlotte - where he spent five seasons with the Carolina Panthers - hasn't determined his next move after the internship. He is just happy the Jets extended an invitation to begin his coaching career a year after all of the drama.

"Like most things in life, you live and learn," Tannenbaum said. "And you move on."

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I get the mentality in giving him a gig so he won't be in Revis' ear at the end of this season; but seriously, Gilbert can go play in traffic from a fan's standpoint.

This is worse than Dan Gilbert bending over for the LeBrontourage. Fine, whatever, put him on the payroll if you absolutely must, but for god's sake don't let him come to ******* practice.

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