Edwards: It’s my fault

By Justin Paley
Jets Staff Writer
November 15th, 2004
The day after a horrible debacle at the Meadowlands where the Jets blew a 14 point lead and lost to the Ravens in overtime, Head Coach Herman Edwards shouldered the blame.

The day after a horrible debacle at the Meadowlands where the Jets blew a 14 point lead and lost to the Ravens in overtime, Head Coach Herman Edwards shouldered the blame.

“My job as the head coach is to make sure we can put them in position to make them successful,” Edwards said. “I didn't do a good enough job of that in this game, I feel I really let the team down. I put them in some situations where really they shouldn't have probably been in. But at that point in time, that's the decisions you make, and you live by the decisions you make. You can always second guess what you should have done, what you could have done.”

Edwards put senior offensive assistant Dick Curl in charge of clock management this year after many time management blunders during last year’s 6-10 season. Edwards and Curl have a chart with different situations that they carry on the sideline during games. But in yesterday’s 20-17 overtime loss to the Baltimore Ravens, Edwards and Curl will have to re-do their chart after poor clock management and poor play calling led to the Jets third loss of the season.

Edwards felt he could have done a much better job coaching.

“All calls, whether it was on offense, defense, special teams, they go through me,” the HC said. “I sit there and I listen to them. I have the decision. Do we want to do it? Do we not want to do it? That's my job. I didn't do a good enough job coaching, I put our team in a bad situation, in certain situations, and really cost them the game at the end of the day.”

RB Curtis Martin, who is 16 yards away from his 10th straight 1,000 yard rushing season, appreciates Herm taking the blame.

“I think as players we can appreciate him taking that leadership and kind of biting the bullet,” Martin said. “I think we offer a huge responsibility, we can appreciate Herm stepping up and taking it but I think we all feel it. I don’t think it makes it any easier on the players, but at the same time we expect and appreciate him being our leader.”

Trailing 17-14 with 4:13 left in the game, the Jets began their final drive at their own 45. With 55 seconds left, Carter, filling in for the injured Chad Pennington, ran a bootleg on third and six from the Ravens 13. Carter picked up nine-yards and the Jets had first and goal at the Ravens four-yard line. The clock ran all the way down to 18 seconds before the Jets ran their next play, a handoff to RB Lamont Jordan for a one-yard gain. The Jets then called their second timeout with 14 seconds left.

On second-and-3 from the Ravens 3, Carter threw the ball away. While the game clock was stopped at eight seconds, the play clock had started and was counting down from 40 seconds. There seemed to be confusion getting the play call in and by the time the Jets were ready to snap the ball there was only one second left on the play clock. Instead of taking the delay of game penalty, Edwards elected to call the Jets final timeout and send in the field goal unit for the tie.

The Coach talked about what happened.

“We had the option of either booting it again or running a pass play, similar to what we already ran,” Edwards said. “We elected to run a boot. We have to get the play into Quincy faster. Obviously, he didn't have enough time on the clock. There was one second on the play clock. When I looked up, there was about one or two seconds on the clock. I wasn't going to try to let the clock go all the way down, have him third-and-eight, throw a pass into the end zone. I was not going to do that, not put that on Quincy. No way was I going to do that.”

Carter talked about when he got the play.

“When I walked out of the huddle, I think the play clock was at about nine or eight seconds,” Carter said. “I knew at that point it was going to be a little hard getting that play off. That is when I turned to Herm and we had to use a timeout because of the play clock running down.”

Carter is now ready in case the situation comes up again.

“The one thing I want to make sure when that situation comes up is to make sure I am close enough to the huddle when the call does finally come in, I don’t have to waste at least two or three more seconds off the clock stepping into the huddle and making that call,” Carter said. “If I am right there, I can make that call. At the same time, you can’t have twelve men in the huddle too so we are talking about a fine line.”

Late in the second half, the Jets were in position to go up 21-0. On first-and-10 from the Ravens 17, a halfback option was run. Jordan could not find an open receiver and tried to throw the ball away but it was intercepted by S Ed Reed. The Ravens capitalized on the turnover as QB Kyle Boller hooked up with WR Clarence Moore for a six-yard score, making the score 14-7 in favor of the Jets.

