Death, taxes and 1000 for Curtis

By Justin Paley
Jets Staff Writer
November 18th, 2004
Whether the Jets win or lose on Sunday, you can bet the house that Jets RB Curtis Martin will get the 16 yards he needs to collect his tenth consecutive 1000 yard rushing season. By doing so, he joins elite company by matching Barry Sanders with the milestone.

Whether the Jets win or lose on Sunday, you can bet the house that Jets RB Curtis Martin will get the 16 yards he needs to collect his tenth consecutive 1000 yard rushing season. By doing so, he joins elite company by matching Barry Sanders with the milestone.

Martin has accomplished many things in his career and shattered many records, including passing Freeman McNeil for Jets all-time rushing leader earlier this year. But the 10 straight 1,000 yard seasons is the accomplishment Martin appreciates the most.

“I think to do the special things it takes special effort,” Martin said. “There is something special about you. There is something I appreciate about that. You all know I am a man of faith, so it kind of makes me look and wonder why I have been blessed the way I have versus someone else. It really makes me appreciate my life and career.”

Martin’s outstanding 2004 season can be contributed to his off-season workouts of running the stairs in Santa Monica and the pre-season where he received many more carries than he has in the past. Martin talked about why he is in the best shape of his life.

“Experience and it has just been a long time,” Martin said. “I have been doing the same thing and taking the same hits over and over. It is like I have learned how to maneuver in certain ways and do things differently each year. It is almost as if every year you learn to tweak a little more to become better.”

Jets Head Coach Herman Edwards talked about why Martin has lasted so long in the NFL.

“His endurance,” Edwards said. “His ability to show up every week to play. His endurance speaks for itself. He doesn’t break down, he breaks record. He’s still a good player. “

Jets C Kevin Mawae and the rest of the offensive line has been a big reason for Martin’s 984 rushing yards this year. Mawae said the running game is a big reason why the Jets are having a good year.

“I think it is important,” Mawae said. “I think this offense’s success relies on how well the running game is going. When the running game is going good, everything is going good. We want to put the shoulders on us as the offensive line and Curtis feels the same way. We think we can do that. We can beat anybody and keep it close.”

Mawae knows Martin appreciates the o-line efforts.

“It is a great individual accomplishment by him but by the same token he knows and guys on this team know there are 10 other guys in the huddle helping him accomplish that,” the Jets center said. “We have receivers blocking downfield opening up holes for him and you have the five guys in front of him. To say that I have been a part of it and the guys on this line have been a part of that during his career is a great privilege and a huge honor.”

Martin should have a good game Sunday against the Browns defense, which allows 115 yards a game on the ground. Martin knows the Jets cannot take the Browns lightly despite the Browns 3-6 record.

“One of the first rules-it is like NFL 101-you realize that you can never take a team’s record and depend on that,” Martin said. “Cleveland could come out and play like world champs. Any team in the NFL is capable of having their best game and you just don’t want them to have it against you.”

At the age of 31, most NFL running backs would be thinking about retirement but Martin feels he can go another few seasons.

“I feel as good as I have probably felt in my career,” Martin said. “I feel a million times more mentally prepared-just as more of a complete man. I feel as though I have grown into myself spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically and at the same time, I am working hard to keep my physical body in shape. Right now, I feel like I am at my best.”

MISCELLANEOUS TIDBITS: Edwards said DE John Abraham missed practice today for personal reasons and should be back tomorrow…Edwards feels his team is focused going into Cleveland. “Our guys know exactly where we’re at,” the HC said. “It’s a long season. We still have seven games left. Still can do some good things. We need to win a game.”

INJURY REPORT: DE Shaun Ellis was taken off the injury report as he has recovered from a groin injury that forced him out of action last week. Edwards said QB Chad Pennington has not yet had a second MRI and would be looked at by doctors on Monday. “He’s getting better,” Edwards said. “It’s just a matter of his arm strength and how far can he throw the ball.”

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

The Jets practice tomorrow before leaving for Cleveland. Check back to Jets often for all the latest news leading up to the clash with the Browns.

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