Jonathan Vilma

Vilma toils to fit into Jets' system

Jonathan Vilma stormed off the field, a game face still etched on his countenance, and he flung a half-empty beverage bottle into the fence with disgust. His defense had just allowed a last-second touchdown in one of those fantasy two-minute drills the Jets use to cap most of their workouts, and Vilma was livid. There were coverages that needed tightening, communications that needed tuning, and situational awareness that needed refining. It took several minutes for the steamed inside linebacker to regain his composure.

Remember: This is still only training camp.

"Yeah, that's the type of guy he is," safety Kerry Rhodes said. "He's a fierce competitor. I mean, we're all competitors on this team, but he's a guy who takes it personally all the time. That's the type of person you need."

3-4 defense finally familiar to Jets' Vilma

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- At times last season, the Jets' 3-4 scheme fit Jonathan Vilma like a glove. He felt he was on the verge of bursting free, being the player he was in the 4-3 alignment, earning NFL defensive rookie of the year honors and a Pro Bowl berth in his first two seasons.

Then, there were times when Vilma felt as though he was lost in the wilderness, playing a game that was foreign to him.

Vilma, who made his mark as a sideline-to-sideline hitting machine, had perhaps the toughest adjustment to the Jets' new defense a year ago. Once able to simply run to the ball and make plays, he had to hold his inside linebacker position and take on centers and guards that outweighed him by as much as 100 pounds.

Now, in his second season in the 3-4 defense, Vilma feels the difficult times are behind him -- and the entire unit.

"I feel light years better than last year," Vilma said yesterday between two-a-day sessions at Hofstra. "This is my second year in it. I'm not just learning the defense, I'm trying to learn ways to improve myself in the defense and improve the defense overall."

Vilma playing risky hand - LB frequents Big Apple poker parlors

Echoing the hard-line stance of new NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Eric Mangini has lectured the Jets on the importance of staying on the right side of the law. The coach is trying to build a team of wholesome players, and one player near the top of his list is Jonathan Vilma.

Except for one slip of the tongue - he compared illegal dogfighting to horse racing last week in a radio interview - Vilma has forged a solid reputation on and off the field. The talented linebacker is the latest to shoot a soup commercial with his mother, and what could be more anti-Pacman than that?

"We have a bunch of kids looking up to us," Vilma says. "I remember when I was a kid, looking up to Jerry Rice."

New York Jets LB Jonathan Vilma explains his dogfighting comments

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) - Jets linebacker Jonathan Vilma said Thursday his recent comments comparing dogfighting to horse racing were misunderstood.

Asked on a local radio show his thoughts on the investigation of Falcons quarterback Michael Vick's possible involvement in dogfighting, Vilma said: "Dogfighting is much more extreme, but you can equate it to horse racing. . . . Everyone has heard about dogfighting. Whether you choose to participate or not, that's your decision. I'm not here to condone or accept it. It's been there for a while . . ."

Speaking at the team's mini camp Thursday, Vilma insisted "my comments that were misinterpreted were that I am not for or against dogfighting or Michael Vick. It's an unfortunate situation for Michael Vick whether he is involved or not."

Jets' Jonathan Vilma welcomes lofty expectations after subpar season

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) - Jonathan Vilma was hanging out in Boston - enemy territory as far as New York Jets fans are concerned - during an excused absence from pre-season workouts.

The linebacker's trip Thursday had nothing to do with the New England Patriots. It was to watch his sister, Alice, receive her MBA from Harvard Business School.
"She's got the brains," Vilma said Friday. "She took them all."

Walking around the Harvard campus, the former University of Miami star was thoroughly impressed.

"Miami is Miami. Nothing beats Miami, but of course, Harvard speaks for itself," he said. "When I was telling people that my sister was graduating from Harvard, they were taken aback by it and they understand that it's something big and something special. We definitely treated it as something special, and we're definitely proud of her."

Jonathan Vilma Update

LB Jonathan Vilma was excused to attend the graduation of his sister, who received an MBA from Harvard.



April 20, 2007 -- Jets' brass met with reporters yesterday in their annual pre-draft session and - predictably - revealed little about the team's plans in next weekend's draft.

