Jets to see familiar faces in Texans' Coleman, Glenn

Updated: October 15, 2003, 8:25 PM ET

HOUSTON -- Jets coach Herman Edwards will look across the Reliant Stadium field Sunday and see what might have been.

Dressed in Texans blue, white and red will be Marcus Coleman and Aaron Glenn, for years the mainstays of the Jets' defensive backfield and now working in their native Texas because of New York's salary cap problems.

"Those guys did a magnificent job in helping us get to the playoffs (in 2001)," Edwards said Wednesday. "We won 10 games with them, and then to lose them the next year because we were strapped a little bit with the cap, we had to do some things. And they're playing very, very well down there."

The "things" the Jets had to do was leave Glenn and Coleman -- along with their big contracts -- exposed to the expansion draft in 2002. The Texans gladly took them, along with offensive tackle Ryan Young; the Jets joined the Jaguars as the only teams to lose three players to Houston.

Young severe injured his groin and never panned out last season and is with Dallas. But Glenn reached the Pro Bowl in February and Coleman is among the league's interception leaders with four this season. Fortunately for New York, only Coleman is expected to play Sunday as Glenn rehabs a groin strain of his own.

"Marcus is a tremendous athlete -- great size, good hands, good tackler," Edwards said. "Aaron is a speed guy and one of the best cover guys in the National Football League, and they're very good corners, (among) the two better ones in the league."

With little depth in the defensive backfield, Glenn and Coleman played virtually every snap in 2002 and led one of the league's best pass defenses.

This year, problems at safety and the injury to Glenn three weeks ago against Jacksonville have hampered the Texans. The team has become susceptible to big plays and gave up a franchise-record 421 yards passing to Steve McNair last Sunday in a 38-17 loss at Tennessee.

The Texans are giving up a league-worst 268 yards passing per game this season, while the Jets' new-look secondary -- bolstered by 19 sacks from the big men up front -- ranks among the league's best. It is limiting quarterbacks to 160 yards through the air.

As much as the Texans need Glenn on the field, though, neither is willing to force the issue and risk further injury.

"What do they have me listed at on the injury report?" Glenn asked rhetorically when reporters inquired about his health Wednesday. "Doubtful? That sounds about right."

Glenn added that he'd love to play against his former team and his brother, linebacker Jason Glenn, though he holds no malice toward the team that drafted him in 1994.

"Everyone wants to play for your old team. Not to prove anything -- it's just something you want to do," said Glenn, who continued to make his offseason home in his native Houston area and that New York City never was his style.

Coleman, from Dallas, was drafted two years after Glenn and they harassed opposing receivers together in New York for six seasons before returning to their home state. Coleman said Wednesday he was content as a Jet and wouldn't have minded finishing his career there, but he believes the success he and Glenn had in New York can rub off on the young Texans.

"A lot of them haven't been in the position of myself or Aaron, where they have been in places where they have won," Coleman said. "It is our job to teach them that and how to win and how to be a professional."

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index