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Thread: Stop the Presses!!

  1. #1
    [SIZE=3][color=green]And of course it's about the linebackers[/color][/SIZE] ;)

    [quote][b][b][SIZE=3]Jet LBs are fast learners[/SIZE]

    BY RICH CIMINI

    DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER[/b]


    Though not a linebacker, Jets DE Shaun Ellis showed off his speed by sacking Saints QB Todd Bouman Friday night.

    It didn't take long last season for Herman Edwards to figure out he was saddled with a painfully slow linebacking corps. He knew it after the first game, a loss in Washington, but there weren't any viable replacements for Marvin Jones and Mo Lewis. So the coach stayed with the graybeards, probably causing some of his own hair to turn gray.

    Now, finally, Edwards has options.

    In the Jets' preseason opener Friday night, a 23-13 loss to the Saints, they unveiled a deeper, faster, more versatile group of linebackers - and they didn't have Eric Barton, one of their marquee free-agent additions.

    Barton, handed the starting weakside job after signing a five-year, $16.3 million contract in the offseason, didn't make the trip to New Orleans because of a strained hamstring. He hasn't practiced in nearly two weeks.

    Advice to Barton: Get back soon. The jobs are filling up quickly, especially now that No.1 pick Jonathan Vilma has emerged as an immediate factor. For a change, the Jets' linebackers have youth and speed.

    "Not only Jonathan, but everybody in the linebacking corps can run," said defensive end Matt Walters, who knows all about fast linebackers from having played his college ball at Miami, Vilma's alma mater. "I watch these guys every day and these guys can flat out fly. If a hole opens, it doesn't stay open for long."

    Against the Saints, the Jets opened with four linebackers - Vilma, Sam Cowart, Victor Hobson and John Abraham, who, in his new hybrid role, flip-flopped between linebacker and defensive end. On the first play, Hobson, starting in Lewis' old strong-side slot, tackled running back Deuce McAllister for a 2-yard loss on a dump-off pass. That led to a three-and-out.

    Some perspective: Lewis, slower than Miss Daisy's car, recorded only three tackles for a loss last season in 538 defensive plays. That's why he's unemployed. Ditto, Jones.

    Next series. On third and 4, Abraham, a stand-up rusher in the 3-4 alignment, dropped into coverage. Maybe that confused Todd Bouman, who, starting for the injured Aaron Brooks, made a horrible read and was intercepted by free safety Jon McGraw.

    Third series. On a second and 6, the Jets morphed into a 4-3 look, with Abraham in a three-point stance. The Saints ran Aaron Stecker around the right side, and Vilma - in the weakside slot - ran across the formation and dropped Stecker after a 1-yard gain.

    Vilma was fast enough to prevent Stecker from turning the corner, which happened with alarming regularity last season. That's why the Jets finished 28th in run defense.

    "It felt pretty good," Vilma said of his NFL preseason debut, which included a team-high six tackles and one missed tackle on a near sack. "Obviously, I made a couple of mistakes. I was a little rusty. But, overall, I did a pretty good job."

    After reviewing the tape, Edwards gave Vilma a mostly positive evaluation.

    "Vilma's a flashy guy, and he made some flashy plays," Edwards said yesterday. "He has to be a little more patient at times when he's two-gapping, and we probably have to help him a little bit."

    If Vilma continues to develop, the coaches will have a tough decision when Barton returns. The Jets gave Barton a $4 million signing bonus, so they're not about to sit him on the bench. The new-found depth at linebacker could force coordinator Donnie Henderson to play more 3-4 than he intended. Either way, Vilma will be prominent in the plan.

    "Once he gets comfortable and gets everything going, you'll see Jonathan playing just like he did in college," said Walters, who teamed with Vilma on Miami's last national-championship team.

    He's already off to a fast start.[/b][/quote]

  2. #2
    [SIZE=3][color=green]Newsday weighs in on Vilma's debut[/color][/SIZE]

    [quote][b][b][SIZE=3]Vilma not just a flash in pan[/SIZE]

    BY KEN BERGER
    STAFF CORRESPONDENT[/b]


    NEW ORLEANS -- Jonathan Vilma is one of the few rookies who can honestly say his NFL debut was a letdown.

    There was no way a preseason game was going to measure up to, say, Florida State-Miami, or a national championship game.

    Nonetheless, when Vilma learned Friday night that he would be starting his first game as a professional, he was filled with the same nervous energy that he experienced before a big game at the University of Miami.

    "Emotionally, it was the same thing," Vilma, the Jets' first-round pick, said after a productive debut in a new-look defense that seems to have been built around him. "At UM, you couldn't get caught up in the hype and the crowd. Same thing here."

