Last season Garnes was too heavy to be as effective as he wanted, in the Jets speed-based defense. The extra weight he carried made him a step slow .
The Jets need a fast strong safety, someone who has the speed to keep up with receivers, and running backs, coming out of the backfield. They need a player to be a dominating presence in the box, as opposed to the Giants who want a strong physical safety to knock people in the mouth.
"Sam Garnes is down about 10-12 pounds from last year," said Herman Edwards. "The Giants wanted a bigger massive guy, we require more coverage in our scheme."
When Garnes looks in the mirror, he likes what he sees.
"I've lost a lot of body fat," said Garnes. "I am back to where I was in college. I look in the mirror, and I can tell."
During the off season rather than working out on his own like he usually does, he enlisted the help of the Jets strength and conditioning coach John Lott. Garnes main goal was to become more of a factor in the box, something he feels now he has the tools to do.
"I feel like I can dominate in the box," said Garnes. "I had to lose some weight, (so now) I will have my share of being in the box."
Some of Garnes' struggles last year can also be attributed to all of the new starters the Jets were breaking into their secondary. The Jets had three new starters in the backfield last season: Garnes, Donnie Abraham, and Aaron Beasley.
Garnes was slow to pick up on the Cover Two, and would play tentative at times. By his own admission he is not the type of player who has enough natural speed to play this way.
"I am not a 4.3 guy,"said Garnes. "I cannot afford to play hesitant."
Edwards is under the impression that the secondary is now more familiar with the scheme this year. He feels confident in the defensive backfield, and sees them progressing rapidly from last season.
"Our secondary is now coming together as a unit," he said. "Last season they were just trying to line up the right way. The secondary is light years ahead of where they were this time last year."
Garnes and the secondary better be ahead of last year if they are to achieve their objectives for their upcoming season.
According to Garnes the Jets goals are - "To get a bye week in the playoffs. We want to have a fast start."
NOTES: The Jets waived two players this morning: kicker Clay Rush, and offensive tackle Bobby Brandt. Rush was a former Arena League star, who won the "Kicker of the Year" Award in the Arena League. Brandt is an offensive lineman/longsnapper who the Jets signed from Indiana University. Both of these players were free agents invites to camp.
Early word out of camp is that Rush has other teams interested in him, so he should be finding a place to kick soon. …
Jonathan Carter is going to have an MRI on his right knee this week. His status for this weekend's game at the Meadowlands in uncertain….
Chad Pennington and Vinny Testaverde both looked sharp in the morning session. Testaverde had two beautiful throws, one a perfectly placed 15 yard lob over the shoulder of Wayne Chrebet for a touchdown. The other a 30 yard strike to Phil McGeoghan. …
Expect to see Chester McGlockton in this weekends game against the Saints.