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Edwards At A Loss For Words
By James J. Parziale
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
December 7th, 2005
Jets Head Coach abruptly ended his press conference at Hofstra today. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
Jets Head Coach abruptly ended his press conference at Hofstra today. (Jets Insider.com Photo)

Never has Herman Edwards been one to mince words. Generally when the Jets coach makes a declaration–see the “you play to win the game” speech, among others–he means it. Never has Edwards failed to explain his methods, between the chalk lines or at the podium. So when Edwards abruptly cut short his Wednesday media briefing, reporters were puzzled with pens still pressed against notepads.

“Press conference over,” Edwards said 16 minutes into his weekly discourse with the media. As he walked away from the podium, Edwards left behind more questions than answers.

Edwards failed to explain the basis behind his high-tailing from the microphone. Likely, the fifth-year coach has grown wary of the media second-guessing the Jets play-calling. The play he cited was this Sunday: a third-and-five against New England with the Jets driving for their first points.

QB Brooks Bollinger was pummeled, fumbling the ball. New England recovered, but offsetting penalties negated the turnover. The woeful Jets offense, which barely had a pulse the entire game, was given a second chance.

What followed looked like the hoisting of a white flag. The ensuring draw to Curtis Martin–for no gain, no less–was a Paul Hackett special. The Jets settled for a 38-yard field goal and tied the game at 3. The Jets never sniffed the red zone again and lost 16-3.

“There’s no magical potion here,” Edwards said. “We have to play this way, OK? There’s no other way to play for us right now. I think everyone is missing that.

“We act like every week there’s something that’s going to be different. What’s going to be different?”

Along those lines Edwards has a point. The Jets have scored one touchdown in the last four games and are averaging 11.9 points-per-game, on pace for the club’s worst ever.

The Jets quarterbacks have spent more time in the trainers’ room than the end zone. The offensive line has been shuffled and reshuffled more than a deck of cards. There is truth in the notion that the Jets have nothing to lose by throwing caution to the wind.

“We’re doing what we can,” Edwards said about the offense. “It sounds real good [to] open it up and go for broke. That gives you the best chance of getting blown out in a game.”

Is a one-point loss worse than a 42-point loss similar to what the Eagles experienced on Monday night? Edwards was put to the flame Monday in many headlines for playing not to lose, and has bristled at criticism. These days, Weeb Ewbank Hall is a Pandora’s Box of emotion.

“We’re not some circus team,” Edwards continued. “This is not a circus. We’re trying to win a game the best way we know how as coaches.”

The players still have four games to play, and a 2-14 finish isn’t unfathomable. LB Jonathan Vilma, who won a National Championship at the University of Miami and is from a winning pedigree, said the players can’t look at themselves as victims.

After Sunday’s loss, Patriots players told RB Curtis Martin “there would be better days.” Martin didn’t want to be pitied, and neither did Vilma.

“I can sit here and feel sorry for myself or keep fighting,” said Vilma, last year’s rookie of the year,” and I’ve never felt sorry for myself.”

Martin has been slowed by a knee injury this season and is trying to rush for over 1,000 yards for the 11th straight season – the only player to do so. Last week, Edwards addressed the team about Martin’s goal. When asked if he spoke the team about Martin’s pursuit this week, Edwards continued his diatribe.

“That will be the next question I’ll have to answer is: ‘Is it more important for Curtis Martin to get a thousand yards or for you to win the game?’” Edwards said. “I see it coming. That’s OK.”

Edwards said the Patriots ran a draw on a third-and-four in the first quarter only to miss a field goal on the next play.

“No one questioned them,” Edwards said. “But I get questioned because we lost…they’re on the 27-yard line and missed a 42-yard field goal. How about that?

Edwards paused, tucked a manila folder under his arm and muttered: “Press conference over.”

Season over would’ve been a better choice of words.

INSIDER TIDBITS

Carson Passes Away.Bud Carson, who coached the Jets and the Pittsburgh “Steel Curtain” defense, passed away today the age of 75.

Carson passed away at his home in Sarasota, Fla. today after a long battle with emphysema.

Carson was the Jets defensive coordinator from 1985-89 under Joe Walton. Walton coached Jets DE Joe Klecko, who was part of a stellar defensive line during the decade.

Carson can take credit for some of Klecko’s success since he adjusted the defensive end’s stance. In addition, current Jets radio broadcaster Marty Lyons, who played alongside Klecko on the defensive line who bore that moniker The New York Sack Exchange, said that Carson was the best for the very aggressive defensive style he brought.

Also, Lyons said, Carson’s honesty was admired in the locker room. Before the last game in 1988, Carson knew he and most of the staff would be relieved of their duties.

“I know I’m not going to be here,” Lyons recalled Carson saying. “If you don’t play hard, I’m taking a few of you with me.”

Carson was the Steelers defensive coordinator from 1972-77 and fathered the birth of the Steel Curtain, which featured Joe Greene, Jack Ham and Jack Lambert. He also coached the Brown from 1989-90 to a 11-13-1 record.

“You look at what he established at Pittsburgh,” Lyons said. “Wherever he went he had that aggressive style. It was always an attack mode.

“The NFL lost a good person and a good coach today.”

Long Time No See. This is what the Jets have been waiting for, yearning for. The last time the Oakland Raiders saw the Meadowlands was Sept. 21, 1997, a Jets 23-22 victory.

Since then, the Jets have traveled to Oakland seven times since then, losing twice in the playoffs. So when the schedules were released, most around the Jets began salivating when Oakland was scheduled to New York. Obviously, with the Raiders (4-8) far from contenders, these are mitigating circumstances.

As familiar as the Raiders are, one man draped in silver and black will be particularly recognizable. Former Jets RB LaMont Jordan, who left the Jets after last season, will play against his former team for the first time.

Jordan’s 61 receptions lead the Raiders ahead of WRs Jerry Porter and Randy Moss. Jordan’s running stats aren’t

“We know he’s going to come excited,” LB Jonathan Vilma said.

Jordan, who is 5-foot-10 and 230 pounds, will be hyped to go against the team that let him walk and will likely bring his A-game. DE John Abraham said Jordan is a physical back by nature, but they’ve seen him before. Patriots RB Cory Dillon, who Abraham said is a back of the same ilk, was also a physical runner.

“He’s one of those guys who always seems to fall forward,” Abraham said.

DE Shaun Ellis said Jordan always squares his shoulders, a quality not often found in running backs.

“Lamont is a really good player and has had been a good year for him in terms of growing,” Raiders head coach Norv Turner said. “He’s done an outstanding job as a receiver and as a runner.”

>>>The Return Of Testaverde? Although Brooks Bollinger will start this Sunday, the Coach indicated that backup Vinny Testaverde will likley be getting some playing time and may even get a start sometime before the end of the season. Testaverde's Achilles' strain is almost fully healed and he will be ready to go if needed.

INJURY REPORT

After on Monday alluding to QB Jay Fiedler’s potential return, Edwards did not give a clear indication of when Fiedler will throw in drills. He did not practice today. CB David Barrett, who came out of the game Sunday after aggravating his eye laceration, was not listed on the injury report. DT Dewayne Robertson did not practice today with a thigh contusion.

-QB Jay Fiedler (shoulder): out
-RB Derrick Blaylock (foot): doubtful
-DT Dewayne Robertson (contusion): questionable
-RB Curtis Martin (knee): probable

The team returns to practice tomorrow to continue preparation for the Raiders. Be sure to check back to Jets Insider.com for all the latest NY Jets news.