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Jets Dump Zolak For Mirer

New York Jets coach Bill Parcells terminated the contract of quarterback Scott Zolak on Sunday, effectively handing the team's backup job to newly acquired Rick Mirer.

The move came two days after the club obtained Mirer from the Packers for a conditional selection in next year's draft. Zolak, a nine-year veteran in his first year with the Jets, played poorly in Friday's 10-9 preseason win over the Eagles.

"It's a better opportunity for him to let him go now," Parcells said.

Zolak went 10-of-22 for 90 yards against Philadelphia. The former Patriots backup, who signed a one-year, $400,000 deal with the Jets in April, was not available for comment.

Having plenty to say Sunday was Mirer, who admitted to being stunned when Green Bay traded him to the Jets. The seventh-year player, who was drafted second overall by Seattle in 1993, is with his fourth team in the past four years.

"I've been dealt a pretty bad hand, and I've tried to do the best I could in the position I was in," Mirer, 29, said. "I think when you go through hard times, you learn a lot. To survive that stuff, I think it helps your character. It's important to keep your head up."

Mirer, signed by the Packers on the eve of the 1998 season, hasn't taken a regular season snap since 1997, when he started three games for the Bears. The Jets hope to use him in the second half Saturday in a preseason showdown with the Giants.

"First of all, he has fairly good movement," Parcells said of Mirer. "He can move around a little bit. I think at this stage he's been exposed -- this is his fourth pro system -- and he's going to have a good idea what's going on from a football standpoint. I know he's a good worker, a good preparer, those kinds of things. "

"I just want to get him in and try him in the short period we have, to take a look and see if this is an improvement over what I've seen."

Parcells traded for Mirer after being disappointed with the play of Zolak, his former quarterback with the Patriots, and project Ray Lucas, a special teams player being groomed to complement starter Vinny Testaverde.

In a brief meeting with his newest player Saturday, Parcells compared Mirer's career to that of Testaverde, who has enjoyed a rebirth with the Jets.

"One of the very first things Coach Parcells said to me was that my situation prior to being here is not a whole lot unlike what Vinny had gone through -- big expectations and kind of being a part of teams that weren't doing a lot and were a little disappointing," Mirer said.

"Some of the stuff I've been through, it would be easy to call it quits and just duck away from it," he said. "But I'e taken it head-on the whole time, gained a lot by being through some of the hard stuff, and now I'm waiting for the good stuff to happen and look forward to that."

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