Sunday, November 18, 2007

curtis martin

The league's fourth-leading career rusher, who announced his plans to run from the backfield to the front office when he retired in July, said he's made progress in his bid to run a team.

"It is very possible that I'll be in ownership by next year," Martin said Wednesday. "I expect to be in ownership by next year."

It's uncertain which team he's in talks with, but it's been speculated it is not the New York Jets, with whom he spent nine of his 12 NFL seasons.

"Other than that it's going good, I won't say anything else," Martin said. "When it does happen and when everything plays out, I'll be very detailed and we can probably go through the entire process. But to protect those who are involved and the integrity of the whole deal, I'm not going to say too much about it."

The 34-year-old Martin, who'll be honored by the Jets during a halftime ceremony Sunday against Pittsburgh, believes he's the perfect type of owner for today's NFL.

"I want to become a new image of what a professional athlete is," Martin said. "I think presently in sports, you have the whole bravado, bling-bling, and it seems that that's the image that most of us look up to, and I don't know who set that image. I want to be a different image. I want to be an image that's positive for you long-term. ... That's one of my true motivations, is to be a different goal to reach versus just having a million homes and a million cars and all the jewelry in the world."

Martin was considered one of the classiest and toughest athletes to play in New York before he was forced to retire because of a bone-on-bone right knee injury suffered during the 2005 season.

"I still feel my knee," he said. "If I'm not doing anything on it, I feel fine and I feel like I can get out there and play on the field, but there's certain things that I do that lets me know that that's just a fantasy. I've been boxing a lot, so there's a lot of twisting and I can feel it during my training."

Martin spent last season on injured reserve and made the decision to retire official the day before training camp opened, 19 months after his last game.

"The ownership thing has given me the feeling that I've never even left football," Martin said. "You know how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly? I feel like I'm still that same animal, but I'm just making the transition into a different position."

During his 11 active seasons, he amassed 14,101 yards rushing, ranking behind only Emmitt Smith (18,355), Walter Payton (16,726) and Barry Sanders (15,269). His 3,518 carries are third on the NFL's career list, and his 90 touchdowns rushing rank tied for 12th with Eric Dickerson. Martin, a five-time Pro Bowl selection, was also a versatile offensive weapon, catching 484 passes for 3,329 yards and 10 touchdowns.

"I feel as though all my heart, blood, sweat and tears were left out there on that field, so it's hard for me to regret anything, especially as it concerns football," he said.

Martin's presence is still felt around the Jets' training facility. Coach Eric Mangini has left Martin's locker untouched, complete with his name plate, pads and uniform hanging as if he's going to come in and suit up again.

"Usually, when you're not here, your name is gone the next hour and your locker's cleared out by the next day," Martin said. "I haven't been around too much, but I still see my Sea Breeze and my lotion and everything in my locker. I appreciate little things like that."

On Sunday, Martin will have at least 50 guests in the stands to watch him be honored at midfield, including his mother, Rochella; Bill Parcells, his coach with the Jets and New England Patriots; and Mark Wittgarner, his high school coach in Pittsburgh.

"It's going to be a good moment for me," said Martin, who doesn't expect to cry during the ceremony. "I haven't taken advantage of a lot of the opportunities to celebrate what I've accomplished and I really appreciate the Jets for making this moment available for me."

When the day was being planned, Martin thought the game against the Steelers would be the perfect backdrop.

"That's where I'm from and playing against the Steelers has always been the most exciting game for me simply because of it being where I'm from," he said. "I just thought it was a great fit for the occasion."

The matchup might not be the best for the Jets, though. New York (1-8) has lost six straight, while Pittsburgh (7-2) has looked solid in winning its last three.

"I just think that this is the year people thought we would have last year, and last year was supposed to be this year," Martin said. "Sometimes things get turned around like that. I think the worst thing you can do is abort your game plan. I think Eric is a wonderful coach, a great coach, the coach that was needed for this team at this time."

Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Curtis Martin will be honored by the Jets on Sunday. Yesterday, the recently retired running back did a little of his own feting, speaking about the direction of his former team and the shape of his replacement in glowing terms.

"I think this is the year that people thought we would have last year, and last year was supposed to be this year," Martin said of the 1-8 Jets. "Sometimes things get turned around like that."

But Martin, one of the most productive offensive players in NFL history, had no trouble defending the current Jets regime.

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Will the Jets snap their six-game losing streak with a win against Pittsburgh on Sunday?



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"I think that the worst thing you can do is to abort your game plan," Martin said. "I think that Eric [Mangini] is a wonderful coach, a great coach, the coach that was needed for this team at this time. And I believe that his philosophy, his way, his style, the principles he's laid down and the foundation he's instilled in this team is going to turn the ship around."

Martin was equally optimistic about Thomas Jones, the running back the Jets brought in this season to, in effect, replace him. Jones' numbers have been generally disappointing. He's averaging 3.8 yards per carry, only 67.3 yards per game and has yet to score a touchdown.

