Jets on the offensive, minicamp notes

With the recently announced completion of Vinny's new five-year deal, he will have an opportunity to retire as a New York Jet. This is significant in many ways as Testaverde will almost definitely be a member of the Jets for the next three years, but he does not have a defined salary structure.

If Vinny is the starting QB he will be compensated as a starter. Should the Jets turn the reigns over to Chad Pennington, Vinny be will compensated with a backup's salary.

Vinny and Head Coach Herman Edwards recently held a press conference to discuss the status of the veteran QB, as well as the present and future of the Jets organization as a whole. Included below are excerpts regarding Vinny's unique contract structure, current condition, expectations for the upcoming season, and of course Chad Pennington. 

Vinny Testaverde [In reference to the contract]:  "The guys got it done and I'm very happy with it…I think it allows me to be the starting quarterback here for as many years as I can. But also, [it provides me with] a chance to help out this team if I'm not the starting quarterback, and being in a backup role helping out this team in a different capacity.  I don't know that [there are] too many contracts out there like that.  So I'm pretty fortunate in that regard to be able to get a contract done like we did."

Q.  How do you feel physically and do you think you'll be ready [for training camp]?
Vinny Testaverde:
  "I know I'll be ready for the start of training camp.  Right now the foot is coming along just fine. I just threw away the crutches at the beginning of this year and I just started walking, which feels great." 

Coach Edwards [On breaking in Pennington this season]:   "It's way too early…It's something I've talked to Vinny about, talked to Chad about and said, 'This is what we are going to do now.'  And I think it's way too early to do that at this point.  We'll just kind of play it by ear."

Coach Edwards [On the 2002-2003 Season]:  "I think Vinny still has a lot of ability.  He still has a live arm, and I think a year of being in the offense is going to help him now going into his second year [in the West Coast Offense]"…
"I just think that we are in a position now that we've filled some spots on defense.  I think we'll be a little bit better on offense, just going through the growing pains we had to go through last year."...
"I just feel optimistic about our football team and I think the players do, too…If we keep going and doing the right things and believing in each other, then you keep quality players on your team with character; that's what wins in this league."...
"I've always said that and I believe that:  Character wins.  It's not the most talented team, but it's the team that guys buy into [As proven by the Super Bowl Champion Patriots].  I always tell the players every Sunday:  'It's not who you play, it's how you play the day you play.'  And that's what you always have to realize in this league because it's so balanced.  I think if we can play good on those days, we have an excellent opportunity to do a lot of good things this year."

Every team is optimistic in the spring, and while Jets fans have a lot to look forward to with their offseason moves…let's not forget the 2001 Washington Redskins.  With so many new starters on defense, the Redskins ended the season as the biggest disappointment in the NFL.  Perhaps with the team's history Jets fans will always remain cautiously optimistic…but one thing is for sure…if all of the pieces do click this year, the Jets are going to be a team to be reckoned with.

Mini-Camp Notes
According to the Associated Press, QB Chad Pennington struggled during mini-camp. Pennington is working with the first team while Vinny Testaverde is healing from foot surgery. Coach Edwards had this to say of the Jets' future QB, "At times he makes nice throws and at times he's too analytical...That will be his problem until one day he says, 'I'm just going to play football." reports some surprise stars of mini-camp were rookie O-Linemen Jonathan Goodwin (5th round selection), Chris Smith, and Matt Knutson...Herm Edwards also singled out DL Shaun Ellis who had a superb camp. Ellis may have a tremendous year due to the motivation he has to keep his job in front of DEs Steve White and 1st round pick Bryan Thomas.

Third round pick TE Chris Baker (Michigan State University) was also singled out by the coach as a peak performer at mini-camp. "I don't think he dropped a ball that he touched," said Edwards.

WR Wayne Chrebet who quietly had arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder on March 7, was held out of most drills...WR Santana Moss took a cautious approach to mini-camp. Moss, who suffered a knee injury and quadriceps strain last season, is expected to go all out when the Jets' next practice is held in May...Rookie S Jon McGraw (strained hamstring) and WR Kevin Swayne (sprained ankle) sat out practice on Saturday...

Quick Hits is reporting the team has signed DT Larry Webster (Ravens) to a one-year deal. GM Terry Bradway said this of Webster, "He's been on a Super Bowl championship team and has a tremendous work ethic and attitude. Larry is a tremendous addition to our revamped defense."...In a surprising move, the Associate Press reports the starting OTs have been swapped. Jason Fabini will start at RT and Kareem McKenzie has been moved to LT...Wayne is entering the final year of his contract and reportedly would like a deal that allows him to end his career as a Jet...The Jets have signed undrafted free agent CB Marcus Floyd (Indiana).

Jets Insider Top Stories