Jets notebook: Gowin on notice: Landeta's waiting
Saturday, December 04, 2004
Star-Ledger Staff

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- The Jets have had discussions with the agent for veteran punter Sean Landeta and may sign the former Giant next week if punter Toby Gowin has a bad day tomorrow against the Texans at Giants Stadium.

Preparing for the stretch run, the Jets are concerned about the inconsistency of Gowin, who has averaged just 38.4 yards per kick on 25 punts at home this season. The swirling winds and harsh conditions have made the Meadowlands particularly notorious for punters over the years.

Last Friday, Landeta, 42, was released by the Rams -- who play their home games indoors. He averaged 43.3 yards on 40 punts this season, with a net average of just 32.5 yards.

Landeta spent 8 1/2 seasons with the Giants -- including their 1986 and '90 Super Bowl champion teams -- and knows Giants Stadium better than any punter in the NFL. He worked out for the Jets earlier this week.

After playing Houston, the Jets (8-3) have two home games and two road games, including one at St. Louis.

Landeta's agent, Tony Agnone, said yesterday that at least three teams, including the Jets, have contacted him about Landeta. He refused to name the other two teams.

"I believe Sean will have a job soon," Agnone said.

Gowin, in his first season with the Jets, struggled earlier this season but averaged over 41 yards per punt in three consecutive games before averaging just 31.3 yards on seven punts last week against the Cardinals. In addition to his punting duties, Gowin has been outstanding on kickoffs --he had three touchbacks against Arizona -- and is the holder for kicker Doug Brien.

Rookie LB Jonathan Vilma,

who has started the past nine games, is second on the team in tackles with 81. He also has an interception and a sack. Perhaps more importantly, Vilma has shown no signs of hitting the rookie wall, a time late in the season when fatigue stops rookies dead in their tracks.

"He's a guy that's ahead of the game," Edwards said. "He's smart enough to know being a pro is also when you leave here (the training complex) and what do you do? Go home and get rest, do the things you need to do to make sure you come back the next day and practice. He's got that figured out."

Selected 12th overall in the draft, Vilma was named the NFL's defensive rookie of the month for November with 48 tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery in five games.

LB Mark Brown,

who's from Paterson, will make his second straight start tomorrow in place of Victor Hobson (high ankle sprain), who didn't practice this week. ... LB Jason Glenn, the brother of Texans CB Aaron Glenn, is expected to play after missing five games with a fractured forearm. ... Texans FS Marcus Coleman (shoulder), an ex-Jet, is expected to play. ... The Jets are asking fans to bring unwrapped toys to the game to benefit the Toys for Tots program.