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Thread: Randy Lange on Vilma's first day

  1. #1
    He's the future'

    Saturday, May 1, 2004

    By RANDY LANGE
    STAFF WRITER

    HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. - It didn't take long for first-round draft pick Jonathan Vilma to display his trademark quickness.
    At 6:30 a.m. Friday, Jets' media relations coordinator Jared Winley barked into the locker room, "All rookie and first-year players, we're taking head shots now." While most of the newest players, heads swimming from short sleep and the unknowns of the day ahead, stayed seated while processing this new information, Vilma immediately bounced off his stool and was first on line to say cheese.

    "When did I know how fast and quick I am? I still don't know," the University of Miami superstud said after the second practice of the first day of the Jets' full-squad minicamp. "They tell me that, and I tell them, 'I'm a football player. I just love playing football.' Even now, I don't know if I'm doing well or not."

    Vilma mentioned a few pass coverages he felt he blew in his first Jets' practices, and the poignant critiques from gung-ho defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson that followed.

    But rest assured the Jets are happy with their first glimpse of Vilma in green. Playing second-team middle linebacker, he was quick as an air bag in shooting gaps and tracking down sweeps to either side.

    "The guy has a lot of talent," coach Herman Edwards said. "He's very, very hard on himself. He has the ability to make plays, and he has great instincts."

    And first-team "Mike" linebacker Sam Cowart looked at the drafting of Vilma with the weathered eye of an aging lion.
    "I was 22 coming into the league and the Bills had Chris Spielman," Cowart said. "You have to look ahead. I'm 29 and Vilma's a young guy. He had a great career at Miami and he's the future."

    Gang Green fans, impatient in the best of times, want to know today if Vilma will oust Cowart as the starter in time for the season opener at home against Cincinnati. Edwards has said, "We're not going to hand anybody a job," and Cowart's experience figures to help him hold the job for a while.

    But as Edwards said Friday of the myriad young players suddenly peopling his roster, "Their helmets are bubbling and smoke is coming out," because of Henderson's ambitious new scheme, part 4-3 and part 3-4. That's a factor that levels the playing field somewhat between veterans and rookies such as Vilma, who speed-reads offenses before each snap.

    And Henderson's attitude about starting shouldn't allow any defensive veterans to get comfortable.

    "One thing I see is a healthy competition between a whole lot of players," he said. "Like I told them, if you get beat out, you get beat out. Be a man about it."

    Whether or not Vilma is "the Man" in the middle this season, he holds the promise of quick success because of the way pressure rolls off his back as if it were Armor-Alled.

    "I think it's because I've always been put in pressure situations," he said. "Even when I went to UM, going into my sophomore year, there was a lot of pressure on me to perform at the level of Dan Morgan. And I had to live up to all the great linebackers, the Ray Lewises, the Micheal Barrows. It's been like that for such a long time, you can't do anything but play your best."

    Therefore, trying to make it in New York, New York, an area that has known its fair share of mega-middle linebackers - from Al
    Atkinson to Kyle Clifton to the just-departed Marvin Jones on the Jets, and such as Sam Huff and Harry Carson on the Giants - is hardly daunting.

    "I've become aware of the history. A couple of people have mentioned it to me already and asked me if I had any added pressure. No, I won't," Vilma said. "But I'm starting to understand the linebacker thing around here."

    Naturally, with the linebacker thing comes the money thing, but Vilma was not worried about any possible pitfalls of hammering out his first NFL contract as the 12th pick of the draft.

    "I've got an agent for that," he said, adding about whether he'd sit out the start of training camp if his deal isn't settled, "I doubt it, I doubt it. ... This is what I'm here for, to play football.

    "A lot of the guys are already talking about winning, they're not talking about money, so that's a good thing. If we have the team leaders saying that, the coaches saying that, it's going to trickle down."

    And if Vilma has anything to say about it, the trickling will be done quickly.

    6522018
    Three traits first-rounder Vilma brings to the table as a Jets' linebacker:

    Speed-reading

    Combines natural speed and uncanny pre-snap reads to quickly get where he needs to go.

