New York Jets: New York Giants

Wake-up call: Combine, Day 6

February, 24, 2014
Feb 24
On Monday's schedule in Indianapolis:

New York Jets/Giants media availability: None. The prospects, too, are done with their media obligations. Ninety-five percent of the media have cleared out of Indianapolis, including yours truly.

Combine schedule: The defensive linemen and linebackers will be in Lucas Oil Stadium, participating in the 40-yard dash, agility stations and positional skill drills. ... The defensive backs will have psychological testing, the bench press and team interviews.

Players of interest: For very different reasons, the spotlight will be focused on two defensive ends -- South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney and Missouri's Michael Sam. Clowney, who told reporters his goal is to become one of the best players of all-time, could go No. 1 overall to the Houston Texans. His 40-yard dash will be a must-watch. After two weeks of intense scrutiny following his disclosure that he's gay, Sam finally can concentrate on football. Scouts are eager to see his speed and if he has the athleticism to play in space as a linebacker. He struggled in that area at the Senior Bowl.

Wake-up call: Combine, Day 5

February, 23, 2014
Feb 23
On the schedule Sunday in Indianapolis:

New York Jets/Giants media availability: Completed.

Combine schedule: This is the most interesting day from an on-the-field perspective, because the so-called glamor positions -- quarterback, wide receiver and running back -- perform before NFL scouts and coaches. The players will be timed in the all-important 40-yard dash, and there will be agility stations and skill drills. The 40 always attracts the most interest. Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins said his goal is to run "something crazy, maybe break the combine record" -- a 4.24 by Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson. Two of the top three quarterback prospects, Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater, have said they're not planning to throw at the combine. ... The defensive linemen and linebackers will have psychological testing, the bench press and team interviews. ... The defensive backs have measurements, medical exams, team interviews and a media session.

Players of interest: Both the Jets and Giants have a need at receiver, so this should be a compelling day. Watkins will be off the board by the time the Giants (12th) and Jets (18th) pick, but USC's Marqise Lee and Texas A&M's Mike Evans could be available for one or both teams. Lee was scheduled to meet Saturday with Jets officials; Watkins met with them Friday night. Evans, a former basketball player who measured a shade under 6-5, said, "There are a lot of great receivers in this draft, don't get me wrong, but I feel I'm the best one." ... With David Wilson's future uncertain, the Giants are in the market for a running back. There's no running-back value at No. 12, but there are second- and third-round candidates, including Auburn's Tre Mason, who claimed he's been running in the 4.3s. The stopwatch never lies; players do.

Ebron headlines impressive TE group

February, 22, 2014
Feb 22
Both the New York Jets and New York Giants are in the market for a tight end. They saw some good ones Saturday at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, including an impressive performance by North Carolina's Eric Ebron, the consensus No. 1 tight end in the draft.

Ebron checked in at 6-foot-4 3/8, 250 pounds and blazed the 40 in 4.6 seconds, the second-fastest time among his position group. He has big hands (10 inches) and did 24 reps on the bench press, which is considered average. Simply put, he has all the right measurables. Texas Tech's Jace Amaro, another potential first-round pick, didn't run as well as Ebron at 4.74 seconds, but he's a big man -- 6-foot-5 3/8, 265 pounds. He had the smallest hands of all the tight ends (nine inches), which could be a concern for teams.

Here's a list of the top-10 40 times for the tight ends:

1. A.C. Leonard, Tennessee State: 4.50

2. Eric Ebron, North Carolina: 4.60

3. Colt Lyerla, Oregon: 4.61

4. Trey Burton, Florida: 4.62

5. Jace Amaro, Texas Tech: 4.74

6. Reggie Jordan, Missouri Western: 4.77

7. Anthony Denham, Utah: 4.77

8. Jake Murphy, Utah: 4.79

9. Arthur Lynch, Georgia: 4.82

10. Marcel Jensen, Fresno State: 4.85

Wake-up call: Combine, Day 4

February, 22, 2014
Feb 22
On the schedule for Saturday in Indianapolis:

Giants/Jets media availability: Giants general manager Jerry Reese will address the media at 10 a.m., one day after his coach -- Tom Coughlin -- announced his own one-year contract extension. No doubt, Reese will be asked about Coughlin, but most of the topics will be personnel-related. The Giants' talent base has decayed the last two years, and Reese needs a home-run draft to get them back in the playoffs. There will be no Jets media availability.

