Vinny Testaverde

Vinny Testaverde working as quarterback tutor for ECU prospect

When Chris Weinke left IMG to take a job as the Rams quarterback coach, he was replaced by another old guy who once played for the Panthers.

According to Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review, East Carolina quarterback Shane Carden is under the tutelage of former Bucs, Browns, Ravens, Jets, Cowboys, Patriots and Panthers quarterback Vinny Testaverde.

Testaverde thinks he’s smoothed out the delivery of Carden, a mid- to late-round prospect.

The longtime NFL quarterback said Carden had an “awkward-looking delivery, if you will.”

But the use of a quarterback tutor isn’t the only thing that has changed about the pre-draft process when Testaverde was chosen first overall in 1987.

“When I ran my 40, two days before I had our strength coach show me how to do a 40 start,” Testaverde said. “So I worked on it for a day. Went to the combine, ran the 40, so we didn’t have all that specific training.”

Testaverde said he ran his 40 in 4.72 seconds, which is a lot faster than most of us might have thought.

But the thing he should teach Carden is longevity, after 21 seasons in the NFL.

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Vinny Testaverde reflects on Bucs career

TAMPA — It has been 28 years since the Buccaneers last owned the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, when they targeted a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback from a state powerhouse who was coming off a disappointing loss that ended chances for a national championship.

Except then, there was no debate about who was the best player the worst team in the NFL should select. Not a single argument.

Vinny Testaverde doesn't remember even talking to another team before the draft. All the scrutiny he faced — the cruel billboards and newspaper cartoons — came after he signed a six-year, $8.2 million contract with the Bucs.

"I don't remember meeting with anyone," Testaverde said. "I talked to Ray Perkins in the Japan Bowl at practice, but nobody really interviewed with me."

In his second pro season under the heavy thumb of Perkins, the Bucs' coach, GM and offensive coordinator, Testaverde threw 35 interceptions, still the second most in NFL history.

If that didn't destroy him, what he endured off the field should have. Everybody took shots, and negative opinions flew like Testaverde's wayward passes, rarely hitting the target. He was not bright enough to be an NFL quarterback, they said. He was color-blind, he admitted, and that was served up as an explanation as to why he threw to the wrong guys.

But the truth is that Testaverde was asked to carry on his back a young team that didn't have the same talent advantage over the competition as the one he left at the University of Miami.

"From my junior year through my senior year, I received all those accolades and was the first pick in the draft. It's a lot for a young man to take on," said Testaverde, now 51, a father of two daughters and a son with his wife of 24 years, Mitzi, and living on a lake in north Tampa. "Sometimes you're so caught up in your own little football world with teammates and all the coaches, you don't realize all the pressure that's involved until afterward. But coming to a team like Tampa Bay, coming to a team that did not win many games before I ever got there, that was stressful in itself.

"(I was) just feeling like, okay, I have to be the difference-maker. Because in college, you can say I was one of the better players, but I had the talent around me. I had Michael Irvin, Brett Perriman, Bennie Blades, Alonzo Highsmith and Jerome Brown. That's what got lost about me. When I came to the Bucs, the talent we had was young talent — Mark Carrier, Bruce Hill, Ron Hall — a lot of rookies learning together and making a lot of mistakes. … At the quarterback position, everything gets enhanced. Everybody looks at it differently, but it is a lot to handle for a young man."

Testaverde was drafted to be the Bucs' savior. Instead, he became one of the NFL's most celebrated survivors.

Vinny, vidi, vici. He came and conquered the quarterback position for seven teams over an astounding 21 seasons.

When Testaverde came off his couch in Long Island to lead the Panthers to a 25-10 win over the Cardinals on Oct. 14, 2007, he became the oldest quarterback to start and win a game at age 43.

In between were memorable seasons (two ended in the Pro Bowl) with the Browns, Ravens and (V-V-V-Vinny and the) Jets. The closest he got to a Super Bowl was when John Elway and the Broncos beat his Jets in the AFC title game in January 1999.

It turns out that his six hellish seasons with the Bucs fueled his tank for a longer journey. Testaverde had the misfortune of being drafted by the bumbling Bucs of owner Hugh Culverhouse. Long before he arrived, the franchise had lost its first 26 games, failed to re-sign quarterback Doug Williams and lost the 1986 No. 1 overall pick, Auburn running back Bo Jackson, to baseball.

The losing got to Testaverde, who in the Miami cradle of QBs had followed Jim Kelly and Bernie Kosar.

"You work just as hard as every other player and every other team, and when you don't win games, it's not fun," Testaverde said. "At first, I didn't know how to handle it. I didn't know how to respond to questions about it. I was quite uncomfortable answering questions, or responding to people, even in public. I just kind of figured, take a breath and keep plugging away and the way to fix it was to keep working harder and get everybody believing we can do this."

But not everybody believed, and Testaverde didn't lose just ball games. His first marriage ended after 10 months. The divorce was amicable, but he blamed it on his failure to manage anger by yelling and beating on walls. His color-blindness was lampooned by a bright blue WFLZ billboard that read: VINNY THINKS THIS IS ORANGE. Even this newspaper ran a cartoon at Halloween with a man sailing candy way over the open bags of trick or treaters with the caption: Thanks, Mr. Testaverde.

Ah, but Vinny got the last laugh. His golden arm never betrayed him as he passed for 46,233 yards in his career, ninth all time.

Today Testaverde is a restaurant owner and investor, having recently sold an Outback Steakhouse in California while watching PDQ chicken restaurants in which he is a partner open in north Florida. He also tutors high school and college quarterbacks, including his son, Vincent Jr., who recently enrolled at Miami.

Testaverde loves Tampa and still follows the Bucs. On this day, he was asked the proverbial question: Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota?

"Coming out of college, you're the first overall pick and a Heisman Trophy winner," he said. "There's great expectations. The previous year (the Bucs) didn't have a great year, so they're expecting great things. Hopefully, (Winston's and Mariota's) career will start out better than mine, and hopefully it will last even longer than mine did."

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Vinny Testaverde's son transferring from Texas Tech to Miami

CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Vinny Testaverde won a Heisman Trophy at Miami. Now his son wants to be a quarterback for the Hurricanes.

Vincent Testaverde has applied to transfer from Texas Tech to Miami and is expected to be declared immediately eligible, despite appearing in one game this season for the Red Raiders. As a nonrecruited walk-on at Texas Tech, the typical rule decreeing he sits out one season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules wouldn't apply.

He left Texas Tech to be closer to his family's home in the Tampa, Florida, area -- and Miami jumped at the chance to welcome another Testaverde. Miami wanted to add another quarterback behind starter Brad Kaaya. Backups Jake Heaps and Ryan Williams have exhausted their eligibility, and reserve Malik Rosier will also be playing baseball this spring.