    Textbook tackling

    Uses excellent technique in wrapping up ball carriers, often behind the line, and racking up tackles.

    Leading edge

    Was three-year defensive and team leader for Miami, a perennial national title contender.

    - RANDY LANGE

  2. #2
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    A little bit off-topic, but who does Lange write for?

  3. #3
    I believe the Star Ledger and northjersey.com

  4. #4
    TomShane
    Guest
    [quote][b]trying to make it in New York, New York, an area that has known its fair share of mega-middle linebackers - from Al
    Atkinson to Kyle Clifton to the just-departed Marvin Jones on the Jets, and such as Sam Huff and Harry Carson on the Giants - is hardly daunting.[/b][/quote]



    Al Atkinson and Kyle Clifton and Marvin Jones......."mega"? :blink:

  5. #5
    Superstud Jonathon Vilma!

  6. #6
    Vilma is a stude be he does need to add 15 punds of muscle

  7. #7
    15 lbs of pure muscle for me or you=almost 2 years
    15 lbs of pure muscle for an NFL player=8 week cycle of the sauce

  8. #8
    [quote][b]"One thing I see is a healthy competition between a whole lot of players," he said. "Like I told them, if you get beat out, you get beat out. Be a man about it."[/b][/quote]

    Dear God, Thank you for bringing us a Coach who actually gives a ****e about playing the better player, not the older player. A Coach who knows how to motivate, rather than stand there getting rounder by the moment as our former now Viking D-Co seemed to do. A Coach who actually seems like he might kick ass before taking names.

    2003: D-Co is continuously "simplifying" his D because the players don't get it....

    2004: D-Co will SIT any dumbass who don't get the D, Period, End of Story, Like it or go home. NICE!

  9. #9
    [quote][i]Originally posted by Vinny025[/i]@May 1 2004, 08:19 PM
    [b] 15 lbs of pure muscle for me or you=almost 2 years
    15 lbs of pure muscle for an NFL player=8 week cycle of the sauce [/b][/quote]
    finally someone brings up the sauza

    :lol:

    its true - but NFL players usually don't bulk up like that between rookie draft and preseason... most guys get that extra something something when they are in year 2, know what to get, how to use it, how much to use and what won't show up in their system 9 months later. many guys as rookies are clueless... buying houses and what not.

    on the downside, that stuff is horrible for the joints. Long term you want a guy doing as little real juice as possible. HGH is another one, guys turn out like David Boston or Shannon Sharpe, horribly disfigured large skulled freaks - jacked up seriously though -

    if vilma shows up 223 in minicamp... and 243 in training camp with an extra inch on his hat size...

    well thank Latimer from The Program and Barry bonds and ignore every damn word of the thread titled "Vilma needs weight training" :ph34r: :D

  10. #10
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by TheBrodyMan[/i]@May 1 2004, 05:14 PM
    [b] A little bit off-topic, but who does Lange write for? [/b][/quote]
    Newsday.

    [img]http://www.booth236.net/graphics/rollins1.jpg[/img]

  11. #11
    TomShane
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    Is that Henry Rollins?

  12. #12
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by TomShane[/i]@May 1 2004, 09:09 PM
    [b] Is that Henry Rollins? [/b][/quote]
    Yup.

  13. #13
    TomShane
    Guest
    [quote][i]Originally posted by Jet Moses+May 1 2004, 09:13 PM--></span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>[b]QUOTE[/b] (Jet Moses @ May 1 2004, 09:13 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin--TomShane[/i]@May 1 2004, 09:09 PM
    [b] Is that Henry Rollins? [/b][/quote]
    Yup. [/b][/quote]
    Black Flag. I miss them so.

  14. #14
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Vinny025[/i]@May 1 2004, 08:19 PM
    [b] 15 lbs of pure muscle for me or you=almost 2 years
    15 lbs of pure muscle for an NFL player=8 week cycle of the sauce [/b][/quote]
    What the hell kinda ****ty weight training program are you thinking of that a 22 yr old would need 2 years to bulk up 15 lbs... Who cares bout his weight, as long as he makes plays... let him play a game before we start criticizing his every move

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