"When you have a team where you are just struggling as a team and you're not shocking the world in the passing game, people are going to say: 'You are not going to run against us,'" Martin said. "No matter how good of a back you are, you are not going to do what you are capable of doing. It's hard because from the public eye it looks like you're not worth it."

Martin went on to say that once Kellen Clemens can instill fear in defenses and the Jets can find a productive balance on offense, Jones' abilities will become more apparent.

"I don't feel sorry for Thomas because I think that he's a very talented back and once everything gets moving in the right way, you'll see his talent more," Martin said.

Things are moving the right way for Martin in his post-football life. Make that post-football player life. When he retired in July he announced his intentions to enter into NFL ownership, and while he is still loath to give any hints about which team has his eye, Martin said progress is being made.

"It is very possible that I will be in ownership by next year," he said before pausing and upping the ante. "I expect to be in ownership by next year."

Notes & quotes: The Steelers run the football a lot, and when they face the Jets, who are ranked last in the league against the run, they'll probably do it even more. "That's them, they run it any way against anybody," DE Shaun Ellis said, adding that the Steelers give "great tips" to where they will run the ball. "Pretty much here it is, stop it," Ellis said of the challenge. "We just have to man up." ... Steelers coach Mike Tomlin spoke about coming to Pittsburgh and leaving the defense in its traditional 3-4 scheme and not changing to the 4-3. "I think anything other than staying with the 3-4 would not have been driven by the desire to win," he said. "I'm interested in winning football games. I'm not interested in putting my stamp on the defense because that happens to be my area of expertise. I'm the head coach of this football team and our job is to win as many games as we possibly can." Mangini has been criticized for forcing the 3-4 on the Jets in his first two years.


Coach: Mike Tomlin, first season (7-2)

Last week: Beat Cleveland, 31-28

About the offense

As one satirical Web site recently pointed out, Ben Roethlisberger is having a career year after trying a new offseason program that included not almost killing himself. He's got 22 TDs and seven interceptions and a rating of 110.2, second only to Tom Brady. WR Hines Ward, whose career statistics are creeping toward all-time-great territory, has four TD catches. WR Santonio Holmes and TE Heath Miller have each caught six TDs. RB Willie Parker is the NFL's second-leading rusher (873 yards) and should be drooling over facing a Jets defense that is last against the run.

About the defense

Even after Cleveland picked up big chunks of yardage in the first half and scored 28 points, the Steelers are still the top overall defense in the NFL, allowing a league-low 229.4 total yards per game and 14.0 points. Pittsburgh also has 25 sacks, led by James Harrison's 6 1/2 and former Jet James Farrior's 5. In fact, 19 of the 25 sacks have been made by linebackers. The secondary has forced 18 turnovers - eight interceptions and 10 fumbles. Troy Polamalu is the team's Pro Bowl safety, and while he doesn't have any picks he leads the team with seven passes defended in eight games. Starting S Ryan Clark (spleen) has missed the last three games and was placed on IR this week.

The bottom line

The Steelers are an elite team; the Jets are not. It should end there. Pittsburgh is a physical team that not only telegraphs its runs but delivers them for big yardage. As eye-popping as Roethlisberger's play has been, the Steelers are still a run-heavy team - only the Titans have more rush attempts. Their one weak spot is their kickoff coverage, so the Jets and Leon Washington will have a chance to exploit that area. They just have to hope they don't have too many chances.

Curtis Martin addressed reporters before the Jets-Steelers game on Sunday. He looked dapper in his pinstripe suit, pink shirt and striped tie. He looked like he could still play, although Martin did say his knees hurt after jogging, and he has been told the pain will "never get better."
The Jets honored Martin on Sunday, celebrating the running back who retired from the N.F.L. as the fourth all-time leading rusher with 14,101 yards. Martin scored 100 touchdowns, won the N.F.L. rushing title in 2004 and made five Pro Bowls.
"This will definitely be one of the best days of my life," Martin said. "I've never been honored the way the Jets are honoring me today. There aren't too many firsts. This is a first."
Martin did not plan on addressing the team, or offering a pep talk for the 1-8 Jets. He did not write a speech beforehand, preferring to speak from the heart instead.
This celebration is likely a precursor to Martin's Hall of Fame induction. Of his chances, Martin said: "I never assumed thing. I hope it does happen."
HEMPSTEAD - Curtis Martin said this afternoon he expects to be part of an NFL ownership group by the start of next season.

The retired Jets running back will be honored by the team at halftime of Sunday's game against Martin's hometown Steelers.

"Other than it's going good, I can't say anything else," Martin said. "But there's been great progress. It's very possible I'll be in ownership by next year. I expect to be in ownership by next year."

Though Martin declined to identify the team, there has been speculation that he will be part of an ownership group that buys into the Atlanta Falcons.