"I'm certainly very excited for obvious reasons," Vinny Testaverde told The Associated Press.

The school hasn't announced the move, presumably because Vincent Testaverde hasn't completed his enrollment. That process could be finished as early as Thursday.

Vincent Testaverde completed 15 of 26 passes against Texas in his lone Texas Tech appearance, before leaving earlier this month.

His father won the Heisman in 1986, his senior year at Miami.

"I think Miami is heading in the right direction," Vinny Testaverde said.

The Hurricanes were 6-7 this season and have a rising star at quarterback in Kaaya, plus they haven't won a bowl game since 2006. But Vinny Testaverde raved about the job Miami coach Al Golden has done, especially with an NCAA probe having clouded the program for most of his first three years in Coral Gables."Everybody wants to be Oregon and Florida State and Alabama and Ohio State and so on," Vinny Testaverde said. "They all want to be there, contending for a national championship. But there's a process that has to take place. I know some don't allow that process to happen. But from what I can see, everything the program has gone through takes a toll.

"Now that's cleared, and I'm anxious to see what Coach Golden is going to do."

Testaverde said when he was a high school coach, he knew of recruits who dismissed Miami from consideration quickly because of the fear of NCAA sanctions. The NCAA case was resolved in the fall of 2013.

"I hope people see if I'm allowing my son to go (there) under the tutelage of Al and his staff, it speaks to what I believe in as far as what Al is doing there," Vinny Testaverde said. "You're not going to allow your kid to go into a bad situation. I want my son to go there. He wants to go there."

Vinny Testaverde still ranks fifth on Miami's career passing list with 6,058 yards, and is tied for fourth with 48 touchdown throws. He went on to play 21 NFL seasons, his total of 46,233 yards passing still ranks ninth-best in league history.

And now his son is going to follow along the same path. The younger Testaverde plans to wear No. 14 at Miami, his father's retired jersey.

"I hope we can make that happen," Vinny Testaverde said.

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Report says Testaverde transfers out of Texas Tech

It has been a while (well, at least a few weeks) since the Texas Tech quarterback depth took a hit, so this may have been just a little overdue.

Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury may be one of the best quarterbacks in Texas Tech program history, but he sure seems to have a rough time keeping quarterbacks in the stable in Lubbock. Freshman quarterback Vincent Testaverde, son of former Heisman Trophy winner Vinny Testaverde, will reportedly transfer out of the Red Raiders program.

A report from Wreck Em 247 says the younger Testaverde transferred with the intention of moving closer to home in Tampa, Florida. No school has been reported as the next college football home for Testaverde, who played in one game this season.

Testaverde will have to sit out the 2015 season if he transfers to another FBS program due to NCAA transfer rules. He would be eligible to play in 2015 if he transfers to a lower division school, however.

UPDATE: Because Testaverde was never on scholarship, he is technically eligible to play at any FBS program in 2015. However, as Texas Tech has demonstrated in the past, the Red Raiders have the ability and power to block Testaverde from playing for any number of other schools, including those within the Big 12. Because he is a walk-on player, Testaverde needs to ask for permission to hear from other schools. Without that permission, Testaverde may not be contacted by potential landing spots.

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Vinny Testaverde's son expected to make first Texas Tech start

Another Testaverde is back on a big football stage, but this time, 21-year NFL veteran Vinny Testaverde can just watch from the stands. His son, Vincent Testaverde, just seven years after his father's pro football career ended, could be starting for Texas Tech when the Red Raiders take on Oklahoma on Nov. 15.

The Red Raiders walk-on from Tampa was pressed into action due to injuries against Texas Saturday, and completed 15 of 26 passes for 116 yards against the Longhorns.

"I was proud of the way he handled himself," Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said, according to the Dallas Morning News. "That's not easy to come into that situation."

He's not nearly as big (6-foot-1, 187 pounds) as his father was, and played just two years of high school football.

Kingsbury said his brief relationship with Vinny Testaverde as teammates with the New York Jets in 2005 helped lead to the Red Raiders' recruitment of the younger Testaverde out of Tampa Jesuit High School. Kingsbury credited former Texas Tech assistant Dave Raih, now of the Green Bay Packers, with the discovery.

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Vinny Testaverde’s son now seeing action at QB for Texas Tech

Texas Tech was notoriously thin at quarterback entering this season following the transfers of Michael Brewer (to Virginia Tech) and Baker Mayfield (to Oklahoma), but the Red Raiders became Kate Moss-thin after Davis Webb was lost to an ankle injury during last week’s 82-27 blowout at TCU.

The Red Raiders gave true freshman Patrick Mahomes the first start of his career tonight versus Texas, but he left the game in the second quarter after taking a nasty (but clean) shot from Longhorns cornerback Quandre Diggs. With all their scholarship quarterbacks gone, Kliff Kingsbury turned to a freshman walk-on with a famous name: Vincent Testaverde.

The true freshman from Tampa, Fla., entered with the Red Raiders trailing 10-6 (Mahomes had fumbled after getting hit by Diggs, and the ‘Horns turned it into a 25-yard touchdown drive), and cooly hit 3-of-4 passes for 49 yards – the first four passes of his career. DeAndre Washington, Quinton White and Kenny Williams combined to rush five times for 26 yards, as Texas Tech turned Testaverde’s debut drive into a nine-play, 75-yard scoring march to grab a 13-10 lead.

It’ll be Testaverde’s show for the rest of the night, as Mahomes will not return to action. He hit 13-of-21 passes for 109 yards before his exit.

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Vinny Testaverde not ready to label Geno Smith a lost cause

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A look at what's happening around and inside the New York Jets:

1. Testaverde knows: Vinny Testaverde can relate to Geno Smith. Testaverde was an interception machine early in his career and was booed out of Tampa Bay, but he found his way to the Jets and thrived, one of the few quarterbacks in the post-Namath era who actually finished with a better reputation than when he arrived. Testaverde always kept a sign in his locker that said: "Mentally tough, physically strong."

Smith hasn't provided many reasons lately to make us believe he has the mental toughness to survive in New York, but he's not a lost cause, according to Testaverde, who told "He's having some growing pains, but it's not all on him. I see, not just as a fan of the Jets, but as a former player who has some knowledge about the game and the position, I see a lot of growth, a lot of improvement in Geno Smith this year. I'm encouraged by him.

"I know everybody is looking at the interceptions. Nobody knows any better than I do about going through the lows, but I see things from him that make me believe he's going to be a really good quarterback. Hopefully, it will be for the Jets."

