Sam Garnes, who played for both the Jets and Giants,...

Sam Garnes, who played for both the Jets and Giants, is an assistant secondary coach for the Broncos. Credit: AP

Sam Garnes didn't know how or with whom, but he knew he had to be here.

"This is big time for me," the former defensive back for the Giants and Jets who is from the Bronx said this week. "Once we found out the Super Bowl was going to be in New York, that's something I selfishly felt like I had to be a part of, because this is where I'm from. That's something you never thought would happen, because of the weather and all that stuff. The league was able to get it done. I'm excited, I'm excited to be here. I just knew it was something I wanted to be a part of, selfishly."

Garnes got here as a member of the Broncos' coaching staff. He's an assistant secondary coach for the team that will be playing in Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday.

This isn't Garnes' first Super Bowl. He was the starting safety for the Giants' loss to the Ravens in Super Bowl XXXV. He shared that pain with the current Broncos players.

"That was very tough," he said. "I told them that I'm not interested in being happy for two weeks between the AFC championship and the Super Bowl. I want to be happy for several months after that, at least."

Garnes' parents still live in Teaneck, NJ, a short drive from the stadium, in a house he bought soon after joining the Giants in 1997.

Another member of that Super Bowl XXXV team is current Broncos head coach John Fox. He was the defensive coordinator for the Giants at the time.

"I have some fond memories," Fox said of his time with the Giants. "It's a great organization, tremendous families running the organization. Their head coach (Tom Coughlin) is probably one of the guys I look up to the most in this league. So I've got great memories about the organization. My sons went to school in Wayne, New Jersey and I watched them grow up, so I've got nothing but great memories here."

Both Fox and Garnes are looking to add one more.

"It is very passionate," Fox said of the New York/New Jersey area he once called home. "Much like being in this area, people are passionate just about being here. It would mean a lot. I have a lot of close friends here, neighbors from my Wayne days. It would mean a tremendous amount to win it here."

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