Behind Enemy Lines: Jets Conference Call

New York quarterback Vinny Testaverde and coach Herman Edwards chatted with the Washington media. Here's what they had to say.

Vinny Testaverde

Q: Did you think it was just a coincidence that four of your old teammates signed with one team?

A: I've seen a lot of things happen from a player switching teams year in and year out and that's part of the business. I guess it adds more attention to it because you have so many of our players go to one team, and good players at that. So I guess with the fans and the media, they want to jump on that and make it a bigger story than it probably is. I know they got four pretty good players who will help them win games.

Q: Did you think your starting days were over?

A: You hate to think of it that way, but being as I was getting up there in years and knowing that Chad's a young player and knowing I was still gonna be a Jet . . .I thought the ability was there, but I might not be a starter again. But I always prepared as if I was going to be the starter. My opportunity has come a lot sooner than any of us anticipated.

Q: Was it difficult for you to come to grips with your benching?

A: A little bit but probably not as difficult as people might imagine. I feel comfortable with what I've accomplished in this league, and knowing that I'm gonna turn 40 this year it's easier to let it go than most people realize.

Q: Will the style of the offense change at all with you in there rather than Chad?

A: It hasn't changed at all. A couple years ago when Herm and his staff came in we set out in a direction and tried to get the right players in here. We've headed on a course and we haven't changed no matter who the quarterback is. Last year Chad came in and he did a great job of fine tuning the things we wanted to get done. I hope I can step back in and continue to have this thing run well.

Q: What happened last year that caused you to get benched?

A: There were a number of things. Our philosophy going into the season was different than what it was in the middle and the end of last year. We weren't playing well early in the year as we did the year before. That's a concern of ours that we want to get off to a quick start.

Q: How's Curtis Martin?

A: Right now he's doing great. You have to know him to understand his mental toughness. Anything he does here doesn't surprise any of us here. From the outside looking in others are shocked at some of the things he goes through when he's hurt.

Herman Edwards

Q: How have your players reacted to the spotlight of this week?

A: There's a spotlight on us, you think? Is there gonna be some fireworks and things going on down there. Are they gonna have flags and balloons? I've been on the sidelines for 25 years and opening games are always like that. To tell you the truth our guys look forward to it. We're gonna open the season up against a traditional team like the Redskins. They're a good team. Steve Spurrier is starting to get the pieces he needs to make it go.

Q: Your former players compare Patrick Ramsey to Chad Pennington. Do you see similarities?

A: The whole deal with that is does he have leadership ability? And if they're comparing him to Chad, that's the first thing you have to say, that he's a leader. That's what you want in a quarterback. Patrick has a great upside. He's getting more comfortable. He's a rhythm thrower and can make all the throws. That's what you want.

Q: What can you say about Curtis Martin always staying in the lineup despite injuries?

A: He's healthy now. He has his legs back underneath him. Last year with his ankle injuries, a lot of guys wouldn't have come back. He's a prideful player. He's the heart of this team. To have him healthy is a good thing. Now we have to get him going again. When he's a factor for us running the ball we can move the ball offensively. It's hard to move the ball if you're one-handed.

Q: Has Dewayne Robertson been what you expected?

A: Yes, he has a great upside? There are a lot of comparisons between him and Warren Sapp. I don't compare players. I just think every player is different. He'll have the ability to make his own legacy. He'll have a learning curve and he'll learn on the job because he's a starter. That's a good thing.

Q: What makes you marvel at Bruce Smith?

A: He can still rush the passer. He's excellent. He can still power rush you, he still has speed off the corner. He has all the tricks. He's played against a bunch of tackles. Obviously he's been pretty productive if he's only three sacks away.

Q: Do you hold anything against the Redskins?

A: Heavens no. No. I don't hold grudges against people. The Redskins did nothing wrong. They went after good players. We happened to have four of them and they got them. And that's good for them.


Breaking Burgundy Top Stories