I asked Testaverde about Smith's missed meeting and the cursing incident. He said he once missed a meeting before a preseason game in Tokyo because he was wiped out by the jet lag and the time change. Did he ever curse a heckling fan? "Never out loud," he said, laughing. "Inside, yeah." He added: "I hate to say this -- and I hope you don't write it as a negative toward Geno -- it just shows a sign of weakness, not being mentally tough. It doesn't matter what town you play in, you have to be mentally tough."

That incident notwithstanding, Testaverde doesn't think Smith is ready for the dumpster. He's in the minority.

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Vinny Testaverde to be enshrined in college hall

ATLANTA (AP) — It's been nearly 20 years, and Tommie Frazier is still trading jabs with Danny Wuerffel.

The former quarterbacks at Nebraska and Florida have plenty of goodwill for each other, too, as they're enshrined Tuesday night in the College Football Hall of Fame.

Frazier and Wuerffel joined 10 former players and two coaches who make up last year's hall of fame class.

Frazier led Nebraska to consecutive unbeaten national title seasons in 1994-95. He finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting as a senior.

Wuerffel won the 1996 Heisman and led the Gators to a national championship that season. The year before, Frazier led Nebraska to a lopsided victory over Florida in the title game matchup at the Fiesta Bowl.

"You play against some of these guys, or you have established friendships, and when it comes to university against university," Frazier said, "you have so much pride for your school."

Wuerffel said the "rivalry" with Frazier goes back to their prep days in the Sunshine State. He played at Fort Walton (Fla.) High. Frazier went to Manatee High in Bradenton.

For Wuerffel, who lives a few miles from downtown Atlanta and is executive director of a ministry that helps revitalize impoverished urban neighborhoods, the back-and-forth banter is constant.

He's a Gator living in Georgia Bulldog country, and is a resident of a city that likes to bill itself as the new heart of college football.

The Hall of Fame relocated from South Bend, Indiana, and opened near Centennial Olympic Park in August. Just a couple blocks away, the Georgia Dome annually hosts the Southeastern Conference championship game, the Peach Bowl and an annual early season game between high profile programs.

Atlanta also is bidding to host the 2018 national title game at the Falcons' new billion-dollar stadium, which is currently under construction.

"Getting enshrined not only in the Hall, but the fact that it's in this community, is one of those things that transcends the sport," Wuerffel said. "People may hate Florida and not like (coach Steve) Spurrier or me, but they're going to honor you for what you did and brought to college football. That's cool."

The 2013 class includes Heisman winners Vinny Testaverde and Wisconsin running back Ron Dayne. Testaverde was not scheduled to attend the enshrinement ceremony.

Tailback Ted Brown of North Carolina State, offensive tackle Orlando Pace of Ohio State, defensive end Tedy Bruschi of Arizona, Texas defensive back Jerry Gray, Oklahoma linebacker Rod Shoate, Michigan State linebacker Percy Snow, Baylor quarterback Don Trull and Kentucky's Steve Meilinger, who played offense and defense under coach Bear Bryant, are also getting enshrined.

The two coaches are Bill McCartney of Colorado and Wayne Hardin of Navy and Temple.

Dayne, drafted 11th overall by the New York Giants in 2000, retired from the NFL after playing in 2007 with Houston. He works for Wisconsin's alumni association and returned to school a year and a half ago to complete his degree.

"It's pretty easy," Dayne said. "It's not hard. I thought it might be difficult at first, but it wasn't really hard."

Though he's taking classes with kids a generation younger, Dayne gets the occasional autograph request. But the NCAA's career-leading rusher has certain stipulations.

"Only at the end of the year or at Christmas time or something like that," Dayne said.

Brown, who still holds Atlantic Coast Conference records for yards rushing and touchdowns, lives in Minnesota after getting drafted in the first round of 1979 and playing eight seasons for the Vikings.

Working as a juvenile probation officer in St. Paul, Brown was delighted to be inducted with 2013 class — even if the honor came several years, or decades, later than he thought it would.

"I don't think my stats changed that much over the years, but sometimes patience is a virtue," Brown said with a smile. "You have to wait your turn. It's better to be inducted at some point than never to be inducted at all."

The wait was also a long one for Frazier, who lives in Omaha, Nebraska, and works as an entrepreneur and a fundraiser.

"All the credit goes to my teammates and coaches," Frazier said. "It says that I played the game the right way and was able to do things to land myself in the Hall of Fame. This class represents way less than 1 percent of the guys who ever played the game. It's pretty special."

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Vinny Testaverde's Son Heading to Lubbock

Testaverde, the son of former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL quarterback Vinny Testaverde, is apparently heading to Lubbock to join the Texas Tech football program, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reports.

Testaverde, who previously quarterbacked a regional semifinal team at Tampa (FL) Jesuit, never played organized football until his junior year in high school. Nevertheless, he has apparently elected to join the Texas Tech football program, and none too soon - Holiday Bowl offensive MVP Davis Webb remains the Red Raiders' lone quarterback, this after Baker Mayfield and Michael Brewer transferred after last season and walk-ons Tanner Tausch and Mike Richardson recently elected to leave the program.

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Vinny Testaverde honored by Sports Club of Tampa Bay

TAMPA -- A Heisman Trophy winner, World Series hero and local baseball hero in the community were the 31st class to be inducted into the Sports Club of Tampa Bay Hall of Fame on Wednesday night.

Vinny Testaverde, the College Football Hall of Famer and longtime NFL quarterback, became the second Buccaneers quarterback to be inducted, joining Doug Williams, who was enshrined in 2008.

Testaverde, a Heisman Trophy winner with the Miami Hurricanes, spent six seasons with the Bucs, before leading the New York Jets to an AFC Championship game in 1998. Testaverde is also the oldest NFL quarterback to throw a touchdown and win a game. He retired in 2007 at the age of 44.
"Vinny taught me how to be a better player, a better man and a better father," said Anthony Becht, Testaverde's teammate with the Jets. Becht spoke for Testaverde, who was in New York on a prior commitment.

Also inducted was Luis Gonzalez, the Jefferson High School product who ended the New York Yankees' run of three-straight World Series crowns in 2001.
As a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Gonzalez drove in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 7 off of Mariano Rivera to cap a come-from-behind effort off of the recently-retired legendary closer.

Besides that bloop single, Gonzalez was a five-time All-Star in his 19-year career with Houston, the Diamondbacks and Marlins, who had a lifetime average of .283 and hit 354 home runs.

"I played to inspire the younger generation of players in Tampa," Gonzalez said during his induction speech. "And I wanted the men in the coffee shops back home to see my name in the box score."

Gonzalez also noted that one of the highlights of his career was hitting the first home run in the history of Tropicana Field, as a member of the Detroit Tigers in 1998.

The final member of the 2013 class was Tony Saladino, Jr. Saladino is also an alumnus of the Jefferson High School baseball program, and has organized a week-long springtime high school baseball tournament in Hillsborough County every year since 1981. 

