Monthly Archives: January 2018

People line up to board a Royal Caribbean cruise ship that will take them to the U.S. mainland, in San Juan, Puerto Rico September 28, 2017. REUTERS/Alvin Baez

After Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico, Luis Cruz got a generator connection from the bakery next door to run lights and fans in his Humacao martial-arts studio. But last month, only about a third of his students were still practicing karate kicks and punches. Many had left for the U.S. mainland.

“Thank God I didn’t lose my gym or my home in the storm, but I depend on clients who did,” said Cruz, a 38-year-old father of three with a rosary dangling from his neck.

Now he may follow, relocating his business to Florida, where he made a fact-finding trip to Orlando last month. Since early October, some 231,000 Puerto Ricans have traveled to the Orlando, Tampa and Miami airports, a number that surpasses the population of Rochester, New York. 

The new residents are likely to be both burden and boon. The immigrants, who are all citizens, are arriving as national unemployment has fallen to 4.1 percent and Florida’s is 3.6 percent, down from a recessionary peak of 11.2 percent. They will feed the hungry labor market, but strain social services as they embark on new lives.

Puerto Rico was in bad shape even before the hurricane. The island declared a record $74 billion municipal bankruptcy in May, owing in part to the fact that its population had been shrinking for more than a decade as people left for better opportunities. Then on Sept. 20 the storm came, devastating infrastructure and killing hundreds. Recovery has crawled; by Tuesday, the island was still generating only about 64 percent of the power it needs.

Warm Welcome

The weight of the resulting exodus is falling on Florida. Politicians in the perennial swing state have competed to greet the storm-tossed citizens, who could be a crucial voting bloc in the 2020 presidential election.

“Any families displaced by Hurricane Maria that come to Florida are welcomed and offered every available resource,” Republican Governor Rick Scott’s office said in a statement.

Orlando, a metropolitan area of about 2.4 million, is especially attractive to the new Floridians, with the prospect of jobs in the Disney World-fueled hospitality industry, free couches from friends and relatives, and necessities like passable roads and functioning schools. But the mass migration has the city bursting at the seams.

“I tell them, ‘Please make sure you have a place to stay,’” said Ana Cruz, coordinator for Orlando’s Hispanic Office for Local Assistance. “Be with a friend, be with a family member. Because housing is the No. 1 issue that we have.’”

New arrivals are frequently eligible for a stay in a hotel approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but some have found themselves living out of cars.

Tight Quarters

One family was living at a children’s hospital where their daughter was being treated.

“We’re trying to find an apartment to try to establish ourselves in Florida, but the inexpensive ones are all full,” said father Jorge Hernandez, 26, who helped on movie sets in Puerto Rico. He and his family, including his 10-month-old with spinal muscular atrophy, were brought over on a charity’s air ambulance.

On a recent Friday, Osceola County’s Hurricane Maria Reception Center, installed in an out-of-use government building, was bustling with job seekers, crying babies and the elderly. The center is a repository for everything from employment notices (housekeepers, cooks, mechanics) to FEMA-approved hotel listings (Quality Inn, Super 8, Travelodge.)

“Most of the people who have come so far are staying with family and friends, and it’s going to take a while for them to be absorbed,” said David Barnett, human services manager for the county south of Orlando. He said most are planning to remain.

School districts statewide have enrolled more than 8,500 students from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, according to Scott’s office. But the state is already critically short of teachers in science, math, English and English as a second language.

Lesson Plans

In Orlando’s Orange County, home to the nation’s ninth-biggest school district, Superintendent Barbara Jenkins said more than 2,500 Puerto Rican students have arrived since the storm, and many more are expected. The district planned by plotting out the areas of greatest Puerto Rican concentration, knowing that students would stay with relatives.

The newcomers, many at home in mainland culture and with family support structures, may be easier to absorb than the people who came in the so-called Mariel boatlift of 1980, which brought about 125,000 Cubans in about six months. Many had scant English and some were just freed from prisons. And in a benefit to the local economy, the newcomers often bring businesses.

Cruz was among several dozen Puerto Ricans who on Nov. 30 attended a free Spanish-language seminar on establishing businesses. There was strategy and legal advice, sessions on construction and restaurants, and attendees were showered with pamphlets and pens from Wells Fargo and Regions Bank.

