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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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AFC: Vinny keeping his job for now
By wire services
Published October 27, 2005
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. - Vinny Testaverde has hit the turf more times than he cares to think about, and his right calf is aching.
Still, he believes he can help the Jets offense turn itself around. So does coach Herman Edwards.
True to his word, Edwards avoided prolonged controversy when he said Wednesday that Testaverde would start Nov. 6 against San Diego after the bye week, provided the veteran quarterback is healthy.
Testaverde, the former Buc and Hurricane, strained his right calf Monday against Atlanta but said Wednesday he hopes to start running by the end of the week. The bye gives him more time to rest before taking the field again behind a shaky offensive line.
"It's over. It's done. It's Vinny," Edwards said. "Vinny's going to go for San Diego if he's well."
That Edwards is sticking with Testaverde rather than switching to Brooks Bollinger shows he believes the offensive problems are not all the quarterback's fault. Though quarterbacks account for 13 of the team's 22 fumbles this season, most have come because of the offensive line.
Testaverde had three fumbles against Atlanta, and new center Pete Kendall took the blame for all. On the first, the two messed up the center exchange. On the next two, Kendall missed a block, allowing defenders a free shot at Testaverde.
Two days later, Kendall still blamed himself for the loss.
"They didn't have to put me in a room without a balcony or anything. I have a little bit of perspective," Kendall said. "It's tremendously disappointing. It's hard for me to be in the locker room knowing what I cost these guys Monday night. Everybody at some point or another is going to go through something similar to this."
BRUSCHI WAITS: Linebacker Tedy Bruschi handled the hits his teammates dished out in practice. Whether he'll get a chance for more contact in Sunday night's game remains uncertain.
The catalyst of the Patriots defense who had a mild stroke 81/2 months ago must await coach Bill Belichick's decision whether he'll play against the Bills.
"I'd like to get out there and see," Bruschi said before his second practice with contact. "But it's out of my control now. I'm back. I'm a player. I'm a member of the team. So I've trusted my coaches ever since I was in high school."
After a bye week, the Patriots are home Sunday night for their first division game of the season.
HENRY RETURNS: Titans running back Travis Henry was home watching TV when he saw Chris Brown go down with a shoulder stinger last weekend, helpless to aid his new teammates.
Henry couldn't because he was sitting out the fourth and final game of a suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.
"It was disappointing," Henry said in his first public comments since returning from suspension two days earlier. "For any one of your players to go down, but to not be out there to be a part of it to help, that's a tough feeling."
The Titans traded for Henry in July to provide a proven backup to the injury-prone Brown. The first time they really needed Henry, he could not help.
Henry said he's eager to get back on the field.
"I haven't really been able to get on a good start, but now just get back out there and do what I do, and I think that'll just speak for itself," Henry said.
BILLS: Starter Mike Williams missed practice and backup Greg Jerman is out, leaving Buffalo without its top right tackles as it prepares for New England. Williams, who's nursing a sore left ankle, is listed as questionable, and Jerman is out with a sprained right ankle.
BROWNS: Quarterback Trent Dilfer will start Sunday against winless Houston after getting the "benefit of the doubt" from coach Romeo Crennel. Dilfer, the former Buc, has had two straight poor performances.
DOLPHINS: Defensive end Jason Taylor (foot) and kicker Olindo Mare (knee) were among seven regulars listed as questionable for Sunday's game against New Orleans. Kicker Jeff Chandler was signed to the practice squad as a possible replacement for Mare.
RAVENS: Middle linebacker Ray Lewis (thigh) and safety Ed Reed (ankle), the past two NFL Defensive Players of the Year, have been ruled out for Monday night's game against the Steelers.