Pats-Jets pregame: Byrd inspires Jets

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Pats-Jets pregame: Byrd inspires Jets

Associated Press

FOXBORO -- Dennis Byrd gave the New York Jets a big lift before their playoff game against the New England Patriots.

Byrd, one of the most inspirational players in franchise history, addressed the team Saturday night at the Jets' hotel and delivered what wide receiver Braylon Edwards called on Twitter, "the most inspirational message of my life."

Byrd's career ended in 1992, when he suffered a broken neck while colliding with teammate Scott Mersereau in a game against Kansas City, leaving him temporarily paralyzed. Three months after breaking the C-5 vertebra in his neck, he walked on crutches to a news conference at his hospital in Manhattan.

The next season, he walked out to midfield on his own for the coin toss, as the crowd at the Meadowlands gave him a standing ovation. The team's most inspirational player award is named in Byrd's honor, with running back LaDainian Tomlinson winning it this season.

Coach Rex Ryan, who called Sunday's game against the Patriots "the second-biggest in franchise history," normally addresses the team the night before games. They are usually emotional, inspiring speeches, but this time, the coach stepped aside to have Byrd speak.

"As God is my witness, I have never been more ready to perform in my life," Edwards tweeted. "Dennis Byrd, I respect, salute and honor you."

No Jets player has worn Byrd's No. 90 since his career ended. Byrd, 44, lives in Oklahoma, and was expected to attend the playoff game between New York (12-5) and New England (14-2).

Byrd wrote a book about his story called, "Rise and Walk," which was later turned into a television movie.

Michael Strahan says 'you’ve never lived unless you’ve hit Tom Brady'

Michael Strahan says 'you’ve never lived unless you’ve hit Tom Brady'

Michael Strahan cherished sacking Tom Brady. He embraced mere contact with the New England Patriots quarterback.

Strahan, who sacked Brady three times during his NFL career with the New York Giants, discussed how he felt when he got the opportuntiy to bring down Brady.

“You’ve never lived unless you’ve hit Tom Brady. Not just Brady but any quarterback," Strahan told WWD in a story published Wednesday. “Like, you hit a guy, hit a grown man, and you hear the life and the breath leave his body. There’s something very empowering about that. Then, you hit Brady, you sack him and you land on Brady. And you get up and you’re, like, ‘Boy, I see what Gisele is feeling. You know, I just laid down with Tom Brady. That was cool.'”

It sounds like Strahan may enjoy sacking Brady a little too much. But his abiltiy to get to Brady in the Super Bowl did help swing the result in the Giants' favor, so perhaps that's a part of why he has such fond memories of being atop Brady.

Curran: ‘Is Revis concerned about his cornerback legacy?’

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Curran: ‘Is Revis concerned about his cornerback legacy?’

The Patriots are the likeliest destination for Darrelle Revis, according to reports. Tom E. Curran discusses whether or not Revis would want to return to the Patriots and what this means for Malcolm Butler.