LB James Darling is going to platoon in the middle with LB Marvin Jones. Edwards said Jones has been playing okay, but can play better. The linebacker position, figured to be the strength of the defense, has not played up to expectations this season. LB Mo Lewis has been inconsistent, but Edwards thinks much of that has been the result of his nagging hip flexor.
The secondary has had their share of struggles as well this season, and rookie Jon McGraw is going to rotate with Sam Garnes at strong safety. Nickel back Ray Mickens could see some time at right corner for Aaron Beasley, who's struggled with his tackling.
The offensive line will see some changes this week. Darnell Alford has been working at right tackle in practice this week, while Kareem McKenzie recovers from a groin injury. If McKenzie, who is listed as questionable right now, can't go on Sunday, Alford could get the start against the Chiefs. Rookie Jonathan Goodwin was told to prepare to see a lot more reps in practice this week, and could start rotating at left guard with J.P. Machado, who has struggled mightily this season. Rookie third round draft pick Chris Baker will also see some action this week at tight end.
WR Tory Woodbury had his first career catch last weekend at Jacksonville, and Edwards said he wants to go with Woodbury as his big receiver. The Jets were working out former patriots wide out Fred Coleman earlier this week, but Edwards decided to go with Woodbury instead, who's future, he thinks, is at wide receiver and not quarterback.
RB Curtis Martin is feeling a lot better and his ankle shouldn't be much of a factor this Sunday. When asked about backup RB LaMont Jordan, Edwards said, "LaMont has to hold onto the ball." Jordan has fumbled in each of the last two games, including one on the goal line last week.
The offensive coaches are tweaking the offense a bit this week to focus on passes that Chad Pennington likes to throw. With the Chiefs having a high-powered offense, but no defense, Sunday's game could be a shootout, which would suit Edwards just fine.
"It would be great to be in a shootout. If it's 50-50, I'm happy," said Edwards, who would love to see his offense get going.
The offense will be helped if WR Santana Moss can go on Sunday. Moss, who missed the trip to Jacksonville last week, has been upgraded to probable. WR Wayne Chrebet, however, has been downgraded to doubtful after Edwards said on Monday that Chrebet would be okay to play. Chrebet bruised his right knee during the Jacksonville game, and the problem now is the swelling and fluid in the knee. It will be tough for Pennington to lose one of his best weapons when he makes his first NFL start this weekend. DE Steve White is out this week with a sprained right ankle.
One reporter said to Edwards today that the coach looked as down as he'd every seen him. Edwards responded by saying,
"I'm not down, I'm tired. I've been getting just three hours of sleep a night for the last three weeks."