Revving Up

“They need access to capital,” said Katia Medina, a business-development coordinator with Prospera, a government-backed nonprofit that helped put on the business seminar. “At the beginning, they’re just creating work for themselves, but eventually they’re going to be creating jobs.”


Prospera, which helps Spanish-speaking business people, has seen twice as many would-be entrepreneurs at its Orlando office since the storm.

Cruz likes the idea of building something from the ground up.

“A lot of people are just taking the leap of faith, without any type of plan,” he said. “Not me. I want to have a strategy.”


The Rochester City School District and Buffalo has enrolled 1267 new students from Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria struck the island in September, and school officials are preparing for as many as 2,000 total by the end of the school year.

“When you really think about it, 1267 students, that’s two or three new schools,” says Carlos Garcia, assistant to the superintendent. The district is also receiving some students from Texas due to the hurricane in that region of the country earlier this year, Garcia says.

The sudden influx of students has led to a flurry of activity around placement and determining instructional needs for the students, since some speak English well, some speak no English, and some have both language and special education needs.

The districts regularly enrolls students that move to Buffalo or Rochester from other parts of the country or have left a neighboring school district or charter school, but this is a much different type of challenge, Garcia says.

“We’re currently making arrangements to expand classes for bilingual and special education services,” he says. That not only involves finding space for the extra students in city schools, but finding bilingual teachers.

Longtime School of the Arts Principal Brenda Pacheco has left the school to help the district’s central office with its recruitment efforts. Currently, Garcia says, there are fewer people going into the teaching profession, and Western New York is competing for bilingual and special education teachers like most other urban districts.

(By: AP) The State Attorney General’s office is investigating the Buffalo Police Department’s use of traffic checkpoints following a complaint filed by members of Black Lives Matter Buffalo and other community groups in August.

The AG’s office is also investigating BPD’s practices inside public housing developments.

A letter that BLM Buffalo and a community coalition sent to the AG’s office on Aug. 31 stated that BPD have engaged in “a repeated, persistent and widespread pattern of unconstitutional policing, one which has specifically and disproportionately targeted people of color.”

“These tactics, directed in predominantly minority areas, have unnecessarily funneled thousands into the criminal justice system,” the letter stated. 

The letter also accuse the city and oversight agencies of “abdicating their responsibilities to hold individual officers accountable for systematic misconduct, thereby allowing habitual offenders to stay on the police force without sanction”, based on two years of research by faculty and students at SUNY Buffalo and Cornell Law School.

The Buffalo Police Department maintains that any allegation of discrimination is false.

The AG’s Offcie sent a letter to BPD Wednesday, requesting a series of documents including any guidelines given to police officers or their supervisors on how to conduct vehicle checkpoints, how the locations for checkpoints are selected, and the reasons for conducting them. 

The letter also seeks documents on the BPD’s procedures on providing security in Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority.

The new year brings labor cost increases

Another new year brings another round of minimum wage hikes in 18 states.

The federal minimum wage remains at $7.25 per hour, with a tipped wage in some states at $2.13 per hour. But many states are taking action with wage hikes scheduled to go into effect on Dec. 31 or Jan. 1, 2018.

In 10 states, the increases are part of a phased-in transition to reach a certain level, eventually $15 per hour in states like New York and California.

Another eight states will see annual cost-of-living index adjustments, including Alaska, Florida, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio and South Dakota.

Additionally, in Washington, D.C., and Oregon, wage hikes are scheduled to go into effect in July, rather than Jan. 1, 2018. In the District of Columbia, the minimum wage of $12.50 per hour will increase to $13.25 per hour, and in Oregon the standard rate of $10.25 increases to $10.75 on July 1, although wage rates are higher for employers in the Portland area.

Another 20 cities and counties across the country will also raise minimum wages on the first of the year, and more wage hikes are coming. Campaigns are underway to raise the minimum wage floor in at least 17 more states and cities, including Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont, Illinois, Missouri, Michigan and Nevada, according to the National Employment Law Project.

Here’s a look at where the minimum wage will go up in 2018. Except where noted, all of these increases take effect on Jan. 1, 2018:

Arizona: The current hourly minimum wage of $10 increases to $10.50 per hour. The rate is scheduled to go up by another 50 cents in 2019, reaching $12 per hour by 2020. In 2021, cost-of-living indexing will begin.

