A conversation with Jets head coach Herman Edwards

Ty Law set to make his debut? How did he look in practice? Chad Pennington's health. The running game slumping. The latest on the safety battle. The return game and kickoffs. All these topics and more covered by Herman Edwards on Sunday.

How did Ty Law look in his first practice?

Herman Edwards : He did well for a guy in his first practice. He's has good instincts and he understands the concepts of what we're trying to do as far as the language and how we play things compared to how he learned it in New England. The language is a little bit different, but for the most part he knows that in Cover Two there are certain things you have to look for, and he knows man-to-man. That's probably one of the simplest things. You have your cat, cover your cat. He understands those things and I think everything will get better once he gets the terminology down.

I anticipate he will play in the Giants game.

How did Chad Pennington's shoulder feel after the game?

Herman Edwards :He really didn't have any soreness after the game. I thought early when he got hit a couple of times that it was good for him, just to get knocked around a little bit.

What was wrong with the running game against the Vikings?

Herman Edwards :We've got to run the ball a little bit better. They did a really good job of stopping the run. They were bringing eight guys in the box and playing well. But we have to be able to run the ball a little better. They kept coming down on us and we decided to throw. We just said, we're going to throw the ball. We're going to go ahead and throw it and see if we can beat these guys.

Why is the latest on the strong safety competition?

Herman Edwards :Kerry (Rhodes) has to play a little bit more. I want to see (Andre) Maddox, too. Because of his hamstring, he has not played, so we need to get him in there, too. But there's still a battle. I don't think there's a starter yet there. It's still up for grabs.

How do you feel about having both coordinators on the sidelines?

Herman Edwards :It helps in a lot of ways. It really helps the quarterback because now the quarterback can just look at Dinger (Mike Heimerdinger) and talk with him. I think it is valuable, and I just think we're all on the same page. He's a good guy to have on the boundary.

Donnie (Henderson) is the same way. I can go down there and talk to Donnie. Now, he's a little more grumpy at times, but he's the same way. So I just think it's good communication.

What has happened to Chas Gessner? He looks so good in practice, but struggles in the games?

Herman Edwards :He's pressing. He's pressing. I think last week, he dropped three, but really two. I thought one was a very, very difficult catch.

It's a shame because he beat the guy on a stutter-and-go and we just couldn't get it to him. We overthrew him a little bit. That would have been a good one for him to catch.

Hopefully we're going to hang with the guy and just keep trying to get him the football. You've got to be able to shake it off and make a big play when you're called upon the next time we ask you to do it.

Are you guys concerned about (Mike) Nugent and his kickoffs? I think out of eight, he's only had one touch back.

Herman Edwards :That's about right. We figure he's going to kick it right around the five to the goal line. The way he kicks it. He's been kicking them in the corners of the field and that's where we want him to kick it. Most kickers, with the ball these days, don't kick it out of the end zone anyway. When you really think about it; they kick it right around the five. He's very, very good with his placement. We always want to kick the ball outside the numbers somewhere so it's very, very difficult to return the ball. You almost force the team to return the ball one way. So that's the way we'll use him, and I think it will work out well for us. John Abraham was in the New York area yesterday . . .

Herman Edwards :I knew he was in the area, but I haven't heard anything else.

If Abraham reports a week or two before the opener, how will you use him?

Herman Edwards :We don't know what kind of condition he's in. We don't know how many plays we can play him in. The first thing you think of as the coaches when you get to this point in camp is the safety of players coming in. You make sure the guy is going to be okay and you don't want to wear him out.

Why didn't Justin Miller return punts against Minnesota?

Herman Edwards :Because he was playing so much at corner. Justin (Miller), and the other Justin (McCareins) will be the guys. When we're either going to fair catch it, or our heels are on the 10, Justin McCareins is going to be back there.

What has (DeCori) Birmingham shown you as a returner?

Herman Edwards :He's done a great job. He got cut, came in here, and doesn't say two words. He just kind of goes back there and catches punts every day. Last week he ran one back 36 yards.


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