The tournament's championship game is an annual event televised by Bright House Sports Network.

The tournament has had 39 eventual Major Leaguers play in it, but Saladino calls that a bonus. The main goal of the tournament is to stress sportsmanship, patriotism and good manners, one inning at a time. Always while showing humility.

"I'll be basking in these accolades tonight, but tomorrow it's back to teaching," Saladino said while accepting the honor.

The Sports Club of Tampa Bay was formed in 1961 and was instrumental in bringing professional sports teams to the Bay Area. This was the 31st Annual Hall of Fame class.

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Vinny Testaverde sues his mansion's builder

ODESSA — Former football star Vinny Testaverde has sued the luxury builder of his sprawling lakefront mansion, claiming structural flaws led to a host of defects that "should not exist" in a multimillion-dollar home.

Testaverde, 50, and his wife, Mitzi, sued Gray Homes of Tampa Bay this month, seeking damages for faulty construction that they say tainted their $4.5 million Odessa estate with mildew, bugs and rotting wood.

The suit says "substantial volumes of water," have poured into the 12,000-square-foot mansion's wine cellar, cabana, exercise room and sauna. Roof-bearing columns and a staircase have sunk.

The Testaverdes are seeking damages for breach of contract and building code violations. The builder, which has not yet filed a response to the suit, did not return messages Monday.

Listed as being built with seven bedrooms, a three-story elevator and an eight-car garage, the Keystone Lake mansion was Hillsborough County's priciest home sold in 2007.

Gray Homes specializes in "esteem level homes" of between 4,500 and 14,000 square feet, its website says. After the Testaverdes' home was finished, owner Harry Gray told the Tampa Bay Times, "We build big houses for rich people."

The company builds three to five homes a year and has erected estates for the late Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf and former Tampa Mayor Dick Greco. As of Monday, its website still boasted that Testaverde was a customer.

Testaverde, a Heisman Trophy winner and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback, set an NFL record for throwing at least one touchdown in 21 straight seasons. He last played for the Carolina Panthers in 2007 and now works as an offensive coordinator at Jesuit High School, where his son is a quarterback.

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Vinny Testaverde to be Inducted into College Football HOF Today

NEW YORK – Miami Hurricanes great and 1986 Heisman Trophy winning QB Vinny Testaverde will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame on Tuesday at the 56th NFF Annual Awards Dinner held at the Waldorf Astoria. The 56th NFF Annual Awards Ceremonies will be streamed live beginning at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN3 and

Testaverde will become seventh Miami Hurricane player and 10th overall to be enshrined into the College Football Hall of Fame – Bennie Blades (2006), Don Bosseler (1990), Andy Gustafson (1985), Jack Harding (1980), Ted Hendricks (1987), Jimmy Johnson (2012), Russell Maryland (2011), Gino Torretta (2009) and Arnold Tucker (2008).

Testaverde is one of 14 inductees into the College Football Hall of Fame. The 2013 class includes: Ted Brown (NC State), Tedy Bruschi (Arizona), Ron Dayne (Wisconsin), Tommie Frazier (Nebraska), Jerry Gray (Texas), Steve Meilinger (Kentucky), Orlando Pace (Ohio State), Rod Shoate (Oklahoma), Percy Snow (Michigan State), Don Trull (Baylor), Danny Wuerffel (Florida), and coaches Wayne Hardin (Navy, Temple) and Bill McCartney (Colorado).

One of the greatest quarterbacks in school history, Testaverde was Miami’s first Heisman Trophy winner in 1986, while also winning the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, Maxwell Award and Davey O’Brien Trophy. He led the Hurricanes to three bowl berths, including the 1987 Fiesta Bowl, which determined the national champion. Testaverde, who was a redshirt on Miami’s 1983 national championship team, went 23-3 as a starter playing for legendary coaches Howard Schnellenberger and Hall of Famer Jimmy Johnson.

Tampa Bay selected Testaverde as the No. 1 overall selection in the 1987 NFL Draft, and his pro career spanned 21 seasons with seven different teams. The 1998 All-Pro and two-time Pro Bowl selection finished his NFL career seventh all-time in passing yards (46,233) and eighth in touchdowns (275).

The Elmont, N.Y., native currently resides in Florida where he plays an active role with the Children’s Cancer Center of Tampa. Testaverde remains among only four Hurricanes to have their jerseys retired at Miami.

No. 25 Miami (9-3, 5-3 ACC) will play No. 18/16 Louisville (11-1, 7-1 AAC) in the 2013 Russell Athletic Bowl on Dec. 28 at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando. Tickets, which are priced at $77 and $82, can be purchased through the UM Ticket Office online, in-person at BankUnited Center (M-F, 8:30 a.m.- 5 p.m.) or by phone at 1-800-GO-CANES.

1980 – Jack Harding, coach
1985 – Andy Gustafson, coach
1987 – Ted Hendricks, LB
1990 – Don Bosseler, FB
2006 – Bennie Blades, DB
2008 – Arnold Tucker, QB
2009 – Gino Torretta, QB
2011 – Russell Maryland, DT
2012 – Jimmy Johnson, coach
2013 – Vinny Testaverde, QB

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Vinny Testaverde Points To The Positives of Hazing

Former Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde talks about the Jonathan Martin-Richie Incognito situation as told to Steve Serby:

I certainly have never heard or seen anything like this before where a player (Jonathan Martin) files a grievance against another player (Richie Incognito).
It sounds like one guy is a racist (Incognito) and it seems to me the other guy (Martin) is soft. I don’t know what other way to put it. Of course I have compassion for him for whatever he’s going through right now.

Trying to toughen players up. … You go back to Bill Parcells with Lawrence Taylor and Jumbo Elliott getting ready for the Super Bowl XXV and Bruce Smith. Lawrence, I guess, was just kind of egging Jumbo on to get him to fight just to get him ready for the game. It’s all about getting players ready to play and getting them to perform at the highest level.

If somebody’s going to make racial slurs, you need to stand up and defend yourself. If it happened to me, I would go to that individual and say, “Listen, this isn’t funny. You need to stop doing it. You need to stop texting, or else we’re going to have a bigger issue than just what it is at this moment.”

Maybe he should have gone to the head coach first: “It’s going to come to a physical confrontation between the two of us before it’s done, you need to help me prevent this from happening.”

Most guys, it comes down to having to fight the guy. Maybe that’s just the mentality of a football player. I guess there are some guys that don’t have that mentality.

When Chad Pennington was a rookie with the Jets, we made him wear his helmet to breakfast, lunch and dinner in the cafeteria one day. That was kind of our prank or joke on him to welcome him into the NFL.