California: The current rate of $10.50 per hour increases to $11 per hour, and is on track to reach $15 by 2022. Small businesses with 25 or fewer employees will have an extra year to comply, reaching $15 in 2023. Once the rate hits $15, cost-of-living increases kick in.

Colorado: The current rate of $9.30 per hour increases to $10.20 per hour, with future increases to $11.10 in 2019, then to $12 in 2020, with indexing starting in 2021.

Hawaii: The rate of $9.25 per hour increases to $10.10 per hour.

Maine: The $9 per hour wage increases to $10 per hour, with future increases to $11 in 2019, $12 in 2020 and indexing in 2021.

Michigan: The $8.90 per hour wage increases to $9.25, and indexing begins in 2019.

New York: The minimum wage of $9.70 per hour for most of the state increases to $10.40 per hour on Dec. 31, with continued increases scheduled until reaching $12.50 in 2020. At that point, increases will be based on cost of living to get the wage to $15 per hour.

In New York City, the minimum wage for employers of 11 or more people increases to $13 per hour on Dec. 31, and $12 per hour for smaller businesses. The rate increases for smaller businesses annually to reach $15 in 2019. On Long Island and in Westchester, the rate increases to $11 on Dec. 31.

Rhode Island: The current rate of $9.60 per hour increases to $10.10, with future increase to $10.50 per hour in 2019.

Vermont: The $10 per hour minimum wage increases to $10.50 per hour, with additional indexing beginning in 2019.

Washington state: The current $11 per hour wage increases to $11.50, with future increases to $12 in 2019, and $13.50 in 2020, with indexing beginning in 2021.

Sources: U.S. Department of Labor/National Conference of State Legislatures, Business for a Fair Minimum Wage

El gobernador asegura que este será el año de transformación para Puerto Rico.

La cita estaba pautada para las 10:00 de la mañana en punto, pero ha pasado casi una hora y todavía no llega al salón informal de La Fortaleza, donde será el encuentro.

De repente, se escucha un rumor de voces y pasos acelerados. Es entonces cuando hace su entrada, el gobernador Ricardo Rosselló Nevares, acompañado de su esposa, Beatriz Rosselló. Ella camina delante de él y se excusa inmediatamente por la demora.

“Es que estaba con el bebé”, dice sobre su hijo Pedro Javier, quien nació el pasado 25 de noviembre, cuando el país todavía atravesaba la emergencia del huracán María. Comenta que está en el proceso de lactancia y explica los malabares que ha tenido que hacer para comenzar su banco de leche.

El gobernador, quien luce un traje de chaqueta, camisa sin corbata y lleva unas coloridas medias con el rostro animado de Albert Einstein, la escucha con detenimiento, con una media sonrisa, y luego se sienta en una de las butacas del salón para conversar sobre lo que ha sido su primer año a cargo del país. Ha sido un inicio atípico para un primer mandatario, con una Junta de Supervisión Fiscal y dos huracanes, y así lo reconoce Rosselló Nevares al decir que ha sido un año de “mucho trabajo, muchos cambios y muchos retos”.

A pesar de los desafíos, asegura que ha podido encaminar una serie de iniciativas fiscales, económicas y sociales para el país, pero reitera que no ha sido sencillo. “Ha sido un año con dos huracanes categoría cuatro, la devastación más grande de la historia moderna de los Estados Unidos y, por otra parte, nos convertimos en padres por segunda ocasión en medio de todo esto”, dice a modo de repaso sobre lo que representó el 2017.

Luego comparte junto a Beatriz algunos detalles de su hijo recién nacido. Coinciden en que es bien diferente a su hija Claudia, de tres años, quien “es una niña con mucha energía”. “Pensábamos que iba a salir el mismo niño, pero es otra personalidad, mucho más tranquilo”, comenta el primer mandatario, para reacomodarse en la silla y entonces hablar de algunas de sus satisfacciones y decepciones en su primer año como gobernador.

Su equipo de trabajo, afirma, es su gran orgullo, y su decepción, ya lo ha dicho antes, es la manera en la que el Cuerpo de Ingenieros ha trabajado el asunto de la restauración del sistema de energía eléctrico. También asume el haber dicho que al 95% de la población le llegaría la luz el 15 de diciembre. “No digo que me arrepiento, porque mi objetivo era asegurarnos de que todo el mundo tuviera un sentido de urgencia y que pudiera trabajar lo antes posible, pero ante esa realidad, asumo las críticas que vengan”.

