FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets center Nick Mangold (high ankle sprain) remained in a walking boot Wednesday, but he's still holding out hope he can play in the season finale Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.

"Hope so," said Mangold, who was talking gingerly around the locker room.

Neither Mangold nor wide receiver Percy Harvin (ribs) practiced Wednesday. The Jets are off Thursday, Christmas Day. Friday is the final practice of the season. Rex Ryan didn't rule out Harvin or Mangold.

"This time of year, most guys are mailing it in," Ryan said. "These guys are doing just the opposite."

The official injury report:

New York Jets

Did not practice: Harvin (ankle, ribs), Mangold (ankle, finger), S Rontez Miles (shin), DE Muhammad Wilkerson (toe, illness).

Limited practice: G Willie Colon (knee), S Jaiquawn Jarrett (shoulder), CB Darrin Walls (shoulder).

Full practice: S Antonio Allen (hand), K Nick Folk (right hip), RB Chris Johnson (knee).

Miami Dolphins

Did not practice: DE Derrick Shelby (ankle).

Limited practice: TE Charles Clay (hamstring, knee), LB Jelani Jenkins (foot), S Don Jones (shoulder), DT Earl Mitchell (back), DT Jared Odrick (ankle), G Dallas Thomas (foot), RB Daniel Thomas (knee), WR Mike Wallace (back).

Full practice: CB Cortland Finnegan (ankle), LB Jonathan Freeny (hamstring), LB Koa Misi (hamstring, knee).
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Let's not sugarcoat it: Rex Ryan was ticked off that defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson didn't make the Pro Bowl.

Without identifying the player, the New York Jets' coach said one of the six defensive tackles that made the roster "can't hold (Richardson's) jock." Just a guess here, but he might have been referring to St. Louis Rams rookie Aaron Donald.

"He causes a ton of production, no doubt about that," Ryan said Wednesday of Richardson, who was named a first alternate. "He does the dirty work and doesn't mind it. Never complains. If it kept him out of the Pro Bowl because some guy had X amount of sacks, and that guy can't hold his jock, to be honest with you, as a player, I think that's kind of strange to me.

"I guess you guys will figure out who I'm talking about. I see the tapes. This guy deserves to be in there, no doubt about it."

Aside from Donald, the other defensive tackles are Kyle Williams, Gerald McCoy, Ndamukong Suh, Marcell Dareus and Dontari Poe -- all of whom have made multiple Pro Bowls. Yep, Donald seemed to be the subject of Ryan's ire. In case you're wondering, Donald has eight sacks, Richardson seven.

Ryan believes the Jets' 3-12 record probably worked as a bias against Richardson. Nevetheless, Ryan said, "I'm just kind of shocked he didn't get in. I really thought he'd get in there. ... I think the people that never voted for him, they must not have seen him play. It's the only thing I can figure."

Richardson was visibly disappointed, admitting the snub caught him by surprise.

"I told you, I'm one of the best defensive linemen in the game. That's how I feel," said Richardson, who last week compared himself to Houston Texans star J.J. Watt.

Richardson believes he was "dominant in every game I played in." He finished fourth in the fan voting, which he apparently didn't get as much support from the players and coaches. He vowed to never miss another Pro Bowl.

"I'm only getting better, baby, I'm only getting better," he said.

It's possible that Richardson's brash personality turned off his peer. He acknowledged that may have factored into it, but he claimed it's just the way he is.

"I might have to break the (single-game sack) record to get some recognition," he said. "I might have to get eight and break Derrick Thomas' record."
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills saw three members of their defensive line selected to the Pro Bowl on Tuesday night, but coach Doug Marrone made sure that their fourth starter, Jerry Hughes, wasn't left out.

Marrone called Hughes after the announcement to make sure his contributions this season (9.5 sacks) were still appreciated.

"One of the things I did last night, when everything came out and I congratulated the players that made it, was I wanted to make sure that I talked to Jerry Hughes," Marrone said. "Jerry Hughes has had an outstanding year. He really has.

"I think one of the things about this game, because it is a team game, guys go ahead and make [the Pro Bowl], but there's a lot of other people involved that they don't get the credit for it. But they can share at least on the outside knowing they were a part of it, even though, individually, they didn't get there."

Hughes appreciated the call.

