Jets need to improve--fast

The Jets' defense seemingly hit rock bottom on Monday night when it allowed 233 rushing yards and missed a jaw-dropping 18 tackles against San Francisco in a not-as-close-as-the-score-would-seem 19-17 loss to the 49ers. Of course, things will get a lot worse in a hurry if the Jets somehow lose on Sunday to the Buffalo Bills, whose 0-3 mark only begins to hint at how bad they might be in 2001.

So coach Herman Edwards and his staff went back to work shortly after Monday night's embarrassment to try and figure out some way, any way, to simplify the new 4-3 scheme for the Jets and thereby improve what is currently the worst run defense in the NFL. "They're not playing [the 4-3] correctly," Edwards said. "Until they play it correctly, this is going to happen."

Edwards said in the aftermath of Monday's loss that he would look for 11 new starters on defense if he had to. Of course, he can't do that, but in a sobering indictment of just how far behind the Jets are in the new scheme, he said Tuesday he'd first like to find 11 guys who can line up in the correct spots on the field.

It's back to basics for a Jets squad staring at a very basic dilemma: If their defensive play doesn't improve, and soon, the Jets will be playing out the string before they know it.

"We have to improve," Edwards said. "We have no choice."

ROSTER MOVES: The Jets waived rookie DE Mike Cecere, who literally came out of nowhere in training camp—he didn't even begin the summer with the Jets—to make the opening day roster, and punter Daniel Pope, who performed decently in his one game against the Niners. To replace Cecere and Pope, the Jets elevated versatile Tory Woodbury to the active roster and signed former Redskins QB Todd Husak to the practice squad. Woodbury, who has dazzled the coaching staff with his athletic ability in practice, is listed as a quarterback but could play at wide receiver, safety or special teams.

INJURY REPORT: Chad Morton (sprained ankle) is out this week. Damien Robinson (sprained ankle) and Steve Martin (toe) are each questionable.

Tune in Sunday morning to the "New York Football Report," which can be heard from 10 to 11 a.m. on the radio at WDGA-850 AM in West Palm Beach and online at wdga.com. Jets Confidential Editor Dan Leberfeld and Giants Insider Editor Ken Palmer will co-host the show, which is sponsored by sportbet.com and will run every Sunday morning during the NFL season.


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