Notes from the Combine Part II

Randy Lange of The Record and Jets Confidential was on the scene at the NFL combine workouts in Indianapolis. Here is the second of two installments of Gang Green items from Randy's exclusive Combine Notebook:<BR><BR>

Bailey chaser

Herman Edwards must really love four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey. Why else would the Jets, one year after their embarrassing free agent hemorrhage to the Washington Redskins, want to business with the 'Skins, Joe Gibbs notwithstanding?

But that's what happened at the combines over the weekend, when reports say the Jets provided several proposals for Washington to mull over in a trade for Bailey, whose contract demands were to rich for even Daniel Snyder's blood.

On Tuesday, one of those offers wafted into the public sector -- defensive end Shaun Ellis, running back LaMont Jordan and tight end Anthony Becht for Bailey. However, one player agent familiar with the talks said that offer was ``old news.''

``That was hot Friday and Saturday, then it cooled off Sunday and Monday,'' the agent said. ``Maybe it's back on, but I heard all Denver had to do was dot some i's and cross some t's.''

Indeed, after the Broncos came to a seven-year restructuring with Pro Bowl middle linebacker Al Wilson, they and the Redskins were back Wednesday talking about a Bailey-for-Clinton Portis swap.

Sources felt it was possible the Jets didn't have much of a chance of derailing that deal and that a Redskins source floated out the names on the Jets' side of the trade only to goose the Broncos into lowering their demand for a second-round pick along with Bailey.

Also, a Jets source hinted that the leaking of the Gang Green names was not accurate. For instance, one report said Ellis, coming off his first Pro Bowl appearance, was never part of the proposed trade.

If that's the case, then the Redskin source who floated the terms of the deal could be said to be driving a wedge between Ellis, entering his contract year, and the Jets.

For all these reasons, it's probably a good idea for the Jets not to do business with The Daniel.

The wide picture

The Jets' general areas of need can be captured in two words: ``defense'' and ``wideout.'' In some combination of first-day draft picks and unrestricted free agency, they needed to find one or two linebackers, a corner, a safety, and that elusive big wide receiver.

Free agent receivers really aren't a deep group -- Keyshawn Johnson, older and slower, could be headed for Bill Parcells in Big D, while Terrell Owens comes with baggage, not to mention at least one Sharpie, and Tennessee restricted FA Justin McCareins, while attractive, may not be worth the first-round compensation the Jets would likely have to pony up.

Then as far as the draft, a player like Roy Williams of Texas is an eye-catcher, but he figured to be a top-10 pick with the Jets sitting and drooling at No. 12.

That is, unless Mike Williams of Southern Cal enters the draft. The Trojan underclassman was still pondering whether to make that move this week. If he does, he could get into the top 10, and that could push Roy Williams toward Gang Green.

It would be a nice fit. Williams is a nice target at 6-foot-2 and 212 pounds, and his Texas style -- possession receiver with a huge yards-after-catch component -- would play nicely off of Santana Moss' emergent skills.

And Williams has a nicely balanced attitude about his impending step up in class. After all, he chose to stay at Texas last season instead of coming out early.

``I wasn't ready for the NFL,'' he said during a break in his combine activities. ``I needed to improve my run blocking and running crisper routes. I think I got that accomplished.''

Williams also wasn't taking a back seat to Larry Fitzgerald, the Pittsburgh receiver being pegged to go as high as second overall in the draft.

``We played in two different offenses,'' Williams said. ``Larry, he had a lot of deep balls to my short ones. But I can take turn the short one into a long one. I've got a special talent.''

View

Denny Marcin, the Jets' new D-line coach, had some high visibility at the combine. He wasn't seeking said visibility, but he's just a guy who, with his balding pate, portly build, colorful shirts and friendly nature is hard to miss.

Before and after scouting the linemen at the combine, Marcin has been hard at work at Weeb Ewbank Hall evaluating the holdovers he'll be coaching on the Jets' line. And one guy he was impressed with was Bryan Thomas.

``I've watched about 10 of last year's games, and whenever I get a chance, I'll sneak another one and watch it,'' Marcin said. ``I didn't have Bryan as highly rated [two drafts ago] as the Jets did, but I'll tell you what, he showed me some things late in the season. There are some things you can coach and some things you can't coach. You can't coach motor. And he's got a motor.''

Another positive for Thomas in Marcin's book is that he didn't spend a lot of time on the ground -- that's a no-no for Denny.

``You can't fall down and you can't get pancaked,'' Marcin said.

``And you can't let offensive linemen cut[-block] you. I'll let our guys get away with getting cut once in a game, but that's it.''

It's true that Thomas didn't make an abundance of plays filling in for John Abraham the second half of the season, but at least Marcin seems to believe that Thomas has an upside. Let the coaching begin.

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