Cottrell Tries To Mold New Jets 'D'

As Ted Cottrell returns to the New York Jets in a highly anticipated season, the question still remains. Can this refurbished defense do the job? Six new starters will be standing on the grass on September 8th at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo. Now the chore for Cottrell is to do his best impression of Lovie Smith who last year welcomed eight new starters to his St. Louis team and turned them into a vastly improved revelation.

Coming off an Achilles tendon tear is Sam Cowart, who is by far the biggest addition on the defensive side. Herman Edwards says he is completely healthy and that means you can count on him to rack up substantial tackle totals.

It could take Cowart a few weeks to get back up to par on the weak side, but if he does -- look out.

After the departures of Aaron Glenn and Marcus Coleman to Houston, Donnie Abraham and Aaron Beasley will take over at corner back. Both possess speed and mobility and should be significant upgrades.

Sam Garnes comes over from the Giants and is a great addition. Next time the Jets will see Victor Green is when they play the Patriots who recently signed a pact with the division-rival Patriots.

The prime struggle last year was defending against the rush and there will be several competitions on the line heading into camp. Steve White, who was a pupil of Edward's in Tampa, could very well challenge Shaun Ellis' at left end.

The two tackles up front could be the primary battle in camp all the way till the end where four players will compete for two spots. Webster, Ferguson, Reed, and Evans will be in a dog fight considering all the intangibles. Webster and Ferguson could very well come out on top of the bunch for numerous reasons.

Both Webster and Ferguson are established run-stoppers and with that being the Jets biggest weakness last year look for Cottrell to turn to these two with Reed and the troubled Evans adding depth.

Down the stretch, the defense is going to have to come up and provide big stops otherwise it could get hideous.

Last year, Lovie Smith was able to mold his defense into one of a Super Bowl caliber. Now Ted Cottrell tries to do his impression. Smith made it to the Super Bowl, now can Ted? Imagine that.

Jet Notes

- Chad Pennington has stated clearly he thinks he has a shot at the starting QB job while Testaverde says no one will beat him out.

- Both Rookies and Veterans report Friday, July 26th.

- All reports say Jason Fabini will be ready at the start of camp after minor shoulder surgery.

- After coming off rotator cuff surgery, Kevin Mawae will not participate till mid-August.

- Testaverde, who had foot surgery to remove a benign tumor from a bone in his foot, is expected to ready at the start of camp.

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