Jets set Super goal

After getting ousted last year on two kicks that sailed wide of the goal post, the New York Jets are setting their sights on finishing the task in 2005.

If the New York Jets want to win a Super Bowl - something a few key players talked about during the offseason - they don't need to look any farther than just above their team's name in the AFC East standings at the New England Patriots.

Granted, it's been like that the last several years so why should the thinking be any different as the Jets began their fifth training camp under head coach Herman Edwards?

The caveat this year is that the headlines from Foxboro have focused and what the champion Patriots have lost the past few months rather than what they've gained.

Linebackers Ted Johnson and Tedy Bruschi won't be playing in 2005. Guard Joe Andruzzi and receiver David Patten signed with other and the Patriots have also lost coordinators Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel.

"I'll answer that question. They still have the quarterback, they still have the head coach, they still have the running back, they still have the kicker, and they've won three championships," Edwards said. "They've lost some good coaches, they've got some good players, but they've got a mindset up there that when that stuff happens they find a way to keep winning. They don't get distracted."

The Jets say they aren't letting the recent transactions of the Patriots sway them into being more confident. That confidence has been steadily building since Edwards came aboard in 2001 and led the Jets to three playoff appearances in the past four years.

That's why hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy over their heads Feb. 5 in Detroit isn't just a standard goal for any team in training camp but a realistic one.

That's why linebacker Jonathan Vilma, fresh off his rookie season, declared anything less than winning the Super Bowl would be a disappointment.

"I don't think I caught anyone off guard (with my comments)," Vilma said. "It's just that I know we have a good team, we have a good nucleus. It's just a matter of getting over the hump. That's all we need to do and we're almost there."

A little while later, quarterback Chad Pennington echoed those sentiments in a conference call with Jets beat writers.

"For Vilma to step up and show that that kind of leadership, I think is an awesome deal. For Chad to agree with it shows the state of mind of this team and I agree with both of them," center Kevin Mawae said. "(They say) every year is our year. It better be this year because a lot of us are getting old. A bunch of us are on the wrong side of 30 right now."

Yet in the back of their minds, the Jets realize the Patriots will ultimately be the primary factor blocking them from winning the title. Losses aside, the Patriots are constantly looming - even in July.

"You've still got to play ball," Vilma said. "Right now it's just on paper. On paper everything looks nice but until we get into the season and start playing it doesn't matter."

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