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Herman Edwards Conf. Call Transcript - 9/17/03

HE: Good Afternoon!

**Q: Good afternoon Herm. Herm I want to ask you a question that someone just brought into be asked. How about [Tom] Brady, his ability to use so many receivers and spread the ball around? Does that become a major defensive problem that you have to stay on your toes about?

HE:** Oh absolutely. He's very accurate and understands when he spreads you out, if you have any type of rotation or any type of blitz he can see it pretty well. He understands where to go with the ball, makes good decisions with the ball.

**Q: Getting back to quarterbacks, Vinny [Testaverde] is a fascinating person on many different levels. The fact that he is still playing at 40 at a high level. Of course, [Bill] Belichick loves him. You remember the '93 situation, when he got him. What makes Vinny so successful so late in life?

HE:** I think the way he prepares and the way he always prepares. He has been a guy who has overcome a lot of adversity in his career. He knows how the National Football League is played. He understands what you have to do to prepare yourself to be a professional. No different than last year, when we made the change with Chad [Pennington] being the starter. Vinny never stopped preparing himself to be ready to play. I think this offseason, he had a great offseason again knowing that he was going to be the backup, that if anything would happen he would have to go in. Obviously something happened to Chad and he stepped in the first game. A little rusty. He hadn't really started for about a whole year. Then this game, we obviously opened it up a little bit more and he was able to make some big pass plays for us. Now we have to find a way to score touchdowns though.

**Q: What is the most frustrating part about your job these days?

HE:** Probably…you just want one thing? That's all?

**Q: No, I got time if you got time…

HE:** I got a laundry list. No that's okay, I'll give you one. Having to deal with situations that just come up. All of a sudden you lose your quarterback, free agency…you lose some players, you get some injured players. Things that you cannot control. Generally coaches like to be in control. When you are a coach, you plan things. You plan practice. You plan your whole schedule out for six months. You kind of know. Players like to know their schedules. Those are the type of things that a lot of times you don't have a control over and then all of a sudden you have to adjust when that happens to you.

**Q: You have to adjust on the fly. When you lost those players to Washington, the free agency thing, people say that was devastating. What a tough thing to overcome. Have you overcome it? Can you overcome it? And do you have the players to overcome it?

HE:** Well I think you can with the mindset. You are going to bring in other players and the whole key is you have to bring the chemistry back. That's what you lose now with football teams more than anything back when I played with no facemask and all that. You basically kept your team. You had your players and you knew who they were every year. You function that way and you build a good chemistry with your team and I think that's what you try to do. When guys leave, you bring more guys in and you want to get that chemistry going so you can really…

**Q: I assume you might have gone to bed one night in March saying, 'We've got this, we've got that.' And then you wake up in July and you've got different guys?

HE:** That's kind of how it goes. You have been down that road. We've been a team…we've lost players. But all teams have lost players. We have lost 11 starters, 12 starters now that we've lost Donnie [Abraham] now for a little while. You've got to recover and you've got to get the next guy ready to play and that's what you do in this league.

**Q: The Jets have had very successful outings against the Patriots when they have come to Foxborough. I think they have won five in a row, something like that. Five in a row. And of course you were a part of that five in a row. Your team always performs well, I say always, for the most part has performed well on the road. Why is that and why the good number against the Patriots?

HE:** I think it is obvious that you know the one thing you have to be is: you have to be at your best playing those guys. When you go on the road and you play someone at home, you know the thing you have to do right away, if you can, is take the crowd out of it. If you can take the crowd out of it, you can make it a game. If you're not, if the crowd gets in it right away and they get up on you right away, it is hard to recover. And we understand that when we go on the road. That's kind of our mentality. We've been fortunate. We've won up there the last two years we've been up there. But they've won down here the last two years too. So it's been a split. It's kind of 50-50 thus far.

**Q: When two teams, divisional rivals, know each other they way you guys know one another, is their a temptation or is their a strategy to give a different look here and there on offense and defense just to mix it up a little bit?

HE:** Well you can do that, but I think both teams understand there are going to be opportunities in the football game for players to make plays. That's a little window you have and you have to make sure you take advantage of the opportunity, because if you don't it is very, very difficult to win in this league.

**Q: Does it come down to execution in the end though, when two teams know one another then?

HE:** It really does and playing smart football. Not turning the ball over. Not putting yourself in a position where now you turn the ball over and now you have given them momentum and you've gotten the crowd into it or whatever it may be.

**Q: I know the story down there this week is your running game or lack thereof or what's happening with Curtis [Martin]. What is the situation? What about Curtis Martin?

HE:** He's fine. He hasn't touched the ball enough. The last game it was tough, the first half we had 18 plays and 12 of them were on our first drive. From there we were down 18 and in a catch-up mode, so we're not trying to run the ball. We're trying to catch-up.

**Q: Curtis has been a wonderful player for you and we are certainly familiar with him here. But do you monitor him more closely as he gets older with all of the pounding he has taken over the years? And how much do you think that's going to affect him?

HE:** We have. We have in preseason and in training camp. I think that now he is feeling good, he's feeling fresh. He's over his ankle injury that he had last year. We've just got to get more plays on offense so we can get him going, so we can get him running. He really feels good. I think our inability not to get enough plays offensively has really hurt his ability to run the football.

**Q: Thank you very much. We appreciate it.

HE:** Bye now.

**Q: Bye-bye!

**

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