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Sanchez shoulder ‘better’ heading into Sunday

01.12.11 at 4:24 pm ET
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J — Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez met with the media on Wednesday and suggested that his injured right shoulder will not play any factor in the playoff battle vs. the Patriots on Sunday.

“Honestly it feels the best it’s felt in three or four weeks,” Sanchez said. “I [fully practiced] today for the first time in a while, which is huge. We know it’s getting better and that’s the important thing. Week by week it is getting better so I’ll be ready to go.”

Sanchez injured his shoulder in his team’s Week 14 win over the Steelers. He was sent for what coach Rex Ryan called a “precautionary” MRI exam the next day. There was no structural damage found, but Sanchez has been bothered by the injury in the weeks since, including in the playoff win over the Colts last Saturday, where Sanchez struggled, particularly in the first half.

“I think I was just not throwing the ball very well,” Sanchez said. “Some days you’re off or you’ve got to find a way to make it work. And I think we did that just getting completions underneath, being smart taking our shots when we got them and giving our guys a chance, and that was the most important thing. It [the final pass of the game] wasn’t the best throw in the world to Braylon [Edwards] and I’m not afraid to admit that, and he made a really good catch. However it has to happen, we won the game and we’re in the divisional round and that’s the most important thing.”

Read More: Jets, Mark Sanchez, Patriots, playoffs

Dustin Pedroia says Antonio Cromartie should wait until he’s even with Tom Brady before talking

01.12.11 at 4:20 pm ET
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Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia joined The Big Show for his weekly “Laser Show” segment on Wednesday. A master in the art of trash talk, Pedroia said that Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who called Tom Brady an “ass—” among other things, hasn’t won enough to warrant such talk. Brady has won three Super Bowls, while the Florida State product is still looking for his first ring.

“It’s 3-0,” Pedroia said. “So let’s stop talking about ‘F you’ and stuff until we get even.”

“Everyone plays in their sport long enough that if you’re going to talk and do your thing, it’s going to come around at some point and get you, and you’ve got to be able to handle it.”

Pedroia added that given the Jets’ trash-talking and touchdown celebrations vs. the Patriots, Brady has the right to show emotion when he beats the Jets, the very thing Cromartie took issue with. The Sox’ second baseman said that logic applies to every sport.

“If a guy strikes you out and fist-pumps at you, or drills you and starts talking, if you take him deep, you’ve got to get your pimp on,” Pedroia said.

To listen to the complete interview, click here.

Read More: antonio cromartie, Dustin Pedroia, Tom Brady,

Damien Woody ruled out by Jets for Sunday’s game

01.12.11 at 4:13 pm ET
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The Jets ruled offensive lineman Damien Woody out for Sunday’s divisional playoff game against the Patriots with an achilles injury. Here’s the rest of their injury report for Wednesday:

Out
T Damien Woody (achilles)

Did Not Participate in Practice
G Brandon Moore (back)
WR Brad Smith (groin)

Limited Participation in Practice
WR Santonio Holmes (quadricep)
S James Ihedigbo (knee, ankle)
CB Darrelle Revis (hamstring)

Full Participating in Practice
CB Antonio Cromartie (groin)
TE Ben Hartsock (back)
C Nick Mangold (shoulder)
DT Sione Pouha (back)
RB Tony Richardson (finger)
QB Mark Sanchez (right shoulder)
LB Bryan Thomas (ankle)

Read More: injury report, Jets, playoffs,

Myron Pryor only one missing from Patriots practice

01.12.11 at 4:06 pm ET
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The Patriots had just one player miss practice on Wednesday ‘€” defensive lineman Myron Pryor ‘€” while six players were limited, including Aaron Hernandez, Deion Branch and Sebastian Vollmer. Check out the full report below:

Did Not Participate
DE Myron Pryor (back)

Limited Participation in Practice
LB Tully Banta-Cain (groin)
WR Deion Branch (knee)
DE Jermaine Cunningham (calf)
TE Aaron Hernandez (hip)
DE Eric Moore (hamstring)
T Sebastian Vollmer (shin)