Combine schedule: This is the busiest day because there are four different player groups involved in various activities. The offensive linemen and tight ends finish up their week with on-field drills -- springs, agility stations and skill drills. ... The quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers move to their next phase -- psychological testing, bench press and team interviews. ... The defensive linemen and linebackers get into the action with measurements, medical exams, team interviews and media obligations. ... The defensive backs arrive in town, starting with a medical pre-exam and X-rays, orientation and team interviews.

Players of interest: The big story -- the big, big story -- will be Michael Sam. If you haven't heard of him, you're welcome to rejoin our society at any time now. The former Missouri defensive end, who came out recently as gay, is scheduled to meet the media. It probably will be the largest news conference in combine history, assuming it happens. The schedule got jammed up Friday because medical exams took longer than expected, causing some of the wide receivers (including the top prospects) to postpone their media sessions until Saturday. Hopefully, Sam stays on schedule because it should be fascinating.

Ebron draws interest from Jets, Giants

February, 21, 2014
Feb 21
INDIANAPOLIS -- The New York Jets and New York Giants have the hots for the same player -- Eric Ebron, North Carolina's ultra-athletic tight end.

If they both covet Ebron, the advantage goes to the Giants, who own the 12th overall pick -- six spots ahead of the Jets in the first round.

The Giants are so intrigued by Ebron (6-4, 250 pounds) that general manager Jerry Reese and vice president of player evaluation Marc Ross scouted him during the season and filed reports. The team's top two decision-makers don't do that unless there's a high degree of interest in a player. Ebron scored high grades and will be a consideration with the 12th pick.

The Giants have a glaring need, as do the Jets, who would love to pair Ebron with Jeff Cumberland, a free agent-to-be whom they're trying to re-sign.

Ebron (62 catches, 973 yards, three touchdowns last season) is the consensus top tight end in the draft, ahead of Texas Tech's Jace Amaro, whom the Giants interviewed Thursday night at the scouting combine. Ebron is a new-breed tight end, meaning he can split out as a receiver, creating a mismatch. He once said his speed is "illegal," and he told reporters that he can't be jammed at the line of scrimmage. College opponents didn't try, he said.

"I think why teams don't press me is because they can't," he said. "I will not be pressed at the line of scrimmage. That's a prideful thing of mine. It'd be best to leave the play to cover y'alls' back."

Ebron said he patterns his game after Vernon Davis of the San Francisco 49ers. Why?

"Because [of the] similarities," he said, comparing himself to one of the best. "His speed, he's powerful, he's very strong at the line of scrimmage. Love everything about him."

Ebron isn't shy on confidence. Asked to describe his play, he replied, "Fast. I play fast. I'm a little bit faster than most."

Scouts are eager to see his time in the 40. Ebron is far from a finished product. His blocking needs work, he's had some drops and some question his toughness over the middle. But the tight end position has changed, and the good ones are deployed like wide receivers.

"I just do different things than other tight ends do," Ebron said. "If you watch film you'll probably say the same thing."

Wake-up call: Combine, Day 3

February, 21, 2014
Feb 21
On the schedule for Friday in Indianapolis:

New York Giants/Jets media availability: New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin is scheduled to speak with reporters at 12:45 p.m. Among the topics sure to come up are his contract situation, new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo and his potential impact on Eli Manning, impending free agent Hakeem Nicks and plans to fix the offensive line. The New York Jets are finished with their formal media availability.

Combine schedule: Place-kickers and special-teamers work out for NFL personnel at Lucas Oil Stadium. They will join offensive linemen and tight ends for the bench press, psychological testing and team interviews. ... Quarterbacks, wide receivers and running backs are measured, take medical exams, participate in team interviews and meet the media. ... Defensive linemen and linebackers arrive in town for a medical pre-exam and X-rays, plus an orientation and team interviews.

Players of interest: Because the Giants and Jets share a wide receiver need, the media sessions for Clemson's Sammy Watkins, USC's Marqise Lee and Texas A&M's Mike Evans will be of particular interest. But, make no mistake, the spotlight will belong to Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel, arguably the most popular player in college football and the potential No. 1 overall pick. Manziel already has said he won't participate in throwing drills, saving them for a personal pro day, but he will be the headline of the day based simply on what he says.

Wake-up call: Combine, Day 2

February, 20, 2014
Feb 20
On the schedule for Thursday in Indianapolis:

New York Jets/Giants media availability: New York Jets coach Rex Ryan (2:45 p.m.) and general manager John Idzik (3 p.m.) are scheduled for news conferences. The hot topics will be the futures of Mark Sanchez, Santonio Holmes and Antonio Cromartie; the draft and free agency; and the organization's first public comment on former Missouri DE Michael Sam. The New York Giants' media availability begins Friday.

