No panic

By John Melillo
Jets, Staff Writer
November 10th, 2004
When a team’s starting quarterback goes down, a team is usually sent reeling. Fortunately, that is not the case with the New York Jets as a relatively calm Herm Edwards discussed the insertion of backup QB Quincy Carter into the starting lineup Wednesday and how the team would be affected by the change.

When a team’s starting quarterback goes down, a team is usually sent reeling. Fortunately, that is not the case with the New York Jets as a relatively calm Herm Edwards discussed the insertion of backup QB Quincy Carter into the starting lineup Wednesday and how the team would be affected by the change.

“We think we’ll have a good plan for him to be successful,” Edwards said. “We’ll just do things a little differently (with Carter). He has a certain package that we’re going to present to him. We don’t want to put so much restraint on the guy (where) he’s sitting behind the center thinking too much.”

One of the positives with Carter at the helm will be his experience, where he has started 31 games, winning 16 over three seasons with the Dallas Cowboys. Edwards stressed the importance for Carter to play his style of game and not be afraid to improvise when those situations arise.

“I want him to play and enjoy the opportunity,” Edwards said. “He’s getting the opportunity again to start. He’s worked very, very hard since he’s gotten here. I think he needs to enjoy the opportunity now that he’s in the starting role.”

Unfortunately, past starting performances have exposed Carter as turnover prone, compiling more interceptions (36) than touchdown passes (30) during his brief career. Still, Edwards is confident that his veteran backup will step up and perform consistently until QB Chad Pennington returns from injury.

“I just think I’m going to enjoy watching this guy play,” Edwards said. “(He) doesn’t have to make every play. Don’t try to force anything. Just play. Sometimes it is going to be a bad down. We need to accept the bad down and move on.”

Edwards discussed the new dimensions a mobile quarterback brings to the offense in place of a traditional drop-back passer like Pennington.

“I think for the offensive line, (Carter) could still be running around scrambling and (letting) it fly. I think they have to get used to that. For the receivers, the ball will get on them a lot faster,” Edwards said citing Carter’s strong arm.

WR Santana Moss, who had a breakout game last week with over 150 receiving yards, noted that Carter brings some things to the game that Pennington doesn't including excellent mobility.

"I'm pretty sure teams are going to have to spy on him or do something because if we are covered, then he can run right behind you and make those yards that we need. That is a big plus for us too," said Moss.

In a conference call with the NY media this afternoon, Ravens head coach Brian Billick addressed the concern in facing the mobile Carter this week.

“Quincy Carter brings a different set of assets to their offense (than Pennington), and we have to guestimate as best as we can on Sunday,” Billick said.

The Ravens will play the same aggressive style of defense, regardless of the change at the QB position, according to Ravens star LB Ray Lewis.

“We just play our defensive scheme whatever it may be,” Lewis said. “We’re just going to do the same thing. I don’t think anything is going to change just because Chad is not playing.”

Carter feels he is ready for the task ahead.

"I have 31 starts up under my belt now and I have played football before," said Carter. "We are playing against a pretty good defense but it's still football. I have enough experience and these guys believe in me in this locker room so I am just looking forward to playing football on Sunday."

Carter is not deterred by critics who say he’s not a good fit for the Jets west coast offense.

“They said Donovan (McNabb) wasn’t a good fit either and now he is an every-year Pro Bowl selection,” said the QB. “You give Michael Vick a little time and he will be going across the waters to Hawaii every year. I am just looking to go out and complete footballs. Since I have been in this League, there have been naysayers and pretty much I have been beating the odds and I am going to try to continue doing the same thing. This is not about me. This is about the New York Jets and going out and winning on Sunday.

MISCELLANEOUS TIDBITS: With Pennington on the shelf, the Jets added some more QB depth by signing Ricky Ray from the practice squad to the active roster. Ray has been on the practice squad since the conclusion of training camp. The Jets now have four QB's on the active roster. In Ray's place, team signed S Jarrell Weaver to the practice squad. Weaver was a rookie free agent in camp this summer and was previously on the practice squad until he was released on October 5th..... Coach Edwards discussed yesterday's signing of S Oliver Celestin off the Minnesota Vikings’ practice squad. “He’s a player we’ve scouted since the preseason and who we’ve liked for awhile. We thought he could come in and help us. He’s athletic and has the ability to play corner or safety.” Edwards announced Celestin would likely be activated for Sunday’s game.…LBs Eric Barton and Jonathan Vilma, S Erik Coleman, DT Dewayne Robertson and CB David Barrett wore black jerseys today to signify their stellar practice effort.

INJURY REPORT: Edwards disclosed that LB Sam Cowart (knee) expects to play this week versus the Baltimore Ravens. Cowart, who has been sidelined with a knee injury since Week 2, is expected to see 10 to 15 plays in Sunday’s game. Safety Jon McGraw (abdomen) re-aggravated his abdominal injury versus Buffalo last week and will be listed as questionable this week. DE John Abraham missed practice today with an undisclosed illness. He was added to the injury list as proabale for Sunday. More details on this coming. As reported yesterday, S Derek Pagel (calf) was placed on in injured reserve, thus ending his season.

-QB Chad Pennington (shoulder): Out
-LB Jason Glenn (forearm): Out
-S Rashad Washington (foot): Out
-S Jon McGraw (abdomen): Questionable
-DE Shaun Ellis (groin): Questionable
-CB Derrick Strait (foot): Probable
-LB Sam Cowart (knee): Probable
-DE John Abraham (illness): Probable

Be sure to check back to Jets throughout the week for all the latest information as Quincy Carter and the Jets prepare for the Baltimore Ravens at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Meadowlands.

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