Jets Notes

Cowart feeling good...Is Evans situation impacting the Robertson negotiations? <BR><BR>

Look for an improved Sam Cowart this year. Not only is he feeling much better physically, but he's more comfortable in the Jet system . . .

While Herman Edwards is going to have a longer, more diligent training camp (starting July 21) than last summer, he is still going to handle his veterans with care - especially Mo Lewis and Curtis Martin, coming off injuries.

"We aren't going to beat them into the ground," said Edwards. "They might not practice twice a day. That will be my decision. It won't be because they are hurt. During training camp with 13 extra practices, I don't want to wear certain guys out. I won't do that."

Martin, a tireless worker, isn't crazy about being held out of practices.

"I'm not necessarily cool with it as of yet," said Martin.

The talks with Dewayne Robertson are going slow. You would figure that Robertson's agent Hadley Engelhardt is factoring in the Josh Evans situation into the negotiations. Engelhardt said recently he won't use a possible Evans suspension against the team. However, it's hard to imagine the Evans situation not being a factor. After all, Robertson is going to play a lot more if the Jets lose Evans. So you have to figure, the Evans situation is going to have an impact on the incentives in Robertson's contract . . .

It looks like the Brian Griese-Jay Fiedler competition in Miami is going to be a classic quarterback controversy. In Griese's first practice, every time Fiedler threw an incompletion, people in the crowd (Dolphin fans are welcome to attend minicamp), were yelling for Griese to start. Fiedler looked like he was pressing in Griese's first practice, throwing a couple of picks.

But it remains to be seen whether Griese, if he does take over as the starter, is an upgrade over Fiedler. John Elway doesn't necessarily think so.

"I don't know if Brian is a Super Bowl quarterback," said Elway. "Brian has to have a great supporting cast around him. Brian is not going to win a game by himself." It's debatable whether the Dolphins have a great supporting cast. True their defensive looks like it could be special, but offensively the line and receiving corps are still question marks . . .

You get the feeling Edwards still isn't comfortable with his placekicking situation. When asked recently about his kickers, Edwards said," I feel good about the punter. I feel the kickers have been okay."

When Edwards uses a word like "okay" to describe a player, he is usually lukewarm on the player or players. The Jets currently have journeyman Doug Brien, Arena League product Clay Rush and kickoff specialist Danny Kight competing for the placekicking job.

Brien is the odds-on favorite to win the job, but isn't close to being a lock for the job. "He is a guy who has had a pretty good career, but over the last year or so he's dropped off some," said Jets special teams coach Mike Westhoff. "This is an opportunity to jump right back and hopefully that is exactly what he will do. If not, it will be someone else." . . .

Ian Smart thinks he can replace Chad Morton as the Jets kick returner because they are similar type players - squatty, quick and powerful for their size.. We hear Smart is outstanding in the weight room for a guy his size. Herman Edwards seems to have taken a liking to the C.W. Post product.

"He has a lot of confidence," said Edwards. "He's got a chance. The guy scored 95 touchdowns, I don't care if it's elementary school. That's a lot of touchdowns."

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