Hello fans. We just wanted to let you know that will not be updated until Monday January 15 where we will have all the NFL U highlights from this weekend's playoff games. Sorry for the inconvenience and enjoy the holiday weekend!


Kellen Winslow Update

NOT SO FAST: Tight end Kellen Winslow, who played with persistent pain in his right knee, indicated during the season that he might have a minor surgical procedure performed to clean out scar tissue. Savage said that Winslow’s knee is responding well to the rest he’s had since the end of the season and might decide against surgery.


All's been quiet on Hester front

LAKE FOREST -- Devin Hester came away with all the major honors at season's end based on an NFL record six touchdown returns.

But what's he done for them lately?

With the Bears heading into the playoffs to face Seattle on Sunday, Hester is mired in a slump in several ways. Hester has averaged only 17.7 yards per 10 kickoff return since the shocking two-touchdown game against the St. Louis Rams which vaulted him into national prominence.

Rough Week For Willis McGahee

(WGR 550)- A double dose of bad publicity for Bills runningback Willis McGahee in The Miami Herald and Penthouse magazine, as a paternity suit and a candid interview regarding Bills fans and the team's future in Buffalo became public.

First, the Penthouse interview. When asked about the possibility of an NFL team in Toronto, McGahee said, "That would be a good situation. Toronto is a beautiful place. But if they're going to put a team there, they should just bring the Buffalo Bills to Toronto. Case closed."

McGahee also said he owes the Bills organization for taking a chance on him.

"I got a lotta love for Buffalo," he said. "I thank God for the whole situation. I'm trying to make them proud. I'm trying to do some things here."

Giants: Eyeing Eagles? Shockey says no

Another potential controversy for the Giants popped up yesterday afternoon when Eagles cornerback Sheldon Brown spoke about an on-field chat he had with tight end Jeremy Shockey in the second quarter of Sunday's playoff game in Philadelphia.

"He told me he wants to play here," Brown told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

But Shockey immediately squashed any possible rumblings that he doesn't want to be a Giant anymore.

"You're kidding me, right?" Shockey said through a team spokesman when informed of Brown's comments. "There are two teams that I love beating: Dallas, because I'm from that part of the country, and Philly, because they have won the NFC East for five of the last six years. We're 90 minutes away, and we can't stand each other.

Back in the groove (James Jones)

After scoring 10 or more points just once in the first 31 games of the season, James Jones continued his resurgence with his third straight game in double figures, scoring eight of his 10 points in the first half to help keep the Suns within striking distance.

“James is giving us that little bit of extra,” D’Antoni said. “With the (bench) on the floor, we’re starting to increase leads and recover leads, which is huge for us.”

Jones hit four of five shots and is now 17-for-28 over the last four games after shooting under 30 percent all season. He also played nice defense on Allen during his 14 minutes.

“You play 82 games and there are going to be nights when the starters aren’t sharp,” Jones said. “We have to be there on those nights and I think myself, LB and Kurt gave that boost.”

When Barbosa (26 points) and James Jones (25 points) combined for 51 points off the bench in Sunday’s win over Golden State, it marked the first time in 13 years that two reserves from the same team scored at least 25 points in a regulation game. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Los Angeles Laker teammates Reggie Jordan (28) and James Worthy (26) were the last duo to turn the trick on Feb. 6, 1994 against Utah.


Devin Hester Update

Rookie returner Devin Hester typically fields an extra 50-100 punts and kicks after practice. This week is playoff week; make that 100 on Monday, young man. Coordinator Dave Toub is not overly concerned with Hester getting any kind of jitters as the rookie goes into his first NFL playoff game. "That's part of it and that goes along with being a rookie," Toub said.


NFL Wild Card Weekend Video Highlights

Check out Wild Card Weekend Video Highlights featuring Reggie Wayne's TD, Kelly Jennings' forced fumble, Jeremy Shockey's helmetless run after catch and more! Click at the top on NFL U Video Highlights or click here!

NFL U All Pros

Ed Reed and Devin Hester were named to the first team AP All Pro Team. Frank Gore was named to the second team AP All Pro Team.

For Reed, virtue of patience has been his biggest reward

The verse, from the Book of Philippians, is written on a scrap of paper and taped to the dressing stall of Ed Reed's locker. It has been a gentle reminder for the Ravens free safety every day that he has gone to work at the team's practice facility in Owings Mills the past five seasons.