    Coach Herman Edwards hadn't mentioned all week that he was considering starting Vilma, which ended up happening because the Jets started the game in a 3-4 defense. Don't look for Vilma to come out of the starting lineup anytime soon.

    "I knew it wasn't going to be long," said reserve defensive lineman Matt Walters, who played with Vilma at Miami. "He just makes plays, and you can't keep a guy like that off the field."

    If you watched the Jets' starting defense in its 13-play stint Friday night, it's a safe bet that you didn't recognize what you saw.
    A different formation for almost every play? Speedy linebackers, led by Vilma, running between the hash marks to drag down running backs in the open field?

    "Vilma's a flashy guy," Edwards said yesterday after assessing the film of the Jets' 23-13 loss to the Saints. "He made some flashy plays."

    Though it's way too early to draw conclusions, the early returns were encouraging. And Vilma was right in the middle of it all.

    "It's not only him," Walters said. "Everyone in that linebacking corps can run. I've watched those guys every day, and they can flat-out fly."

    Maybe that is why defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson was all smiles as he practically sprinted past reporters on his way to the locker room after the game. "What did you think of that?" he asked.

    Not sure yet, but it was a good start -- especially for Vilma.

    Given the Jets' recent experience with underachieving first-round picks -- Bryan Thomas and Dewayne Robertson -- there is a lot riding on Vilma, who was picked 12th overall.

    One play in particular summed up why he's here. On second-and-6 from the Jets' 43, Vilma lined up on the right defensive hash marks. Running back Aaron Stecker took a handoff and trudged around the end toward the opposite hash marks. Vilma read the play, sprinted across the field and dragged down Stecker in the open field before he was able to turn the corner. The play gained a yard.

    Jets fans have become accustomed to seeing such a burst of speed only from the competition. Marvin Jones or Mo Lewis would've gotten windburn.

    "I guess that was one of my best plays," Vilma said nonchalantly. "For tonight."

    It was not all positive, and Vilma admitted to several technical mistakes. Playing in a 3-4 scheme for the first time, he got engulfed a couple of times because he showed a tendency to commit too soon and get out of position.

    "He has to be a little more patient at times when he's two-gapping, and we probably have to help him a little bit," said Edwards, who must have been more pleased than he let on after the game.

    "We got in the backfield on some runs and we harassed the quarterback at times, and that was good to see," Edwards said. "That's how we want to play."[/b][/quote]

  3. #3
    [quote][i]Originally posted by Green Jets & Ham[/i]@Aug 15 2004, 06:02 AM
    [b] "It's not only Vilma," Walters said. "Everyone in that linebacking core can run. I've watched those guys every day, and they can flatout fly."

    Maybe that is why defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson was all smiles as he practically sprinted past reporters on his way to the locker room after the game.

    "What did you think of that?" he asked. [/b][/quote]
    This here is my favorite part from both columns ... gotta love it

  4. #4
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    i know its early but the linebackers reallymade me pumped on fri night....totally new look....we had some serious dead weight last year and it showed on the 1st defensive series we had...i havent seen plays like that from a group of jet linebackers in years..Vilma is the real deal...He was around the ball on every play...Im from Miami and watched every canes game...This guy is legit...

  5. #5
    Cimini is the type of smart ass that will write something positive but in the next breath say the Jets will be 7-9 this year because of their back up QB situation. He is the one beat writer that I despise the most.

  6. #6
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    Don't sweat this hack guys. ;)

    Even though the Jets dropped this one 23 -13, we still have a long season ahead of us and the offense looked good. I have a feeling we can put the cliche "Same ole Jets" to bed this season. B)

  7. #7
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Green Jets & Ham[/i]@Aug 15 2004, 06:02 AM
    [b] "He just makes plays, and you can't keep a guy like that off the field."

    [/b][/quote]
    Oh I know someone that can... :lol:

  8. #8
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    Time to order the Vilma jersey. We will be following this kid for a long time.

    It is great to finally have a group of LBs that can run and make open field tackles. Vilma still has a lot to learn, but it will be fun watching him contain the running game.

  9. #9
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    Hate to keep repeating this but Hats off to the D-line if they don't dominate I don't care how fast our LB's are. Did not get to see the game but from all accounts they kicked butt. Front seven work as a unit and this unit could be very very good.

  10. #10
    herm had nobody to replace jones and lewis with last season??


    Jason Glenn and Victor Hobson

  11. #11
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by ErIcBaRtOn54[/i]@Aug 15 2004, 11:10 AM
    [b] herm had nobody to replace jones and lewis with last season??


