"I told Paul to just throw the ball because we can't run it," said Edwards. "We are kidding ourselves. You might as well throw the ball. After a while, we didn't even throw a screen in anymore. We would just try to throw it down field."
It is unclear if this was frustration, or just a motivational tool, but one thing is certain, this comment did not sit well with the Jets All-Pro center Kevin Mawae.
When asked about these comments on Wednesday, Mawae took the opportunity to stick up for himself, and his offensive line.
"I was pissed off when I heard it," he said, visibly shaken. "I have a tendency to take things personally and when they say we can't run the ball, I take it personal. It's a pride thing for an offensive line; it's a matter of ego. Just give us a chance and well show you what we can do with it."
Part of Mawae's frustration can possibly be traced to the play calling.
Against Miami, the Jets failed to commit to the running game. They only ran the ball 11 times, seven of these runs came in the first half.
The Dolphins by comparison ran the ball 44 times, for 187 total yards, including 25 attempts in the first half.
In Mawae's opinion, the Jets did not call enough plays on the ground to get the running game going.
"You have to stay with the running game, even if it's not working early," said Mawae. "If you stay with it (the running game) you wear down defenses, and then in the third quarter, those three yard runs, turn into 10 yard gains, and then they turn into 20. That is what good running teams do. When Curtis touches the ball 20 times and gains over 100 yards we are a tough team to beat."
Mawae knows what it takes for an NFL team to be successful running the football
He is a veteran of seven NFL seasons, and has been named to the Pro-Bowl four consecutive years (1999-2002) Mawae was named the AFC starter in all four of these contests . He has been the Jets starting center, and has paved holes for running back Curtis Martin since 1998.
These two have been involved in some fairly impressive campaigns together. In 1998, while running behind the steady blocking of Mawae, #28 ran for 1,287 yards on 369 carries, for an average of 3.5 yards per attempt.
In 1999, the two teamed up for a record-breaking season. That year Martin ran for 1,464 yards, an all-time team record. He also gained 1,723 yards from scrimmage (second in team history).
These two have continued their productive ways in 2000, 2001, and 2002. Now after two games in the 2003 season, questions are starting to arise about the running game, and part of those question are aimed at the offensive lines ability to create holes for Martin.
"We have our identity," said Martin. "It's all about opportunity. I mean we have been getting 18 play halves. We are a balanced offense, we are not a dominant passing team, or a dominant run offense, we have to distribute the ball."
Vinny Testaverde feels better heading into this weekends game against New England. "Now with two weeks under my belt, I feel a lot better about the way I am going to play."…
Testaverde is also aware of the challenge he will be facing this weekend when he goes up against Bill Belichick's defense.
"It comes down to the player making plays. I'm going to let the game come to me and unfold. Bill Belichick will bring things and just when you think you have him covered he will change things. He is such a good coach because he can change things on the fly."…
DON'T WANT TO GO 0-3:
This is a very important game for the Jets this weekend, each player in the locker room knows how hard it will be to dig themselves out of an 0-3 hole to start the season.
"You don't want to start 0-2," said Edwards. "Right now we are 0-2. When you look at it last year there were a lot of teams that went 0-2 and only one of them made the playoffs, that was the Raiders. That's the reality of it. So were 0-2. But we can do something about it this week. All you have to do is get a win. We know that and we have to do something to get a win. We have got to play a whole football game… You have got to play consistent all the way through."