Al preguntarle por qué todavía tanta gente sigue sin luz, explica varias razones: Falta de materiales, de trabajadores, burocracia. “Yo comparto la frustración. A mí me gustaría ponerle luz a todo el mundo inmediatamente, pero esta es la realidad. El compromiso nuestro es tratar de hacerlo lo antes posible”, continúa Rosselló Nevares, quien a pesar de la devastación que vive el país, ve grandes oportunidades.

“Si esto tenía que pasar, qué bueno que me haya pasado a mí y qué bueno que le haya pasado a nuestro equipo de trabajo porque ante estos retos, estamos dispuestos a dar la batalla”, expresa, mientras Beatriz lo observa y luego repasa cómo vivieron aquel 20 de septiembre, cuando el huracán María azotó al país, cambiando el curso de la vida de todos los que viven en esta tierra.

La primera dama relata que en un momento todos tuvieron que desalojar el segundo piso residencial de La Fortaleza porque el agua bajaba por las paredes. Mientras eso sucedía, la preocupación de su esposo aumentaba a medida que se iba enterando de que la comunicación en el país había colapsado. “También fue difícil”, menciona ella, quien en ese entonces tenía siete meses de embarazo.

El gobernador recuerda que esa semana después de María apenas durmió. No podía y no debía. Dice que una experiencia que marcó su vida fue ver a las familias en Toa Baja en los techos, debido a las inundaciones. “Pensaba que, en esas primeras horas, cada momento que no estuviese haciendo nada, le podía estar costando la vida a alguien”.

¿Y sintió miedo?

Sentí miedo el día del huracán cuando no había comunicación. Después, cuando sobrevolé Puerto Rico y vi todas esas casas devastadas, decía “¿habrá gente ahí?” Así que hubo miedo, ansiedad, pero sé que mi rol era tener sano juicio.

Mucha gente se ha ido del país luego del huracán. Si usted hubiese estado en otra posición que no fuera gobernador de Puerto Rico, ¿ya se hubiese ido con su familia?

No. Yo me hubiese quedado. Pero déjame ponerlo en contexto. Hay gente que se tuvo que ir porque no tenían cómo proveerle a su familia, no tenían acceso a energía y las consideraciones de educación, salud, felicidad, pues se veían extraviadas. Así que entiendo a ese puertorriqueño que se tiene que ir. Jamás juzgaría a alguien por tomar esa decisión, pero lo que sí digo es que ahora, si seguimos trabajando en la dirección correcta, van a haber una serie de condiciones que nos van a permitir hacer el Puerto Rico que tanto habíamos hablado y creo que eso es algo que me motiva y me motivaría a estar aquí fuese o no fuese gobernador.

¿Cómo trabajó sus situaciones personales en aquellos días post-María?

Una de las cosas que me preocupó al principio era que iba a estar afuera 22 horas al día y tenemos una nena chiquita y Beatriz estaba embarazada en ese momento. Pero gracias a Dios, los papás de Beatriz estuvieron ayudando un montón. Y ella me dijo “haz lo que tengas que hacer”.

También días antes del huracán llegaron a Puerto Rico, los padres del gobernador, Pedro Rosselló y Maga Nevares. “Aunque les dije que no vinieran son un bravos y volaron para acá”, dice sobre sus progenitores que siguen en la isla.

Aplaude, por otro lado, los esfuerzos de su esposa, quien encaminó el proyecto Unidos por Puerto Rico y quien, según dijo, fue la primera en enviar suministros a todo el país. “Lo que decía era ‘get the food there’ (lleven la comida allá). La meta de nosotros es que no podíamos descansar porque el momento que parábamos era el momento en el que alguien no le estaba llegando la ayuda, por lo que no podíamos frenar”, cuenta ella.

Seguido el gobernador comenta que “cometió el error” de decirle en aquellos días a su esposa que lo debía coger suave por su avanzado estado de embarazo. La respuesta de ella siempre era la misma, “es verdad”, pero al otro día, se inventaba otra cosa. “Sabrás que, a los nueve meses, ya no le dije nada”, comparte entre risas el primer mandatario.

Ahora que hablamos de la familia, ¿qué momento saca para compartir con Beatriz y sus hijos?