GM Mike Tannenbaum, however, did address several issues surrounding the team, including:

Rumors about a possible impending trade of LB Jonathan Vilma because he's not a perfect fit in the 4-3 defensive scheme.

"Jon is on the team. I'm glad he's here," Tannenbaum said. "I'm not going to comment on any specific rumor or anything, but I'm happy he's here. I know that those rumors have been out there. We expect him to be here. He's a good player."

Tannenbaum, however, declined to say Vilma, or any other player on the roster, is "untouchable."


Vilma talks about trade rumors on NFLN

Eisen: “Obviously you have heard about the trade rumors, I am sure. With you being on the trading block with the Jets, it was just sort of a paragraph thrown into a story in a Washington newspaper, that the Redskins might want to get you. Is there any truth to this?”

Vilma: “Rich I have no idea. I know that it got blown way out of proportion. The day it came out there were we had 20 phone calls. People were asking me, ‘You can’t go, you cant leave you can’t go to Washington.’ I didn’t know what was going on so finally someone forwarded me the paragraph saying that. I spoke to (Clinton) Portis a little bit and they got London Fletcher anyways so that became null and void.”

3-4 isn't under Vilma's Skin

Jets linebacker Jonathan Vilma was besieged with phone calls recently when a blurb in a Washington, D.C. newspaper, perhaps fueled by rampant Internet rumors, suggested he could be traded to the Redskins. It became such a hot topic that Vilma discussed it with Redskins RB Clinton Portis, a former college teammate.

The only reason Vilma's name has surfaced in trade rumors is because of his struggles last season in Eric Mangini's 3-4 defense. But yesterday, in an interview with the NFL Network, Vilma seemed happy and optimistic that he'll be more productive in 2007.

"For me, it really doesn't matter which system I'm in as long as I'm put in a position to be successful," he said in his first interview of the offseason. "The last half of the season I started playing a lot better than the first half. I attributed that to getting used to the system, getting used to the 3-4."

Jonathan Vilma Update

If the London Fletcher-Baker deal isn't consummated and Buffalo's Nate Clements opts to sign elsewhere, the Redskins could trade for Jets middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma.


NFL SUPER STAR Jonathan VILMA Signs With WaterBank of America (USA) Inc. as Spokesperson for ICEROCKS(R), Secured Spring Water Ice Cubes

MIAMI, FL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 01, 2007 -- WaterBank of America (USA) Inc. (OTCBB: WBKA), developer and marketer of innovative water products, has signed a multi-year agreement with Jonathan Vilma, the NFL's 2004 Defensive Rookie of the year and captain of the New York Jets, to be a spokesperson for the Company's hygienic, secured ice cubes branded as ICEROCKS®.

Jonathan Vilma, 24, is considered one of the hottest young stars in the National Football League and he is a natural fit as a spokesperson for ICEROCKS®. Over the last 2 seasons, he has emerged as one of the best all around players on the team, and the leader of the Jets' defense. He is considered by many the perfect combination of speed, power and agility. Known for his extraordinary speed for a linebacker, running the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds, Jonathan led the NFL in tackles in 2005 earning him his first trip to the Pro Bowl.

Jonathan was named as a Board Member of the National Football Foundation's Play It Smart Program, launched in 1998 as an educational program designed to use football as a vehicle to foster the academic, personal and career development of at-risk student athletes. At University, Jonathan was a three-time Academic All-Big East Conference and two-time Butkus Award nominee at the University of Miami. He led the Hurricanes in tackles in each of his last three seasons. For further information, please visit:

JETS Q & A: Vilma bags sack for steal

How could Jonathan Vilma miss that sack on Tom Brady?

The linebacker, who has had a statistically solid season despite a dearth of impact plays, had a clear shot at Brady on a blind-side blitz. But instead of hitting the quarterback, Vilma lunged for the football and sailed right past, allowing a 12-yard rush on a critical third-and-6 play. "I was attempting a strip-sack," Vilma said of trying to cause a fumble. "He made a nice play by moving up instead of trying to spin back out like most quarterbacks do."