To Reed, who recently was named a starter for his third Pro Bowl and yesterday selected All-Pro for the second time, it teaches about the value of patience, a necessary quality to possess in the position he plays for the Ravens. It also is certainly not anything new in the way Reed goes about his life.

Patience was necessary when Reed was a slightly oversized 13-year-old living outside New Orleans and unable to play on a local youth football team because he was a few pounds over the weight limit. He simply waited until the rest of the kids caught up the next year.

JETS Q & A: Vilma bags sack for steal

How could Jonathan Vilma miss that sack on Tom Brady?

The linebacker, who has had a statistically solid season despite a dearth of impact plays, had a clear shot at Brady on a blind-side blitz. But instead of hitting the quarterback, Vilma lunged for the football and sailed right past, allowing a 12-yard rush on a critical third-and-6 play. "I was attempting a strip-sack," Vilma said of trying to cause a fumble. "He made a nice play by moving up instead of trying to spin back out like most quarterbacks do."


Vince Wilfork needs to catch his breath, then catch LaDainian Tomlinson

FOXBORO, Mass. (AP) - If Vince Wilfork is going to be the star of the New England Patriots' next playoff game, it will be by stopping the run, not making it.

The Patriots nose tackle lumbered 31 yards on a fumble return that helped New England put the New York Jets away in the first round of the playoffs. In Round 2, though, Wilfork will be back to work clogging up the middle of the field as the Patriots try to stop the San Diego Chargers and NFL MVP LaDainian Tomlinson.

"He's the MVP. I don't know how you could be any more complete than that," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Monday. "He's looked pretty good to me, unfortunately, every time we've seen him. We're usually looking at the back of his jersey. We haven't done very well against him. He's killed a lot of people besides us, and he's killed us."


Former Jets starter Vinny Testaverde was given the honor of taking the final snap for the Patriots. Though designated the emergency quarterback, the 43-year-old veteran of 20 seasons came on for the game's final play, taking a knee at the Jets' 46-yard line.


For Patriots' Wilfork, TD `a long way away'

When former University of Miami defensive lineman Vince Wilfork picked up that loose ball at the 46-yard line he looked up toward the horizon.

'I saw the end zone and said, `Man that's a long way away,' '' the 325-pounder said Sunday.

Wilfork managed to rumble for 31 yards before being caught from behind by New York receiver Jerricho Cotchery.

''Man, I thought I was really moving,'' said Wilfork, who initially hesitated before taking off down the field. ``If I had started running right away I might have got there. I'm going to get a lot of heat from [teammates] for getting caught from behind. But it was one of their fast little guys that caught me.''
Wilfork vows he will use this as a learning experience.

''I'll study the tape and look to see what I did wrong,'' Wilfork said. ``I'll study myself and try to improve my running style.''


For Shockey, a Fast Start Winds Down With a Fizzle

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 7 — There was doubt last week whether Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey would play, but he started in Sunday’s 23-20 first-round playoff loss against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Early in the game, it was not clear how effective Shockey would be. He caught an 8-yard pass in the first quarter but he frequently limped after plays because of a left ankle injury he sustained two weeks ago.

In the second quarter, he looked more like the Shockey of old.

Vince’s sprint looms big: Pats nose tackle stays on his toes on return

FOXBORO - The ball was just sitting there, like the last baked potato at a crowded dinner table, and Vince Wilfork [stats] did what any 325-pound man would have done. He wrapped his hands around the prize.

And he ran like hell.

So it was yesterday at Gillette Stadium, where the net result was this: The nose tackle for the Patriots [team stats] finished with roughly half as many yards on the ground as all of the New York Jets [team stats]. The totals were 31 for Wilfork, 70 for New York, and that was a very big reason the final score in the season’s last game at The Razor told a very happy tale:

James Jones scores 25 points as Phoenix Suns burn Warriors 128-105

PHOENIX (AP) - James Jones' shot returned with the leather ball, and that means yet another offensive threat for the Phoenix Suns.

Jones scored 25 points, two shy of his career high, and the Suns cruised to their sixth win in a row, 128-105 over the Golden State Warriors on Sunday night. Fellow reserve Leandro Barbosa scored 26 and Shawn Marion had 24 points and 17 rebounds in the Suns' 22nd victory in their last 24 games. Victoria's Steve Nash had 14 points and 10 assists, then didn't play in the fourth quarter.

"I really think this is the best team I've ever been on," Nash said. "We still have to prove that, but it could be."