Como Beatriz y yo vemos esto como un esfuerzo en común, pues estamos juntos en el trabajo. Y con los nenes, pues el tiempo que estoy en casa, me aseguro de estar con ellos. Lo bueno de trabajar aquí es que si tengo un espacio de cinco minutos subo a donde mi hija, quien ya está acostumbrada y me dice “cinco minutos papá”. Y son cinco minutos para jugar con las muñecas y con sus cosas, así que siempre se busca tiempo porque es importantísmo. A veces no puedo, pero ella siempre me convence.

¿Qué música escucha y qué está leyendo en estos tiempos?

A mí me gusta escuchar merengue y reguetón, eso está en mi playlist. Y leer, pues en estos días son reportes, mayormente.

¿Qué hace para lidiar con el estrés diario?

Ejercicio por la mañana.

¿En qué cree?

Creo en la resiliencia del pueblo de Puerto Rico, creo en el amor y creo en Dios.

¿En qué no cree?

En rendirse.

¿Cómo ha lidiado con el rechazo que conlleva su puesto?

Yo creo que es parte de… La aceptación y el rechazo son parte intrínseca de este trabajo.

En este momento, ¿quiénes son sus peores enemigos?

No visualizo enemistades. Quizás el tiempo, que es corto.

Para usted, ¿qué es la pobreza?

La falta de necesidades básicas y de que te permitan operar una vida como ser humano apropiada. La pobreza puede ser alguien que no tiene suficiente dinero, pero también puede ser alguien que lo tiene, pero simplemente no le llena y no es feliz.

¿Cómo vislumbra será el 2018 para Puerto Rico?

Es el año de transformación para Puerto Rico. Las transformaciones son fuertes, pero creo que está el ambiente adecuado para comenzarla, y pienso cerrar con gran parte de esa transformación encaminada para que ya en el 2019 se empiecen a ver esos frutos.

¿Este país va a sobrevivir?

No tan solo va a sobrevivir, va a brillar. No va a ser mañana, no será pasado, pero va a brillar porque tenemos una gran oportunidad y nuestro pueblo ha demostrado un corazón y una resiliencia increíble. Hay que concretarla y utilizar esta oportunidad que el pueblo me ha dado para asegurarnos que eso ocurra.

¿Y el que el país brille será gracias a usted?

No. El país va a brillar por él mismo. Yo lo que haré será poner mi granito de arena, pero esto es un esfuerzo en conjunto, y la unidad de propósito nos va a ayudar. Yo creo que hay un entendimiento colectivo de que, aunque estemos en desacuerdo en un sinnúmero de cosas, hay que hacer algo, hay que movernos en una dirección, hay que hacer cambios. Así que va a ser por el pueblo.

On the disappointment on a “day like that”) “Yeah, you know, the guys played extremely hard, and, you know, you don’t get anything for the effort in this game. It’s won or lost on the scoreboard. Obviously we need to score more points. I appreciate the fans making the trip like they did down here to support us. Heck of a year. Appreciate how hard the guys played, how hard they worked all season. This was a step. We learned a lot of valuable lessons today, ones that we’ll carry forward as we move forward as an organization. I’m proud of the way LeSean (McCoy) rose to the occasion. He battled in there, and it wasn’t easy for him, but he put a good week in in terms of getting himself ready to go.” handled the game, and how he is physically right now) “He’s physically in the concussion protocol, and I thought he handled himself just like the rest of our football team, with class and with a lot of pride. I could say that about every single one of those men in that locker room.”

(On what doing what he did this year means to this team moving forward) “Well, you know, it’s a step. We’ve come a long way in a short amount of time. That said, we’re not where we need to be, that’s obvious. We still want to be playing; we’re not playing next week. So, we learn lessons from today, we learn lessons from all season long that we must use to help us to continue to improve. I know Brandon (Beane) and I will sit down and talk about things as we move forward, making sure that we continue to grow and build on what we did this year. It’s never easy, but we’ll stay on it, and continue to pursue our goals for the organization.”

(On what went into the first play on the drive that led to the field goal in the first half, trying to throw the ball to Kelvin Benjamin when you’ve got a pretty good running game) “Yeah, you know, there’s some calls we want back. That’s probably one of them. Just situationally right there more than anything.”

