The most important reception of the Jets' 1998 season, the game-winning touchdown catch in a 17-10 win at Buffalo on Dec. 19 that secured the AFC East title, was not caught by Keyshawn Johnson or Wayne Chrebet but by the easily overlooked Dedric Ward. Toiling in the considerable shadows of Johnson and Chrebet, Ward broke through with 25 catches for a team-high 19.1-yard average. The 5'9" 184-pounder, who runs a 4.4 in the 40 and holds the school record in the 200 at Northern Iowa, provides the Jets with a critical deep threat. The third-year man describes himself as "greedy" and says that his ultimate goal is to become a starter, an attitude that coach Bill Parcells has fostered in Ward, one of his pet projects. After watching Ward run routes for the first time this summer, Parcells handed out one of his rare compliments: "The DBs couldn't cover him," he said. "That little s.o.b. is something. He got me fired up."