ESPN, which may as well move its headquarters to Cortland, offered "breaking news" Monday morning on SportsCenter.
For the first time in training camp, the network reported, the New York Jets practiced the wildcat formation. It is a personnel deployment that figures to benefit Tim Tebow, the most-publicized backup quarterback in NFL history.
The New York Giants, who face the team with whom they share a stadium Saturday night in their second preseason game, haven't been caught up in Tebowmania or the hype surrounding the Jets.
"You've definitely got to prepare for him because he's a dynamic player," defensive end Justin Tuck said before practice Monday at the University at Albany, "but there aren't too many things you can do out of the wildcat. It's pretty simple when you think about it, but it is something extra that you've got to prepare for."
The wildcat involves a direct snap to a player lined up as a running back, although using Tebow gives the Jets a better throwing option than most running backs. Jets offensive coordinator (and former UAlbany assistant) Tony Sparano used the formation with running back Ronnie Brown when he was the Miami Dolphins' head coach.
If the Jets decide to test-drive the wildcat Saturday night, it isn't something the Giants will spend time preparing for. This is, after all, the exhibition season.
"We definitely have to work on what we need to work on as a defense," defensive end Osi Umenyiora said. "If that's what's presented to us, as far as the wildcat, I'm sure we're going to see that at some other point during this year, so it's good to work on it now."
Whether a preseason matchup against the Jets can be termed a rivalry game is up for debate, even among the Giants.
"The Jets are a good football team," Umenyiora said, "but us playing them, unless it's like a Super Bowl game, it's really not that big of a deal. The NFC East is certainly our biggest rivals."
That doesn't mean that there won't be some emotion involved.
"Whenever you get a chance to go up against our instate rival -- close, share a stadium, all the history that goes into it -- it's always a fun game," linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka said, "but it's also a preseason game. It's a chance for us to work and hone our craft and make sure that we're setting ourselves up for a good start to the season."
"I used to wear that other jersey," punter Steve Weatherford, a Jet in 2009 and 2010, said with a smile. "They share the city with us, and when you have bragging rights in your own city, especially in New York City, that's a pretty big deal. Although getting a win in our division is worth one and a half (games), beating the Jets is pretty sweet."
If "SportsCenter" wants to remain camped out with the Jets in Cortland, that seems to be fine with the team practicing at UAlbany.
"I'm worried about us," coach Tom Coughlin said. "I'm worried about our team. I don't know what's going on, really. I'm trying to keep track of a couple people in our division, but otherwise, we're trying to think about our team."
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