DT Kyle Williams

(On coming up short in the loss) “It was a lot of fun, wish we could have done more and coming up on the short end of the stick is tough to end the season that way. We had our opportunity and we just didn’t make it happen today.”

(On a game with one touchdown) “That’s kind of how this league is and there’s plays here and there to be made and one of the teams has to make them and they made them. They basically put one drive together and that’s what the difference was.”

(On the support of fans) “They are the best fans in the league and you could never say enough good things about them. It’s just awesome to have them behind us.”

RB LeSean McCoy

(On how he felt he played) “I thought I played solid. It wasn’t a 100%. It was different, I think the cuts and runs I did were probably made. When you’re out there you don’t think about it. Just a little pain though. Overall I think it was solid. It’s not the reason we lost. We just didn’t play well.”

(On how they did everything on offense but score) “Everything but score. Made some plays that hurt us. Just not converting. We dropped the ball. Not making plays. We have to do our job and make plays and we didn’t do that. We should’ve done that. We had this game. I can confidently say that we had this game. You know it was a tough-fought game. We were battle tested. They’re a good defense. I would never take that away from the defense. Most people know me as a straight shooter; from a bad game to solid, it’s down to the guards up front. I thought we had them tired. We were just running the ball at them. I thought we could have mixed it up a little bit, keep them off balance.”

(On if he was surprised they didn’t run the ball on first and goal) “Well, during the week we had plays set up and if we get the matchups we’ll take it. Then concerning that #20 was out there, I thought we were going to run it. He is a hell of a player but we didn’t run it. I don’t really fight that battle if we should have run or if we shouldn’t have because if we catch the ball and we score everybody is happy. If I run it and I don’t get it I second guess it, and I do score everybody is excited. We need to score here no matter what it is. If I was running it or we are throwing it, whatever it was he’s practicing the same reps. The same situations in the week. That’s the part of the game that hurt us the most.”

C Eric Wood

(On the injury near the end of game to QB Tyrod Taylor) “It was a scary sight.  I saw him in the locker room and he’s doing better. Hopefully, that will be a quick one to recover from.

(On offensive struggles) “That’s a talented defense. We had some long fields and were able to move the ball.  It’s tough to convert a ton of third downs, so we were just trying to say ‘Let’s get some chunk plays.’ We were able to do that at times in the second half with obviously no points.”

(On LeSean McCoy playing with ankle injury)  “It doesn’t surprise me. He’s one of the best competitors I have ever been around.  That’s what makes him so successful in this league. We definitely appreciate his effort and I thought he played pretty well.”

CB Tre’Davious White

(On the defensive battle) “We knew coming into the game we would have an opportunity to stop their offense by playing hard and hustling to the ball. We didn’t get the takeaways today so I feel like that made the difference in the game.  I had an opportunity to catch one.  I didn’t catch it. It would have set up our offense on a short field before halftime. I feel like that’s a big part of it. Hats off to them.  The quarterback did a great job of scrambling and getting out of the pocket.”

(On Blake Bortles) “We were able to sort of confuse him with our looks and disguises.  That’s why he was taking off running, but we didn’t do a great job as a defensive backfield coming up and helping our front line.  But he did a great job of adjusting.”

LB Lorenzo Alexander

(On the success of Blake Bortles running) “There were a couple of broken plays and read zone is something that he does well. But that didn’t beat us. We stopped (Leonard) Fournette when we needed to. It was a critical situation when he picked up the first downs on that long drive. That was really big.”

(On breaking the playoff drought) “We want to build off of this and you can’t take this for granted. Next year is a whole new year and have to work hard in the offseason. We did pretty well at home this year, we were 6-2, but we need to do better on the road.  I think we were like 2-7.”

WR Kelvin Benjamin

(On penalty near Jacksonville’s goal line) “It was a simple fade route.  I came off the ball. All I did was try to come around and catch the ball and they called pushing. You try to move on from it.”

(On offensive struggles) “That’s terrible.  As an offense, you definitely have to put up points if you want to advance in the playoffs. All you can do now is go back and correct mistakes, and get ready to come back next year.  They were giving us every opportunity in the world.”

(On battling his own injuries) “I was trying to make that push.  If I had to go all the way to the Super Bowl, I would do it. It’s the grit. We’re out there playing for each other. You have to play hurt and just push through it.”



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