Website Whispers - Pennington update

Every week a player on the Jets upcoming opponent does a conference call with the New York writers.

This week the reporters requested former Jet tailback Lamont Jordan, now with the Raiders. But Jordan turned down the request. Jordan was very down this week after his key fumble last week against the San Diego Chargers.

While Jordan is a terrific back, fumbling has been an issue during his five years in the NFL.

Jordan is having a mediocre initial season in Oakland. But it's not necessarily his fault. He's dealing with two issues that have kept his numbers down. First off, his offensive line has been all banged up. Three starting interior linemen – guards Langston Walker and Brad Badger, along with center Jake Grove, have missed significant time. On top of that, second-year right tackle Robert Gallery, hasn't lived up to his lofty reputation coming out of Iowa last year. He's not the dominating player that people thought he would be.

So Jordan hasn't had a lot of room to run. On top of that, the Raiders have had some large deficits to overcome, and have had to abandon the run on several occasions.

Hey, that sounds like Curtis Martin's plight this year with the Jets . . .

Speaking of Martin, it's unclear whether he's going to play this week. His bruised right knee has regressed, and the Jets are calling his status a "game-time decision" this week. And "Deep Jet" told the Newark Star-Ledger, that Martin will likely need knee surgery after this season.

The Jets could really use USC tailback Reggie Bush in April's draft, and they almost landed in the top pick, for now, last week. The Houston Texas blowing that last second lead in Baltimore last Sunday was bad news for the Jets. If Texans had held on, the Jets would currently sit in the top spot. They win the tie-breaker with the Texans.

Bush is a lock for the top spot, unless his expected off-season shoulder surgery is more serious than expected. Here's the most likely draft scenario for the Jets. If they land the number one pick, they will select Bush (if the junior comes out). If they land the #2 spot, they will likely trade down to a team that wants USC quarterback Matt Leinart. It would be foolish for the Jets to pay Leinart and Chad Pennington. It could amount to a quarter of their salary cap, and that is bad cap management to a lot that much money to one position. Plus, the Jets got a favorable report on Chad Pennington from Dr. James Andrews last week. Another factor is that Leinart has a good, not great arm. He struggled with the wind last week in the UCLA game. In some ways, he's similar to Pennington in that he's not a flame-thrower.

It's highly unlikely the Jets would stay put with the #2 pick . . .

Not only do the Jets need to add a speedy tailback this off-season, but also a player to block for him. Jets fullback Jerald Sowell is an outstanding pass receiver, but an average blocker. He's more of a get-in-the-way blocker than a battering ram. The Jets could use a player like their current fullback coach Sam Gash – a kamikaze. It's possible that current reserve fullback Luke Lawton is that guy. The former McNeese State standout, who spent most of this season on the team's practice squad, has a maniacal style. The Jets should give him a chance to show what he can do before the season is over. He built for the part at a powerfully built 5-11, 235 pounds. Lawton is a workout warrior, who lives in the weight room . . .

Why is Herman Edwards talking about trying to get Vinny Testaverde into a game before the season is over? The offensive line hasn't improved in pass protection since his first stint this season, and his mobility hasn't improved. If anybody should get a look before the season is over, it's Kliff Kingsbury, not Testaverde. Once again, it looks like the coaches friendship with Testaverde could be getting in the way of good judgement . . .

Dewayne Robertson's quad injury isn't good news. Remember he already has a chronic knee problem, so added a quad injury to that, is certainly going to hurt his mobility. While is his questionable, he's likely to play this week . . .

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