TAMPA, Fla. - The first time the Jets released Ben Graham, he recalled sitting for a nice conversation with then-coach Eric Mangini and general manager Mike Tannenbaum.
That was after he punted horribly in the Week 2 loss to the Patriots.
But Graham's replacement, Reggie Hodges, hurt himself in his first practice and Graham was re-signed in time for the Week 3 game at San Diego. He kicked again in Week 4, coincidentally, when the Jets buried the Cardinals.
Hodges, however, soon regained his health and Graham was released again.
"I was walking toward the locker room to get changed for the team photo and I got a tap on the shoulder," Graham said. I went upstairs, was told I was being released [by assistant GM Scott Cohen], so I actually left the building walking past my teammates getting their photo taken as a team. So I never had a chance to say goodbye to them a second time." He harbors no ill-will toward the Jets and probably realized how strange it would sound if he did. He's with a team that is playing in the Super Bowl and he will be the first Australian to play in the NFL's biggest game.
Recession hits media
The recession is cutting into media attendance at the Super Bowl. According to Editor & Publisher, more media outlets are covering the event than ever before (633 this year compared to 576 last year), but the number of specific credentials has decreased from 4,786 at last year's game in Phoenix to 4,589 for Super Bowl XLIII.
Systems go for Ward
Steelers receiver Hines Ward, who suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in the AFC Championship Game, insists he'll be on the field Sunday. He's expected to resume practice tomorrow. "It feels better," Ward said.