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He Lets Tackles Do Talking

September 15, 2000|STEVE SPRINGER

Last season, the Buffalo Bills had the league's top defense, yet not a single player was given a Pro Bowl berth. So defensive end Marcellus Wiley is planning ahead this time, nominating inside linebacker Sam Cowart.

"He already gets my Pro Bowl nod," Wiley said. "It's about time some individual gets singled out. I definitely think Cowart's going to be the one."

Last season, Cowart was in on 186 tackles, fifth most in franchise history. So far this season, Cowart has been in on a team-leading 23 tackles.

"There's a guy who gets a silent 200 tackles every year," said defensive end Phil Hansen, "and you don't hear a word about him."

The silence has been broken.

"Exasperating" is the word New York Jet Coach Al Groh used to describe his team's special teams in the first two weeks of the season. "We have a lot to overcome."

The Jets are 29th in the NFL in punt-return average and 30th in punt-return yardage allowed despite Groh's decision to put front-line players on special teams.

Miami Dolphin receiver Tony Martin remains doubtful for Sunday's game against Baltimore because of a sprained left foot, which remains in a cast.

Look for Martin to shed that cast and limp out on the field if at all possible. Not only is he Miami's leading receiver with eight catches for 139 yards, but, in his only game against the Ravens back in 1997, Martin had four catches for 155 yards and three touchdowns.

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