NFL Notes: Ryan 'confident' Jets will make playoffs

NFL Notes: Ryan 'confident' Jets will make playoffs
July 18, 2014, 1:30 pm
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Rex Ryan's Jets went 8-8 last season and missed the playoffs. (USA Today Images)

CSNPhilly.com/AP

You can always count on Rex Ryan for a good sound bite.

Last season, the Jets went 8-8. Ryan sees bigger things this season.

“I believe we’re better than that,” Ryan said, per the New York Daily News late Thursday, via ProFootballTalk. “I believe we’re a lot better than that. Eight and eight would be a hell of a disappointment for us. I’m just telling you that I believe this team is on the cusp of doing some special things ... I’m confident we will be a playoff team."

The Jets, in need of offensive help, added wide receiver Eric Decker, running back Chris Johnson and quarterback Michael Vick this offseason.

"I think time’s going to tell how much better we are,” Ryan said. “I believe this football team is a hell of a lot better right now than we were at any point last year.”

- CSNPhilly.com

Patriots: Belichick a supporter of Thursday games
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is a fan of games on Thursday night, according to team owner Robert Kraft.

Kraft, per NESN.com late Thursday, via ProFootballTalk, said Belichick “likes the Thursday night games and would be happy to have more than one in a season.”

The Patriots play the Jets at home on Thursday night, Oct. 16, this season.

- CSNPhilly.com

Former NFL players sue union over concussions
NEW YORK -- Former NFL players Christian Ballard and Gregory Westbrooks are suing the union for not providing accurate information about the risk of head injuries.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, with both claiming the NFL Players Association "withheld information from the players about the risks of head injuries."

Ballard and Westbrooks named former union presidents Trace Armstrong, Troy Vincent and Kevin Mawae in the suit.

An NFLPA statement says: "This lawsuit has no merit and we will defend our union and our past presidents."

- The Associated Press

NFL to restrict evaluations of underclassmen
NEW YORK -- The NFL will limit the number of underclassmen who can receive evaluations for the draft to five from a single school, although special exceptions will be allowed.

Concerned about the record 107 underclassmen who applied for this year's draft, and with 37 of them not selected, the league's College Advisory Committee developed new guidelines for players considering forfeiting their final years of eligibility.

Troy Vincent, the league's head of football operations, says the underclassmen will be advised on their potential to be picked in the first or second round. They also could be advised to stay in school.

Previous assessments dealt with the first through third rounds, and whether a player had no potential of being selected.

- The Associated Press

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