Left Coast Road Trip
By John Melillo
Jets Staff Writer
September 15th, 2004
The team took to the practice field on a cool, breezy Wednesday morning to prepare for their cross-country trip to play the San Diego Chargers.

The team took to the practice field on a cool, breezy Wednesday morning to prepare for their cross-country trip to play the San Diego Chargers. After a victorious home opener against the Cincinnati Bengals last week, head coach Herm Edwards addressed his young team this morning on tempering their optimism.

“They are not overconfident by any stretch of the imagination,” Edwards said. “They have been with me for a whole six months, they are not overconfident - trust me.”

Some of the veteran leaders, particularly C Kevin Mawae and WR Santana Moss, reiterated that mentality as the team gears up for their next opponent.

”We have a 24-hour rule around here,” Mawae said. “Whether we win or lose, we have to forget about it. It’s over with; it doesn’t matter anymore. We have to prepare ourselves to take our best game for this week’s game (against the Chargers).”

Moss added, “The guys are not satisfied with one win. It’s easy to sit on that one victory, but it’s hard to bounce back and get another (win).”

Edwards discussed this week’s match up against the Chargers, pointing out how the team will face a tough challenge on Sunday.

“(The Chargers) are going to be excited for their home opener,” Edwards said. “They got a road win last week (against the Houston Texans) and they will be a good test for us.”

When questioned on how the team will handle ultra-productive RB LaDainian Tomlinson, Edwards expressed some concern.

“(Tomlinson) is a heck of a football player,” he said. “He has great vision; he’s a downhill runner. They get the ball to him in the passing game on screens and passes out to the flat. He creates space and has great change of direction ability. He will definitely be a challenge to our defense.”

Edwards recognizes stopping Tomlinson the entire game is virtually impossible.

“As a coach, you can’t tell your defense, ‘OK, go out and stop this guy’ because it’s not going to happen. What you hope to do is contain him and limit his big plays.”

From his team’s standpoint, Edwards explained the trouble spots from Week 1 and where the team needs to improve.

“We definitely need better communication in the secondary,” Edwards said. “That is one our focuses this week. Also, on offense, we can’t drop passes. The receivers work hard to get open and they need to catch it.”

While perfection is the goal every game, Edwards realizes it’s unrealistic.

“At the end of the day, you want to win the game and you’re not going to do everything right,” he said. “Sometimes you get better at (one area) and it’s something else the next week. You are always adjusting as a coach.”

MISCELLANEOUS TIDBITS: The Jets announced this morning that the team has re-signed OG Brent Smith. Terms of the deal were undisclosed but the deal is almost certainly an NFL veteran minimum contract. Smith had been competing with OG Brandon Moore for the starting right guard position throughout training camp, but was surprisingly released last week. The move as speculated was salary cap related. NFL rules mandate that if a Veteran of Smith’s tenure is on the opening day roster the team is responsible for paying the player’s entire year’s salary. Now the Jets are only responsible for paying him for the weeks he’s here. Smith was on the practice field this morning, replacing rookie OT Adrian Jones as one of the wedge blockers on the kickoff return unit.

INJURY REPORT: The following is the team’s official injury report for Sunday’s game against the Chargers:

-DE Bryan Thomas (hamstring): Probable for Sunday.
-DT Josh Evans (back): Probable for Sunday.
-FS Jon McGraw (groin): Probable for Sunday.

The team has practice tomorrow and a walkthrough Friday before traveling to San Diego. Be sure to check back to Jets often for all the latest NY Jets news.