Martin's Fire Still Burns

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Martin's Fire Still Burns

Reporters met with Jets running back Curtis Martin Saturday afternoon at Weeb Ewbank Hall just minutes prior to the club's third training camp practice under Eric Mangini. On Thursday, the Jets placed Martin on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. The 33-year old Martin underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee last December and continues his rehabilitation under the watchful eye of Jets' medical personnel.

While on the PUP list Martin is prohibited from practicing with the team, but he can rehab and he can also participate in team meetings. The Jets can move Martin to the active roster at any time.

Martin, who led the team last season with 735 rush yards, had a streak of 119 consecutive regular-season games started for the Jets at the time he was forced to the injured reserve list, the longest streak ever by a running back in Jets' team history. In addition, Martin started two playoffs games in 1998, one in 2001, two in 2002 and two in 2004, which brought his streak of consecutive starts in combined regular and postseason play to 126 contests. Over the course of his career, Martin has played in 168 regular season games, making 166 starts, and has missed only four games over the course of his career.

Here is what Curtis Martin said Saturday…

On his injury…
I am getting better. You all know that I am not trying to be rude, but there are some things that I can't talk about. I am not going to guess anything. I am not going to talk about my gut. I am a man of fortitude, it is like your mind is trained and after a period of time you think a certain way. I am used to thinking one way and I don't see that changing.

The hardest thing for me is not being out there with the team. I am one of those guys who, and a lot of people talk about it, I am one of those guys who really believes in the whole team concept. As a leader of the team, I look at myself as one of those guys who likes to lead his team into battle. Like last year, I think that was the hardest year of my career just because I wasn't able to go out there. I would rather go out there and hop around on one leg, but at the same time, that doesn't help the team and I couldn't do that. To not be out there with the team on first day of camp, it bothers me.

On the decision that was made to put Martin on PUP…
I understand my role and my role is to work as hard as I can. I know that sounds cliché, but that is what I do and that is what I am going to continue to do.

On being motivated…
My fire will always burn. My fire will burn until the day that I stop playing football. I will always have that eye of the tiger and I will always be focused. This is my priority, this is my profession and I pour my heart into it regardless of the situation. You can't always control the situation. I can only control myself and I can stay focused.

On the decision to be placed on PUP
That is one of the questions that I cannot answer. It is what it is. Sometimes things are what they are. I don't desire to fight it. It is what it is. I think at some point in time you become wise when you learn to just listen. Sometimes you have to set aside your own pride, and that is something that I have definitely had to do. That is where it's at.

On where he is in his career…
This has not made me think about that. Actually, I like to think that I am too focused to even think about that. It is what it is, and that is not where my mind is at right now.

On his future…
I would not be working this hard if I did not want to play. The hours that I am putting in when I am not out here on this field; yesterday I watched two hours of film. I am working out for hours at a time. I'm working just as much as everyone who is out on the field. I am working hard.

On his reaction to being on the PUP…
I won't say surprised as much as I will say, I always hope for the best and I train for he best and if it doesn't turn out that way, then you have to adjust and that is what I am doing right now. I am adjusting.

On his teammates' reactions to him being on the PUP…
I appreciate it. I think that is the standard that I set. I think that is the way that people have come to know me; that no matter what, on Sundays, I am going to be out there playing. So for my teammates to say that, I take it as a compliment. I think it is a way that they have learned to view me over the years.

On his desire to practice…
It hurts. This is the one thing in my NFL career, more so than the physical pain, that hurts. That is what I have the most difficulty with.

On his role on the team as the work-horse…
You know over the years, that is always what we have said coming into the year and it has never happened. Whenever it does, it just happens.

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