    Jason Glenn and Victor Hobson [/b][/quote]
    Well Done EB!! Hermie just likes to stick with his Vets even when the
    Season is lost.. <_< And wouldn&#39;t the last few games been a great
    time to start Lamont to see what he could do?? Not for Hermie who
    wanted Martin to keep padding his stats.. :rolleyes:

  12. #12
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    My guess is he`s on vacation and someone else wrote the article..lol ,but who cares to see anything positive written about this group after last years disapointment has to bring smiles to every JETFANS FACE & while I was one of the most critcle of bringing in a D.C.with no head coaching expierence ,"EVEN I HAVE TO ADMIT" You`ve got to love DONNIES FIRE & EXCITEMENT & WHAT HE`s DOING WITH THIS TEAM ,maybe with all this positive infusion into this team PAUL HACKETT will catch some of this WE`RE GONNA BE GREAT & WE`RE JUST GOING FOR IT ATTITUDE & he`ll open things up full throttle this year...even while most have been cautious about booking road trips this year after last years record , I`ve gotten caught up in this ,this is going to be our year attitude and have booked 6 road games so far .I think this may be our best year since reaching the AFC champ. game with the TUNA.. :) :) :)

  13. #13
    [quote][i]Originally posted by SAR[/i]@Aug 15 2004, 08:36 AM
    [b] Cimini is the type of smart ass that will write something positive but in the next breath say the Jets will be 7-9 this year because of their back up QB situation. He is the one beat writer that I despise the most. [/b][/quote]
    I believe it was Cimini on with Steve Somers the oter night and he said he was hard pressed to figure the Jets any better than 8-8..

  14. #14
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    Seeing as though I live out here in "no-man&#39;s land," when the Jets used a 3 - 4, was the D-line Thomas - Fergie - Ellis? And if so, did Robertson only play in the 4 -3 scheme? thanks&#33;

  15. #15
    Glenn and Hobson had monster games and showed me that they can both be starting LB&#39;s, and good ones at that. Now we have 4 very good LB&#39; this year as opposed to 1 last year. Depth at LB is not a problem this year, and going to the
    3-4 defense is going to yeild GREAT results, I cant wait. Now if our secondary can gell between weeks 1-3, we will have a scary defense.

  16. #16
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    i have a solution to the vilma/barton situation:

    bench cowart.

  17. #17
    [quote][i]Originally posted by BigEthel[/i]@Aug 15 2004, 11:04 AM
    [b] Seeing as though I live out here in "no-man&#39;s land," when the Jets used a 3 - 4, was the D-line Thomas - Fergie - Ellis? And if so, did Robertson only play in the 4 -3 scheme? thanks&#33; [/b][/quote]
    The D-line was Robertson-Fergy-Ellis for 3-4. So no Drob didn&#39;t only play 4-3.

  18. #18
    [quote][i]Originally posted by BigEthel[/i]@Aug 15 2004, 12:04 PM
    [b] Seeing as though I live out here in "no-man&#39;s land," when the Jets used a 3 - 4, was the D-line Thomas - Fergie - Ellis? And if so, did Robertson only play in the 4 -3 scheme? thanks&#33; [/b][/quote]
    [b]The Jets opened the game with Evans, D-Rob, and Ellis in the 3-4

    Abe, Vilma, Cowart, and Hobson were the linebackers[/b]


    [b]Note:[/b] Barton was inactive due to a hamstring

    Most folks assume this battle is between Cowart and Vilma ... NOT ME

    I believe this battle is between Cowart and Barton ... and Barton will win

    Barton is an outstanding linebacker who really fits the bill with this unit ... another linebacker who can motor to the football and obliterate people when he gets there

  19. #19
    [quote][i]Originally posted by chops44[/i]@Aug 15 2004, 01:10 PM
    [b] i have a solution to the vilma/barton situation:

    bench cowart. [/b][/quote]
    You read my mind

    Or visa versa ... cause you beat me to the punch ;)

  20. #20
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by chops44[/i]@Aug 15 2004, 12:10 PM
    [b] i have a solution to the vilma/barton situation:

    bench cowart. [/b][/quote]
    Cowart played well in the game and has had positive press at practice. The guy is a better inside LB than outside, and he&#39;s another year healthy.

    Don&#39;t worry, all of our stud LBs will see playing time. They&#39;ll rotate in and out keeping each other fresh, and, as much as we&#39;d all like to wish and dream, its highly unlikely none of them will ever get injured throughout the year (if only for a few games or so) and then we don&#39;t miss a beat filling in with a "replacement" (soooo funny calling one of these guys a replacement).

    Our LBs will be great this year, WHOEVER is starting. Don&#39;t sweat it and enjoy the ride.

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