Notes from the Combine

Randy Lange of The Record and Jets Confidential attended the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. Here is the first of two installments of Gang Green items from Randy's exclusive Combine Notebook:<BR><BR>

Herm shows his face

For the first several days of the combine, Herman Edwards was seen about as frequently as Marlon Brando or Barry Sanders -- unusual because, with the setup under the RCA Dome, every coach from every team walks through the corridors to the field and back to the Westin Hotel or to Champions for lunch. But Herm sightings were infrequent -- in the lobby for a second, or at an off-site gym for his morning workout.

But Herm showed up as scheduled Sunday afternoon to talk to reporters, and he gave Jet fans a few things to mull over as their team heads toward free agency and the draft.

On getting that big wide receiver: ``We have a pretty good receiver in Santana Moss and we've got a pretty good quarterback if he can stay healthy, and we've got some veteran receivers. But we need another guy with some youth. Youth, if you look at today's game, I think it helps. The thing you have to understand about youth is that it has no fear. A lot of young guys really don't have a fear for the NFL. Not that they don't respect it, but they think they can play. Young guys like that help the team when they have that kind of confidence.''

On the future of Jet linebackers Mo Lewis, Marvin Jones and Sam Cowart: ``We have some veterans and they're still Jets as far as I'm concerned. [Edwards said the same thing about safety Damien Robinson a year ago before D-Rob was released], and we don't have to make that decision until March. We need some youth at linebacker and we're probably going to look at that whether through free agency or the draft. There are good ones coming out, two of them from Miami [D.J. Williams and Jonathan Vilma]. In our league, when you look at it, linebackers who are athletic guys are at a premium. They're almost like corners anymore because they are in space all the time.''

On John Abraham as a neo-linebacker: ``There are certain situations where we can obviously get him off the ball. We've fooled around with different scenarios and the different fronts we'd like to line up in. He'll have the possibility to [play linebacker], but that won't be his only position. We're not going to say he's a linebacker, but he might line up with his hand off the ground. But on third down, he'll have his hand on the ground.''

And on the Jets' salary cap position: ``To be quite honest, we can spend some money, I heard. We might get amnesia when it comes time to spend it. We're in a pretty good situation. [Assistant GM] Mike Tannenbaum does a good job of that. We'll have the ability to go do some things.''

Back to the future

Hey, Jet fans, can you imagine next season's backfield position without Curtis Martin? Or without LaMont Jordan? Separate rumors on both those possibilities were heard in the RCA Dome halls.

The Martin speculation was a rumor heard by one NFC team official to the effect that the Jets may be considering making No. 28 a salary cap cut.

That sounds far-fetched -- Martin is starting only the third year of the eight-year, $46 million extension he signed before the start of the 2002 season -- but these days you never know.

However, a Jet source was adamant about such a possibility. ``That's really bizarre,'' the source said. ``No way.''

As for Jordan, the Joe Gibbs Redskins were said to be interested in acquiring Martin's backup in trade. That, too, sounds plausible, because if Martin plays up to his usual numbers, Jordan will become even more frustrated in the last year of his rookie contract.

Two factors I can think of work against such a deal.

One: The Gibbs 'Skins are also the Dan Snyder 'Skins, who really rubbed the Jets' faces in it while raiding the Jets of Laveranues Coles, Randy Thomas, John Hall and Chad Morton a year ago. The Jets have to do what's good for the Jets, but if they were to deal with Washington, they'd better be prepared to extract top dollar. For instance, any deal will need to include at least an extra third-round pick to balance the books on the Coles fiasco.

Two: Martin is ever older, so if he should need to rest an injury for a few games, who on the Jets' roster would come in to replace him if Jordan is gone? If you say a high draft pick, just keep in mind Gang Green's draft and/or free agency has greater needs, such as linebacker, secondary and that big wideout.

Jets Insider Top Stories