"It was huge, turn my phone over and see Coach Marrone showing love and support, that's what you want your head coach to do," he said. "It was a great gesture."

While this Sunday could mark Hughes' last game with the Bills, he wasn't willing to dive into his future on Wednesday.

"I havent really thought about that, this is our last game, AFC East opponent, going to Foxborough to play Tom Brady, so that's going to be fun," he said. "That's what our focus has been -- go up there, collect a win and have fun."
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills safety Aaron Williams (hip) was limited in practice on Wednesday.

Williams finished Sunday's game in Oakland, playing 66 of 72 snaps.

The Bills were without cornerback Stephon Gilmore and defensive tackle Marcell Dareus in practice on Wednesday, but injured reserve isn't an option for either player since their injuries aren't "major" and thus wouldn't qualify for the designation.

Here is the Bills' full injury report Wednesday:

Did not participate:
DT Marcell Dareus (knee)
CB Stephon Gilmore (concussion protocol)

Limited participation:
S Aaron Williams (hip)
K Dan Carpenter (groin)
DAVIE, Fla. – The Miami Dolphins (8-7) held their first full practice in preparation for Sunday's game against the New York Jets (3-12).

A few notes and observations:
  • Dolphins starting right tackle Dallas Thomas returned to practice on Wednesday. Thomas missed last Sunday's win over the Minnesota Vikings with a foot injury. Backup right tackle Jason Fox made his first start and did a decent job. Miami only allowed two sacks. I’m curious to see who will start if Thomas is healthy.
  • Backup defensive end Derrick Shelby did not participate in practice. He suffered an ankle injury against Minnesota and worked on the side with trainers. If Shelby cannot play, that will open up reps for backups Dion Jordan and Terrence Fede.
  • Miami running back Daniel Thomas, who missed last Sunday's game, also practiced. He is recovering from a knee injury.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The typical interview with a free agent-to-be goes something like this:

Reporter: "Would you like to re-sign with Team X?"

Player: "Of course, I really like it here. I'd love to stay, but we'll see where the chips fall."

Players almost always say they want to return (even if they don't) because, hey, why eliminate a potential suitor? It's all about leverage. But that's not how it went Tuesday with Michael Vick, who seemed lukewarm on the prospect of re-signing with the New York Jets.

[+] EnlargeMichael Vick
AP Photo/Bill KostrounMichael Vick sounded lukewarm about a possible return to the New York Jets. Vick is finishing up a one-year, $4 million contract.
“I don’t know, I couldn’t say right now," he said. "I’d have to talk to my agent and see what’s the best situation for me. Obviously, this organization has to do what’s best for them. I really can’t say right now, but hopefully I have a chance to play somewhere and continue to give that effort.”

Vick was just being honest because, let's face it, there's a cloud of uncertainty hovering over the Jets. Vick's primary connection to the team, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, probably won't be back. Chances are, neither will Vick, who is finishing up a one-year, $4 million contract.

The Jets' quarterback depth chart in 2015 will include Geno Smith and a significant other, whether it's a highly drafted rookie or a veteran import who isn't in the twilight of his career.

For what it's worth, Vick, 34, still believes he can contribute in the NFL.

“I still feel like I can start,” he said. “I still feel like I can play at a high level, like I said. I think with the right talent around me and good structure I feel like I can win some games.

“I still feel like I have a lot left in the tank. I can’t say it’s five years worth, but maybe it’s a good solid two. I’m just going to train for that, get ready for that and set my mindset. If it doesn’t happen and I have to grind my way back up to a starting position, then that’s what it will be. I think at the end of the day my mindset is to just continue to play football. I love the game. I want to continue to play until it’s all out of me.”
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- A few lingering thoughts on the New York Jets' contingency hiring of Charley Casserly as a consultant:

1. It's not hard to connect the dots, people. John Idzik is finished as the general manager. An organization wouldn't entertain the thought of bringing on board a former general manager if it had faith in its current GM. For argument's sake, let's say owner Woody Johnson is planning to fire only Rex Ryan. Under normal circumstances, the subsequent coaching search would be coordinated by the sitting GM. That won't happen because Johnson is committed to Casserly's involvement in the event of a coaching and/or GM search, usurping Idzik's power. Could you imagine Idzik and Casserly sitting next to each other while interviewing a coaching candidate? Not happening. Idzik is a goner.

