He’s off to a good start.
The sixth-round pick had an interception and a 40-yard kickoff return Thursday, his first game since he was shot on draft night, in an incident in which his friend and teammate Dwane Simmons was killed.
“I’m just continuing to improve,” Ballentine said, via Greg Joyce of the New York Post. “Go out here and put my hand in the pile and help this team win a championship, [that’s] my real goal.”
Ballentine has three interceptions of teammates in practice, but last night’s against Davis Webb was his first in a game.
“[I’m] not letting the playbook get ahead of me and just going out there and playing the game that I’ve played since the fourth grade,” Ballentine said. “It’s just at a higher level now. I just gotta go out there and make plays. This is something I’ve always wanted to do since I was young. Now that the time is here, I just gotta do my thing and make sure everybody knows that I belong here. . . .
“I’ve always felt like I could compete at this level with these type of athletes. So the speed of the game wasn’t too different for me. But I think I handled it well. I think I’m fast enough to keep up with them and physical enough to keep up with them as well.”
He was deemed a bit too physical at one point, as he was flagged for a pass interference penalty after a challenge by Jets coach Adam Gase.