Jump to content
Washington Football Team Logo

Nyp: Vinny's Final Test


Recommended Posts






August 25, 2003 -- Back in 1999, the Jets were supposed to go to the Super Bowl with a poised veteran quarterback in Vinny Testaverde, who had taken the Bill Parcells Jets to the AFC Championship the previous January.

That, of course, is when Testaverde blew out his left Achilles and, with Rick Mirer penciled in as Parcells' backup, down the toilet went the Jets' season of promise.

With Chad Pennington shelved for about three months with the fractured left wrist he suffered Saturday night, the Jets believe it'll be different this time, ironically, with Testaverde as the backup.

"One of the good things - in situations like this you have to try to pull something positive - is that the last time this happened we weren't sure about a backup," Curtis Martin said. "This time it's happened and we have a quarterback who has led us to playoffs and to the championship game before. We've got a seasoned vet in Vinny Testaverde, so we don't feel like we'll miss a beat."

Testaverde finds himself battling conflicting emotions right now.

He's sick about Pennington's fractured injury but, at the same time, as the Jets' starting quarterback again, the 39-year-old Testaverde feels rejuvenated, fired up to embark on what's likely to be his last stand as a starter.

The Jets' season rests very much on the strong right arm of Testaverde, who led the Jets to the AFC Championship Game in the 1998 season and again to the playoffs in 2001 before being replaced early last season by Pennington, who proved to be not only a revelation, but the team's franchise quarterback.

With Pennington gone, Testaverde is now the franchise.

"I'm very excited but at the same time I'm sad for Chad," Testaverde said. "He had high expectations and was excited to take this team from the get-go for the first time. This is an opportunity for me. I told Ray Lucas when I first got here, 'If you hang around long enough you'll get an opportunity.' "

The first thing the skeptical Jets fan is worried about right now is remembering back to how poorly Testaverde was playing at the beginning of last season.

What those people fail to remember, though, is that the entire team was playing poorly. The defense couldn't stop the run or get off the field on third down. The offensive line was blocking poorly and Martin was playing on a badly sprained ankle.

"I feel like I'm ready to go and get the team to full speed," Testaverde said. "It's definitely going to be a big challenge. I feel like I'm ready. Mentally, I've always prepared myself as if I was the starter, because you never know when you're going to be called upon.

"It's unfortunate that the time has come sooner rather than later. There's no question we're going to have a great year. My heart goes out to Chad. He had such a great year last year and he was expecting a lot of great things this year."

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...