The 34-year-old Martin retired in the offseason after spending the 2006 season on the physically-unable-to-perform list because of a bone-on-bone condition in his right knee.
Curtis Martin
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Curtis Martin
Running back Jersey #(s):
Born: May 1, 1973 (1973-05-01) (age 34)
Career Information
Year(s): 1995-2006
NFL Draft: 1995 / Round: 3 / Pick: 74
College: Pittsburgh
Professional Teams
New England Patriots (1995-1997)
New York Jets (1998-2006)

Career Stats
Rushing yards 14,101
Average 4.0
Touchdowns 102
Stats at
Career Highlights and Awards
5x Pro Bowl selection (1995, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2004)
Rushing leader (1,697 yards - 2004)
Career statistical rankings

Curtis Martin (born May 1, 1973 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is a former American football running back. He is an alumnus of Taylor Allderdice High School in Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh. Martin played in the National Football League (NFL) for the New England Patriots and the New York Jets. He officially announced his retirement from the NFL on July 26, 2007, [1] ranking fourth overall among NFL rushing backs in rushing yards all-time.

1 New England Patriots
2 New York Jets
3 Accomplishments
3.1 Career statistical rankings
4 Personal
5 Career Rushing Statistics
6 External links

[edit] New England Patriots
Martin entered the NFL in 1995, as a third round draft pick of the New England Patriots. Martin won the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award after rushing for 1,487 yards, and was named to the Pro Bowl. The following year, he rushed for a franchise record 166 yards and 3 touchdowns in his first career playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Patriots went to Super Bowl XXXI, but lost to the Green Bay Packers. Martin rushed for 42 yards, caught 3 passes for 28 yards, and scored a touchdown in the game. Though he was much less effective in 1996 than he was in his rookie season, Martin was again named to the Pro Bowl squad.

[edit] New York Jets
Following the 1997 season, Martin was a restricted free agent, and signed an offer sheet with the New York Jets for $36 million over six years. The Patriots, who had the opportunity to match the offer, declined to do so and instead received a first and third round draft pick from the Jets[2] This reunited Martin with his former Patriot coach Bill Parcells. In his first seven seasons with the Jets, Martin missed only one game, in Week 6 of the 1998 season, and earned three more Pro Bowl selections. In 1998, Martin led the Jets to the AFC Championship Game, gaining 182 yards from scrimmage and scoring two touchdowns against the Jacksonville Jaguars in a Jets playoff win. Martin won the NFL rushing title in the 2004 NFL season with 1,697 yards (one more than runner-up Shaun Alexander, the closest margin in NFL history). He also won the FedEx Ground Player of the Year Award in 2004.

In 2005, Martin failed in his quest to become the first running back in NFL history to start his career with 11 straight 1,000 rushing yard seasons. He missed the December 11th game vs. the Oakland Raiders with a knee injury and was placed on injured reserve shortly thereafter, meaning that he also missed the final three games of the regular season. Martin finished with 735 rushing yards, giving him a career total of 14,101 rushing yards. Martin began the 2006 campaign on the Physically Unable to Perform list due to complications from the injury. On November 1, 2006, it was announced that he would miss the rest of the regular season with a bone-on-bone condition in his right knee. Curtis officially announced his retirement on July 26, 2007. He will be eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011.

[edit] Accomplishments
Martin rushed for over 1,000 yards in his first 10 professional seasons, a feat previously accomplished only by Barry Sanders. On November 6, 2005, he scored his 100th career touchdown, joining an elite group of only 16 players to do so. Martin is currently 4th on the all-time rushing yardage list, and on November 27, 2005, in the first quarter against the New Orleans Saints, he became the 4th running back in NFL history, behind Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton, and Barry Sanders, to pass the 14,000-yard rushing mark. He is the all-time Jets leader with 10,302 rushing yards with the team.[3] He is also fourth in the same category for the Patriots with 3799 yards.[4] Additionally, Martin happens to have a 'perfect' passer rating of 158.3: 2 completions on 2 pass attempts, 2 TD passes, and an average of 18.0 yards per attempt. The New York Jets will honor Curtis Martin at half time against the Steelers on November 18th.

[edit] Career statistical rankings
3,518 career rushing attempts (3rd all-time)
14,101 career rushing yards (4th all-time)
17,430 career yards from scrimmage (7th all-time)
90 career rushing touchdowns (12th all-time)
100 career rushing/receiving touchdowns (19th all-time)

[edit] Personal
Martin is often spotted courtside at New York Knicks games and attends shows at New York movie premieres. He made Esquire Magazine's best-dressed list in 2004. In earlier years, he was linked romantically to singer Toni Braxton, an outdated fact he later asked the Jets to remove from his media-guide biography (along with a child to whom he was a godfather, not father). He has been linked recently with Destiny's Child member Michelle Williams, a fellow devout Christian.[5] He resides in Garden City, New York. Chris Berman from ESPN gave him the nickname Curtis "My Favorite" Martin, a play on words from the 60's television show "My Favorite Martian".He also now is getting into NFL Ownership.

Martin retired as the fourth-leading rusher in NFL history with 14,101 yards.


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