In Cleveland, I had this straw hat I got in the Bahamas that had donkey ears on it. We made (backup quarterback) Eric Zeier wear the donkey hat four or five different times in training camp. Nothing painful, nothing that would hurt. A lot of guys would see him and kind of laugh.

I would take the offensive line out occasionally. One year we had two rookie linemen, I had the waiter send over a fake bill for $17,000. They were nervously calling their agents saying, “I don’t have the money.” After 20 minutes of that, I picked up the check. Almost all of the time, it was in good fun.

One year, a group of guys — I won’t say the team or the parties — they shaved their (rookies&rsquoWinking heads, and some of the guys didn’t want to do it, but they held them down and did it anyway. I was against that — violation of personal space. Not everybody likes to have their head shaved. I know guys wear long hair now for religious reasons, or they don’t have facial hair, or whatever it may be. You have to respect his wishes.

I don’t think, when you’re in that environment, the player really believes the guy holding the clipper in his hand is going to shave a chunk of hair out of his head. I think they realized maybe they went too far. I think they (the rookies) went in fight mode and other players had to hold them back. Once they calmed down, guys realized they went too far. There was an apology. There was an acceptance of an apology. That was no longer done from that point forward.

The way it works in the locker room, the strength coach and the training staff are hearing and listening to what’s going on. The coaches are always upstairs. They’re not able to see, hear, listen to what’s going on in the locker room. If something is very bad or wrong, they would take it upstairs to the coach. They’re the head coach’s eyes and ears to what’s going on in the locker room. On the teams I’ve been on, the head coaches have never gotten involved.

You’ve seen guys tied to goal posts on “Hard Knocks” over the years. They laugh and go along with it. They understand nobody gets hurt. When you go along with it as a rookie, the older guys, the veteran guys, they know you’re a good sport, a good teammate. When it comes time to get into battle, they know they have your back and you have their back and you can go forward.

There have been times when rookies refused to sing for the team, and ended up getting tied up to a goal post, or thrown in the cold tub. Most guys realize, “OK, I screwed up, I’m going to sing next time they ask me.”

I know when people say the word “hazing,” they think the worst. It’s practical jokes, maybe that’s the definition of hazing. It’s almost like, “Welcome to our team. We’re glad you’re here, but it’s part of your apprenticeship, so to speak. We all went through it, now we get a chance to pull a couple of practical jokes on you young guys.” It does create bonding and camaraderie.

I don’t see the future being good for either one of them. My mentality is different. I just look at it as take care of your business. Now guys are going to be looking at him [Martin] like, “Hey, you know what? I don’t know if I can play with this guy, he doesn’t seem like a team guy.” Teammates will wonder, does he [Incognito] really have my back because I’m black?”

And he’s got to wonder, “Hey, do these guys have my back?” It’s kind of like Riley Cooper in Philadelphia.

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Hurricanes to honor Vinny Testaverde on Saturda

With the Miami Hurricanes currently undefeated and ranked in the Top-10, it’s hard for ‘Canes fans not to reminisce about the good ol’ days of the 80s, when they brought the “swag” that took over the college football universe.

On Saturday, before their home game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons inside Sunlife Stadium, the program will pay homage to one of the stars that helped build that legacy.

1986 Heisman Trophy winner, QB Vinny Testaverde, will be honored at the game on Saturday. Testaverde, who will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame at the end of this calendar year, will also receive a National Football Foundation On-Campus Salute before the game, which is customary for any player getting ready to receive a Hall induction.

Testaverde will also be the honory team captain for the Hurricanes on Saturday.

During his career at Miami, the former consensus First Team All-American was 23-3 as a starter and led the ‘Canes to three bowl berths.

The former star has already been inducted into the Miami Sports Hall of Fame in 1998.

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Vinny Testaverde: NE the perfect place for Tebow

Vinny Testaverde said he had "goose bumps" Monday when he found out Tim Tebow was signing with the Patriots.

Testaverde, a part-time quarterback instructor at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., held clandestine workouts with Tebow in April in the Tampa area. At the time, Testaverde talked enthusiastically about improvements Tebow had made with his mechanics. Naturally, he was thrilled when he learned his fellow former Heisman winner -- and fellow ex-Jets quarterback -- would get a chance to re-start his career in New England.

"If I had to pick one team for him, it would be New England," he told late Monday. "It's for all the obvious reasons. [Bill] Belichick is a great coach. Being around Tom Brady and learning how to be a professional quarterback, a drop-back quarterback in a proven system, it'll be great for him. Josh McDaniels drafted him in Denver. Being around people that believe in him, that'll be huge."

Testaverde said he didn't want to sound anti-Jets; he just believes Tebow is in the perfect place.

"I'm not saying he's going to light the world on fire, but he'll have a chance to show the improvements and strides he's made," Testaverde said. "This is great news. I'm glad he's getting another shot to show people he has improved. I would've been disappointed if he didn't get a chance. Despite what a lot of people say, I think he can be a top quarterback in the league."

Testaverde spent a week with Tebow, fine-tuning some of his oft-criticized mechanics. Mostly, they cleaned up his footwork. That, Testaverde believes, was the root of his accuracy issues. They also worked on anticipation, ball placement and how to throw certain routes. His hope is that Tebow can get some playing time in the preseason to "work on his craft."

Testaverde has a unique perspective because he played in the New York and Boston (briefly) markets, and he also played for Belichick, whom he believes won't allow Tebow Mania to take over the team.

"I've been in that locker room; they leave distractions outside," he said. "I mean, there will always be a lot of media coverage because of Belichick and Brady, but I don't think Tebow's presence will add to it. I don't think it'll be a circus, if you will."

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Vinny Testaverde To Be Inducted Into College HOF

Former Miami quarterback Vinny Testaverde will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as part of its 2013 class, a National Football Foundation representative announced Monday on "College Football Live."

Testaverde was 23-3 as a starter for the Hurricanes. During his senior season in 1986, Testaverde won the Heisman Trophy and was a unanimous first-team All-American. He led Miami to three straight bowl games, and finished his collegiate career with 6,000-plus passing yards and 48 touchdown passes.

Testaverde went No. 1 overall to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1987 NFL draft. He played professionally for 21 years and was a two-time Pro Bowl selection.

"Congrats to one of the greatest #Canes of all-time, QB Vinny Testaverde, who will be inducted into College Football Hall of Fame," tweeted current Hurricanes coach Al Golden.

The rest of the class, which will include a total of 12 players and two coaches, will be announced Tuesday. The induction ceremony will occur Dec. 10 in New York City.

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Testaverde: Tebow has improved mechanics

Vinny Testaverde, a part-time quarterback instructor at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., held clandestine workouts earlier this month with another former Jets quarterback -- Tim Tebow.

