"That's the first time since he's been here that I've seen him that upset," said C Kevin Mawae. Edwards, who's stoic sideline demeanor often gives the impression that everything is okay, made sure the players got the message today that Sunday's loss to the Patriots was an embarrassment.
"I take losing real hard," said Edwards. "Harder than most people could imagine."
The Jets secondary has given up some big plays this season, which can be attributed to both a lack of focus and the fact that opposing quarterbacks have been given too much time to throw. Edwards is simplifying the schemes for the secondary, and LB James Darling said Edwards cut the number of plays the defense is responsible for, by at least half.
The secondary will likely have a different look to it this Sunday. S Damien Robinson is listed as doubtful with a groin injury (he was walking today with an electro-stim device), and rookie S Jon McGraw will be given the start at free safety. McGraw could bring some much-needed speed to the defense. If McGraw starts, rookie CB Andrew Davison would be the likely candidate to play the dime. That is assuming CB Jamie Henderson, who is now listed as questionable, can't return this Sunday from the shoulder injury that's kept him out the last three weeks.
The Jets have said they will change up their offensive approach this week in an attempt to get back to the running game and RB Curtis Martin, but the biggest problem for the offense this season has been staying on the field. They must get some yards on first downs, and convert on third downs in order to get the offense flowing.
In last Sunday's loss to New England, QB Vinny Testaverde threw several passes to the backs, particularly FB Richie Anderson. Edwards said those were mostly occasions when Testaverde was checking down, and short dumps to the backs are not primary reads.
The Dolphins have nine new starters this season, and coach Dave Wannstedt stressed that this is a different team from the ones that lost eight games in a row to the Jets. The fact that Miami has more new starters than the Jets also means there is no excuse for lack of continuity.
Dolphins running back Ricky Williams has gone from 252-pounds to under 230-pounds, which was the weight he played at in College. Slimming down has really helped Williams' speed and quickness, and it has shown in their first two games.
Of the Jets special teams unit, Wannstedt said, "They probably have the two best return guys in the NFL." Kick returner Chad Morton already has two returns for touchdowns, but punt returner Santana Moss hasn't been given too many opportunities yet.
LB Zach Thomas pointed out to the New York Media today that Mawae was called for two holding penalties against New England, and he inferred he hopes the officials keep making those calls. Thomas and Mawae have had a rivalry going for years now, as the two often match up together during the games. Mawae and the Jets have obviously gotten the better of that match up in the last four years. On a side note, Thomas sounded like he was suffering from a cold when talking on the conference call.
Paul Hackett addressed the media after practice this afternoon and admitted that the team has gotten away from the running game.
" We've gotten away from the balance that we aspired for. We're a passing team far more than we should be. We need to use the run more to set up the pass. We're a running football team.
Hackett also said that a large part of the problem has been that the offense hasn't gotten a chance to get into a rhythm because they haven't been on the field long enough.
"We've been three-and-out an inordinate number of times. We haven't gotten a chance for our offense to flow.
WR Laveranues Coles bruised his left knee in practice. It is not certain as to the seriousness of the injury.