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Harvin not 'perfect,' happy for chance with Jets

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) Percy Harvin has been called lots of things during his NFL career.

Talented but injury prone. Explosive on the field and combustible off. A playmaker but a troublemaker.

The New York Jets' newest wide receiver doesn't deny he has had some issues. But he also wants to be judged from what he does starting now, not just his checkered past.

"I'm definitely not a perfect person," Harvin said after his first practice with his new team Monday. "I have a lot of things that I wish I could have done a little differently. But I'm moving forward. I'm learning from those lessons.

"I'm happy to be here right now and looking to make the most out of it," he said.

The Jets and Seattle Seahawks completed a deal Saturday in which New York sent a conditional draft pick to Seattle for Harvin. Jets general manager John Idzik thought the potential payoff in acquiring a player with Harvin's type of versatility and game-breaking skills outweighed the risks involved.

"I look at it," Idzik said, "as this could be a potential coup for the New York Jets."

Harvin was "shocked" by the trade and it came as a surprise to most in NFL circles. After all, the Seahawks parted ways with a player who helped them win a Super Bowl last season.

But at 26, Harvin has been traded twice already now, including by Minnesota, the team that took him in the first round of the 2009 NFL draft. The Jets were extremely interested in Harvin during that draft process before trading up to take quarterback Mark Sanchez.

Harvin has played in 60 games with only 47 career starts. He was traded to the Seahawks in 2013 for a 2013 first-round and seventh-round draft choice and a 2014 third-rounder, but appeared in just one regular-season game in 2013 because of hip surgery. But Harvin ran back a second-half kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown in Seattle's 43-8 rout of Denver in the Super Bowl.

Harvin is also a player who is injury prone and has had some questions about his character and interactions. Harvin acknowledged that he had "incidents" in the locker room with former Seahawks teammates Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin, but declined to give details.

"The way I go about my business is by keeping everything in-house, but for whatever reason, they decided to unleash things," Harvin said. "Some things did happen. That's in the past. We've moved forward and I've talked to Golden and Doug. We've all moved forward from it. I'm here now and I'm moving on."

Jets right tackle Breno Giacomini, Harvin's teammate in Seattle last season, said the incidents are being "blown up for no reason" and "wasn't like it was this big, huge boxing match."

"Almost everybody in this locker room has been in a fight before," Giacomini said. "We play football, you know what I'm saying? Oh, it happened twice? Who cares? He's a good competitor. That's what it is. I know it was squashed right away with Golden because I was there, and I heard the same thing about Doug. I think it's being blown up."

Harvin said he was "frustrated" about the way the Seahawks were using him in the offense.

"Not that I didn't like what I was doing, I just wanted to do a little bit more," he said. "As a receiver, I wanted to just get downfield just a little bit more than I was doing."

Harvin did not approach his coaches about his unhappiness, but also didn't request a trade - and insisted he harbors no ill will toward the Seahawks.

"They brought me a Super Bowl," he said.

Idzik said he had thorough discussions with Seahawks general manager John Schneider, a close friend whom Idzik has known before their days working together in Seattle, and was comfortable that Harvin wouldn't become a disruptive force in the Jets' locker room.

So was coach Rex Ryan, who didn't even want to discuss Harvin's past issues.

"I don't think I need to," Ryan said. "To me, things happen and every single guy has had something, but to me, it's just all about right now and moving forward."

Idzik said he had "substantive talks" with Seattle last week before the Jets' game at New England last Thursday night, but the discussions "crystallized" after the team's 27-25 loss - its sixth straight.

"It became evident that this was a real possibility," Idzik said, "and eventually we pulled the trigger."

Idzik insisted the move was to help the 1-6 Jets improve - not a result of public pressure or criticism. The GM has been highly criticized for not providing second-year quarterback Geno Smith and the rest of the offense enough playmakers in the offseason.

"I think it brings an explosive talent to our team," coach Rex Ryan said. "It should be fun to watch."

Ryan said Harvin will serve as the team's kick returner on Sunday against Buffalo, and his involvement in the offense would be based on how quickly he picks up Marty Mornhinweg's system.

"It's definitely a place I want to be for a long time," Harvin said. "I'm here, I'm glad I'm here and I'm going to make the most of the opportunity."

Mon, 20 Oct 2014 21:49:00 +0000
Florida AD: Muschamp safe until season's end

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) Florida coach Will Muschamp is getting at least another game to turn things around.

Athletic director Jeremy Foley said Monday that he will continue to evaluate the season - and likely Muschamp's future - "as it plays out."

That means Muschamp will be on the sideline when the Gators (3-3, 2-3 Southeastern Conference) play ninth-ranked Georgia in Jacksonville on Nov. 1.

Foley released a 40-word statement that did little to sway belief that Muschamp's job is in serious jeopardy following consecutive home losses to teams that previously struggled in SEC play.

"At the beginning of the season we said we would evaluate the season as it plays out," Foley said. "We will continue to do so. Our sole focus right now is supporting our coaching staff and players as they prepare for Georgia."

The Gators are coming off back-to-back losses to LSU and Missouri. The latest one, a 42-13 debacle to Mizzou on Saturday night, was one of the most embarrassing losses in Muschamp's three-plus years in Gainesville.

Florida committed six turnovers, including two that were returned for touchdowns, and allowed two special teams scores. Chants of "Fire Muschamp" started in the third quarter and could be heard throughout an emptying Florida Field the rest of the night.

The defeat was Florida's second straight on homecoming, the first time that's happened in Gainesville since 1947.