The two former Heisman Trophy winners worked out for a week at a Tampa-area high school, where Testaverde focused on improving Tebow's footwork. He felt Tebow had made significant strides, so he was bummed Monday to learn the Jets had released the famous backup.

"I was kind of disappointed because I was hoping he'd get a chance to show the coaches what we worked on," Testaverde told "I think they would've been impressed if they had compared this year to last year."

Testaverde and former NFL QB Chris Weinke, one of the top instructors at IMG, evaluated Tebow last month. Testaverde and Weinke "speak the same quarterback language," as Testaverde put it, because they both played under Dan Henning, a former Jets and Panthers coordinator.

"Chris and I looked at Tim careful and we were both amazed," Testaverde said. "Everybody has been focusing on his throwing motion, trying to fix that, but nobody had picked up his footwork. His footwork was all screwed up. Chris and I looked at each other after about four or five throws, and we saw the same thing. We got his footwork fixed. His throwing motion is now a non-issue.

"He throws with what we call 'effortless power.' He doesn't have that elongated motion anymore and his head isn't moving 2 1/2 feet when he throws it."

Asked to explain Tebow's footwork flaws in layman's terms, Testaverde said "he was stepping in the wrong direction when he was throwing the football."

Two weeks after the initial session at IMG, Testaverde and Tebow met every day for a week at Jesuit High School, where Testaverde is an assistant coach. They held the sessions during school hours to avoid a scene. They worked alone on the field, enjoying the privacy. One day, they were recognized by a student looking out a lunch-room window. The student tweeted it and it was picked up by a local sports network, creating headlines.

Testaverde said he enjoyed his time with Tebow. They actually worked together briefly a couple of years ago. This time, Tebow's brother, Robby, reached out to him, asking if he could tutor Tim again.

Even though everyone in the football world knew Tebow's days with the Jets were numbered, he was "excited" to report to the offseason program two weeks ago, according to Testaverde.

"He's a positive and confident individual, and he was feeling good about learning the new stuff," Testaverde said. "He was hoping for the opportunity to showcase his abilities. So was I. Hopefully, he gets that chance somewhere else."

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Tim Tebow, Vinny Testaverde hold private workout at Jesuit

TAMPA -- Former Heisman Trophy winner and Florida Gators star Tim Tebow worked out privately at Jesuit High School on Monday, Jesuit public relations director Pete Young confirmed to BHSN.

Tebow, the backup quarterback for the New York Jets, spent the afternoon at Jesuit's football facilities, working out with former Jets quarterback and current Tigers' QB coach Vinny Testaverde, also a one-time Heisman Trophy winner.

"He was doing a private workout with Vinny Testaverde at some point in the middle of the day," Young said. "For the record, it did happen."

Tebow has spent the offseason working on his delivery and throwing motion, something he's been criticized for since he was drafted out of Florida in 2010. He's been a frequent visitor to the Bay area over the last couple of weeks, working with former Florida State and NFL QB Chris Weinke at his quarterback school, IMG Academy, in Bradenton last week.

Tebow is expected to attend Jets voluntary offseason workouts on Monday, but reportedly will be released after the draft.

This isn't the first time Tebow has made a stop at Jesuit. He worked out at the school in March.

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VIDEO: Vinny Testaverde Named Amateur Sportsman of the Year in 1986

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Vinny Testaverde highlights college HOF ballot

Four Heisman Trophy winners highlight the 77 candidates and five coaches on this year’s College Football Hall of Fame Ballot released Tuesday afternoon.

Former Miami quarterback Vinny Testaverde and former Florida quarterback Danny Wuerffel joined former Wisconsin running back Ron Dayne and former Nebraska quarterback Eric Couch as past winners of the Heisman Trophy who are up for selection into the HOF.

Some other notable names on the ballot are former Miami defensive tackle Jerome Brown, former UNLV punter Randall Cunningham, former SMU running back Eric Dickerson and former Oklahoma linebacker Brian Bosworth.

On the coaching side, Jim Carlen (WVU, Texas Tech, South Carolina); Wayne Hardin (Navy, Temple); Bill McCartney (Colorado); Billy Jack Murphy (Memphis) and Darryl Rogers (Cal State Hayward, Fresno State, San Jose State, Michigan State and Arizona State).

The Hall of Fame class will be announced live in New York City during a noon press conference on May 7. The group will be inducted at an awards dinner on Dec. 10, 2013 in New York City.

To qualify for the HOF ballot, players must have been named a First Team All-America and played their last season of college football at least 10 years prior and cannot currently be playing professional football. For coaches, candidates must have coached a minimum of 10 years and 100 games as a head coach.
They must have also won at least 60 percent of their games and retired within at least three years prior to making the list.

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Vinny Testaverde laments Jets sideshows

NEW ORLEANS — Former Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde remembers when the team was taken seriously. He was part of three Jets playoff teams and finished with a losing record just once in seven years.

Now, Testaverde has watched from afar as the Jets have become a punch line and punching bag for the NFL. Testaverde believes they bring a lot of it upon themselves.

“It’s been disappointing,” said Testaverde, who is here working with MetLife to promote next year’s Super Bowl at the Meadowlands. “There’s enough distraction throughout the course of a season without trying to add to that. If you can avoid distraction, your team, I think, focuses better, which in turn leads to better results.”

Testaverde never said coach Rex Ryan was to blame for the frenzy that always seems to surround these Jets, but added he thinks Ryan could do a better job of managing the firestorms that pop up around the team.

“I think at times they’ve created somewhat of their own distractions, the distractions that lead to them not being as successful as they should be,” Testaverde said. “Maybe [Ryan] wants them to feel that pressure of being in the big city, playing under the big lights in New York and being able to deal with that in a week-in, week-out basis. I don’t know what his strategy is, but I know having played there, having played in Dallas, some of the bigger cities where the lights are brighter, you still need to eliminate as many distractions as you can.”

Testaverde was doing interviews about the hot-button topic of the cold-weather Super Bowl in New Jersey next year. Testaverde said people should study the facts about how much of an effect the weather actually can have on the game.

“You look back since 1991, games under 40 degrees compared to games over 70 degrees, there’s been a point-and-a-half difference — very little,” the Long Island native said. “The scoring is still going to be what it is. Passer rating: five-point difference, not very much. One of the things that stands out is field goals that are made, the percentages go down, and the turnovers go up. But all of those elements are part of the game.”

Testaverde said weather conditions always are part of football.

“All the field conditions, whether it’s windy or raining, those are all things that you have to prepare for,” Testaverde said. “It’s not like baseball where they cancel the game if it’s raining. Football is being played, other than lightning or a major storm. That’s part of the game, and that’s the way it should be played.”

