Focus on game, not homecoming

Jonathan Vilma is excited to be playing at home in Miami this weekend, but he won't let it distract him.

Updated: September 28, 2004, 1:48 PM ET
By Jonathan Vilma | Special to ESPN.com

Vilma diary
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 ESPN.com.

  • Diary No. 7: Road trip
  • Diary No. 6: First win
  • Diary No. 5: City Championship
  • 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
  • Well we're coming off our bye week and we're getting ready for the long haul.

    Coach Herman Edwards is calling it a 14-game season which is a good way to look at it since those first two games are well behind us now.

    Unfortunately, Sam Cowart was injured in the San Diego game. I won't get into specifics, but it is unlikely that he will play against the Dolphins this week. Everyone has been saying that I should be happy because this is my opportunity, but you never wish for a person to get hurt. Don't get me wrong; I am excited to be making my first NFL start, but Sam Cowart is a good player and he was helping our team win. That's always the bottom line.

    Jonathan Vilma
    Linebacker
    New York Jets
    Profile
    2004 SEASON STATISTICS
    Tot Ast Solo FF Sack Int
    4 3 1 0 0 0
    As mentioned in all the papers earlier this week, I'm going to be starting against the Dolphins. It's ironic that my first start will be in my hometown, but that's all the emotions you're going to get out of me. I don't think about it because it will only take my focus away from the game itself, so I'm going about my business as usual.

    I am glad that we are practicing for a purpose now, instead of working on "ourselves" as the coaches put it during a bye week. Practice actually was exciting during the bye week. We didn't hit, but running around and being competitive against each other will always help our team improve.

    It's Monday as I'm writing this, and Coach Edwards made it very clear how important it is to win our division games. Going through practice and meetings, you would never think the Dolphins are 0-3. I'm glad it's that way because we definitely won't take them lightly with coach's approach.

    Hopefully I'll be writing you guys next week bragging about being 3-0 and having 30 tackles, five sacks, and two interceptions. Doubt that will happen, but we'll see.

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