2. Forget about Jim Harbaugh. If Johnson were plotting a bold move for Harbaugh, do you think he'd be willing to pay a consultant? Harbaugh is the best guy for the job, but he doesn't fit the Johnson profile, which is to say he's a big-money coach with previous head-coaching experience. Chances are, the Jets will end up going the coordinator route.

3. Bringing Casserly into the process is a good idea. Adding former Green Bay Packers GM Ron Wolf would be nice, too. But, in the end, Johnson has to make the call. It's his team and he has to set the course for the future. Can he make two good hires? Hard to say. Ryan was a good hire, but Idzik backfired. Johnson should follow the Arizona Cardinals' model: Find the best up-and-coming talent-evaluator and make him the GM, like Steve Keim (he happened to be an in-house hire), and let him find the best available, offensive-minded head coach, a Bruce Arians type. And away you go.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets owner Woody Johnson apparently is trying to assemble a dream team of consultants.

In addition to Charley Casserly, who will advise Johnson for the anticipated head coach and general manager searches, Johnson is looking to add another consultant of Casserly's ilk. The names of Bill Parcells, Bill Polian and Ernie Accorsi have been mentioned in media circles, but I don't believe those are possibilities for various reasons. As noted earlier, one name to watch is former Green Bay Packers general manager Ron Wolf, a legendary figure in scouting circles.

Like Casserly, Wolf is a member of the NFL's career development advisory panel, which is comprised of eight former coaches and general managers. The panel was created a year ago to help identify coaching and general manager candidates for teams.

I don't think Wolf is a done deal yet for the Jets, but they seem interested. It wouldn't be a surprise if something is finalized over the weekend. A Wolf-Casserly tandem would be a great start for the Jets.
» Pro Bowl analysis: AFC | NFC » Complete roster


Tom Brady, QB, 10th Pro Bowl selection: This was a no-brainer, and Brady's 10 Pro Bowl berths are a New England Patriots record. Pro Football Hall of Famer John Hannah had nine selections.

Whom he beat out: With six quarterbacks selected to the game -- Brady, Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger and Tony Romo -- there wasn't much question about Brady having to beat anyone out. He's obviously a top-six quarterback. From this outside perspective, here's a question: Does Seattle's Russell Wilson deserve a spot? I think so.

Stephen Gostkowski, K, Third Pro Bowl selection: This is the second straight season in which the nine-year veteran has earned the nod. His powerful leg is a weapon on field-goal attempts (32-of-34 for 94.1 percent ranks second in the NFL) and kickoffs. Good timing, too, as he's scheduled for free agency.

Whom he beat out: With Gostkowski and Adam Vinatieri the lone Pro Bowlers, that speaks highly of the Patriots' personnel acumen when it comes to evaluating kickers. I don't see anyone else with a strong enough candidacy to beat either of them. And it's really not close.

Rob Gronkowski, TE, Third Pro Bowl selection: He became the first tight end in NFL history with four seasons of 10 or more touchdowns in four seasons, and Packers defensive lineman Mike Daniels dubbed him "The Terminator." Need more be said?

Whom he beat out: With four tight ends selected to the Pro Bowl -- Jimmy Graham, Greg Olsen and Julius Thomas -- it would have been a shock if Gronkowski weren't on the list. What stands out here is that Gronkowski is the only pure, combination-type tight end of the group. I view the other three more as big receivers.

Darrelle Revis, CB, Sixth Pro Bowl selection: It's hard to quantify what Revis has meant to the Patriots' defense, but he's basically served as the queen piece that helps negate the opponent's top receiving threat. The Patriots rank eighth in the NFL in fewest points allowed, and Revis is a main reason for that.

Whom he beat out: There are eight cornerbacks in the game -- Revis, Vontae Davis, Brent Grimes, Joe Haden, Chris Harris, Aqib Talib, Patrick Peterson and Richard Sherman -- so it only makes sense Revis is part of the group. He's obviously one of the NFL's eight best. The more interesting question is if he's No. 1. I'd vote yes.

Matthew Slater, ST, Fourth Pro Bowl selection: He leads the Patriots with 14 special-teams tackles, and the words of Jets coach Rex Ryan from last year still resonate: "That Slater kid is a heck of a football player." The respect opponents show him with double-team blocks says it all.