Whatever the weather, Testaverde said he hopes the Jets can find a way to get to the Super Bowl next year, however unlikely that seems at the moment.
“Hopefully, they’ll be [the first team] to play in their home stadium for the Super Bowl in MetLife Stadium,” he said.

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Q. and A. With Vinny Testaverde

Vinny Testaverde played 7 of his 21 seasons in the National Football League as the Jets’ quarterback, compiling a 35-26 record and taking the team to the American Football Conference championship game in 1998.

He played college football at Miami, where he was an all-American and won the Heisman Trophy in 1986. He was picked first over all by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1987 N.F.L. draft. Testaverde, 49, also played for the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens, Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers.

In 2007, the year he retired, he threw two touchdown passes for the Panthers against the San Francisco 49ers, breaking his own record for the oldest starter to win an N.F.L. game. He was 44. Testaverde, a two-time Pro Bowler, threw for a career 46,233 yards and holds the records for having thrown a touchdown pass in 21 consecutive seasons and to 70 different players.

On Tuesday, he hosted the Wild Turkey Bourbon event in Manhattan. At the event, he introduced a turkey named Jimmy Junior, which predicted the outcome of the three Thanksgiving Day N.F.L. games by picking feed out of dishes fastened to the tops of team helmets. It could be the start of a new office pool craze.

The gobbler ruined the holiday dinner of Jets fans when he ate from the Patriots’ dish. But he won cheers from Cowboys and Lions fans when he ate from their dishes.
Q. How do you spend your time now?
A. Lately, I’ve been coaching not only wild turkeys, but high school football. My son is playing over at the high school (Jesuit High School in Tampa, Fla.) and I thought it would be fun to go coach over there, spend time with him and see him develop first-hand.

Q. Do you think the Jets made a good or bad move when they acquired Tim Tebow?
A. I think if you can get some kind of running game going, it opens the door to success. It all stems from the running game on offense, and the lack of running game can make you look bad, and I think Tebow can bring a little of that to the table.

Q. What do you think of Tebow’s style of play?
A. It’s certainly different than what a lot of people are accustomed to seeing. He has a rare skill set that many quarterbacks in the league don’t possess. Bottom line is, he’s a winner and he’s proven that. If the Jets continue to struggle, I think they should give him a shot at the starting quarterback position.
Q. What do you think about players who anonymously knock teammates as the Jets player have done ?
A. I’m a big believer in putting your name to any statement you make. It’s cowardly if you make statements like that off the record and won’t put your name to it. That’s not being a good teammate and it’s a formula for losing.

Q. Should Rex Ryan be fired if the Jets have a losing season?
A. No, I don’t think so. He’s proven he can win. I think they may have to make a couple of changes, and certainly getting a couple key guys healthy would help. You have to find out which guys in the locker room are there to compete and win football games and which guys are out there chirping and being a distraction to the team.

Q. Recently three quarterbacks received concussions on the same Sunday. You managed to play until you were 44. Do you think the game is safer now than when you played?
A. I think they’re trying to make it safer. They try to protect the quarterback. Back in the ’80s and ’90s, you could hit the quarterback low, you could hit the quarterback high. You could hit him pretty much late. Today you can’t do any of those three. I think it’s a good thing. They just have to be careful not to go overboard with it. Case in point, Ed Reed. I thought that was a good hit. Was it a dangerous play for the receiver? Sure, but it’s a dangerous, violent sport, and guys are going to get hurt.

Q. Has the league done enough to protect players from head injuries?
A. It sounds like they are. I really don’t follow too closely what they’re trying to do other than keeping players out when they are diagnosed with a concussion. The brain is a tricky thing to figure out and I think they’re just scratching the surface with that type of injury.

Q. Are you surprised by the impact the rookie quarterbacks Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill, and Russell Wilson are having this season?
A. Not totally surprised. But I am somewhat surprised that this many guys are having a great amount of success so early. I think part of it is that some of these coaches are implementing similar plays to what these guys ran in college. Andrew Luck, on the other hand, is the type of quarterback who came into a new system and learned the offense of the Indianapolis Colts and is having great success. I don’t think anyone would have predicted that the Colts would turn their record around as quick as they did from a year ago.

Q. You have a sleeper team that can go far in the playoffs this year?
A. I don’t know if you’d consider them a sleeper, but no one is talking about the Packers anymore. That’s a team that could come up and surprise some people down the stretch.

Q. What are you most proud of in your career?
A. I guess the fact that I was able to play 21 seasons and always tried to do things the right way. Over the years, I just worked hard and always tried to do what’s best for my teammates, and for my family.

Q. Any regrets?
A. How’s that song go? “Regrets, I’ve had a few.” (laughing) No, not many regrets. I think you have regrets when you didn’t give it everything you had and I always felt like I did. Whether it was good enough or not, that has nothing to do with the fact that I tried my best to give my team a chance to win, year in and year out.

Q. What was the key to your longevity in the N.F.L.?
A. Well first, I was definitely lucky. There are so many potential injuries that you’re always just a half-inch away from. Certainly staying in the weight room, taking care of my body with the proper nutrition and just trying to stay in shape was a big part of it.

Q. How has the game changed since you played?
A. It seems like the game is much faster. You also have all these specialists and even the specialist have specialists. There are third down backs, third receivers, fourth receivers, defensive ends who just come in on pass-rushing downs. The guys are faster and stronger than when I played and the league has evolved offensively into a passing league.

Q. Any hobbies?
A. My biggest hobby is playing golf, which I really enjoy. Now when I am lying in bed at night, unable to sleep, I find myself thinking about my golf swing. I’m also involved in the Tampa Bay chapter of First Tee.

Q. What’s your average score?
A. I’m a 2 handicap, so probably mid 70s.

Q. What’s in your iPod?
A. (laughing) Whatever my wife and kids put on there.

Q. When you do have control, who do you listen to?
A. Honestly other than country, I listen to a little of everything.

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Vinny Testaverde thinks the NFL is overprotective of quarterbacks

Vinny Testaverde’s career as an NFL quarterback spanned 21 seasons, so he experienced first-hand the way the league shifted toward an increased emphasis on protecting quarterbacks from big hits. And Testaverde doesn’t think that shift was a good thing.

In an interview on Mike and Mike in the Morning, Testaverde said he thinks the NFL has made such a priority of keeping offensive players safe that defensive players are no longer able to do their jobs correctly.

“I think they’re being a little overprotective,” Testaverde said. “When I came in the league, you could hit a quarterback high, you could hit him low, you could hit him late. Today, you can’t do any of that. So I think they’re just being a little overprotective of the quarterbacks and certainly a little overprotective of the receivers.”

Testaverde worries that the NFL’s emphasis on player safety has gone so far that the league has forgotten what makes the game of football great.