NFL U Playoffs Update

Reggie Wayne with a TD catch helped the Colts advance to the second round of the playoffs while Kelly Jennings with his first playoff start forced a key fumble that resulted in a safety and helped the Seahawks advance to the second round of the playoffs.

Hite makes most of moments

PHOENIX -- Two All-Stars are hurt, the Hall of Fame coach has taken leave, one player has dealt with a Salmonella infection and two veterans are back in South Florida trying to make weight.

All this while the Heat's defense of its championship grows more difficult by the day.So this is what the NBA is like?

"It's been crazy," Heat rookie guard Robert Hite said before the Heat played at the Suns. "Up-and-down, people getting hurt, sick. The [Riley] situation that just happened.

"It's been wild. I've never been through anything like this. But we have just got to stay together as a team, maintain until everybody gets back and make a run."

Vinny violates his won Patriot 'Act'

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Apparently, Bill Belichick doesn't hold grudges against everyone with a New York Jets association, past or present.

Take Vinny Testaverde, for instance. Belichick did just that when no one else wanted the 43-year-old avowed Jets fan who proudly wore the green-and-white for six seasons.

"One day, when I do retire, it'll be as a Jet. That's not a secret," Testaverde said this week. "But I enjoy playing the game and Bill and the Patriots have given me an opportunity to come here. My loyalty is to them this week and for the rest of the season."

Hawks' secondary quiets Cowboys, T.O.

Pete Hunter was a loan officer a week ago and lived fewer than 2 miles from the Dallas training facility, but he knocked down the Cowboys' final pass in the end zone on Saturday night.

Jordan Babineaux played strong safety two weeks ago, but he started at cornerback and made the game-saving tackle of Tony Romo on an aborted field goal.

Kelly Jennings is so skinny he gets called "Slim" by his teammates, but the rookie cornerback came up big when he forced a fourth-quarter fumble that changed the momentum of Saturday's 21-20 Seahawks win.

Giants' Shockey expects to play

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The Giants might have tight end Jeremy Shockey back for the Philadelphia game.

Shockey, trying to shake off a sprained right ankle, did some running on the side and appeared to move well. He is expected back at practice today, and the four-time Pro Bowler said he's going to push himself with the idea of playing on Sunday.

"I felt bad that I couldn't do enough last week to play in that game," Shockey said yesterday. "It was lose and you're out, and I wanted to play. I just felt I couldn't compete as hard as I had to, as hard as I needed to.

Guillermo Diaz Update

The Clippers had an opportunity to sign their 2006 second round draft pick Guillermo Diaz after he decided not to return to his team from the Czech Republic, Nymburk, following his Christmas vacation, but apparently declined.


Testaverde always a Jet at heart

FOXBORO - To listen to Vinny Testaverde talk about his football career is to be reminded of a line from “West Side Story.”

“When you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet all the way . . .”

While Testaverde will be the Patriots [team stats]’ No. 3 quarterback in Sunday’s playoff showdown against the Jets at Gillette Stadium, the 20-year NFL veteran made it known yesterday that the Jets will always be near and dear to his heart.

“One day when I do retire, it will be as a Jet,” said Testaverde, who grew up on Long Island and played parts of seven seasons with the Jets. “That’s no secret.”

PATRIOTS NOTEBOOK: Wilfork anxious to play, but quiet on subject

FOXBORO — Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, who missed the final three games of the regular season because of an injured right ankle, spoke yesterday for the first time since getting hurt on Dec. 10 against the Miami Dolphins.

"You guys will be surprised just like I'll be surprised," Wilfork said in coy fashion in response to a question about his playing status for tomorrow.

"I can't tell you. It ain't me. It's all on the head man. You have to talk to him about it for a player, now. I have no idea. I can only do what I can do. I'm doing the little things but not as much as I need to do to be playing."

Shockey hungry to play

EAST RUTHERFORD -- Tom Coughlin and Jeremy Shockey haven't always seen eye-to-eye. And the Giants' coach and the tight end had another difference of opinion Wednesday, but this one wasn't of the antagonistic nature.

"Shockey will be on the side and hopefully will be able to work [today], we'll see," Coughlin said when asked whether the tight end, who missed the regular-season finale in Washington with an ankle sprain, would be on the practice field.

The tight end, however, showed up in pads in the practice bubble outside Giants Stadium, ready to get back to work. His bad left ankle, injured in a late-game run-in with Saints safety Jay Bellamy, was wrapped with just one thin piece of tape.