For much of his hour-long visit with the family of a 6-year-old boy killed in the Connecticut school shootings, Victor Cruz talked about football, life, and young Jack, the child who idolized him.
Tears were shed. Feelings were shared. Cleats and gloves worn by Cruz to honor Jack Pinto at Sunday's game against Atlanta were given to his family.
The New York Giants wide receiver somberly recounted Wednesday his meeting with Pinto's parents and brother in Newtown, Conn.
He struggled in his retelling only when asked about the family's decision to bury the child in the receiver's No. 80 Giants jersey. The father of an infant girl, Cruz stopped for a moment, and his eyes became watery.
"It was just an emotional time," Cruz said. "I spent a little bit of time with them. We got to smile a little bit, which was good for them. It was a time where I just wanted to be a positive voice, a positive light in the tunnel where it can really be negative, so it was a good time. They are a great family and they're really united at this time, and it was good to see."
Jack Pinto was buried Monday and Cruz telephoned the family to ask whether he could visit Tuesday.
It all began as an intriguing idea, the thought of Tim Tebow's running around as an exciting spark for the New York Jets' offense.
Then it all fizzled - before it really even started.
Rex Ryan acknowledged that he had higher expectations for the seldom-used Tebow in the Jets' Wildcat-style offense. And, so did the NFL's most popular and maligned backup quarterback.
"Obviously, I'm a little disappointed," he said. "You try to handle it the best you can."
Payton likely to return
Drew Brees said he'd be "shocked" if Sean Payton ends up coaching anywhere other than New Orleans next season.
The Saints quarterback said he has "not even thought for a second" that Payton might field offers from other teams because of the NFL's rejection of language in Payton's 2011 contract extension, leaving the coach's status for next season in doubt.
Griffin fined for attire
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III has been fined $10,000 by the NFL for wearing Adidas at his postgame news conference Sunday.
Griffin was inactive for the game because of a sprained knee, and he wore an Adidas T-shirt and sweat jacket when he addressed reporters afterward. Griffin has a sponsorship deal with Adidas, but the league has a deal with Nike.
Steelers make up
Ben Roethlisberger doesn't think he and Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley need to be best friends to coexist.
The quarterback, however, also knows he can't start calling Haley out when things don't go as planned, no matter how bothered the Steelers captain may get by the play- calling
It's why Roethlisberger apologized to Haley, coach Mike Tomlin, and owner Art Rooney II after making pointed remarks about the direction of the offense following a 27-24 overtime loss to Dallas on Sunday.