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Ready to Rally

By John Melillo
Jets, Staff Writer
November 17th, 2004
When a team suffers a disheartening loss, it is the responsibility of the head coach to maintain the psyche and focus of his players. New York Jets head coach Herm Edwards emphasized his team will remain united following the tough overtime loss to the Baltimore Ravens last Sunday.

When a team suffers a disheartening loss, it is the responsibility of the head coach to maintain the psyche and focus of his players. New York Jets head coach Herm Edwards emphasized his team will remain united following the tough overtime loss to the Baltimore Ravens last Sunday.

“This team has resilence,” Edwards said. “We know where we’re at. There’s seven games left. What we got to do, our mindset is to go win a game. (The players) know what we got to do. They know what’s ahead of us. We’ll be ready to play.”

Following back-to-back losses to Buffalo and Baltimore, the 6-3 Jets will need to be ready to play a reeling 3-6 Cleveland Browns team, who have lost three straight and are in desperate need of a victory. In a conference call with the NY media this afternoon, Browns head coach Butch Davis discussed his team’s struggles and the match up versus the Jets.

“It has to do more about our football team and less about the Jets,” Davis said. “We’ve self-inflicted a lot of things upon ourselves, with turnovers, big pass plays – those kind of things. It doesn’t get any easier (this week), as the Jets are equally as talented as the previous three teams.”

Jets QB Quincy Carter knows the Browns are a desperate team and are aching to get back in the win column.

“We know we are going to be facing a pretty good challenge in them”, said Carter. “They are going to be playing at home, they need a win. They have lost three straight now and we have lost two straight. These are two teams that are definitely going to be fighting for a win and they are going to give us their best shot.”

As both Edwards and Davis look to get their respective teams headed back in the right direction, Edwards reiterated that his staff and players are working on the same page despite the intense criticism the Jets have been under in the aftermath of the poor clock management exhibited by the team late in Sunday’s game versus Baltimore.

“We had a staff meeting (Monday) I think our staff has a lot of energy and they know exactly what we need to do. If (the coaching mistakes) were happening the whole game, yeah, but you’re talking about a situation,” Edwards said of the players potentially losing confidence in the coaches.

Edwards discussed the role of a coaching staff and admitted that there is little room for error when you’re in charge of directing a team.

“At the end of the day, the players are going to do what we ask them to do. They’re professionals. It’s the coaches job to get the play in and for the player to execute.”

C Kevin Mawae knows a win in Cleveland is a must to get momentum back.

”It is a very big game for us”, said Mawae. “The beauty of it though is that we are still 6-3, we still have a good chance of doing the things we want to do. Last week’s game was a huge disappointment for all of us. We saw it as a game we gave away. We just have to build off the mistakes we made and get better. It is the same story.”

After facing QB’s over the past several weeks that have not exactly been scramblers, the Jets face the very fleet footed Jeff Garcia on Sunday. DT Jason Ferguson knows containing Garcia will be a challenge.

“He (Garcia) is a lot like (SD QB Doug) Flutie,” said Ferguson. ” He sees you coming and you are rushing and you don’t know where he is at. He is a Pro Bowl quarterback. He is a guy you have to respect.”

MISCELLANEOUS TIDBITS: When questioned on the controversial opening for Monday Night Football last week, Edwards said, “I heard a lot about it. I hear there’s a firestorm about it (but) I can’t comment on something I didn’t see. I’m happy I don’t have to answer that question.”…Edwards praised the performance of DL Bryan Thomas last week. “He’s obviously come back this year and really has been determined to be a good player,” Edwards said. Thomas recorded three tackles and 1.5 sacks vs. the Ravens.

INJURY REPORT: Edwards reported that injured QB Chad Pennington (shoulder) has been improving, but is still unable to throw the ball. Edwards speculated Pennington could possibly resume throwing next week. Pennington has already been ruled out for Week 11. The team is relatively healthy heading into their clash with the Browns this Sunday as LB Jason Glenn (forearm) and Pennington are the only players sidelined this week.

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

The team resumes preparation for the Browns tomorrow and Friday. Check back often to Jets for all the latest team news and reports.

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