Jets take City Championship

It was just a preseason game, but playing the Giants in the City Championship meant a little more.

Updated: September 3, 2004, 5:14 PM ET
By Jonathan Vilma | Special to

Editor's note: Linebacker Jonathan Vilma, selected in the first round of the NFL draft by the New York Jets, will chronicle his rookie experiences in a weekly diary for starting during training camp and running through the regular season.

Ask Vilma
Last week we asked users to send in questions for Jonathan Vilma and he took the time to answer a few of them. If you have more questions for Jonathan, click here and he'll answer a few every week.
  • Diary No. 4: Playing Peyton
  • Diary No. 3: Finally on the field
  • Diary No. 2: Short week of camp
  • Diary No. 1: Ready for camp

    Question: It seems like Herm Edwards is a really great motivator. How have you found him to be in terms of motivating his players?
    Roger Kelly
    Albany, NY

    Jonathan Vilma: He's been a great motivator, you can tell as we get closer to the season that he's starting to get himself ready just like we are. it's amazing, he doesn't curse at all, but it still gets his point across.

    Question: Are there any particular players that you're really looking forward to playing against once the regular season gets going?
    James Hanley
    Amherst, N.Y.

    Vilma: None really. All the former UM players. Especially the ones I practiced with and played with for four years at Miami. That'll be really fun.

    Question: I know you're a defensive guy, but lets here soemething about the offense. How has it been going up against the Jets offense? They look like they could be explosive.
    Glenn Pearson
    Los Angeles

    Vilma: It's been very, very tough. Especially when we trying to learn a new scheme and you have these guys who've been together for a long time. It's just tough. I definitely think we should be strong on offense this year.

  • Last week we broke camp. Finally. That was a relief. A lot of the guys were drained. We're still having physical practices and meetings, but just knowing that we have only one practice per day was nice.

    This past Friday was the City Championship against the Giants. It might be preseason, but playing against the team from the same city makes it a little more of a big deal.

    It wasn't one of our better performances, but we were able to get the win 17-10 to improve to 2-1 in the preseason. I've personally had better games, but we came out with the win, and that was the bottom line. But we looked a little tired and know we have to play better as a team.

    Fellow first-rounder Eli Manning had a tough game for the Giants. I didn't get a chance to talk to him, but that wasn't one of his better performances. But that comes with the territory in your first year. You're going to have some bumps and bruises.

    We have our last preseason game coming up against Philly. I have no idea what to expect playing against Donovan McNabb. It was great playing a few weeks ago against a QB like Peyton Manning and now I get to play against McNabb. When I'm on the field I just can't think about it, but I know afterward I'll be like "man, I just played against Donovan McNabb."

    One of the hard parts of this time of the year is seeing guys get cut. It's hard to see guys that you've gotten to know lose their jobs. I can't really relate to them because as a first-round pick I know that I'm not going to get cut. The team would give me plenty of time to work through any problems without cutting me.

    Away from the field, I just moved into my house and I'm getting used to that. Very comforting to buy the house and know that I have something of my own. I'm about 15 minutes away from the facility, so I'm getting used to getting myself there. I don't have too much furniture or anything like that. I'll have to take care of that in the offseason.

    You can tell guys are starting to see a little bit of pressure with our first regular season game (at home against the Bengals) coming up. I'm getting more anxious every day for the season to start. Not nervous, just anxious. We want to make the playoffs and that first regular-season game is really when the challenge begins.