Print and Go Back ESPN.com: AFC East [Print without images]

Sunday, October 18, 2009
Leonhard gets his first crack at Bills


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Jets safety Jim Leonhard has been looking forward to this game for nearly eight months.

For the first time since the Buffalo Bills decided to cast him aside, Leonhard finally will get to play them Sunday at the Meadowlands.

The day Leonhard signed with the Jets, he already had the Bills in his sights. He and I spoke about his desire to show his old team they made a huge mistake for going with Donte Whitner and Ko Simpson instead of him.

Leonhard mostly was deferential in speaking about the Bills and said he understood they had a business decision to make when they declined to re-sign him as a restricted free agent. But you could tell he already was pumped at the idea of facing the Bills.

"It will be the first time that I've been put in that situation, and it will mean a lot," Leonhard said. "I'm sure it will be an emotional day, that first time that we play.

"I'm looking forward to that day, and hopefully we can make it a day that I'll remember for a long time."

Buffalo News reporter Mark Gaughan, with comments posted on the Jets' Web site this week, took a look at Leonhard's first chance to get back at the Bills.

"I was surprised," Leonhard said of the Bills' decision. "I expected to have some conversation with them and they basically said, "We're moving on.' You don't forget something like that."