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Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Vinny Testaverde talks turkeys, Tebow, Jets

By Lynn Hoppes



The NFL jokes seem so obvious: Former New York Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde is working with some turkeys these days.

Next week in New York City, Testaverde is hosting Wild Turkey’s first Triple Barrel Challenge with a real turkey -- Jimmy Junior -- to predict the outcome of the three NFL games on Thanksgiving.

Following months of studying, Jimmy Junior will eat from the barrel of the team he thinks will win each matchup. After the event, Wild Turkey will, through City Harvest, donate 81 turkeys to the victims of Sandy.

Playbook had a few minutes with Testaverde to find out what advice he gave Jimmy Junior.

Are turkeys smart animals?


"I have no clue. I can tell you this: They certainly taste good."

What was it like on the set of the preview video?


"It was a little nerve-racking. I didn't know how the turkey would respond. Being a farm animal, he's used to being around people. It was a little difficult when you're trying to talk to the camera and wondering whether he was going to peck at your face.

So how did he do?

"I was sweating underneath my shirt because the turkey was focused on what I had in my hand. While talking to the camera, I had a laser pointer. I didn't realize the turkey was staring at that and started pecking at my hand."

You know this is easy. Speaking of turkeys, what about those Jets?

"I wish I knew. I'm obviously not in touch with them, and I'm not really close to anybody except as a fan. It's kind of disappointing. I know the Jets fans want to see them turn it around and win a few games."

What would you do if you were coach?

"You have a guy on your roster -- Tim Tebow -- who can be your running game. Instead of giving him just 10-12 reps, give him a full load and wear down the defense. I don't know how all the pieces fit, but that's my opinion. A good running game leads to bigger and better things. It's hard to be successful when you have problems everywhere."