The long list of unanswered questions on the minds of Jets fans certainly didnt dwindle much after Friday nights 23-13 preseason-opening loss at the hands of host New Orleans Saints.
Of course, wins and losses often signify little more than one teams third team is better than the others, but the seasons first certainty is that Offensive Coordinator Paul Hackett remains every Jet fans favorite target for second-guessing this season, as the suddenly young Jet unit continued its struggles in the red zone. Offensively, the Jets walked away with two field goals and a touchdown in three trips inside the Saints 20-yard line on the evening.
A new look defense under rookie coordinator Donnie Henderson was a pleasant surprise, even though Saints third-string QB J.T. OSullivan looked like an All-Pro going 10-of-13 for 141 yards.
While starting quarterback Chad Pennington, who last year suffered a broken wrist on his non-throwing hand in the teams third preseason game and proceeded to miss half of the regular season, saw action in just one series, expected backup Brooks Bollinger did not look particularly good given the bulk of time under center, before injuring his knee (which Edwards said is not serious).
"We didn't score," said a weary Edwards. "We have to score points. We get down in the red zone and we didn't score. We kick field goals. That's not good enough. That was an emphasis when we came to camp -- score touchdowns. And we didn't do it." Edwards was pleased, but still saw plenty of room for improvement.
Gang Green did receive some promising performances from top draft pick Jonathan Vilma and rookie running back Jonathan Reese (56 yards on 13 carries).
Vilma stepped right into the role of departed linebacker Marvin Jones, and wasted no time showcasing his speed on six tackles (four solo).
Reese, a second-year player out of Columbia, had a similar start in last years preseason, but spent the regular season on the practice squad. He did manage to put his skills (and his history degree) to work during an assignment with the Amsterdam Admirals of NFL Europe. Reese appears to be the early favorite to make the squad, behind Curtis Martin and Lamont Jordan.
Running back Ian Smart, a former C.W. Post standout who spent last preseason with the Jets, returned three kickoffs for 79 yards (a 26.3-yard average).
Running back Josh Davis (knee) may be the only team member to miss some time, but linebacker Darrell McClover (ankle) should be OK.
The Jets return to action on Saturday, as they visit the Indianapolis Colts (TV: ESPN, 8 p.m.; RADIO: 1050AM, 770 AM
[Entry by Moe Golden - Moe Golden is a pseudonym of a longtime sportswriter who currently works in the publishing department within the league offices of a professional sports association, as well as in a capacity with one of that league's teams. He lives in Brooklyn and particularly enjoys the work of Ryan Adams and Bruce Springsteen, as well as improvisational comedy.]