Combine schedule: Placekickers, special teamers, offensive linemen and tight ends will undergo medical exams, measurements and team interviews. They also will be available to the media. ... Quarterbacks, wide receivers and running backs arrive in town. They will have a medical pre-exam, X-rays, orientation and team interviews.

Players of interest: The Jets (18th overall pick) and Giants (12th) both have a need at tight end, so North Carolina's Eric Ebron -- the consensus top player at the position -- will be a focal point among the New York reporters. Ebron has the ability to light up the combine -- on and off the field. He's confident and entertaining, once bragging that his speed should be "illegal." He will be asked about his weight in light of a recent report that he put on extra pounds in an effort to become a better blocker. ... The Giants need help at offensive tackle, so Thursday's media session will offer a chance to meet first-round possibilities, namely Michigan's Taylor Lewan. We know how the Giants love those Big 10 linemen.

Jets defense rebounds after bad start

August, 25, 2013
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Jets' offense had it rough, but the defense provided a few reasons for optimism in Saturday night's preseason win.

1. Forget it: The Jets gave up an 84-yard touchdown run to Giants RB David Wilson on the team's first play from scrimmage. It was costly and set a horrible tone, but it was the last big play the Jets allowed. For the rest of the first half, the defense held Eli Manning and the Giants' first-team offense to only a field goal.

2. Damon Harrison and depth: The defensive end, filling in for Kenrick Ellis (back), led the defense with seven tackles. He and Garrett McIntyre, who was in for Quinton Coples (ankle), showed that the defense could have some depth along the line and OLB spots.

3. Sack Exchange: Three Jets recorded sacks, including rookie defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson. His addition to the defensive line looks to make it a formidable front when Ellis returns along with Muhammad Wilkerson. The other two sacks were courtesy of Tevita Finau and Leger Douzable.

Growing pains for Stephen Hill

August, 25, 2013
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- It was a rough night for New York Jets receiver Stephen Hill. He reached for an opponent's facemask in a burst of frustration -- costing the Jets 15 yards -- fumbled a catch and was taken after the game to have his wrist X-rayed.

[+] EnlargeStephen Hill
Brad Penner/USA TODAY SportsStephen Hill made four receptions, but he fumbled this one away.
"I fell on it when I got pass interference," Hill said. "I just taped it up and as a precaution they just wanted to make sure that wasn't anything wrong with it. Everything's good."

Hill caught all four balls sent his way for 56 yards as the Jets defeated the New York Giants 24-21 in overtime. He said he had a decent enough night with a caveat: "Minus the fumble. I wish I could have gotten that back."

Smith wasn't the only Jets receiver to cost rookie quarterback Geno Smith some yards. Three of Smith's passes were dropped, including throws to Jeremy Kerley, Bilal Powell and Ben Obomanu.

But those issues paled when compared to the quarterback situation. Smith struggled and Mark Sanchez injured his throwing shoulder.

"We need both Geno and Mark," Hill said.

Rapid Reaction: Jets 24, Giants 21 (OT)

August, 24, 2013

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- With a chance to claim the starting job, rookie QB Geno Smith suffered a three-interception implosion in the Jets' 24-21 overtime win over the Giants on Saturday night at MetLife Stadium. The Jets were dreadful, committing five turnovers. A bad night turned worse when Sanchez hurt his right shoulder in the fourth quarter on a vicious hit by defensive tackle Marvin Austin. Sanchez shouldn't have been in the game. No one can mess up the quarterback position better than the Jets.

What it means: The Jets, especially upper management, wanted Smith to seize his opportunity, but they have no choice but to name Sanchez the opening day starter -- if he's healthy. It would be a setback for general manager John Idzik, who drafted Smith in the second round with the hope that he'd unseat the turnover-prone Sanchez. It might happen eventually, but not now. Unless ...

Uh, oh, Geno: Smith, in his first extended action, threw three interceptions in a span of 12 attempts. In each case, he made a different mistake. The first interception (Prince Amukamara) was an inaccurate pass; he threw behind Ryan Spadola on a crossing route. The second interception (Stevie Brown) was a poor decision, an under-pressure overthrow to Kellen Winslow. The third interception (Justin Tuck) was a bad read. Smith failed to read a zone blitz by Tuck, who dropped into coverage on Jeff Cumberland. Smith never saw him and forced the ball to his tight end. His night ended with a terrible mental mistake, as he took a safety by stepping out of the back of the end zone while trying to avoid pressure.

