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Posted 23 Jul 2014
QuoteJason Babin visits with New York Jets
The New York Jets are toying with adding another pass rusher.
NFL Media's Kimberly Jones reported Wednesday morning that defensive end Jason Babin visited with the Jets on Monday, according to a source familiar with the team's thinking.
The Jacksonville Jaguars, twice this offseason, cut Babin. The 34-year-old was coming off a productive, 7.5-sack season in 2013 but didn't fit with the youth movement in Jacksonville.
Babin can still rush the passer as a situational player. Given Rex Ryan's affinity for getting after the quarterback from multiple levels, Babin could be an intriguing addition to the coach's defense if he latches on in Florham Park.
The latest "Around The League Podcast" shines a light on the most unpredictable teams entering the 2014 season.
Posted 19 Jun 2014From a SI MMQB column on Pettine today:
QuoteThe initial playbook itself is actually quite thin, and that’s by design. “I don’t put a lot of graduate-level information in it,” Pettine says. “We know in places like New England, it’s only a matter of time that they somehow mysteriously end up with our playbook.”
Pettine told a story of how, at Wes Welker’s wedding, Tom Brady bragged a little bit to Jets outside linebackers coach Mike Smith, who was Welker’s college roommate, that the Patriots may or may not have had possession of a couple Jets defensive playbooks.
“It didn’t shock me because Rex would give them out like candy anyway,” Pettine says. “He gave one out to [Alabama coach Nick] Saban and I was like, ‘Don’t you know Saban and Bill [Belichick] are pretty good friends? I have a feeling it’s going to end up in New England.’”
Posted 18 Jun 2014
QuoteIn Landmark Decision, U.S. Patent Office Cancels Trademark For Redskins Football Team
The United States Patent and Trademark Office has canceled six federal trademark registrations for the name of the Washington Redskins, ruling that the name is “disparaging to Native Americans” and thus cannot be trademarked under federal law that prohibits the protection of offensive or disparaging language.
The U.S. PTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board issued a ruling in the case, brought against the team by plaintiff Amanda Blackhorse, Wednesday morning.
“We decide, based on the evidence properly before us, that these registrations must be cancelled because they were disparaging to Native Americans at the respective times they were registered,” the board wrote in its opinion, “>which is here.
“The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board agreed with our clients that the team’s name and trademarks disparage Native Americans. The Board ruled that the Trademark Office should never have registered these trademarks in the first place,” Jesse Witten, the plaintiffs’ lead attorney, said in a press release. “We presented a wide variety of evidence – including dictionary definitions and other reference works, newspaper clippings, movie clips, scholarly articles, expert linguist testimony, and evidence of the historic opposition by Native American groups – to demonstrate that the word ‘redskin’ is an ethnic slur.”
“I am extremely happy that the [Board] ruled in our favor,” Blackhorse said in a statement. “It is a great victory for Native Americans and for all Americans. We filed our petition eight years ago and it has been a tough battle ever since. I hope this ruling brings us a step closer to that inevitable day when the name of the Washington football team will be changed. The team’s name is racist and derogatory. I’ve said it before and I will say it again – if people wouldn’t dare call a Native American a ‘redskin’ because they know it is offensive, how can an NFL football team have this name?”
The Trial and Appeals Board rescinded the team’s trademark protections in a 1999 ruling that was part of a case filed in 1992. A federal court later overturned the ruling on appeal due to a technicality that the plaintiffs say has been fixed in this most recent case.
The team will almost certainly appeal the case, and it will be able to keep its trademark protection during appeal. Losing the trademark would not force the team to change its name, but it would allow anyone who wanted to use “Redskins” on merchandise or through other means to do so, which could cost the team — and, because of the NFL’s revenue-sharing model, other NFL teams — “every imaginable loss you can think of,” as the team’s lawyers argued in the original case. For that reason, the trademark has long been thought of by opponents of the team’s name as the easiest avenue to changing it.
Posted 13 Jun 2014
Posted 12 Jun 2014
QuoteDee Milliner slowed by hamstring troubles
Jets cornerback Dee Milliner’s rookie year got off to a slow start because of offseason shoulder surgery and his health issues continued into the regular season as he missed three games because of hamstring troubles.
Milliner was able to bounce back from those issues and a couple of early-season trips to the bench to turn in some stronger play toward the end of the season, putting him in position to be the team’s lead corner this season. That won’t happen if Milliner can’t stay healthy, though, and his hamstring is giving him a hard time again. Milliner missed time last week and has been limited this week because of an injury that coach Rex Ryan believes is relatively minor.
“Hopefully he’ll be out there next week,” Ryan said, via the Newark Star-Ledger. “But he’s been progressing along pretty good. He did not have a pulled hamstring. It was just something that it was tight and we’re trying to prevent a hamstring pull for him.”
Milliner’s problems staying healthy last season make even a tight hamstring worth some concern, especially since his prospective cornerback partner Dimitri Patterson has an even longer history of missed time over the course of his career. The Jets are thin behind those two — Darrin Walls has filled in for Milliner — and their hopes for a successful season remain contingent on strong work on the defensive side of the ball.
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