Whom he beat out: I was impressed with San Diego's Darrell Stuckey from a Week 14 game, but I still think Slater is a cut above.


Devin McCourty, S: I could make a case for him over Cleveland's Tashaun Gipson (six interceptions) and Detroit's Glover Quin (seven interceptions), but his low interception total (two) hurts him, especially when he had one returned for a touchdown that was called back because of a penalty. Safety is a tough position to evaluate because the player could do his job well and the ball would never come his way, which is why interception totals can be deceiving.
» Pro Bowl analysis: AFC | NFC » Complete roster


Nick Mangold, C, sixth Pro Bowl selection: Mangold ties former center Kevin Mawae for the second-most all-star selections in New York Jets history. (Winston Hill was named to eight AFL/NFL all-star teams in the 1960s and 1970s.) Mangold has been the most consistent member of the offensive line, one of the big reasons why the Jets rank third in rushing offense (145 yards per game). This has been a lousy year for the Jets, but Mangold has stood out amid the gloom. He suffered a high-ankle sprain last week and may not play Sunday in the final game, an injury that could jeopardize his Pro Bowl availability.

Who he beat out: Kansas City Chiefs center Rodney Hudson is having a terrific year, spearheading one of the league's better rushing attacks.


Sheldon Richardson, DT: Earlier Tuesday, Richardson said he'd be surprised if he didn't receive his first Pro Bowl selection. If overlooked, he vowed not to miss it again. Well, he was overlooked -- and that was a surprise. Richardson, the 2013 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, should have made the roster. He has a team-high seven sacks, double his rookie production, along with 48 quarterback hits. He also has drawn seven holding penalties, the most by a Jet since John Abraham in 2005. Richardson may have reached last week when he said he's on the same level as J.J. Watt, but he definitely should be one of the six defensive tackles on the Pro Bowl roster. Richardson is a second alternate.

Who he should've beaten out: St. Louis Rams rookie Aaron Donald. Yes, Donald has eight sacks, one more than Richardson, but he plays in an attack-style scheme that doesn't place a premium on run defense. Richardson is an all-around player.

Muhammad Wilkerson, DT: Interestingly, the Jets listed Wilkerson as a tackle on the ballot, not as an end, figuring it would help his chances of breaking through. He finished fourth in the fan voting at tackle, but he still fell short. Obviously, his turf-toe injury, which cost him three games late in the season, came at the worst possible time. It hurt his numbers, but five sacks in 12 games isn't bad for a player who often rushes against interior linemen. Wilkerson was named a third alternate. Other alternates are tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson (fifth) and running back Chris Ivory (eighth). General manager John Idzik gets beat up a lot, but at least give him credit for Ivory and Richardson.

Who he should've beaten out: Chiefs DT Dontari Poe. If Poe is such an awesome run stuffer, why are the Chiefs ranked 28th in run defense? The Jets are ranked fifth, and a lot of that is due to Wilkerson.
» Pro Bowl analysis: AFC | NFC » Complete roster


Cameron Wake, DE, fourth Pro Bowl selection: Wake led the Miami Dolphins with 11.5 sacks. This is the third time he's recorded double-digit sacks and most recently had a two-sack performance against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 16. At 32 years old, Wake is still going strong. He remains one of Miami's top players and has a knack for the big moment when his team needs a big play in crucial situations.

Who he beat out: There are some big names who didn't make the cut this year at defensive end. Jason-Pierre Paul of the New York Giants recorded 10.5 sacks -- one fewer than Wake -- and didn't make the Pro Bowl. Baltimore Ravens defensive end/outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, who had 11 sacks, also had a Pro Bowl case for either position.

Brent Grimes, CB, third Pro Bowl selection: Grimes was one of Miami's most consistent players this season. He led the Dolphins with five interceptions -- including a pick-six -- and kept the secondary together through multiple injuries at cornerback and safety. Miami's pass defense is ranked No. 4 in the NFL. Grimes' one-handed, highlight-reel interception against Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson in Week 10 also should be a play of the year candidate.