It dropped Muschamp's record to 25-19, including 15-14 in conference play.

And it could be worse. The Gators could be 0-5 in league play considering they eked out a win against Kentucky in triple overtime and edged Tennessee 10-9 two weeks ago.

Missouri's victory was never in doubt.

The Tigers returned the opening kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown and cruised from there. They also returned a punt for a touchdown, returned a fumble for a score and returned an interception for a touchdown and a 42-0 lead.

Florida allowed just seven first downs and 119 total yards, but lost for the second time in Muschamp's tenure when giving up less than 120 yards. No other Football Bowl Subdivision team has done that even once in the last decade.

Foley voiced strong support for Muschamp late last year, backing him during the team's seven-game losing streak that led to the program's first losing record since 1979.

Muschamp responded by firing two offensive coaches, a move that got him another year to change the team's direction.

Muschamp opened this season by telling anyone and everyone that this was the most talented offensive team he's had in four years. He changed his tune somewhat Saturday, saying the offensive line isn't good enough to protect for quarterback Jeff Driskel.

"We've got to identify some things that we can be consistent with offensively," Muschamp said on his weekly television show Sunday. "In our first six games, we have not done anything offensively. We did against Kentucky a little bit, got some ball movement. We did against LSU at times. But against Tennessee, against Alabama and (Saturday), we couldn't get anything going."

Driskel has 12 turnovers in his last four games and has clearly lost confidence.

The Gators used a two-quarterback system with Driskel and freshman Treon Harris, who fumbled and threw an interception. The Gators have a bye this week, and it's unclear what they will do before facing Georgia.

The Bulldogs have won three in a row in the series.

Mon, 20 Oct 2014 20:53:00 +0000
Irving scores 28 as Cavs beat Bulls 107-98

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) LeBron James was the star attraction but Kyrie Irving stole the show with 28 points to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 107-98 win against the Chicago Bulls in an exhibition game Monday night at Ohio State.

Irving had 20 points in the second half. James had 18 points in 31 minutes in his first game in Columbus since rejoining the Cavaliers this summer from the Miami Heat.

Derrick Rose led Chicago with 30 points.

Chicago was without guard Jimmy Butler (thumb). His replacement in the starting lineup, Kirk Hinrich, had two points in 16 minutes.

Tue, 21 Oct 2014 01:36:00 +0000
Jets announce trade for receiver Percy Harvin

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) The New York Jets announced Saturday they have acquired wide receiver Percy Harvin from the Seattle Seahawks for a conditional draft pick.

Making official a trade that was reported Friday, the Jets get a star from last season's Super Bowl but a player who is injury prone. Harvin brings versatility and game-breaking skills to the Jets, who have lost their last six games to fall to 1-6.

New York released receiver David Nelson to make room for Harvin.

General manager John Idzik called Harvin a "dynamic player who has been productive on offense and special teams." Seahawks general manager John Schneider noted Harvin's contributions to the Super Bowl and called the decision to trade him "extremely difficult."

"We are constantly evaluating our team and believe at this time that this is in our best interest to move the team forward," Schneider said.

The 26-year-old receiver has played in 60 games with only 47 career starts since being a first-round pick by Minnesota in 2009. He was traded to the Seahawks in 2013 for a 2013 first-round and seventh-round draft choice and a 2014 third-rounder.

He appeared in just one regular-season game in 2013 because of hip surgery. But Harvin ran back the second-half kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown in Seattle's 43-8 rout of Denver in the Super Bowl.

Harvin has battled a thigh injury and was listed as questionable for the Seahawks' game at St. Louis this weekend before the trade was completed. The Seahawks have tried to find ways to use him - runner, receiver and special teams - but the injury woes slowed their plans.

This season, Harvin has 22 receptions for 133 yards, with 12 of those catches coming behind the line of scrimmage. He has only one catch on a ball thrown more than 10 yards, according to STATS. Harvin's average of 6 yards per catch is last among all wide receivers in the NFL averaging at least two receptions a game.

He also has 11 runs for 92 yards and a touchdown, and 12 kickoff returns for 283 yards.

New York's offense has struggled. Harvin figures to team with Eric Decker and Jeremy Kerley as the Jets' main weapons in a so-far weak passing game with Geno Smith at quarterback.

As a rookie, he made the Pro Bowl and the Offensive Rookie of the Year. Harvin's best season was 2011, with 87 receptions for 967 yards and six TDs. He also rushed for 345 yards and two scores, and averaged 32.5 yards per kickoff return.

---

AP Sports Writer Dennis Waszak Jr. contributed to this report.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Sat, 18 Oct 2014 17:20:00 +0000
No. 2 Florida St rallies past No. 5 Irish, 31-27

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) Jameis Winston prevailed after another week of controversy and threw for 273 yards and two touchdowns to lead No. 2 Florida State to 31-27 win over No. 5 Notre Dame on Saturday.

The Seminoles (7-0, 5-0 ACC) used a second-half comeback with the season on the line to topple the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame (6-1) is the last ranked team FSU's schedule and the win may be its last chance to make a decisive impression on the College Football Playoff selection committee.

Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson threw for 313 yards and three touchdowns, but Winston won the duel in the second half as he completed his first 13 passes against a defense that had Florida State flustered for the first 30 minutes.

The Irish moved to the 2-yard line on the final drive, but an offensive pass interference call killed the drive.

Florida State said this week it was investigating whether Winston received benefits for autographs being sold online.

Sun, 19 Oct 2014 04:08:00 +0000

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