“It’s a contact sport,” Testaverde said. “It’s a violent game and you’re going to have some big hits.”

Many of those big hits were legal when Testaverde was drafted in 1987 but are not legal anymore.

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Vinny Testaverde: Make Tebow a running back

If Vinny Testaverde were the Jets' coach, he'd insert Tim Tebow into the starting lineup immediately.

As a running back.

"You have a guy on your roster -- Tim Tebow -- who can be your running game," the former Jets quarterback told ESPN's Lynn Hoppes. "Instead of giving him just 10-12 reps, give him a full load and wear down the defense. I don't know how all the pieces fit, but that's my opinion. A good running game leads to bigger and better things. It's hard to be successful when you have problems everywhere."

Testaverde, who lives in Tampa, follows his old team closely. Like other fans, he's disappointed with the 3-6 record.

"I wish I knew (what's wrong)," he said. "I'm obviously not in touch with them, and I'm not really close to anybody except as a fan. It's kind of disappointing. I know the Jets fans want to see them turn it around and win a few games."

Testaverde will be in New York next week to host an event in which a real turkey -- Jimmy Junior -- predicts the outcome of the three NFL games on Thanksgiving. One of those, of course, is Jets-Patriots. The turkey will eat from the barrel of the team he thinks will win each matchup, which means Jimmy Junior probably has just as good a chance of picking the winner as most amateur handicappers.

The good news is, the event's sponsor -- Wild Turkey -- will donate 81 turkeys to victims of Hurricane Sandy.

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Vinny Testaverde talks turkeys, Tebow, Jets

The NFL jokes seem so obvious: Former New York Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde is working with some turkeys these days.

Next week in New York City, Testaverde is hosting Wild Turkey’s first Triple Barrel Challenge with a real turkey -- Jimmy Junior -- to predict the outcome of the three NFL games on Thanksgiving.

Following months of studying, Jimmy Junior will eat from the barrel of the team he thinks will win each matchup. After the event, Wild Turkey will, through City Harvest, donate 81 turkeys to the victims of Sandy.

Playbook had a few minutes with Testaverde to find out what advice he gave Jimmy Junior.

Are turkeys smart animals?
"I have no clue. I can tell you this: They certainly taste good."

What was it like on the set of the preview video?
"It was a little nerve-racking. I didn't know how the turkey would respond. Being a farm animal, he's used to being around people. It was a little difficult when you're trying to talk to the camera and wondering whether he was going to peck at your face.

So how did he do?
"I was sweating underneath my shirt because the turkey was focused on what I had in my hand. While talking to the camera, I had a laser pointer. I didn't realize the turkey was staring at that and started pecking at my hand."

You know this is easy. Speaking of turkeys, what about those Jets?
"I wish I knew. I'm obviously not in touch with them, and I'm not really close to anybody except as a fan. It's kind of disappointing. I know the Jets fans want to see them turn it around and win a few games."

What would you do if you were coach?
"You have a guy on your roster -- Tim Tebow -- who can be your running game. Instead of giving him just 10-12 reps, give him a full load and wear down the defense. I don't know how all the pieces fit, but that's my opinion. A good running game leads to bigger and better things. It's hard to be successful when you have problems everywhere."

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Did []_[] Know Vinny Testaverde Holds The NFL Record For...

proCane Vinny Testaverde who was an NFL quarterback from 1987 - 2007 with seven different teams (Buccaneers, Browns, Ravens, Jets, Cowboys, Patriots, Panthers) holds the NFL record for most consecutive seasons with an NFL touchdown pass with 21 consecutive seasons.

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Vinny Testaverde's son to start for Jesuit

Two nights before his team's must-win encounter with undefeated district foe Lakewood, Jesuit coach James Harrell announced he is making another quarterback change.

This time, he's opting for a kid with three varsity completions -- and six prominent syllables -- to his name.

Vincent Testaverde, a 6-foot-1 junior who wears the same jersey number (14) as his Heisman Trophy-winning father, becomes the Tigers' third starter of the season behind seniors Leland Saile and D.J. Diaz.

"They've both been afforded opportunities to start, so now it's his turn," Harrell told the Tampa Bay Times on Wednesday evening.

Though Testaverde has performed modestly (3-for-7, 38 yards, one interception) in limited action this season, Harrell said his arm and accuracy give Jesuit (5-2, 5-1) the best chance to win should the Tigers have to veer from the power run game they've employed almost exclusively the last month.

In its last four games, all victories against teams with losing records, Jesuit has attempted 28 passes but run for more than 1,100 yards.

"I think right now, he's deserving of an opportunity based on the amount of progression that he's made in such a short time," Harrell said.

"He's just been working hard, and now, I think when you play a team of Lakewood's magnitude, we not only have to be able to run the ball but we have to be able to throw it. I feel confident that if we have to throw the ball, he's the guy that can get it done."

A Jesuit win, coupled with a victory against 2-4 Gibbs next week, gives the Tigers no worse than a share of the Class 5A, District 8 title. If they lose and Robinson tops Spoto on Thursday, they're eliminated from playoff contention.

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Vinny Testaverde knows about phantom TDs

Vinny Testaverde knows all about bad calls in games involving the Seahawks, and he believes the Monday night debacle was worse than the blunder he benefitted from in 1998.

"A lot of people think the play back in '98 was responsible for bringing in instant replay," the former Jets QB told Tuesday night. "Well, even with instant replay, these guys got it wrong (Monday night). It's pretty bad when you can't get it right with instant replay."

Testaverde scored on what is remembered as The Phantom Touchdown, a 5-yard sneak in the final minute that lifted the Jets to a 32-31 win over the Seahawks. The ball never crossed the goal line. The officials blew it, thinking Testaverde's helmet was the football. If there had been instant replay, he would've been ruled down at the 1.

It was costly for the Seahawks, who finished 8-8, barely missed the playoffs and fired coach Dennis Erickson.

Testaverde said he bumped into Erickson recently at the Hall of Fame ceremony in Canton. Testaverde, who was there to support former teammate Curtis Martin, said the infamous play came up in conversation.

"He's still bitter about it, to say the least," Testaverde said. "He laughed about it a little, but not as hard as I was laughing."

Testaverde said "the players who lost Monday night" -- the Packers -- "aren't laughing at all. This is their livelihood. Careers are at stake and guys get fired. That's the shame of it." He agreed with the rest of America, claiming the officials blew it. He blamed the league and the owners.

"The NFL should be at their best at all times and, clearly, these aren't the best (officials)," he said. "I don't blame the replacements, I blame the league for putting them out there. Roger Goodell is taking his orders from the owners, so I blame them, too. We need people to step up and get on the owners. The only way to get their attention is to not go to the games. That'll get them to listen -- empty seats."

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