Who he beat out: There were not many snubs at cornerback this year. The eight that made it, including Grimes, were all deserving of the honor. But if I had to nitpick, Minnesota Vikings second-year cornerback Xavier Rhodes (47 tackles, one interception) played well this season but didn't have enough picks. He will only get better.
» Pro Bowl analysis: AFC | NFC » Complete roster


Mario Williams, DE, fourth Pro Bowl selection: His mammoth contract can be debated all day, but Williams' effect on the Bills this season was clear. He has 13.5 sacks, tied for fifth-most in the NFL. Williams had back-to-back multisack games in November, including a 3.5-sack outing against the Miami Dolphins, and remains one of the tougher players to block in the NFL.

Who he beat out: Williams gets the nod over fellow Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes, who has 9.5 sacks this season.

Kyle Williams, DT, fourth Pro Bowl selection: The defensive captain and team leader is among the toughest and most consistent players on the team. New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick called him "borderline unblockable" last season and nothing has changed this season. Williams has 5.5 sacks, three passes defensed and one interception.

Who he beat out: Chicago Bears defensive tackle Stephen Paea was the second-leading vote-getter among fans but was not selected.

Marcell Dareus, DT, second Pro Bowl selection: One of the up-and-coming young defenders in the league, Dareus has gotten better and better over the past two seasons. He has 10 sacks this season, cracking double-digit sacks for the first time in his career. Dareus' status for the Pro Bowl could be in doubt after a knee injury in Sunday's loss to the Oakland Raiders.

Who he beat out: Another rising young star, Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks (8.5 sacks), stood out this season but was not selected.

Devin McCourty knew what to expect

December, 23, 2014
Dec 23
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Safety Devin McCourty had a pretty good idea of what to expect on Tuesday morning at New England Patriots headquarters. No, there wasn't going to a party for earning the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.

Not even close.

"It's my fifth year. I knew not much was going to change when we came in here today. It's always business as usual, focused on the next game," McCourty said. "We've been in games where we've lost by a lot and the next week we had to focus on the next game. We've been in games where we've won by a lot and Bill [Belichick] has come in the same way. We're on to whatever team is next and this week it's Buffalo."

Say this about Bill Belichick; he's consistent -- with his players and the media.

That's why whenever the topic was brought up Tuesday about the No. 1 seed in the playoffs, the response was pretty much the same across the board -- the focus was on the Bills.

Asked his reaction when he learned about the top seed Monday night, which came as a result of the Broncos losing to the Bengals, special teams captain Matthew Slater said he had a "two-second smile and then moved on to the Buffalo Bills."

When tight end Rob Gronkowski was asked the same question, he said simply, "I'm just worried about the Bills."

That summed up the vibe around the team Tuesday.

"The playoffs will come. When it's here it'll be here in full effect," McCourty said. "I think the team understands what it is to be in the playoffs, but right now we want to finish our season right."
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Walking off the podium following his post-game news conference Sunday, Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone joked that reporters were "stuck with him, fortunately or unfortunately."

The remark was simply in response to a question about Marrone's potential interest in the University of Michigan job -- he doesn't have any intention of angling for that gig -- and not evidence that he has been assured of his status with the Bills for next season.

"No," Marrone said Tuesday when asked if he had been informed of his future. "And I say that, knowing that now is really not the time for that in our profession. I mean, maybe some other people will do that.

"I'm probably not the one the best person to talk to because I'm kind of wired a little differently. My focus is just on this game and winning. I don't want to focus on the other stuff. The things that you can't control, you don't worry about. Those are the things that I'm sure will happen when the season is over."
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Nick Mangold's ankle injury is the dreaded high-ankle sprain and Percy Harvin is dealing with a painful injury to his rib cartilage, according to the New York Jets. Coach Rex Ryan lauded the players for their toughness, refusing to rule them out for Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins.

But he's also realistic.

"If I was a betting man, I might look at a different option," Ryan said Tuesday.

Neither player practiced Tuesday. Mangold, who is wearing a walking boot, missed two games in 2011 due to a high-ankle sprain -- the only two games he hasn't played in his career.

Harvin's ribs hurt so much that it hurts to laugh, according to Ryan, but he has impressed the Jets with his pain tolerance. He has played the past two games on a third-degree ankle sprain.

"I think his teammates were blown away by it," Ryan said. "Anybody that has something like that, especially as a receiver, I don’t see how he did it. The young man, obviously he can bounce back from things, he heals quickly, but it tells you this guy is tough. There is no other way around it. You have to be tough to be able to go through something like that."

There was no official injury report Tuesday. The first injury report will be released Wednesday.