Why didn't Edwards and Jets' players use Player Protect program

EDITORS: This story may not be used on Web sites () -

By Kimberley A. Martin

Newsday

(MCT)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - D'Brickashaw Ferguson evaded the line of questioning, refusing to offer any insight into Braylon Edwards' Tuesday morning arrest.

It was Ferguson, the Jets' left tackle, who climbed into Edwards' overly tinted SUV early that morning, along with outside linebacker Vernon Gholston and another passenger. The Jets' wide receiver was later pulled over by police and blew a .16, twice the legal limit, on the Breathalyzer test.

Ferguson and Gholston were not taken into police custody. Gholston was not available to the media Wednesday.

When Ferguson was asked to clarify why he allowed his inebriated teammate to get behind the wheel, he was noncommittal.

"Anything that happened that night, I really can't get into right now," said Ferguson, a Freeport native. "It's a pending legal matter."

Ferguson also did not explain why the foursome opted not to use the Player Protect program, which provides a 24-hour driving service to Jets players.

"That is a good program," he said. "I'm glad we have those things that are available to us."

When asked specifically if he thought to use the service Tuesday morning, he answered: "Regarding that night, again, I can't really comment too much on that."

Given his struggles on the field, in both the preseason and the past two regular season games, media scrutiny is the last thing the left tackle needs. Ferguson repeatedly was beaten by the New England Patriots on several plays Sunday, including Gerard Warren's sack of quarterback Mark Sanchez. Baltimore also exposed the left side of the offensive line in the Jets' 10-9 season opening loss, in which Ferguson was called for two penalties.

Ferguson, who signed a six-year, $60 million contract extension in July, said he has "mixed emotions" about what transpired that night and added, "there's a lot of elements I can't talk about right now or clarify." But he doesn't think Tuesday's events are characteristic of, or specific to, the Jets organization.

"We're all humans and we don't always make the right decisions all the time," he said. "But I don't think it's a situation that's unique to this team. I think ever team or every organization is faced with certain adversities that they have to deal with and this just happens to be one of them."

". . . Everybody wants to play Monday morning quarterback, but that's not the reality that we live in," he added.

Ferguson said he doesn't think this latest incident involving player conduct will be a distraction.

"Hopefully like a bad play, just like a bad game, we'll put it to rest and prepare for what the future has for us," he said.

___

(c) 2010, Newsday.

Visit Newsday online at http://www.newsday.com/.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.