Wide receiver Joe Anderson was one of the roughly 94 million Americans out of the work force, so six weeks ago he resorted to a bold measure.
The former Chicago Bear stood outside of NRG Stadium, home of the Houston Texans, with a sign around his neck reading: “Not homeless … but STARVING for success!!! WillRunRoutesForFood #whateverittakes #underdog #IBelieve #Hungry.”
While the stunt didn’t work with the Texans, it caught the attention of the New York Jets, who signed him on Tuesday to their practice squad.
Helping Anderson’s case with the Jets was support of star receiver Brandon Marshall, a former Bears teammate.
“Some may call him #crazy,” Marshall wrote on Instagram about Anderson did in Houston. “Hell, I had to stop and really see his strength in this. I watched this guy grow so much. JOE you’re the kinda of guy I want to play with. You’re the guy I want in my FOXHOLE. I don’t care if it’s covering kicks. #mindovermatter.”
There is no doubt Marshall’s plug aided him with the Jets’ brass. The Pro Bowl receiver has the ears of many in the building.
Also helping Anderson’s case was a background with Jets’ college scouting director Rex Hogan, a former Bears scout, who was in Chicago during Anderson’s stint there.
Anderson’s meal ticket with the Jets will likely be on special teams. The Jets need a kick returner, and Anderson has experience in that role. They also need help with punt coverage, and Anderson was a good special team’s cover guy in Chicago.
Anderson hopes the desire he displayed pushing for another NFL job inspires others pursuing a dream.
“I pray with all my heart it inspires you to never give up,” Anderson tweeted.