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Holding The Line

By Justin Paley
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
September 15th, 2005
After a dismal performance in KC, the Jets defense will try to redeem themselves this week agaisnt Miami. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
After a dismal performance in KC, the Jets defense will try to redeem themselves this week agaisnt Miami. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
When DT Jason Ferguson signed with Dallas as a free agent in the off-season, the starting defensive tackle position was left open. A battle ensued in camp and the starting job was won by James Reed. So far Reed's debut as the Jets' new man in the middle has been less than stellar.

The Kansas City offense had their way with the new starter but despite his bad start, Reed's teammates are confident in his ability.

DE John Abraham talked about the main differences between Reed and Ferguson. “He’s a little quicker,” Abraham said. “He tends to be a little more disruptive up the field than Jason was, Jason was better to hold blocks, but ‘Tank,’ he can get a little deeper in the backfield. Also ‘Tank’ has matured a lot since he’s been here. You can tell he’s ready to be a starter. I’m definitely glad to have him with me on the sidelines. At first, everybody is kind of skeptical when you lose a good player like Jason, but ‘Tank’ came in and did what he had to do and I think he’s going to be good for us for the rest of the year.”

Starting is new to Reed, who had been a backup the first four years of his career. “It was a blessing,” Reed said of starting in the opener against Kansas City. The most plays Reed had gotten into in a game before was 20 and against Kansas City, Reed nearly doubled that, playing 39 plays.

“I’m more excited this year to play,” Reed said. “Last year, to be honest, it didn’t feel like it does this year. I wasn’t as happy because I didn’t play that much. It was frustrating. Now, I look forward to the games, to the practices and if I mess up I’ll go in there and do it better.”

Reed and the rest of the defensive line had a dismal performance against the Chiefs, allowing 198 yards on the ground. It was a bit surprising considering the Jets defense was fifth in the NFL in rushing yards allowed last year, surrendering less than 100 yards a game.

It got so bad last week that Reed punched LB Jonathan Vilma on the sidelines when Vilma berated the DT about the poor job he was doing keeping linemen off him. Both have downplayed the incident and earlier this week, head coach Herman Edwards said it’s done with.

“That’s already under the water,” DE Shaun Ellis said. “They’re ready, they’re back. As a player, you don’t want to see that. Everybody knows that emotions run high in a game and we were getting frustrated and sometimes when you get frustrated certain things happen. Unfortunately that happened and I’m sorry that happened the way it did, but they’re grown men and were able to straighten it out. They’re cool again.”

Miami rushed for 151 yards last week in their 34-10 opening win over Denver and the Jets know if they want to win against the Dolphins, they cannot have a repeat performance of last week.

Abraham was asked what the defense plans to do differently against the Dolphins. “Stop the run,” Abraham said. “Plain and simple. All the other stuff will come. We’re not worrying about how many yards we give in the air as much as on the ground. We feel like we have a good pass rush and a good secondary to not let them get too many big plays.”

“That’s the main job, controlling the middle,” Reed said about his responsibilities. “We have different defensive schemes where I get to make the plays. When we’re in a certain defense it’s simple, I just have to stand there and control the line of scrimmage.

Despite winning six of the last seven games against Miami at the Meadowlands, the Jets know they cannot overlook the Dolphins and if they contain the Dolphins running game, they will be in a good position for their first victory of the year.

“Everybody is taking it upon themselves to play better,” Ellis said. “Everybody didn’t play well and everybody is just looking forward to stepping up their game and contributing.”

INSIDER TIDBITS

Jets backup QB Jay Fiedler knows a thing or two about the Dolphins, playing for them from 2000-2004. But when new coach Nick Saban was hired, he did not call Fiedler and Fiedler was eventually released before signing with the Jets. “Nothing is really surprising about it,” Fiedler said of his old team’s early success. “I figure there will be a lot of phone calls this week and a lot of interest from you guys (media) with stories about me and my old team, but for me, I’m preparing for another game, a game where we need to get a win on the board.”

The Jets issued a statement today regarding a potential stadium partnership with the New York Giants and the NJSEA: "We remain far apart on several issues, but we are willing to listen to proposals for a full and equal partnership.”

-KEVIN MAWAE NEEDS YOUR HELP In an effort to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina, Kevin and Tracy Mawae have started the Mawae Movement.

Please help us this Saturday make a difference for the unfortunate victims who have suffered so much due to this horrible natural disaster.

Here are the details:

Who: Kevin & Tracy Mawae and other Jets players

What: A drive to collect non-perishable and non-breakable food items, hygiene products, diapers, formula, toiletries, soap, toothpaste, paper products. Please note that no used or new clothing will be accepted.

When: Saturday, September 17th from 10:00am – 4:00pm

Where: St. Paul’s Recreational Complex, Corner of Rockaway Avenue & Stewart Avenue (West of the Garden City Hotel), Garden City, New York

How it Works: Between the hours of 10:00a.m. and 4:00p.m. volunteers will be on hand to collect your items. Simply drive to the St. Paul’s Recreation Complex and enter on Rockaway Avenue. You will be directed to the facility where you can hand volunteers your donation without getting out of your car.

All items collected will be loaded and sent immediately to Baton Rouge, Louisiana and distributed by PRC Compassion, a charitable organization comprised of churches and pastors to address community needs and distribute relief.

Supported by: Feed The Children, the New York Jets, Progressive Solutions, Pallets Unlimited, St. Paul’s Recreational Complex, The Town of Garden City and National Communications Group Inc.

For More Information: Contact Major League Events @ 212-966-3721

INJURY REPORT The Jets are relatively injury free heading into the second game of the season with DE Trevor Johnson (concussion) the only player listed as out.

The Jets have a walk-through tomorrow as they continue preparing for the home opener against the Dolphins on Sunday. Check back to Jets Insider.com for a full preview.

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