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Jets Prepare for Preseason Finale

By John Melillo
Jets Insider.com, Staff Writer
September 1st, 2004

As the Jets conduct their final practice before their preseason finale against the Philadelphia Eagles this Friday, coach Herman Edwards stressed the importance of playing to win every game.

As the Jets conduct their final practice before their preseason finale against the Philadelphia Eagles this Friday, coach Herman Edwards stressed the importance of playing to win every game.

“I want to win – period,” Edwards said of the final preseason game against the Eagles. “I want them to play well. That will never change. Anytime you play a game and keep score, they’re all important.”

One player who has recognized the importance of the exhibition season has been RB Curtis Martin. Edwards said his star running back has prepared himself for a quick start to the 2004 season.

“He’s played enough,” Edwards said of Martin this preseason. “He’s ready physically. This year, he’s had the most carries compared to previous years. He is not known as a quick starter; you usually see his production rise by the fourth or fifth game, but this year, I expect him to ready to go for the opener.”

With Martin’s playing time limited in Friday’s game, running backs LaMont Jordan and Johnathan Reese are expected to receive extended looks against the Eagles. According to Edwards, Jordan has to step up his level of play on passing downs.

“He needs to block better,” Edwards said bluntly. “He needs to improve on pass protection. We ask our backs to pick up the hot reads (blitzers) when teams rush us, so he needs to improve there. And I think he will.”

ROSTER MOVE

General manager Terry Bradway announced the team has signed DB Jamie Henderson to a future contract. Terms of the deal were undisclosed. Henderson, who was involved in a motorcycle accident in April, will not play this season, but is expected to return in time for 2005. “We’re cautiously optimistic Jamie will participate in our 2005 off-season program,” Bradway said. “It was unfortunate what Jamie has experienced. He is part of our organization, and we felt signing him was the right thing to do.”

Henderson, a third-year pro, was selected in the fourth-round (101st overall) of the 2001 NFL Draft from the University of Georgia. Henderson has recorded 30 tackles, one interception, four passes defended and one forced fumble in reserve action in 32 games. He served as a key contributor on the Jets’ special teams units, adding 41 tackles and a block punt.

PENNINGTON UPDATE

Although there has been numerous reports suggesting QB Chad Pennington would agree to a contract extension by today’s deadline, the team had no update regarding his contract status.

INJURY REPORT

The Jets will be without several key veterans for their final tune-up before the start of the regular season. FS Jon McGraw is hampered by a groin injury and will be held out of the Eagles game as a precautionary measure.

-OG Brent Smith (triceps): Questionable for Friday.
-FB B.J. Askew (shoulder): Downgraded to doubtful for Friday.
-WR Wayne Chrebet (quad/leg): Out for Friday.
-CB Ray Mickens (knee): Out for Friday.
-CB Donnie Abraham (knee): Out for Friday.
-DE Bryan Thomas (hamstring): Out for Friday.
-DT Josh Evans (back): Out for Friday.
-FS Jon McGraw (groin): Out for Friday.

Be sure to check back to Jets Insider.com often for all of the latest NY Jets news and reports.

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