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Jets Running Back Curtis Martin Press Conference

Phone ConferenceJets Running Back Curtis Martin speaks to the press.



            **Q:  How has your experience with the Jets been?**  

M: I enjoy it here. Of course, Bill (Parcells) is here, so it was good to come here with Bill. I just enjoy the whole team, I enjoy the people and I enjoy the city.

Q: Do you ever look back on your time with the Patriots?

M: You can never forget where you started. The Patriots, New England and the fans will always be dear to me. There does come a time in life where change has to occur. That's what has happened. I've moved on. The Patriots, the team and what they've done for me, and what the fans meant to me, and the media up there, I'll never forget that.

Q: Do you have any special feeling for Ty Law and Ted Johnson because you were taken in the same draft?

M: I was wondering who Ted (Johnson) was. I thought they were going to draft me in the second round, but they drafted Ted instead. I was wondering who he was. I wasn't a big college sports fan. I got to know all of those guys. Those guys are all great guys and me and Ty even spent time together in the off season. Willie McGinest, Chris Slade and Lawyer (Milloy), I still have a lot of real good friends up there and that's what makes the game special.

Q: Did you closeness to Bill Parcells influence your decision to sign with the New York Jets?

M: It was a major decision because as far as I'm concerned, New England was the team I was with. New England was the team I wanted to play for. I had no desire to play anywhere else. The only other place I could even consider was with Bill because he was the one who drafted me with the New York Jets. I felt that was an impossible feat because they had Adrian Murrell here, and I felt he was a good back. I didn't expect anything to happen, I wanted to stay with New England and that's where I thought I would be. When Bill made the ball and pulled the trigger, I was all for it.

Q: Do you ever remind Bill (Parcells) that he called you a "one-game wonder"?

M: Yeah. He still reminds me. I don't have to remind him, he reminds me.

Q: Would you have the same career without Bill Parcells?

M: No. I'd like to think, and I believe out of pride and out of faith in my ability, I'd like to think that I would. I believe there's a lot of mental aspects of the game, that not only Bill, but (running backs coach) Maurice Carthon also. They both instilled some things in me that have taken my mind to another level. That has allowed me to play at another pretty good level in the NFL. I'm not too sure, that's something that I would guess no, before I'd say yes.

Q: How is playing for Al Groh?

M: The thing about Al, number one, he's been around Bill (Parcells) longer than I've been alive. The coaching style is very similar. Al has his own philosophy. A lot of the little sayings that he has, a lot of the little principles that he believes in, I also believe in. It's not the same as Bill, but it is very similar. Al is a little smoother around the edges, but Al has a philosophy, a way of teaching that I really enjoy.

Q: How do you remain so durable?

M: I believe it comes down to what the person wants and how committed he is to it. I'm committed to my job. One thing that Bill (Parcells) spoke to me about is there is a difference between routine and commitment. I feel that a lot of people get better through a routine. Few people commit themselves to another level each year. I believe that the good backs and the great backs, that's what they do, they find something to commit themselves and have a deeper commitment to football each year. I believe that's what keeps you driving to do better and keeps you fired up to do more to win games. I believe those are the backs who excel in this league and who stick around for a long time. I'm a man who believes in prayer, so I definitely believe that prayers also helps.

Q: Do you believe in your team?

M: I definitely do. I believe in all facets as far as not only the offense, but the defense as well, the special teams as well. Even more importantly the coaches.

Q: Will the Jets become a consistent performer through the season?

M: That's what we'd like to think. As a matter of fact, we'd like to think that we'll be even better than what the fans have seen. We haven't played our best ball yet. We're still striving for that goal. I believe we have a lot of work to do especially after last week (20-3 loss to Pittsburgh Steelers), but I definitely believe that we'll get it done.

Q: How did Vinny Testaverde look in practice today?

M: Vinny's cool. Vinny's alright. I can't really comment on Vinny.

Q: Where do you rank Ted Johnson among the linebackers you've faced?

M: Ted Johnson, I always thought of him to be if not the best then maybe the second best – between him and Ray Lewis – they are two of the best inside linebackers in my opinion.

Q: What makes them rank so well?

M: Ted's (Johnson) a solid player also he's smart. He makes the reads, he's always around the ball. He's not a very fast guy, but somehow he's always on top of the pile or he's making the tackle. There's just some guys who have knack for being around the ball and making plays and he's one of those guys.

Q: Do you feel like a New Yorker now?

M: Yeah. I feel that I'm becoming a New Yorker. I'm enjoying New York. I really like it. I always thought that I would hate New York because more of a laid back guy and the city is so busy. We're about 40 minutes outside the city, I'm really enjoying it. I also have access to the city. I really like it.

Q: How many plays (theater) do you get to in a year?

M: I don't really get to too many. I like to just stay around here. I don't like to have to take that long drive into the city then sit there all night then have to drive back and get up early in the morning. So I might go to two or three or four maybe.

Q: What's the best one you saw this year?

M: I would have to say Lion King or Beauty and the Beast.

Q: When there is a quarterback change, the running game is called upon to do more. Are you ready for an extra work load?

M: Yeah, but I don't anticipate any changes as far as myself. I'll say that for whoever is in there. Vinny (Testaverde) or Ray (Lucas), we have faith in them. We've seen Ray get it done, we've seen Vinny get it done. Regardless, we'll just stick to our plans as usual.

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