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Jets Season Rests on Testaverde


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Jets season rests on Testaverde

By Darrell Trimble

NFL Insider

Send an Email to Darrell Trimble Monday, August 25

Updated: August 25

12:09 PM ET

With Vinny Testaverde only 442 yards shy of reaching the 40,000-yard plateau, coach Herm Edwards said that he was going to try and get his veteran quarterback involved in enough games so that he could accomplish the rare feat. Little did he know that he would have the entire season at his disposal.


Starter Chad Pennington severely injured the wrist on his non-throwing hand Saturday night and the best-case scenario calls for him to miss a minimum of 10 games. With the loss of their young star quarterback, the New York Jets aren't exactly in an enviable position, but unlike other teams that roll the dice with the backup passers, the Jets are lucky to have the experienced Testaverde take over under center.

Testaverde, who will turn 40 in November, can make every single throw in the book and will provide the Jets with steady leadership.

"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 told the New York Post. "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."

That's called wishful thinking. For all the positives that Testaverde may bring to the table, there is one major negative -- he is ill-suited to run the complicated West Coast offense.

The style of offense calls for a quarterback to be mobile, accurate and smart, but Testaverde is none of the three. Thanks to an Achilles' injury he moves slower than a lava flow. And though he's not an inaccurate passer, his intermediate throws aren't always on target. And no one will ever confuse Vinny with a smart quarterback.

This is not to imply that Testaverde has rocks in his brain. His football IQ is high, but under pressure he has been known to make mind-numbingly bad decisions.

However, the Jets are aware of this and they are planning to alter their scheme somewhat to feature Testaverde's strength -- the downfield pass. But will offensive coordinator Paul Hackett be able to construct an offense that Vinny feels comfortable in.

Hackett joined the team in 2001 and Testaverde looked absolutely mediocre. Then, at the beginning of last year, Tesatverde opened the season with an effective game only to follow it up with two stinkers and the fans were ready for an uprising. Then along came Pennington who made the offense run like a well-oiled machine.

Some will say that Testaverde's struggles coincided with other units on the team struggling, but those units didn't affect Pennington from immediately putting up great numbers and moving the offense down the field like a hot knife through butter.


The fact is that Testaverde isn't adept at running Hackett's scheme and that hasn't changed with time. And Hackett has shown that he's not flexible enough to mold an offense around Vinny.

But the Jets don't have any other options. They contacted retired quarterback Elvis Grbac, but the former Chief and Raven said he has no plans to make a comeback. "I can say unequivocally that Elvis Grbac won't be playing for the Jets," his agent, Jim Steiner, told the New York Daily News.

The Jets are hoping that Pennington can return in time to play in the final six games of the season, but in order for the Jets to risk bringing him back at all they'd have to have a realistic shot at the playoffs. Raiders cornerback Phillip Buchanon had a similar injury in October of last year, and he was originally supposed to miss only only eight weeks. However, shortly thereafter the Raiders placed him on season-ending injured reserve.

There's a chance that Testaverde will play the entire season, and he'll certainly reach 40,000 yards, but without Pennington the Jets don't look like they'll reach the playoffs.

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Originally posted by rdsknbill

I was over there reading it. Vinny's going to take them to the promised land!!:rolleyes:

Not according to jetman67 over there:

Vinny is not the problem that worries me. OUr defense cant tackle, cant cover, cant pressure the QB...

I need a drink

Maybe he better make it a double

:pint: :pint:

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ESPN's mortenson says that Vinnies playing time will make alot of his incentives reacheable and create salary cap problems for 2K4 but the Jest arent concerned with that right now.

Husak is gonna be used for preeason game and they are apparently keeping Vinnie out.

Don't see how they can when the rookie is too hurt to play.

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