Full Participation in Practice
CB Kyle Arrington (elbow)
QB Tom Brady (right shoulder, foot)

Read More: injury report, Patriots, playoffs,

Tom Brady named top offensive player by Sporting News

01.12.11 at 3:01 pm ET
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Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was named the NFL Offensive Player of the Year by the Sporting News on Wednesday afternoon. Brady started all 16 games, completing 65.9 percent of his passes and throwing for 3,900 yards. Despite enduring midseason change to both his backfield (where Laurence Maroney was dropped early in the year) and in his receiving corps (which replaced Randy Moss with Deion Branch in October), Brady led the NFL with 36 touchdown passes while tossing just four interceptions, and his 111.0 quarterback rating was also tops in the league.

Here is what the magazine had to say about naming Brady the award winner:

“Tom Brady did more this year than grow his hair long. This was his finest season’€”and that’€™s saying something for a man in possession of three Super Bowl rings and one league MVP award. He led a team in transition to a league-best 14-2 record, doing so while overhauling the offense midseason, after the trade of big-play receiver Randy Moss. Brady threw 36 touchdowns passes and a mere four interceptions, and his current streak of 335 attempts without a pick is a league record.”

For more from the Sporting News, including a roundup of quarterbacks from other teams on what stands out about Brady’s performance, click here.

Read More: offensive player of the year, sporting news, Tom Brady,

Jets lose right tackle Damien Woody for playoffs

01.12.11 at 2:45 pm ET
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. ‘€” Jets coach Rex Ryan said on Wednesday that his team would be without right tackle Damien Woody for the remainder of the postseason due to an injury to his Achilles tendon. Woody was placed on injured reserve for a ruptured Achilles tendon, and will undergo surgery today, Ryan said.

The 33-year-old Woody, who played at Boston College and then was taken in the first round by the Patriots, with whom he spent his first five years in the NFL, missed the final three games of the regular season for the Jets with what was described as a sprained right knee. But he returned to the field for the Jets in their 17-16 victory over the Colts. However, near the end of that game, he suffered the injury that will end his season.

Read More: Damien Woody, New York Jets, playoffs,

Bill Belichick doesn’t ‘think much about’ that day when he left the Jets

01.12.11 at 2:24 pm ET
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FOXBORO — The date was Jan. 4, 2000. Bill Belichick stood at the podium in Hempstead, NY and announced one day after being appointed to replace Bill Parcells as head coach of the New York Jets that he didn’t feel ready or fit to lead the Jets in 2000.

On Wednesday, amidst all of the furor over the comments of Rex Ryan, Shaun Ellis and Antonio Cromartie – Belichick was reminded that it was 11 years ago last week that he stepped aside with the now-infamous note that he wrote on a piece of paper. “I resign as HC of the NYJ.”

How did he react? With a wry smile before answering, “I don’t think about it much.”

A refresher for a moment. In the days after Super Bowl XXXI in Jan. 1997, Belichick (and most of the Patriots assistant coaches) went with Parcells to the Jets. Belichick’s official title was assistant head coach and defensive coordinator for the Jets from 1997 to 1999. When Parcells stepped down in 1999, he had already arranged with team officials to have Belichick succeed him.

However, when Belichick was introduced as head coach to the media’€”the day after his hiring was publicized’€”he turned it into a resignation announcement that caught everyone by surprise since it was expected to be an introductory news conference. After handing in the loose leaf paper, he offered up a 30-minute speech explaining his resignation to the media.

Weeks later, he was introduced as the new Patriots head coach, as Robert Kraft finally succeeded in hiring him away from Parcells and the Jets after failed attempts in the past. Parcells and the Jets claimed that Belichick was still under contract to the Jets, and demanded compensation from the Patriots. NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue agreed, and the Patriots gave the Jets a first-round draft pick in 2000 in exchange for the right to hire Belichick.

Eleven years later, the Patriots have three Super Bowl titles, four AFC championships and the best record in the NFL. The Jets have zero Super Bowl appearances and have appeared in the AFC championship just one, losing last year in Indianapolis.

Read More: Bill Belichick, New England Patriots, New York Jets, NFL commissioner
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