East Coast of the United States - subject to change on short notice
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Thursday, July 31, 2003
BY DAVE HUTCHINSON
TOKYO -- Jets special teams coach Mike Westhoff stayed in the United States because his father died Monday after a long bout with cancer. Westhoff went to Pittsburgh to be with his family.
Thus, the first order of business during yesterday's 15-minute workout was to organize the special teams. Coach Herman Edwards said he, linebackers coach Bob Sutton and defensive assistant David Merritt would handle the special teams Saturday against Tampa Bay.
"The last thing Mike told me before he left was that in 10 years he has never had more than 11 guys on the field," Edwards said. "He put the pressure on me right away. I said, 'I don't know what'll happen. We might have nine, we might have 10, but we won't have more than 11, I can promise you that.'"
his promise, sat in row 53, the last row of the plane, during the 13-hour flight to Tokyo so he could be with the rookies. Edwards, who began his playing career as an undrafted free-agent rookie, continues to identify with the underdog.
Owner Woody Johnson, GM Terry Bradway and assistant GM Mike Tannenbaum were among those sitting in first class and business class.
"It was fun," Edwards said. "I was messing around with them, waking them up when they were trying to sleep. They were good."
his starters will play "one good series" in this preseason opener and then he'll turn it over to the second team and the young players.
The Jets will practice
in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts today. It will be their most demanding practice of their stay here. Edwards said practices will primarily be a review of everything they've done thus far.
All-Pro LB Derrick Brooks
didn't accompany the Buccaneers to Japan, staying behind to be with his ill mother in Pensacola, Fla. Brooks was the NFL's defensive player of the year last season.