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Draft Changes, Jets, Jaguars and more

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 NFL News - Wednesday, October 24, 2007   
     ... Draft Changes, Jets, Jaguars and more ...   
Jets announce 12-year naming rights deal with Atlantic Health 
for new training facility
The New York Jets announced a 12-year naming rights deal Tuesday
with Atlantic Heath for their new headquarters and training 
facility. New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine attended a cornerstone 
dedication ceremony at the site of the Atlantic Health Jets 
Training Center, which is to be completed in late 2008. Terms 
of the rights deal were not disclosed. The Jets are paying the 
$75 million construction cost for the training facility.
"Not only are we creating a competitive advantage for our team 
by building a first-rate corporate campus to accommodate the 
needs of our football and business operations and utilizing
the best that technology has to offer, we are also partnering 
with a company that has deep roots in the New Jersey community," 
Jets CEO Woody Johnson said. The team currently practices at 
a facility in Hempstead, N.Y., but play games at Giants Stadium 
in East Rutherford, which is about 20 miles from the future 
practice site. The relocation is part of a deal to build a new 
stadium for the Jets and New York Giants at the Meadowlands. 
The teams are jointly financing the $1.3 billion stadium and 
working on a naming-rights deal for that building. Atlantic 
Health is a nonprofit health care system that includes Overlook 
Hospital in Summit and Morristown Memorial Hospital.

Monday night kickoff time could change

The NFL will move up the kickoff of the Monday night game next 
week in Denver by 30 minutes if there is a Game 5 of the World 
Series. The league said Monday the telecast of the Green Bay 
Packers' game at Denver will begin at 6 p.m. local time. 
Normally, the telecast would begin at 6:30 Mountain time, with 
the kickoff about 10 minutes later. No starting time for Game 5 
of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and Colorado 
Rockies has been announced.

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NFL cuts time for draft picks in first and second rounds

The NFL moved to speed up its draft on Tuesday during owners' 
meetings at which it also discussed having the Buffalo Bills 
play regular-season games in Toronto, expanding the reach of 
the NFL Network and moving the Pro Bowl. No action was taken 
on any of those issues except the draft, in which the time 
between picks in the first round will be cut from 15 minutes 
to 10 to help speed up a process that went a record 6 hours, 
8 minutes last April. Starting time was also moved from 
noon EDT to 3 p.m. for the first day, which will be limited 
to two rounds instead of three. "We believe this will make 
for a more streamlined and efficient draft," commissioner 
Roger Goodell said in a statement issued during the meetings.

Jaguars' Garrard has MRI exam to determine severity of 
ankle injury

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback David Garrard had an MRI 
exam on Tuesday to determine the extent of his sprained left 
ankle. Garrard injured his ankle in Monday night's 29-7 loss 
to Indianapolis. He limped into the locker room following the 
second-quarter sack by Ed Johnson, got his ankle re-taped and 
returned to the game. However, swelling increased during 
halftime, forcing Garrard back to the bench. He finished 
8-of-12 passing for 72 yards. Coach Jack Del Rio said Garrard 
likely would miss at least one game, adding he expects to have 
an update and a timetable for Garrard's return Wednesday.
"He got a pretty good sprain," Del Rio said on Monday. "I 
would think, in all likelihood, he'll be missing some time."
Garrard won the starting job in training camp over Byron 
Leftwich, a former first-round pick who then was released and 
picked up by the Atlanta Falcons. His success was measured in 
efficiency, and Garrard had not thrown an interception all year.
The Jaguars (4-2) open a three-game road trip Sunday at Tampa 
Bay. Quinn Gray, who relieved Garrard against the Colts, is 
expected to make his first career start. Gray was 9-of-24 for 
56 yards with two interceptions.


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Chargers leave for Arizona with details of Sunday's game uncertain

The San Diego Chargers don't know where or when they'll play 
their next game. While they spent Monday taking care of their 
families and trying to find out if their homes survived the 
wildfires sweeping Southern California, the Chargers were busy 
Tuesday preparing to fly to Phoenix to practice at the Arizona 
Cardinals' suburban headquarters. That means three days of hotels 
and bus rides and an unfamiliar workplace while wondering what's 
going on back home. "How we handle that will have an impact on 
how it turns out on Sunday," quarterback Philip Rivers said.
It's a drill familiar to some Chargers. Four years ago to the 
week, the Chargers were forced to move a Monday night game to 
Tempe, Ariz., on short notice because of deadly wildfires.
The Chargers are scheduled to host the Houston Texans on Sunday 
afternoon at Qualcomm Stadium. But, as it was four years ago, 
the stadium is being used as an evacuation center. On Tuesday 
morning, there were about 10,000 evacuees at Qualcomm, and 
smoke hovered over the stadium in early afternoon. Qualcomm is 
in Mission Valley, northeast of downtown and out of harm's way. 
The league, which is holding owners meetings in Philadelphia, 
is debating how to handle the situation. In 2003, the NFL was 
sensitive to the fact that the stadium served as an evacuation 
center. The Chargers released a statement late Tuesday, saying 
the team is working closely with Mayor Sanders and the Fire 
and Police Departments to determine how best to deal with 
the scheduled game at Qualcomm.

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