Scanning the waiver wire for DB's

Chad Pennington has declared himself off-limits to the media until he comes back as the team's starting quarterback. He feels it's a big distraction to the team for a quarterback, who is not even playing, to be quoted in the paper.<p> The writers didn't take this well.<p>

"Pennington said he's not speaking to the print media until his situation dramatically changes because it would be a "disservice" to the team," wrote Dave Hutchinson in the Star-Ledger. "Pennington is very sensitive about overshadowing starting QB Vinny Testaverde and the team. However, he did do his weekly radio interview yesterday on the Jets' flagship station."

That last sentence brings up a bone of contention with the writers. Pennington appears on the "Wally and the Keeg" radio show once a week. It's a paid gig. So the writers think he should talk to them because he talks on the radio.

But Pennington doesn't see it that way. He doesn't love having to do the radio show while he's hurt, but he's under contract, so he has no choice. The writers complained to him for a half hour on Monday afternoon, but he wasn't budging, and good for him. He doesn't owe them anything. He works for the New York Jets, not the New York media.

Some writers were pretty nasty to the Jets franchise player during the exchange, and you wonder if it will do irreparable damage to the relationship. Pennington has been unbelievable cooperative with the press, and he didn't deserve being talked down to.

By the way, looking at his hand upclose during the exchange with the media, it seems to be fine. He's wearing just a thin sleeve over the hand, and doesn't seem to be favoring it all. The big thing now is improving the flexibility. His injured left hand is a lot stiffer than his right hand. The reason for the stiffness are the pins that Pennington just had removed. It's still looking like a return against the Eagles is likely . . .

The Jets are facing a Houston team with a lot of issues. They have a terrible pass rush, and this is a big reason the Tennessee Titans passed for a team record 458 yards in their romp over the Texans on Sunday. Former Jets cornerback Marcus Coleman ripped Texans defensive coordinator Vic Fangio after the game. "You have to come out and make adjustments," said Coleman.

Aside from the lack of a pass rush, another problem for the Texans is that their best defensive player, former Jets great Aaron Glenn, is nursing a severely pulled groin. He was out against Tennessee and his status for the Jets game is unknown. The Jets would get a huge break if he can't play because Glenn is a great match-up for Santana Moss. They both have 4.3 speed . . .

The strength of the Texans team is their passing offense, so it isn't a good week for the Jets to have a banged up secondary. The Texans have a big, fast receiving corps including rookie standout Andre Johnson, who the Jets absolutely loved in the draft. He is a 6-2, 230 pounder with 4.3. He is a freak of nature, and looks like a burgeoning superstar. 6-2, 210 pound cornerback Jamie Henderson would have been a perfect match-up, but he is going to miss this game with a knee injury. It looks like it might be serious.

Also injured in this game was Leonard Myers, who entered the Buffalo game as the dime back, but became the nickel back when Henderson was injured. He hurt his shoulder in the game, and his status is unknown for this game. The Jets think he should be able to play.

But the Jets will need to add a cornerback. One possibility is former Seahawk Ike Charlton, who they brought in for a tryout recently. Two other players they might consider are Troy Grant, one of their last cuts from training camp, and recently released Jacoby Shephard. Remember Grant returned a pick for a touchdown in the preseason.

Safety Jon McGraw hurt his shoulder and will also likely miss this game. Tyrone Carter will probably take his place. Carter is a better hitter than McGraw, but McGraw has better size and covers a little better. The good thing about Carter is that he has starting experience from his days with Minnesota Vikings, so he wouldn't be overwhelmed by his elevation to the starting lineup.

So if McGraw is out for a while, where do the Jets turn for a safety? One guy they like is Wes Bautovich, who deserved to make the team based on his excellent performance this summer.

Last week, the Colts cut a safety named Anthony Floyd. He is a rookie free agent out of Louisville. Defensive players released by the Colts, usually catch the eye of the Jets scouting department, because they play the same system as the Jets - the cover two zone. Another possibility is Tavares Tillman, who was released by the Texans last week (he could also give the Jets some inside info on their next opponent). Tillman played for Jets defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell in Buffalo in 2000. He was an excellent prospect coming out of Georgia Tech, and the Bills picked him in the second round.

The best veteran free agent available is Blaine Bishop, but he has had trouble staying healthy . . .

Victor Hobson hurt his ribs against Buffalo, but the Jets likely won't make a move at linebacker. For one, the injury doesn't seem serious, and also the Jets have plenty of depth at linebacker with Jason Glenn, Kenyatta Wright and recently signed Quincy Stewart. They also have a linebacker they love on the practice squad in Mark Brown . . .

Herman Edwards sensed John Abraham was having problems before the DWI. That is why he said last week, "I let him down." Edwards thinks he should have been a little more proactive. "Sometimes you have to grab a guy because they guy won't come to you," said Edwards. "But we were [winless] and I was worrying about that, so it got away from me." . . .

By the way, is anyone questioning Bill Belichick's decision to cut Lawyer Milloy now? The Patriots are doing fine, and Milloy showed in the Jets game, why Belichick cut him (aside from salary). Milloy is a good run support safety, but isn't that good against the pass, which he showed on Anthony Becht's 18-yard touchdown pass.

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