Vilma says knees are non-issue

The Jets were ecstatic to get linebacker Jonathan Vilma in the first round of the 2004 NFL draft. They can only hope that his knees will not be an issue.<p>

Some teams downgraded Vilma on their draft boards because of a bone defect in his left knee.

Vilma also had surgery on his right knee before his sophomore year at Miami, but didn't miss any games. He missed just two spring practices. He had arthroscopic surgery on his meniscus, and that knee shouldn't be a problem.

However, his left knee is the one that concerned some teams. Vilma wasn't aware of the condition until doctors found it at the combine. He feels the condition didn't impact his play at Miami.

"It was no concern," said Vilma. "They found it by chance at the combine. It was never an issue."

Some teams feel that his left knee will need surgery at some point due to floating particles. However the Jets don't agree with this assessment.

"We probably have the best medical staff in the league," said Jets GM Terry Bradway. "When they gave us the go ahead, we didn't look back.

For Bradway, this pick was a no-brainer.

"He was the guy we targeted all along," said Bradway. "We didn't even discuss trading down because he is the guy we wanted. We could have made the pick at 14:55."

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