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Preseason Tactics/Final Cuts Announced

Herman Edwards has his own philosophies on the preseason. <p> "The preseason, is an evaluation period for these young players," said Edwards. "Every young player on our team got to play in the preseason, not a lot of teams do that."<p>

The question now is, did the Jets let their young players play too much, while many starters, and especially Vinny Testaverde, spent a lot of time on the bench. Testaverde, and the rest of the starters didn't play at all in the last preseason game.

You wonder if Testaverde's lack of preseason action will hurt his ability to develop chemistry, and timing with his receivers entering the 2003 football season?

This question will be answered when the Jets travel to Washington to kick off the 2003 football regular season against the Redskins.

With the injury to Chad Pennington's wrist, Testaverde is now the team's starting quarterback.

Being a starter, entering the season, is something Testaverde is familiar with. But this year it is a little different. Testaverde has spent almost a year on the sidelines being a backup, and got very little work with his receivers, throughout this preseason.

In the 2003 preseason, Tesaverde was 6 for 14 passing, and threw for only 56 yards.

This is a situation that he doesn't feel completely comfortable with.

"Any player needs time on the field," said Testaverde. "The situation is such (this season) where I haven't had as many reps, on the field. So I will have to draw on my experience."

The Jets have three talented wide receivers, commonly referred to as "The Big Three", in Santana Moss, Curtis Conway, and Wayne Chrebet.

Of " The Big Three", only Chrebet, has spent productive time during the regular season with Testaverde as his quarterback.

Testaverde, and Chrebet, played together in 1998, 2000, and 2001, years in which both were starters on the Jets offense.

Their most productive season together was 1998, a year where Chrebet had 75 receptions, for 1,083 yards, and eight touchdowns.

Moss has played only briefly with Testaverde as his quarterback.

In 2001, Moss appeared in five games, and was then put on the inactive list for the final 11 games of the season because of torn cartilage in his knee. He caught two passes that season, both from Testaverde.

In 2002, Moss, and Testaverde had a chance to work together briefly until Testaverde was injured in the fourth game of the season, leading to him losing his starting job, for the remainder of the season, to Pennington.

In 2002, Moss, again had two receptions, with Testaverde at quarterback, giving him four career receptions, while Testaverde has been under center.

Conway is entering his first season with the Jets. He has never played in a regular season game with Testaverde as his quarterback, and their interaction in preseason games, has been very limited, because of the decision to keep Testaverde on the bench during the preseason.

With all this uncertainty, about the ability of Testaverde to play effectively with receivers, that he's barely played in game situations with, the question has to be raised why not give Testaverde, and his receivers, more time to develop in the preseason, especially after Pennington's injury?

"He has been in the league a long time, and it's no different for me if he is on the sideline, and the quarterback gets knocked out," said Edwards. "Then, he has to go play. Now he has to go play. I think his experience is no different then if at the end of the season someone gets hurt, and he has to go in. Vinny is a veteran, and been in 194 games, so he can handle it."

Hopefully, for Testaverde, the Jets, and "The Big Three", this was the correct approach to take. …

Notes: The Jets made their final cuts on Sunday. One surprising cut that was made already is backup middle linebacker Kelvin Moses. It looks like Kenyatta Wright beat him out for the job.

Other players that were waived are safety Wes Bautovich, linebackers Mark Brown and Kelvin Moses, cornerback Andrew Davison, running backs Little John Flowers and Jonathan Reese, guard Brandon Moore, wide receiver Cecil Moore, tight end Gabe Reid, and defensive end Ryan Wingrove. The announcement was made by Terry Bradway.

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