Jordan talked about what he was trying to do on the play.

“I have seen enough on TV and I have seen enough watching film, it looks like I just threw the ball in the endzone and like I said last night, I just didn’t get the job done as far as what I was trying to do,” Jordan said. “I was trying to throw the ball away and of course on film it doesn’t look that way but I know what my intentions were. I also know that sometimes what your intentions are, doesn’t mean that you necessarily are going to go through with it.”

The Jets had run the play in practice many times leading up to yesterday’s game and Edwards talked about what Jordan’s options were.

“He has two other options: he runs or throws it out of bounds, basically, we put him in a bad situation,” Edwards said. “He didn't need to be in that situation. That's it. We shouldn't have put him in that situation.”

Offensive Coordinator Paul Hackett has been constantly criticized throughout his Jets tenure and yesterday added fuel to the fire. Edwards is still behind Hackett.

“Probably up until that point, everyone was wondering where is he getting all these plays from? We were going up and down the field,” Edwards said. “That happens. He understands. He understands the seat that he's sitting in. We have to do a better job.

The Jets will have to improve on all of these things as they prepare for Cleveland. The Browns have struggled theis year as they are 3-6 and have lost their last three games. QB Jeff Garcia is 133-of-224 for 1638 yards, nine td’s and nine interceptions.

Edwards feels the team will get their intensity back up for Cleveland.

“I think our guys will come back and play with the same level of intensity, play with that effort that they played with,” the HC said. “If you play like that, you're going to win more than you lose, I truly believe that. If you continue to play like that, you're going to win more games than you lose.”

Edwards said the key is now getting over the loss.

“You can grieve today if you like, but tomorrow you got to start getting it out of your system,” Edwards said. “Wednesday we have to come back with a good mindset of trying to get a ‘W’.”

Martin talked about how the team gets over the loss.

“Just stay focused,” Martin said. “I tell everybody I think focus is the key to the NFL. The players who maintain their focus throughout their career, they are the ones who do well, as well as teams. Teams who maintain their focus, they do well. I think that is the key. When you are going good, you can’t get unfocused with what is going on. And when things go wrong you can’t get unfocused.”

Carter is expected to start his second straight game as Edwards said Pennington is out and will continue rehabbing this week. Edwards was pleased with Carter’s performance.

“I thought he handled it well, I really did,” Edwards said. “They blitzed him. He had some guys open at times. But I thought first half, he played marvelous, I really do. I think he ran around, made some plays, ran the ball well. In the second half we just didn't do anything. We didn't get anything going for one reason or another, and they were able to score 10 points on us in the second half.”

Although he faded at the end, DE John Abraham had another strong game yesterday, leading the team with nine tackles and also had a sack. Abraham knows it’s important for the Jets to get back on the win column.

“This is our first time losing back-to-back games so we really have to get back on our horse and try to ride this thing on a good note,” Abraham said.

INJURY REPORT: QB Chad Pennington is listed as out and will continue rehabbing. Edwards said he has not had a second MRI to determine if there is a tear in his right rotator cuff and has yet to throw a football. LB Jason Glenn remains out with a fractured forearm he suffered in the Jets loss to the Patriots. S Rashad Washington is questionable. S Jon McGraw and DE Shaun Ellis were both inactive yesterday and are listed as probable. If Ellis cannot go, Bryan Thomas will start. Thomas did a nice job filling in for Ellis, finishing with six tackles and 1.5 sacks. As reported after yesterday’s game, TE Chris Baker suffered a slight fracture in the second metacarpal of his hand but will likely be able to play. He’s listed as probable for Sunday. The Jets may still look to sign another TE this week. Veteran TE Mikhael Ricks who was in Jets training camp this summer and recently was released by Dallas, may be a consideration.

-LB Jason Glenn (forearm): Out
-QB Chad Pennington (shoulder): Out
-S Rashad Washington (foot): Questionable
-S Jon McGraw (abdomen): Probable
-DE Shaun Ellis (groin): Probable
-TE Chris Baker (hand): Probable

The team has tomorrow off and returns to practice on Wednesday. Check back to Jets throughout the week as the Jets prepare to get back to their winning ways against Cleveland.

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