Smith (16-for-30, 199 yards) showed his lack of experience at every turn, but this was to be expected. After all, he entered the game having played only 14 snaps in the preseason. The Jets forced the issue, hoping to anoint Smith, but the strategy backfired. Instead of using the third preseason game to build chemistry with the starting unit, still learning Marty Mornhinweg's offense, they wasted prime reps on a quarterback not ready for the bright lights.

Rookie game plan: The coaching staff gave Smith every opportunity to succeed, drawing up a relatively conservative game plan. He threw mostly underneath, including a few screen passes. The plan was for him to throw quickly, but that backfired on the first series, when two balls were deflected at the line of scrimmage. Smith regrouped, leading an eight-play, 86-yard touchdown drive. He was 4-for-5 for 41 yards on the drive, including a 22-yard scoring pass to Ben Obomanu. Smith played better in the second half when given a chance to throw off play action. He led a 57-yard touchdown drive, but it came against the Giants' backups.

Classic Sanchez: He replaced Smith in the fourth quarter and -- shocker! -- fumbled a shotgun snap. He was booed by the crowd. After the injury, Sanchez was replaced by Matt Simms, who rallied the Jets to a touchdown with two minutes left.

Sanchez fans?: Smith didn't get much help from his receivers. He was victimized by three drops -- Bilal Powell, Jeremy Kerley and Obomanu. Hill contributed to the ugliness with a fumble, which came shortly after an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty. Hill needs to mature, quickly. The drop-fest was reminiscent of minicamp, when Rex Ryan was infuriated by the number of dropped passes. The only highlight was a 32-yard grab by Stephen Hill. The good news? Santonio Holmes, activated Friday to the active roster, looks ready to return. In the pregame warm-ups, Holmes ran full speed, cutting hard on his surgically repaired foot as he ran routes for QB Greg McElroy.

Injury concerns: Several players left with undisclosed injuries, including CB Antonio Cromartie, DT Sheldon Richardson, LG Vladimir Ducasse and WR Clyde Gates. Cromartie might have suffered from leg cramps, which plagued him last week in practice.

Big night for big fellas: It was a nice performance for the Jets' defensive line, namely Muhammad Wilkerson, Damon Harrison and Richardson. They got good pressure on Eli Manning, exploiting the Giants' patchwork offensive line. This was Richardson's best game by far, as he showed his athleticism on quick penetrations. The Jets could be a line-reliant defense this season because the secondary, a strength in recent years, struggled again. CB Kyle Wilson, who started for injured rookie Dee Milliner, was called for three pass-interference penalties. S Antonio Allen took a bad angle on the first play from scrimmage, springing David Wilson for an 84-yard TD run.

What's ahead: The Jets close the preseason Thursday night against the Eagles at MetLife Stadium.

Geno throws three first-half picks

August, 24, 2013
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- If the New York Jets were hoping that Geno Smith was the antidote to the interceptions that are part of Mark Sanchez's game, Saturday night was a reality check.

In fact, it was -- to borrow Rex Ryan's own phrase -- pretty brutal.

The rookie threw three interceptions in the first half of a preseason game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. The Jets extended the quarterback competition to give Smith his first start of the preseason -- so this was supposed to be his opportunity to excel.

At the half, his line was 11-for-25 for 134 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions. Rather than the quarterback of the future, what the Jets saw looked more like a flustered rookie.

Let us count the ways:

First interception: A pass to WR Ben Obomanu was ripped out of his hands by Giants cornerback Prince Amukamara.

Second interception: In the next series, Smith tried to reach Kellen Winslow and instead threw it to Giants safety Stevie Brown. (Brown sprained his left knee on the play, and the team announced he will not return). Smith got a taste of contact on the play: After the throw, he was flattened by Giants defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka.

Third interception: This was the worst interception, on which he responded to a zone blitz by passing the ball directly to Giants defensive end Justin Tuck.

There were bright spots for the rookie. He threw a touchdown to Obomanu on the second series for the Jets and hit WR Stephen Hill with a pretty 32-yard pass. But, for the most part, the plays called for shorter passes. He wasn't helped by drops from Jeremy Kerley, Obomanu and Bilal Powell.
New York Giants co-owner Steve Tisch says Tim Tebow would have been better off playing anywhere but with the New York Jets.

Tisch told TMZ he thinks Tebow, who was released last month, might still be playing if the Jets had not traded for him in March 2012.

[+] EnlargeTim Tebow
AP Photo/Bill KostrounTim Tebow threw 14 passes in a preseason game against the Giants, but he attempted just eight passes during the regular season.
"I feel badly for the guy," Tisch said Sunday night in Los Angeles when stopped by TMZ as he was getting into his car. "Had another team picked him up after the Broncos, maybe he'd have a career. I think him going from the Broncos to the Jets was not in anybody's best interest."

