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Super Bowl 2012: Is Patriots' Julian Edelman vs. Giants WRs A Mismatch?

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SUPER BOWL 2012
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman stretches during practice on Friday, Feb. 3, 2012, in Indianapolis. The Patriots are scheduled to face the New York Giants in NFL football Super Bowl XLVI on Feb. 5. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) | AP

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and the other Giants receivers can't wait to go against the Patriots' Julian Edelman in Sunday's Super Bowl.

And why not? The wide receiver-return man also plays in the secondary, a position he's still learning.

Mario Manningham, for one, says it'll be a mismatch in New York's favor any time he or his fellow wideouts are covered by the former Kent State quarterback.

"He plays wide receiver," Manningham said. "He's not a real defensive back. Did he get drafted as a defensive back? We have a little bond going on knowing that we can beat somebody. We're confident. I hope he's out there."

Cruz, the Giants' leading receiver with 82 catches for 1,536 yards and nine TDs, said Edelman will be targeted.

"I see he's very raw at that position, obviously, because it's not his dominant position, but he's quick, he's fast, and he carries over a lot of the receiver stuff over to (cornerback), so we'll see how it goes," Cruz said. "Obviously, it's going to be a position and an area that we'll test out really early and see how it goes and how the game flows."

Edelman said he'll simply focus on the task at hand.

"It's ultimately a foreign thing for me," he said. "You're doing everything backwards, from covering a guy to terminology on the defensive side of the ball. You have different terms. It's like a different language from seeing things backwards on the track so it's definitely been a good experience for the coaches and the players surrounding me has helped me out a bunch."

New England coach Bill Belichick says Edelman is adjusting well.

"He has a knack for it, he picked it up quickly," he said. "Again, he's a smart, hardworking guy. If you ask him to do something, he'll work really hard to get it right and try to do it. He developed a little bit as a defensive player this year, especially when we had some injuries."

Edelman's versatility has earned the respect of his teammates.

"He's playing in all three phases of the game," linebacker Jerod Mayo said. "Not only does that take physical conditioning, but it also takes mental conditioning. He's always in his playbooks, his multiple playbooks, and gets the job done."

Cornerback Kyle Arrington said the Patriots are confident when Edelman moves to defense.

"He has that mentality, that beast mode in him," Arrington said. "He's tough, he's fast, he's physical. I have no worries about Julian. He's good."

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ACTIVE BREES: Drew Brees wants all those couch potatoes to watch the Super Bowl, but also to get moving on Super Sunday.

The record-setting quarterback of the New Orleans Saints and MVP of the 2010 game has challenged fans and video gamers across the nation to help make it "the most active Super Bowl Sunday ever."

In conjunction with NFL PLAY 60, Brees is working with the "Kinect for Xbox 360 Super Sunday Challenge," which will encourage kids of all ages to get their daily 60 minutes of physical activity using the system where body movements control the game play.

"One in three children in America are considered overweight or obese. As a father of two, I appreciate the importance of making sure kids stay active," Brees said. "That's why I've embraced this challenge.

"I hope fans join the movement by posting photos and videos of them playing Kinect on the Xbox Facebook and Twitter pages."

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JACOBS' SWAN SONG?: Brandon Jacobs is down to his last chance to show the New York Giants he's worth keeping.

When asked if he expects the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots on Sunday to be his last game with the Giants, Jacobs was unsure.

"I hope not," he said. "I want to be here. I want to be around. I just want to come out here and be able to win this football game and whatever happens, happens."

The 6-foot-4, 264-pound running back is due a $500,000 roster bonus in March. That and his scheduled $4.4 million salary for next season could cause the team to cut him, especially given his lack of production in recent years. Jacobs ran for more than 1,000 yards in 2007 and 2008, but slipped in 2009, lost his starting job to Ahmad Bradshaw in 2010 because of fumbling problems, and ran for just 571 yards and a 3.8-yard average this season.

He plans to be more aggressive on Sunday.

"I've just got to run a little harder and try to get more yards out of the contact, because I think if there's a good defense then you're going to get hit, so you may as well get ready for it," he said. "I've just got to get going a little harder and try to get a couple extra yards."

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PREP COACH HONORED: John McKissick of Summerville, S.C., has been chosen the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year.

Shula, the winningest coach in NFL history, congratulated McKissick and presented him with the award at a news conference Friday in Indianapolis.

McKissick will receive $25,000, $15,000 of which will go to his high school's football program. The 60-year coaching veteran also is a guest of the NFL during Super Bowl week.

McKissick was one of 47 football coaches from across the country contending for the award, created to honor exemplary high school football coaches. The Carolina Panthers nominated McKissick.

All nominees are active or retired high school football coaches and were nominated by NFL teams and players for their character and integrity, inspirational leadership, commitment to the community and on-field success.

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STRAHAN'S PICK: Former Giants defensive end Michael Strahan starred in the team's 2008 Super Bowl victory over New England. He's projecting another close win for New York on Sunday, calling it "deja blue."

After surprising customers by giving away foot-long Subway sandwiches at a restaurant near Lucas Oil Stadium, Strahan made his prediction: 28-24 in favor of the Giants.

Strahan believes New York's pass rush is the key to victory, needing to get pressure on Tom Brady just as it did four years ago.

Subway estimated it gave away 300 sandwiches.

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