Tebow attempted a total of eight passes and played sparingly with the Jets last season. The Jets never seemed to know how to use Tebow, who managed to consistently make headlines and back pages.

The Giants -- players and owners -- were amused with how Tebow garnered so much of the media attention in training camp last year while the Giants were the defending Super Bowl champions.

Less than a year later, Tebow is looking to get back in the NFL.

"I do feel badly for him," Tisch said. "I hope he plays football. I think he's got talent and I think he is probably a decent guy and not a bad quarterback. I sincerely wish him all the best."

A game-changer: Tisch said he also likes the Giants' recent addition of linebacker Aaron Curry. Tisch thinks the fourth overall pick in the 2009 draft can reach his potential with the Giants.

"He's got such an athletic talent," Tisch said. "I think he is going to do a really good job. I know he is going to be very focused in these [OTAs] through training camp. I'm glad we got him. I think he can be a real game-changer."

Tisch also is thrilled with the Giants' draft.

"I'm very happy with the draft," Tisch said. "We don’t draft sexy but we draft for the positions we feel that we need players. [Tom] Coughlin is a great coach and Jerry Reese is a great GM, so I am very happy. It all comes out in training camp."

ESPN New York's NFL Draft preview

April, 24, 2013

Rich Cimini and Ohm Youngmisuk discuss what needs the Giants and Jets must address and who they may select at the NFL draft.

Bradshaw says Jets show interest

March, 20, 2013
Ahmad Bradshaw still wants to be a starting running back somewhere.

And although the Jets recently signed Mike Goodson to a three-year, $6.9 million deal, they would have legitimate interest if Bradshaw lowers his asking price, according to a source. Bradshaw says the Jets, Packers and Steelers have shown interest in him.

The free-agent running back is currently working out in Florida as he continues to make his way back from surgery on his foot. The former Giant hopes to find work after he shows teams how healthy he is.

"I feel great," he said on ESPN New York 98.7. "I'm getting there. I'm walking around without the boot. There are a lot of teams out there that need running backs.

[+] EnlargeAhmad Bradshaw
Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY SportsWill former Giant Ahmad Bradshaw join the Jets?
"I want to go to a team where I can be the number one (back) and get multiple carries every game," he added. "A couple of teams are interested. ... Pittsburgh, the Jets, the Packers, which are all teams that I feel like need a running back and I can help. It's a process and I want to take it slow."

Bradshaw wants to stay close to home and he says a return to the Giants is always a possibility.

"There's always been that chance," said Bradshaw, who mentioned after he was released that the Giants left the door open for a possible return someday.

Bradshaw reminisced about how emotional his farewell to Tom Coughlin and the Giants was when he was released in February, calling the Giants a family that he still loves.

He was asked if he could play for Rex Ryan after spending his entire career with Coughlin, since the two New York coaches are polar opposites.

"I've head from a lot of guys he is a great coach," Bradshaw said of Ryan. "It is not even about that [difference between Ryan and Coughlin] with me. He seems to get his guys going for games and for weeks."

Super Bowl XLVIII schedule of events

January, 29, 2013
Super Bowl XLVIII is barely one year away.

The big game will be played on Feb. 2, 2014, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

In the week leading up to kickoff, several events will be held in the New York/New Jersey area. Let's take a look:

• Super Bowl Boulevard, the sports and entertainment hub of Super Bowl week, will stretch from 44th Street -- in the middle of Times Square -- down Broadway to 34th Street from Jan. 29-Feb. 1. It will be a free festival open to fans from around the world.

Thanks to an assortment of interactive activities, fans can throw a touchdown, catch a pass or kick a field goal. Fans also will be able to see the Lombardi Trophy on display, attend nightly concerts, take part in football clinics and competitions, obtain autographs from players and visit NFL-themed exhibits.

• The Super Bowl Media Center will be held at the Sheraton Hotel in midtown. More than 5,000 media will be credentialed for the event.

• The Friday Night Party and the annual NFL Honors awards show will take place in New York on Jan. 31.

• The NFL will work out of its league headquarters on Park Avenue.

• In New Jersey, there will be a series of activities. Media Day will be held at Prudential Center in Newark on Jan. 28. The NFL's Tailgate Party will be held at the Grandstand at the Meadowlands Racetrack in the final hours before kickoff.

• Both teams will stay at hotels in New Jersey. The NFC team will practice at the Giants' facility in East Rutherford, while the AFC team will practice at the Jets' facility in Florham Park.